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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Hi. I would like some advice please. I divorced my husband

Resolved Question:

Hi. I would like some advice please. I divorced my husband almost 3 years ago and we have 2 children. He was seeing them every other weekend and every Tuesday evening when I lived in Huddersfield however I have recently moved to Derby (approx 1 hour away) to be with my new partner and nearer to family network. My ex husband was, at the time, supportive of the move and could see the benefits to the children. He agreed to have them every other weekend Fri - Sunday. He is now however insisting that I meet him half way at 6:30pm on the fridays and threatening to not see the kids and stop paying child maintenance if I don't agree. I don't really think I should spend my only 2 fridays child free sat in traffic on the M1 or in carparks waiting for him (he is notoriously late) as this would mean a 2-3 hour round trip. I have said I could meet him at 4:30pm but he is refusing this. My question is - do I have to agree to meet him halfway? thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
I am sorry - I am not sure why you feel doing half of the travelling is not fair?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Because I care for the children 100% of the time except for 4 days per month and do not want to spend my time off either sat in traffic or waiting for him. I agreed to drive 20 miles to meet him on Friday and it took me over 2 hours as a round trip, he was 20 mins late which meant I didn't get home til after 8pm. I am happy for the children to see him but don't see why it should be at my cost and my time. In my view if he wants to see the kids he needs to make the effort and it feel aggrieved that he's resorting to blackmail. I have offered to drive 20 miles to meet him both Fridays at 4:30 or one Friday at 6:30 but he's insisting that I do both.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry but unfortunately if he applies to the Court it is likely that the court will say that since you were the one who moved away it is only fair that you bear half of the travel burden
The gamble is whether or not he will make an application to the court or whether he will simply stop seeing the children
If he does chose the court route then the starting point is Family mediation at which point it may be possible to reach an amicable compromise.
It is certainly reasonable for you to say that you will only wait for a limited time
I am sorry not to give you the news that you wanted - but it is only fair to be realistic with you
Please ask if you need further details
Clare

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks

I have read advice to the contrary so I am surprised by your response.

I understood that as long as the move was in the interests of the children I was entitled to live where I wanted and it was his responsibility to travel providing I agree to fair and open access - which I do.

I simply don't see why I should do this in my time and cost. His girlfriend lives in Sheffield and he left the family home in the first place. He walked out after numerous affairs so he should take responsibility for seeing his children surely?

Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
No I am afraid that is not the case - there is no rule about who travels for contact reasons, but where one party is the one who has moved away then the court generally expects that party to take on a fair share of the travel costs in time and money.
Contact is the right of the child - and it is the responsibility of BOTH parents to facilitate it
Clare
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