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  1. #1
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    Default Am i in the wrong?

    I have a 4 year old daughter and for the past year or so i have been in and out of her life (which i regret everyday) since my seperation now divorce. My ex and i did not treat each other well towards the end and seperation was the only option as we really should never have been together as long as we did neither one of us had the courage (or sense) to leave this relationship. When i left my ex got everything that we had accumalted together with no fight put up by me at all. I walked away with nothing more than i walked into that relationship with.
    I am living in sa on a perm basis and my daughter lives about an hour or so away. I have beenmnths before back here for about a year (2 mnths before christams 2012)and yesterday was the first time i have seen my daughter in person. My ex wanted us to do mediation in order to sort out a parenting plan which ended up in me not saying what i truly wanted cause of my absence and the thought that i might not see my daughter if i did so. I have now said to her i want to see my daughter once a week (sun) and cause i livein the country and her in the city i have worked out a neutral drop off point which is equal distance for both of us to avoid the i do more argument which was met with some confrontation. I pay my child support and skype her twice a week. She knows who i am and is comfortable with me.
    I have been made out at times to feel like a bad and irresponsible dad and in some regards i agree and in all the others i dont.
    Am i being unreasonable in asking her for one day a week access and to meet me half way in the driving?

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    Personally, and I'm not a single parent, if I were in your situation I would make the effort for a while at least to go the full distance. It shows you really do want to make things work with your daughter. In time maybe you could work out a more convenient drop off/pick up system. But for now, especially since as you said you have been in and out of her life, its about proving commitment and stability in your child's life.

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    I don't think you're being unreasonable. Both parents should meet halfway to ensure the child has a relationship with both parents.

    That being said if the ex kicked up a stink and it would take time to resolve via mediation/courts... Then I would drive the whole way in the meantime. The main point is your daughter needs to have a relationship with you, not that you or your ex are right.

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    Not unreasonable at all!

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    What is the distance you would both be traveling to meet half way? This could play a part in responses.

    You aren't being unreasonable at all though. Children deserve a relationship with both parents.

    In saying that, at your own admission, you've been a little slack up until now with visitation. So perhaps you should prove you've changed your ways and do the full trip a few times, or every fortnight at least. If you chose to move away, then you kind of need to cop a fair bit of the travel on the chin if that makes sense.

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    Just a thought here but maybe your ex would feel more at ease if she sees you interact with the child first, maybe suggest some outings all together (I know could be unconfortble) but I think it would be a good start to build a relationship.
    Personally I wouldn't be comfortble with my 4 year old going anywhere without me... No offense I understand you're the child's father but if you haven't been there I'd want to see some effort, and I don't mean just driving a longer distance, I'd want to see an emotional investment with both the child and the mother.

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    Honestly I think your ex should agree to meet you half way. FOB refuses to have anything to do with our child and (although she isnt born yet) if he came along and got to know her, skyped her and she knew him then I would agree to meet him half way so he could have a day with her. My anger at him for ditching us and everything he has said to me about it shouldn't get in the way of him knowing his own child.

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    maybe its not the travel that is her concern but that despite skyping you have had little in real life care of your child. I know Id be very nervous of letting my child go especially as you havent shown that you are reliable.
    Id start out spending time with your daughter closer to her home so that the mother gains confidence in letting her go further amd for longer.

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    Thanks guys for all your comments. All very apreciated and to get other parents perspective. Cheers.

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    Thought I'd throw my 22 cents in.

    First of all, you aren't being unreasonable. Like everyone here has mentioned, you should have access to your child. I don't know my father, so I kinda know how your daughter might feel when she grows up. Big Congratulations to you for making an effort to become an active part of her life now. Don't worry about the past - the future is where you can make the biggest difference!

    In the confrontation you mention when you spoke to the mum, what was her objection? Don't post it here if you don't want to, but is it reasonable? Is there opportunity for any further mediation, separately if necessary, to reach a mutual agreement? Long term, it most certainly will be better for your daughter, her mum and you if you could come to an agreement.

    One last thing, and please don't think I'm having a go at you. Please don't use this as an excuse not to make the effort to see your daughter in person. Drive all the way if necessary until a drop off point is sorted out. Both you and your daughter will look back on those few precious early days together, and they could be the best days of your life. Don't miss even one opportunity.

    Good luck!


 

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