How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Harris Your Own Question
Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
Type Your Law Question Here...
Harris is online now

I am a divorced father of three little girls, twins aged

This answer was rated:

I am a divorced father of three little girls, twins aged nine and my youngest six years old.
My ex wife has primary care over our children, they reside with her during term time and reside with me Friday night to Sunday lunch time. I travel approx. 35 miles to pick my children up on Fridays after the school week ends and my ex wife picks them up Sunday lunch when they return with her to where she lives. This is our normal routine. I have no reason to write anything untrue in this email and I honestly believe if I had have had primary care of our children I would have been the more fair and considerate parent towards my ex wife. She continuously has abused the privilege of having this responsibility and made my life hellish and difficult, trying to put obstacles in the way at times of me seeing our children. At times even putting me down in front of our little girls and messing with their vulnerable innocent minds. However, I am sorry and to get to the point, I have known for a short time that my ex wife has to go into hospital next week for an hysterectomy and she will not be able to drive for 2-3 months afterwards. She has asked (well not so much asked but told me) that I will have to also travel to take our girls back to her again on Sundays. In a nutshell told me that if I want to have them with me as normal I have to pick them up and return them to her as well otherwise I can't have them at all. I have recently gone into a small seasonal business and Saturday and Sunday's are my busiest days. I pay someone to look after my shop when I go to pick our children up but because my ex wife is telling me I will have to do this if I want to see the children it means I would also have to pay someone to look after my shop while I take them back to her. The trip there and back is at least a couple of hours depending on traffic ect. and there would also be the double costing of fuel for which I know she would not give me back. I understand that my ex wife may need someone to be constantly with her after the operation, however she has a part time live in boyfriend who she has been with for several months who drives and also her mother drives a car, both competent drivers. When I explained my situation and asked her could either of them come and pick the children up for her she said NO they are busy. Yet it don't matter that I am busy too trying to get a new business off the ground. I just know she don't care about inconveniencing me or costing me but she wont her mother or boyfriend, she is taking advantage as she always has with me. I don't even feel she will consider me doing what she asks alternate weeks with her mum or boyfriend taking turns with me and coming for the children one week and I would take them back the following week. My ex wife just wants to disrupt me and no one else who could potentially help her who is with her now. I just feel I am being emotionally blackmailed with not seeing our children if I don't do as she wants but that is nothing new. Can you please tell me legally where I stand on this because she is going to refuse me picking up the children if I don't take them back as well.
Thank you
Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:-Are you all in England or Wales?-Do you pay child maintenance, if so how much and calculated on what basis?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I live in Lancashire, UK.
I do not pay any child maintenance to my ex wife for several reasons.
Prior to starting up this new small business I only had work one day per week on a market selling second hand goods, I didn't earn much money only enough to keep myself and take care of the girls needs when they are with me. At present I am trying to improve my earning so that I can offer the girls more but right now the shop as just opened and is not in profit as of yet.
Along with love and help and a close family our girls are well looked after when they are with me.
Secondly although I could give you more true reasons, I do not trust my ex wife where money is concerned, I know from experience she lives beyond her means and so that she can keep up with the Jone's so to speak and herself in fashion and nights out she will cut on spending on our children. I believe my business will be alright, it wont earn a fortune but I will be in a bit better position and if the girls need anything I would rather get it for them myself as I always do rather than hand money over to my ex wife. I hope you understand.
Thank you for confirming. Unfortunately, you cannot force her to share the journey with you for you to have contact, and if this matter were pursued to court, the court will not find it unreasonable for you to undertake the journey of 35 miles each way for weekly contact, especially as this would likely be an interim arrangement after her discharge from hospital. If you had been paying child maintenance then you would have been able to reduce your payments for the travel if the costs were £10 or more each week.If you are unable at all to take on the return journey yourself, then maybe it will be in your interest to alter arrangements until you ex-wife can assist again - for example for you to have them from Friday straight from school and then for you to take them to school on Monday morning.I appreciate that this may not be the answer you would have hoped for, but if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
Harris and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you I understand and at least now I know lawfully where I stand.
I am not being hard natured because I am genuinely not fact is I just know she does have people who could help her by picking the children up for her but it is either she wont inconvenience them or they wont do it full stop. Deep down I know these are our children together hence our responsibility, it just feels like if the shoe was on the other foot she would not do this for me. Truth is I would rather see to my children myself only she has been so so unfair with me so many times, she has made me feel like I don't want to give her an inch because she takes 10 miles. But thankyou for your kind advise ... Cheers
Thank you - I hope it goes well. If you have any questions in the future you can ask for me directly by starting your question For Harris