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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35043
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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I am looking regarding a contact arrangement that

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I am looking for advice regarding a contact arrangement that I have with my ex-wife for access to my Children. I have a court order from December 23rd 2009 that gives me access alternate week-ends and additional time as can be arranged. I need to know where I stand regarding travel arrangements. Their is no mention of travel arrangement’s in the order. Except of a mention of a temporary arrangement for a named third party to collect and return the children when the order was first given. That temporary collection and return agreement only lasted a month or two before I started to collect and return the children directly to their mother.
My children live with their mother. The return trip is about 140 miles.
I have requested that I collect the children on Fridays from her and my ex collects the children from mine on a Sunday.
My ex is not willing to change the existing travel arrangements.
Am I in my rights to do this. I have parental responsibility.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old are the children and which of you moved away?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi the children are 10 and 13, I moved away but it's complicated. staying local to my ex and her family was not an option, due to the threat of violence towards me.
You have been doing this journey for many years now - what has changed?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
To be totally honest I'm tired. I do a 150 mile commute every day and run my own business. On the Friday I collect I do over 300 miles of traveling 225 of those after a full day's work. My ex does not work she has a car but does not take the kids to school or use it unless it's for her benefit my eldest daughter gets picked up for school and my 10 year old walks on his own, his school is next door to my ex house. Also my stepchildren who live with me visit there father (he doesn't drive too drunk most of the time) in the same town as my ex. It's always me who does all the driving. For example over Christmas when my children and step children saw familes etc I did all the driving in total 8 return journey. Im at the point where I'm very close to dropping all contact with my children. Just so I don't ever have to deal with my ex again. To put it perspective what my ex is like. I took her to court to get the original contact order as she blocked my access to the children over the first Christmas after separating..
When did you move and will you still need to travel for your step children's contact?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi I moved 6 years ago, I have no legal requirement regarding facilitating the stepchildrens contact.
The fact that you have already done the travelling for so long, and you are the one who moved away does create a problem.
Having said that it is not unreasonable to ask that your ex takes a share of the travel
The starting point is to try and discuss matters with your ex using Family mediation
If that fails then you will need to apply to the court for a Specific Issue Order and ask the court to decide the issue.
Try and be flexible about what you ask for - even if she will not take on a full half of the travelling meeting somewhere in the middle might be of assistance
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you that's the answer I was expecting. I have already tried offering to meet part way and pay her petrol. But she won't budge, can you confirm please as it stands with the absence of direction in the order regarding travel arrangements. if I don't return the children at the set time and my ex won't come and get them. Without the ex going to court for a change to the current order is it true that I can't be forced to drop the children back for example by the police?
Their is no residence order in place just my contact order.
If you do not return them yourself then no one can force yo to do so - but equally if you retain them then once they have gone home she can justify not letting you take them next time - and you will have to go back to court to enforce the order and explain your behaviour
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you