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Hi, I'm Lea and I have reviewed your query.
How can I assist you with this? Is there a child arrangements order in place, or is the contact by agreement between the two of you? Where did you move from - did it make the travel costs/distance/time increase for him?
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The very simple answer, if there are no court orders saying otherwise, is that no, he cannot insist that you do all the handovers.
If you want this matter regulated by an order, then you can apply for a child arrangements order for the child to live with you and spend time with him, with both of you sharing the handovers equally, or unequally if you feel that he should do the handovers.
Does that assist?
If it goes to court, the court will make the decisions if the two of you can't agree. He can't force you any more than you can force him. The court will decide who does what with the best interests of the child in mind.
You can certainly put forward to the court (if he or you applies) that you believe he should do his own collection and drop offs as he is the one that has chosen to live so far afield.
I'd suggest letting him make the application to court - he's the one that is making the demands. It really doesn't matter to the court who makes the application - it's not a first in line kind of thing. The court will consider what both of you say and will make a decision that keeps the child's best interests paramount.
If he is threatening court action, but that you won't hear from his solicitors until January, it is unlikely he'll get a hearing much before the middle of February.
It really depends on how much travel the father is expected to do - because the child has to travel regardless of which parent is doing the handovers.
You said the father collects from school - does he return her to your home or expect you to collect her from his home?
Often the court expects the parent who has 'moved away' to do most of the travelling, which it sounds as if he is doing. What is his proposal for the changes?
The court would take into consideration your commitments to your other children - and would certainly not expect small children to travel with you for such lengthy periods of time. I think that you'd have a good chance of persuading the court that the father should do the travelling given he is the one that has chosen to live in Suffolk.
You're entitled to move - and you only moved within the same town (albeit London is huge). I don't think that would have a huge impact on a court's decision.
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You're very welcome.
As I said, I think you have a good chance of persuading a court (if it gets that far) that the father should do the travelling...maybe offer one collection in four if you are feeling generous - but don't be pushed into agreeing more than you can comfortably make.