I''m new to this forum and was wondering if anyone could offer some advise on my current situation. Having traweled through the threads I can''t find a similar situation.
The scenario is that I am father to a wonderful 15 month old to my ex partner who separated from me two weeks after she fell pregnant. I have always lived about 300 miles from my then partner and was going to move down to spend my future life with her until the bombshell. Since my sons birth I have travelled down every two weeks to see him, and staying at my ex partners house in a spare room.
As time has past by the situation changes and my sons mum finds a new partner and it obviously becomes increasingly difficult to stay at her house. I make arrangements to stay on a friends settee when I''m down and have my son every Saturday all day and Sunday morning before the 300 mile drive home.
I have asked his mum if I can have him at my home for a period, once a month, either with me paying to fly them both to me or meeting halfway. Both these options she was initially happy to go along with but when it came to doing it she refused.
I then offered to drive down, collect my son, bring him to mine 300 miles away and have an extended stay with me before returning to his mum. I appreciate this is a lot of travelling for one so young so an extended period with myself taking time from work would be better for all. Unfortunately she has declined this too, stating that it is too long and too far for our son to be away from mum.
To complicate matters more, she is actually from the town I live in, with both my sons grandparents and rest of families living in my area but she still refuses to let me have him in this area.
She finally told me she will eventually start letting him travel to me via one of the three means when he is about 4 years old in 3 years time. As you can appreciate this is an aweful length of time before this happens. I only think that this is a delay tactic as at that age the whole school situation kicks in.
I really want to try and get him staying at mine regularly sooner to get him used to his fathers surrounding, used to travelling, and used to seeing his family of which non live near his mother.
I have tried to offer every possible solution and been flexible on times and frequency but I have got nothing in return.
Has anyone else been in a similar situation or could offer some advise before I have to make the ultimate decision and consult legal means of which I do not know how I stand!
In the meantime I will continue travelling to see him as I''m sure with all of you, my son is my world now and that''s what makes it so hard.
Firstly, well done for coming up with such a range of options. It seems from your post that your ex partners only suggestion is that contact continues as at present for another 3 years. This is clearly unacceptable.
The options that you have suggested are reasonable and it may be that ex partner is just a little afraid of having your son away from her and this may be an issue that can be resolved through mediation and so I would certianly suggest that.
Unfortunately, if that does not resolve the matter then you will have to resort to legal proceedings. This is quite a big step and often doesnt help relations between the parties which is a massive disadavantage but will be a necessary step if agreement is not forthcoming as ideally you will want over night staying contact as soon as possible so that you can form a tighter bond with your son through his formative years.
It seems that the options you have provided are reasonable and now it is merely a matter of having some form of agreement from ex.
Hi, you seem very committed to staying in your child''s life which is commendable.
Before you go down the court route, I would suggest mediation. Your ex may refuse, but it is usually more productive than court proceedings, and an agreement made there can be drafted in to a court order if it''s necessary later.
Your ex may just be stalling as you said, although it is also possible that she is truly anxious about her child being so far away, especially if your son has always been with her without much separation. I think that a court would not find it inappropriate to be having overnight contact staying with you, however it might be worth coming up with a plan that is rather more gradual.
An example might be for 2 months you book a hotel from Friday - Monday. Come and collect your son on Friday afternoon and then return him on Monday morning. I know that this is costly, but maybe not so costly as flying him + mum might be? Perhaps if it''s for for a short time your work might consent to a shorter week, or perhaps work the weekend when you don''t have him to make up for it?
Then for 2 months book a hotel halfway between you and repeat the contact schedule.
After 2 months have him at your own house for a while, then consider at a later time whether you both think it''s appropriate to extend those stays for a longer period.
Whether you follow the route of mediation or court proceedings, it will help to show that you''ve thought about things, have realistic expectations, and aren''t just going in thinking that you''re going to have him for a full week each month or something like that.