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Advice needed re contact and ex who has moved away!!
#1
Hi all,

First post on here from a  very disillusioned dad. Long story short, ex had an affair, moved my 6 year old son 5 hours away (still in England). Didn't contest her move, as was assured I was very unlikely to be able to oppose. Skint due to the divorce - she had 100% of equity of house, despite never working a day to contribute  (although I appreciate she helped bring up my son for the 1st 5 years of his life and thats a full time job!).  I also of course pay the full maintenance that I am due to pay every month. She assured me via text that she would bring my son up once a month, and i would go down once a month. She is now saying she can't afford to come up, and its all down to me now.

If I was go to mediation, then court (mediation won't work as she is not that type....) what is the likelihood for the judge to order her to bring my son up to me once a month? Likely? Or will they just say she has to allow contact?

I do not have the resources to travel there twice a month as it requires at least £100 in travel and 2 nights in hotels, I barely can manage once a month financially! I also have 2 other children who I need to maintain a relationship with and they need a relationship with my other 6 year old son, and the more I'm away, and the less he is is here, that relationship suffers.

Im at the end of my tether - Ive been shafted financially, emotionally and now looking like I'm going to lose twice monthly contact with my son, through no fault of my own. Any help or advice would be welcomed and gratefully received. I've lost a lot of faith in whats fair and equitable, as I just don't think it exists any more!!

My son is not happy where he is, is seeing counsellors in school (at 6!) , and screams / cries every time I leave him. Its heartbreaking and Im devastated.
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#2
(11-03-2017, 06:15 PM)Contact issues Wrote: Hi all,

First post on here from a  very disillusioned dad. Long story short, ex had an affair, moved my 6 year old son 5 hours away (still in England). Didn't contest her move, as was assured I was very unlikely to be able to oppose. Skint due to the divorce - she had 100% of equity of house, despite never working a day to contribute  (although I appreciate she helped bring up my son for the 1st 5 years of his life and thats a full time job!).  I also of course pay the full maintenance that I am due to pay every month. She assured me via text that she would bring my son up once a month, and i would go down once a month. She is now saying she can't afford to come up, and its all down to me now.

If I was go to mediation, then court (mediation won't work as she is not that type....) what is the likelihood for the judge to order her to bring my son up to me once a month? Likely? Or will they just say she has to allow contact?

I do not have the resources to travel there twice a month as it requires at least £100 in travel and 2 nights in hotels, I barely can manage once a month financially! I also have 2 other children who I need to maintain a relationship with and they need a relationship with my other 6 year old son, and the more I'm away, and the less he is is here, that relationship suffers.

Im at the end of my tether - Ive been shafted financially, emotionally and now looking like I'm going to lose twice monthly contact with my son, through no fault of my own. Any help or advice would be welcomed and gratefully received. I've lost a lot of faith in whats fair and equitable, as I just don't think it exists any more!!

My son is not happy where he is, is seeing counsellors in school (at 6!) , and screams / cries every time I leave him. Its heartbreaking and Im devastated.

I would get legal advise regarding the house, as from my own understanding of the law (and i am not qualified), she only has a claim during the period "Family Money" made payments. For example,

House price 100,000
Deposit 10%. If either of you can show it was own money, you own 10%, if not its 5% each.

Of the 90% left, if you seperated 10 years into a 20 year mortgage term, 45% has been paid by Family money, so 22.5% each.

From seperation, the share would depend on who is paying what towards it.

In terms of Child Support, I strongley advise you to contact Child Maintance Options, and if needed pay the £20 to open a CMS case.
You get a reduction if  you exceed 52 nights per year, and also your excessive travel for contact costs do come into it.
In your situation, Hotel Costs could be allowed, due to the distance. We do not want any locations on the forum as it might identify you or someone involved in your case, but if you ex lives in a sea side location, where demand for Hotels is more in the summer, you might get a cheap deal in the winter months, if you had a regular booking, if you can find an independent B&B or Hotel.


A Court would give you half the quality time, what is weekends and school holidays. My suggestion to ensure you achive 52 nights, and get this reduction as well as your costs considered.

Summer, push for a 22 day block (school closed for 6 weeks and 1 weekend), but a court might say more than 2 weeks is to much, so it would be a 2 week and a 2nd 8 day block you would get.

Easter and Christmas, 8 days, as school is closed for 2 weeks and 1 weekend.

Half Term (3 times a year), Saturday lunchtime till Wednesday night, or Wednesday lunchtime till Sunday night. (4 nights).

This means you have 22+16+12= 50.

Therefore, you want contact also on the weekend half way into the term, from Saturday till Sunday pm, what takes you to 53 nights. That contact would be local to where the child lives, with you having to get a Hotel etc, what might be allowable. Even if its not, the reduction you get for exceeding 52 nights per year, will exceed £520 per year, if earning over £14,000 a year.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#3
I think the only way a court would order transport to be shared is if you had a "live with" order that child lived with both parents (what used to be shared residence). In your situation I would be tempted to try and move closer to your son, if at all possible, so you can see him regularly, and apply for an order along the lines Mark outlines.

If that is not possible you could still apply for "lives with" both parents and have it worked that your son spends most of the school holidays with you. And still see him twice a month. CMA options should help work out something to reduce your payments to allow for the extra travel I think.
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#4
Thanks for the replies so far. To be honest Im not bothered about the money side of things, that can be replaced, but I have 2 other kids who live nearer me, so if i was to move closer , Id be in the same situation with those 2! I just want to find out if she is legally obliged to bring him to me when she has moved away, through no fault of my own or without any consultation with me or about his best interests
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#5
Sorry, I missed the bit about your other two children. Do you have a court order at the moment at all or has it just been informal? I don't think she is obliged to bring them to see you, unless it's in an order. With no order, I think she just has to make them available. The fact that she has moved so far away means a different contact arrangement would be needed really, if the travelling is too far. So longer periods with you each time. It is possible a Judge could say she has to share the transport, especially if it's a "live with both parents" order, but I don't know how likely.

I know what you mean about losing faith in what's fair. The problem is the loopholes in the law that allow Mothers to do what they want, and this assumption that Mothers are all milk and honey. I do think courts do try to be fair though and the standard kinds of orders are listed by Mark above.

I would go to a MIAM asap. The mediator then invites your ex and if she doesn't show up you can get signed off and apply to court.

If she does go to mediation though, it might be worth a try because an agreement can be put into a court order. However angry and upset and down you are about the situation, parents are still expected to try and mediate and get on for kids (yes I know it needs to work both ways and doesn't), - also they reckon court can make the ex even more hostile sometimes. I also think mediation isn't likely to work - but it depends on your ex and how good the mediator is possibly.

Sounds like - your ex is not interested in doing anything fair - she has moved away because it suits her and to try and get rid of you as much as possible. Makes me angry - that legally someone can steal your kid! Is she actually communicating with you at all?
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