AIBU to think I should get custody?(95 Posts)
I've reached the last straw with my husband and I want out.
We've been together for ten years, married for 5. He didn't have a job until three years into our relationship, then despite his extensive education has been doing a GCSE-level entry job no more than 20 hours a week, 35 weeks a year, never earning more than £9 an hour. This is because he likes his leisure time (to play computer games).
We have a four year old son who is wonderful and who I love beyond measure. I have worked 3-4 days a week since he was three months old, and since a 18 months old he has been in nursery at least 2 days a week to give my husband a break.
Now I'm working full time, and my husband is not working, and our son is in nursery 4 days at considerable expense.
He does the washing up, puts the laundry on (won't iron or put it away), puts the bins out and does some basic cleaning if I prompt him. Everything else is up to me to organise, plan and do.
I'm so fed up with having to work so hard to keep him happy, he's honestly worse than our son. The last straw was when he has now point blank refused to have another child (I've maintained since the beginning of the relationship that I'd like a big family) because it's too much effort.
I need out, but I really don't want to leave my son. I don't think he'd want custody, and I think he'd cope appallingly being a main parent (e.g. I get up with our son at 6:30 and he lies in til 8:30 pretty much every day, naps every afternoon...) but I know on paper it would look better for him as he's not working full time and he looks like a house husband and I look like a crazy career woman.
I am so worried that if it came to a custody battle he would win.
Don't know that much about these things, but from what you've written you come across as the more reliable parent, and you have a steady income. Also, if you got custody it wouldn't change things for your DS that much as he still goes to nursery everyday even though your H is at home? What's all that about?! No wonder you've had enough... Try not to worry but hope more knowledgeable people come on with more practical advice.
Sounds like u have a young child and a teenager. See a solicitor for a free initial app. I would assume if u gave him a limited contact schedule he will agree - based on the level of interest he appears to have for his child. I wouldn't be too worried.
On paper I think it would look pretty bad for him that he doesn't work and yet your son is in nursery four days a week! I think it wouldn't be a case of him or you getting 'custody' but of you coming to a fair agreement about how custody could be reasonably shared. Good luck to you, your arrangements as they are sound miserable.
Why is he going to nursery- why isn't your husband looking after his child if he's not working?
How on earth did you end up with dc in nursery 4 days a weeks and dh not working?
I'd be off to see a solicitor
What about the house you are in? Do you both own it? Who ends up staying in it could have an influence on who the child ends up residing with. But get proper legal advice before making any decisions.
Can I just correct the misapprehension that all solicitors will give you a free initial appointment?
It get trotted out here all the time and it isn't true.
Some might, but not many.
OP - I would make an appointment with a solicitor who specialises in Family Law. Free or not, they are the best people to advise you.
Thanks for the replies! So glad it's not just me that finds this unreasonable He is between jobs again, starting work in October, and didn't think there was any point in pulling our son out of nursery early because he has 'lots to do', and just honestly he wouldn't agree to it.
He does love his son a lot, and he is a great dad when it's all about fun and games and learning things, just not when you need to eat vegetables or go to bed at a reasonable time or cut fingernails or find a school place or buy clothes that fit...
Oh yes and we joint own the house, I could scrape together a mortgage to buy him out especially with my dad's help (he's very sympathetic) but there's very little chance he could do the same or even pay me rent.... I didn't think this was something family courts took into consideration though? I thought they would just make me pay for it if they thought he should be living in the house with DS?
Just to be on the safe side I'd be inclined to hold out until he starts his job in October... That way he can't decide not to start his new job and claim to be the primary carer (not that he'd have much of a leg to stand on if your son's been attending nursery!)
Is it potentially worth making a note about what I'm doing and when for a couple of months to demonstrate things to him/solicitors?
I sympathise so much having carried a similarly lazy and useless husband.
You say you jointly own the house. ..but it's all your work that's funded it..
Is he likely to put up a fight? Can you persuade him to leave / buy him out?
He doesn't love your son enough to do anything more than the fun stuff, or to bother to provide for him a decent role model...
See a solicitor. Your situation is slightly unusual. You need to get the correct facts. He obviously is not the primary carer because DS is in nursery.
Any reason why you haven't seen a solicitor yet?
I'd start a daily diary of who's doing what and when, and whether or not it's been done of their own volition or because they have to be reminded or coerced. And I agree with waiting until he's started working. Unless the situation is intolerable or harmful to the children, I'd probably wait until he's been back to work for 3 months or has passed his probationary period and has been made permanent. If you do decide to wait and it appears that he's going to dump the job or be sacked you may want to make your move before that happens.
Remember also that if you do decide to wait you'll need to be a very good actress and keep up appearances. You don't want to tip your hand or give him a reason to initiate a split before you're ready.
Don't wait until then to see a solicitor though. See one right away to get an idea of exactly what you might expect in your situation.
Who does pick up and drop offs for nursery?
Pick ups and drop offs are shared equally. TBH it's not even work he's doing - it's a full time masters degree in a subject which is unlikely to net him a long term career. Will cost us around £12000 in fees, expenses and lost income. He says he'll do the school run when DC starts, apart from the times when he is away for the course. So about 50% in reality.
Custody does not exist. .. it's child arrangements. Starting point should be fifty fifty arrangement. You would not be leaving" your son if you end up with fifty fifty but sharing care....
Where would your h live if you split and you think he should move out ? ?
I will try and sort a solicitor in the morning. Don't want to tip him off though - was hoping not to trigger things for a while.
A full time masters course is pretty demanding and will lead to better job prospects in the long run.
He might find the work load a shock and forces him to grow up a bit.
I hope he would find somewhere nearby, that he can afford? given that he has no income at the moment or much prospect. I'm happy to help him out with staying in our expensive area, as I'd still want him to be able to have a close relationship with DS. I would hope to stay in the house just to minimise the disruption to DS?
*Can I just correct the misapprehension that all solicitors will give you a free initial appointment?
It get trotted out here all the time and it isn't true.
Some might, but not many.
OP - I would make an appointment with a solicitor who specialises in Family Law. Free or not, they are the best people to advise you.*
I complain about this often on the Employment boards. It's bad advice. Many firms will offer "free" appointments, but it is unlikely you will a/ get a specialist or b/get useful advice without engaging that lawyer.
Either get a recommendation or check Chambers to find the best Family Law solicitor. www.chambersandpartners.com/guide/uk/1/27
I don't think a four year old in nursery four days is odd as he is nearly school age.
It may be that if your h has him alone half the time when you split he steps up a bit...he will have to.
He sounds lazy but not a risk to your son as such you say he is great with him.... so i dont see why you woukd have him more time ? so you may be advised to look at fifty fifty arrangement ?
From the sound of it he does very little childcare even though he isn't working. I am no expert on such matters, but I can't imagine he would be classified as your son's main caregiver. He probably will (and should IMO for your son's sake) receive shared residency. But his lack of contribution to the household either financially or in terms of household tasks/childcare make him sound like a useless partner.
A full time masters degreee shows a lot of commitment... it doesn't square with someone who just plays computer games.? .. why is he doing it and shy are you funding it if it wont lead to a job?
you need to think how he would present if he says he is studying full time to better himself etc.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.