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SASH_Law, Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 5234
Experience:  LLB (Hons)
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I applied to the court for contact with my 2 year old child,

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I applied to the court for contact with my 2 year old child, as my ex-partner has moved away with her. I now have a child arrangement order, the court has said I must travel, every Sunday from London to Blackpool and spend a fixed amount of time with my child. After 6 visits, my ex-partner and I need to submit a report to the court, after which the court will decide if I can take my daughter home to London for the weekends. It has now been a couple weeks since this order and I am meeting my daughter as arranged by the court.
I have a few concerns, I hope you can help me with these:
1. Driving from London to Blackpool every Sunday has been financially, physically and mentally distressing. The long drive to and from Blackpool has affected my health, is there any alternative I can suggest to the
court? If the court orders that I should pick my daughter up from Blackpool every weekend and then drop her back by the end of the weekend, this is not possible, I work full time, including some Saturdays, is there another option I can put forward to the court in my statement?
The reason I have to drive from London to Blackpool is because I do not have any accommodation in Blackpool where I can take my daughter, we spend the day going out, but indoor options are limited in Blackpool and when my daughter gets tired, we sit in the car, I don’t know how else to spend time with her away from home. I can not travel by train/coach as the timings of these transport do not work out for my meeting time and can not book a hotel as check in/out times of hotels mean that I have to book for 3 days and nights, just to spend 5 hours with my daughter, this is not affordable, please help?
2. Can my ex-wife meet me half way with our daughter? Or is it possible sometimes she drops her off and other times I pick her up?
3. The court order states the time and location of pick up/drop off, but my ex wife keeps asking to me come and drop our child off to her home, she also abuses me when I do not adhere to her demands and then starts shouting and swearing at me, this interaction is distressing me very much. The court has said that no family interaction is allowed during these initial meetings, Is there any other solution to me picking up my child, where I do not have to see my ex-wife to avoid the abuse she hurls at me? I want to be apart of my child’s life, but can not deal with the abuse from my ex-wife, I fear she will falsely accuse me of something, as she has tried in the past, but it has not worked. please help?Your advice is much needed.

Hello, how are you today?

My name is ***** ***** I am going to see if I can assist you with your query. Let me just read your first post. I may need to ask you additional questions after I have read your initial post.

  1. I am frankly surprised that the court ordered you to do all the travelling, normally the court would order travelling to be shared, with a halfway meeting point for handovers. The alternative to suggest to the court is that the mother meets you at a midway point between Blackpool and London for the handovers. Your justification for that is that it is financially difficult to sustain by yourself and the tiredness from driving several hundred miles in the same day would be greatly eased by the mother doing half the travelling, especially since she chose to move away. If you have a different pattern to suggest to the court, then do so - e.g. if you have two days off in the week, then you can offer that. If not, then you are stuck with weekends.
  2. Yes, you can suggest that, see no.1
  3. You can suggest a contact centre, lots of people use them in your situation. You can find one here: Find one that is local to the child's address - you will have to pay something for this, but as you do not require supervision, but simply a room to play in with your child, it shouldn't be expensive - some are free, you have to check. The mother can then drop the child off and collect her from there. You don't need to have contact as the centre can arrange that she comes at a specific time and you arrive earlier and are in the building elsewhere until she has left.

Can I clarify anything for you about my response?

Thank you so much for using JA and allowing me to answer your query for you. If you have further questions about my responses above, please do feel free to ask them in this thread.

If you have questions on different topics, you can open a new thread and mark it for my attention by putting FOR SASH_Law ONLY in the subject heading, or choosing me as your preferred expert from your membership page.

All the best!

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Hi Lea,
Thank you so much for your kind help. The information you provided is very helpful, I am grateful for this.
I had no idea that contact centres existed. I have had a look at the link you recommended and found that these contact centres can be used to handover as well as spend time with the child, this is a perfect solution for me if/when the court allows for me to bring my daughter home for a few days, thank you for this.Just to let you know that at the last hearing, I did ask for my ex to meet me half way, but she disagreed straight away, saying that being a woman and single mother this is not convenient for her. I felt like I was put on the spot and pressured to agree to the arrangement, with me attending Blackpool every Sunday.
I will definitely put this argument to the court again in my next hearing, but am worried they will not agree and I will either have to agree to the unrealistic conditions or have no contact with my child. Will it be possible for yourself to maybe write me an official letter, explaining my situation and putting forward my suggestions for contact, which are to meet halfway, which is Birmingham and for handover to be through a contact centre. I also can not bring my daughter home every weekend, as I work some Saturdays, I can only do this on the weeks I have the weekend off. I am also happy to have my daughter with me over the school holidays. If you being able to write this for me is a possibility I am very happy to pay your fees and would appreciate your advice. I can submit this with my report a couple of weeks time. Thank you so much.

I'm sorry but I cannot do drafting of letters for you on this system.

If you write something up, then I can provide a premium service offer to check it for you - but you will need to open a new thread and specify it is for my attention (see my post above about how to do that) - and ensure you post it when I am likely to be online, otherwise another expert will pick it up - you can of course tell them you wish to wait for me to respond. I am generally online from 1 pm ish on most days.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thank you Lea for all your help. No worries, I understand.
Would you be able to help me with another worry I have, at the moment no family contact us allowed because my ex has said she dose not want my family to see my daughter, is it a possibility the condition that family contact is not allowed be continued even after I am allowed to bring my daughter home? I live with my mother and siblings, how can I bring my child home and ensure no family contact? This is a s not possible.

That's a new question and has to be asked in a new thread. Thanks. I'll be back online tomorrow after 12 pm.

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