33 answers

Visitation Pick Up/drop off issue...Ex-husband Moved 45 Minutes Away

My Ex just informed me he moved over 45 minutes away and still expects me to drop our 3year old daughter off at his house! Friday night drop off is at 5pm...it would take me almost 2 hours round trip to drop her off that far at that time! He used to live about 20 minutes away so I would always drop off our daughter and he would bring her back. Do I have to share in the drop off/ pick up responsibilities if he moves that far away? It seems like it was his choice to move that he should have to deal with it. And our poor daughter only stays for 24 hours and she will have to do that long drive again! Any advice?

What can I do next?

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My sister lives in one town and her ex lives in another. My cousin lives in one side of Phoenix and her ex lives in Scottsdale. Both couples have agreements to meet in the middle at a certian location at a certian time. Being very considerate of traffic time.
Good luck hope this transition goes well for everyone.

1 mom found this helpful

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I'm with Jo. I'm unclear as to why this is such a huge deal if you're driving one way & he's driving the other...? And your daughter doesn't have 2 separate 2-hour drives, she's got a 45 minute drive Friday night & another one on Saturday night. Again, not a huge deal in my mind, but maybe I'm missing something.

9 moms found this helpful

wow. I disagree with everyone. You really want to bring a lawyer in over an extra 40 minutes total once a week?? Think of your daughter. You should want to be civil for her if not friendly to coparent together! Why not ask if he wants to keep her 2 days so she gets more daddy time if possibble?

I drive my daughter 45 minutes to her dad after work on tursdays and am fine with it (we do it opposite...whoever gets her picks her up), even on the day hes supposed to pick her up because I get out early I drive her there because I can get her there earlier so more time with her dad, since shes with M. more. So my thursday is work, drive an our to her dad, drive and hour back, then its almost bed time...BUT she gets to see her dad! Its about HER not you. Seriously don't be the parent who fights over where he lives. It will come back to bite you in the butt...you'll get it in court papers and then before you know it something will happen to force you to move and youll have to adhere to whatever rules you put in place. Its like like its hours. My brothers ex moved 8 hours away and he has primary custody and he drives 5 hours to meet her to drop his daughter off for 6 weeks in the summer and doesnt complain b/c he's happy his daughter gets time with her mom.
ADDED: if you do the meetup point half way you'll have to do the same when you're dropping off. Also meeting half way is a pain. You'll have to pick a parking lot and switch her between cars when shes possibly sleeping or comfy, in rain, snow...

7 moms found this helpful

I will preface my advice with this info.....My commute to work is 1 hour 10 minutes each way. So this doesn't seem like a huge deal to me to do once a week. You could see this as a huge inconvenience or see it in a more positive light....
- as a way to spend 45 minutes uninterupted time talking to your
daughter or having a sing along - or playing car games - I spy, etc.
- if she falls asleep, time for you to have a few minutes of peace and
quite or to listen to a book on tape - just cool down/calm down time for
you.
- you could also get kids books on tape that you could both listen to and
talk about.

I would not go into court over this or make a big fuss about...45 minutes is not accross the country....maybe adjust the times with your ex so that you aren't in rush hour traffic. Or have him pick up on Friday and you pick up on Saturday if that works better for your schedule. Anyway - don't think that your daughter is going to be that uncomfortable about the ride - especially if you work to make it fun for her. I also would not discourage him having a relationship with his daughter and the only way for her to have this is to spend time with dad without feeling bad about inconveniencing mom or making her mad.

Basically what I am saying is look for something positive in this...it is not all negative. No reason to spend the 45 minutes being negative...it will only wreck your time with your daughter and may spoil the relationship with her dad.

Good luck.

7 moms found this helpful

You know, in my city, 45 minutes is across town.

Will he meet you halfway?

Sometimes the parent that moves is the one responsible for the extra travel time. What does your agreement say?

6 moms found this helpful

Your divorce decree or other court ordered documents should outline the details of the pick up and drop off. For my husband he has to do all the driving. If one of them moves over 100 miles away, then the arrangement changes to each meeting half way. If it makes you feel any better, his ex told him two minutes before a Friday pick up she had moved...the week before...an hour further out of town... She's still just under 100 miles so there you go. Some people...

If your court documents don't outline it, then you'll need to call your attorney. Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful

what does your court ordered visitation say? Does it say you drop off and he picks up? If so - then that's how it will be until you go back to court and get it amended to say otherwise.

Read your child custody and visitation schedule. Then contact your lawyer and have it revised if it says you must drive to drop off.

I would TRY to TALK WITH HIM and suggest a middle point meeting place for BOTH drop off and pick up. This way - you both drive the same amount. While I GET the convenience of drop off at home? I also get the deal with driving in Los Angeles traffic!!! It's NOT fun!!

4 moms found this helpful

Yes you do. I would imagine it is standard language that the parent who's custody period is ending is responsible for delivering the child/children to the other parent.

He has to make the trip one way too, completely fair.

Okay looking at the other responses how is that unfair? Is it unfair that she lives so far away from him? I am sure he didn't move to make her drive more. More likely than not it is because that is where he can afford.

4 moms found this helpful

You are obligated by the court visitation decree to abide by the stipulations therein. If you are that troubled by the change in the drop off and pick up and can't resolve it between the two of you, then schelp back into court and request a new arrangement. Understand that a new arrangement may not necessarily be fairer to you.

Meeting in the middle sounds like a reasonable solution to at least try. So give it a try or get your attorney and get back to court to work it out.

3 moms found this helpful

As someone else said -- in some areas, 45 minutes is across town. Find a central location where you can meet for both dropoff and pickup.

My friend had to drive 30-45 minutes to take her son to her ex's and the ex did the same in the other direction. It was just the way things were in their somewhat rural area, and it reflected the fact that there were not tons of jobs, so the dad was working and living that distance away in order to have a job. Did your ex possibly make this move because of a change in jobs? Or because he wanted a larger house or apartment--maybe so your child could have a little more room? Whatever the motivation, 45 minutes doesn't sound that onerous to those of us in either large urban areas or rural areas.

The solution is a midpoint dropoff spot. If your work schedule means you could not make it to his house, or to another dropoff place, by 5:00, you must get your visitation schedule changed. He should not be standing there looking at his watch at 5:10, angry because you were unavoidably held up by an accident or by work.

Do be sure that both he and you are aware that if traffic is an issue, it may delay you or him at times. Both of you need to agree that you are not going to argue or drag each other to court every time one of you gets held up in traffic.

3 moms found this helpful

You know, to me, a 45 minute drive is nothing. My husband drives to work 45 minutes every day, and any time I visit any of my family members it is at least a 45 min drive. But, I don't have resentment mixed in, as I am sure that you do when it comes to matters of your Ex.

I would ask him, politely, if he can meet you half-way. If not, then I think you really need to just bite the bullet and do it, without complaint.

3 moms found this helpful

45 minutes each way? Really? You're acting like he moved across the state...

You can go back to court & make a stink & waste everyone's time & money, all to save yourself what amounts to less than an extra hour of driving out of your weekly life.

Or, you can be grateful that your child has a dad that wants to be in her life & that the drive IS only an extra 50 minutes a week. It's called picking your battles and this one just doesn't sound like it's worth it. Your child has a dad that wants to spend time with her, why would try to make it more difficult?

Use it a plus & see if he wants more time with her, to compensate for the extra drive. Unfortunately this is what happens when a home is broken, you have to sacrifice & compromise.

Good luck, I hope you can figure out a mutually beneficial solution.

2 moms found this helpful

Guess it was just always my dad's responsibility to pick me up and drop me off on his weekends. Just seems weird to me that you are obligated to drop off. But what you don't say is if this is in the custody/visitation agreement? If so then you have to. If not they talk to him.

With that said I don't agree with getting a lawyer/courts involved. This is something the two of you should be able to work amongst yourselves. I do say get it in writing whether email or otherwise but really it's not that far.

2 moms found this helpful

My ex moved over 1 1/2 hours away after our divorce. For 11 years I met him half-way every other Friday to drop off, and every other Sunday to pick up. That little girl is now 18 and will be graduating this Sunday. Needless to say, I don't have to drop her off or pick her up anymore....she drives herself. I would give anything to turn back time and have that little girl again though. Don't sweat the small stuff. Enjoy the 45 minute car ride you have with your baby, trust me....in 15 years you will be wishing for those days back. :) HUGS TO YOU!!!

2 moms found this helpful

What does your divorce decree say? If it says you're responsible for dropping her off at his house, and he's responsible for dropping her back off at your house, then guess what, you have to drop her off.

Yes, 45 minutes can turn into a long drive, but have things for her to do if you fear she's going to have issues with it. I live in a big city with lots of traffic (stupid construction!) and it takes 45 minutes to get around half the time. Hubby takes 1 1/2 hours to get home in the evenings some nights. It's not horrible, it's just a bit more inconvenient.

2 moms found this helpful

Gee... we are all on the same page so far. Call your lawyer!!

To me that sounds just plain wrong...

2 moms found this helpful

Speak to your laywer and document everything!

2 moms found this helpful

Lawyer, lawyer, lawyer...

(What a schmuck!)

D.

1 mom found this helpful

My husband's EX moved out of our city it was easily a 40 min drive for our house to her new house and we sucked it up but eventually ended up moving closer to her so we could be closer to the kids.

What about the meet in the middle idea?

What does your Parenting Plan say? Is there anything in there that says he can't do that? If not, you are just gonna have to make the best of it.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm pretty sure it's his responsibility to pick her up and drop her off. Sounds like you were doing him a favor before. Look at your custody agreement and/or call your lawyer.

1 mom found this helpful

Believe it or not, I now miss my long drive (over an hour each way) to work everyday, just because that allowed me to some R. quite time and I was able to listen to NPR or my audio books; now I’m a full time WAHM and although I love the convenience, I miss that “me time”.
Anyway, why don’t you ask if he can meet you half day or if he can keep her 2 days every other week, instead of 1 day every week; that way the trip is only twice a month. The only thing is that you should try to ask nicely so that he doesn’t see it as an attack of any sort, I’m not saying you’re not nice, but depending in how you’re divorce went, he may be defensive.
Good luck to you and I would just recommend that if at all possible, try to see the positive in the longer drive.

1 mom found this helpful

My sister lives in one town and her ex lives in another. My cousin lives in one side of Phoenix and her ex lives in Scottsdale. Both couples have agreements to meet in the middle at a certian location at a certian time. Being very considerate of traffic time.
Good luck hope this transition goes well for everyone.

1 mom found this helpful

Check your paperwork and see what it says, mine said I drop off and he picks up, but when we first broke up, he wanted to pick up and drop off, so it wasn't an issue. Later, after we really started working together, it was more of a free for all with phone calls involved "Hey, I'm going to grab her and do such and such, I'll have her back by whatever time" or "Hey, I have to work late then out of town for a few days, can you pick her up and hold onto her until I get back?"

When we first broke up, things were really strained and we were both (I'm ashamed to admit) more concerned with "my time/his time"...once we got past that and thought of it as HER time, things really changed. We do what we do for HER, not ourselves...it's NOT her fault mom and dad didn't stay together...so we started working together for her.

It's been 15 years now and we're better parents apart/together then we could ever have been had we actually stayed together.

Pick your battles, if it seems like a long way to travel, let her stay longer if possible...she's only 3, if she's not in preschool, let her stay with dad longer than the paperwork says, that way the travel time isn't so bad for a short visit.

1 mom found this helpful

What about a 1/2 way point? Meet and exchange.

1 mom found this helpful

If it's written in a court order then you have no choice until you go and rewrite everything.

If it's a verbal agreement then no, you don't have to. He made the choice to move further away so he can pick up and drop off. The other choice is to find a neutral spot half way between and you two meet for pick up and drop off. Why does he only get one day?

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

1 mom found this helpful

It all depends on the paperwork. My ex is responsible for the travel. He is in vegas. I have had to spend hours at airports with her for her to fly. If its not written out then you need to get that into the paperwork.

Our state law is 100 miles away and they are responsible for child transportation i believe.
45 minutes away that sucks. I het the 40 minutes round trip to and from my exes. Plus gas is sooo expensive right now.
Is it only once a week? Everyother day?
If its only once a week i wouldnt worry bout it so much.
Otherwise i'd suggest you both meet half way on drop off and pickup.
good luck

My brother's ex moved over 2 hours away (he could have vetoed it but he didn't). Anyway, they meet in the middle about an hour away on Friday nights off the 10 Freeway - which is insane. The poor kids spend hours in the car. Your ex should meet you half way so you still only have to go the 20 minutes and you should only have to go the 45 minutes if his car breaks down. You can check with your lawyer too on what is legally required. Good luck!

What does it say in your divorce that is what you have to go by.

Most people I know that have it in thier divorce have it that if the drive is over 2 hours away you meet in the middle for both the drop off and the pick up. Otherwise it is one parents picks up the other drops off.

Wether you meet in the middle or do the drop off/ him return your driving the same amount of time... I would rather it be you drop off and him return and get the driving done in one shot.

I would have been more than happy to make a two hour round trip to bring my son to his father's house. But, oh, wait - his father wanted nothing to do with him for years. And he lived 10 minutes away from us.

Be happy that your daughter has a father who wants to be involved in her life. A little inconvenience is worth it in the long run for her emotional happiness.

I know the drive stinks. My hubby and his ex split a long commute between houses. His ex moved to another town so now there is a long drive. Although it is a pain, and tiring on the kids, I would try to focus on the bigger issue:your daughter's relationship with her dad. The stronger that relationship is the more well adjusted she will be. This will be really apparent in adolescence. Believe it or not, the two of them need your unwavering support of their relationship. Moms are the gatekeepers and their influence is huge on the relationship between children and fathers. I would let her know you feel the drive is so worth it to you because you want her to see her daddy. Is there anyway that she could add time at her dads? Their visitation seems so brief.

I understand that it is a small burden, but 45 minutes isn't that big of a deal.......
It takes me 40 minutes to get to work 3x's a week.
But, you"ll obviously have to find out in your paperwork or make those phone calls.
He didn't inform you that he was moving before the move???? That sounds really weird to me. Don't stress out about it, your daughter will pick up on it and you don't want to make her feel bad.
Good luck!

Ask him to meet you half way. That seems fair. A pain, but with cell phones it would be easy to meet at a restaurant parking lot or whatever. dc

Check your divorce papers. All of this should be spelled out.

If you agreed to drive her there and he drive her back, then yes you do have to do that. If there is nothing in the papers saying you have to drive one way, then tell him if he wants her to come get her.

And your daughter does have to suffer the trip twice. Maybe you should think about letting her stay until Sunday afternoon so she doesn't have to make the drive 2 days in a row.

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