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To think he could get primary residence/custody?

(28 Posts)
Chipshopninja Fri 12-May-17 00:01:29

I am considering seperating from my OH. I love him but like a brother and i dont think i can stay in the relationship for ever.

My main concern is that he has said he qould fight for custody of our child.

I consider myself the primary carer. I work part time around school.hours so i do all the drop offs and pick ups (with a handful of exceptions over the years)
I cook childa tea every week night.
I do all of doctors/dentists visits.

Homework and quality time at the weekend is split between us.
Bedtimes are also split 50/50

I have some issues which im worried he would use against me to get primary residence

When child was 6 months old following a traumatic medical time after the birth i said i wanted to kill myself. I never attempted suicide.

I suffer from anxiety and depression. I do my best to keep my child unaware of this and it does not impede my ability to parent. Im taking medication and attending cbt/counselling

I was drinking too much. I used to drink a bottle of wine a.night (self medicating the anxiety) i stopped in september and havent had a drink since.

Is it likely he would get primary custody?

He works full time, sometimes has to go away to other cities for work meaning hes back very late or stays overnight. He has a temper and there are two examples of him hurting my child because of this. Both were over a year ago and he claims to only remember one of them.

I think i would be in for a fight and because of the things ive listed i could end up losing. My child is 6

BillSykesDog Fri 12-May-17 00:07:49

Difficult to say really. How long were you drinking for and when you were drinking what was your behaviour like? If it was a period of six months and you just used to go to bed and carry on as normal probably not. If you were getting drunk and aggressive then not being able to function as a parent the next day then maybe.

What were the incidents of hurting? Were the serious and were they reported/witnessed by others?

Men often say they will fight for custody in the heat of a split but when faced with the reality back down.

cantbefaffedd Fri 12-May-17 00:08:47

Seek legal advice and be upfront with them. If it goes down the family court route (and it may well do if he fights for custody) he may bring the issues around your MH and drinking up so just be aware. Be careful and always get professional advice. Do you have family support?

Chipshopninja Fri 12-May-17 00:10:41

I was drinking at that level for several years. Obviously not when pregnant.

I was not remotely violent or agressive when id been drinking. And my life carried on as normal.

One incident is documented as we took dd to a and e. Amazingly the doctors didnt contact social services

Chipshopninja Fri 12-May-17 00:11:50

Thank you cant. Yes i have wonderful family support.

I think i will get an appointment with a solicitor

Chipshopninja Fri 12-May-17 00:26:48

I just wondered if anyone had any experience of fighting for primary reisdence with similar issies or any experience in family law.

Im hoping because the suicide/drinking issues are in the past and the mental health issue is under control i would be ok in court but the more i think about it the more scared i get

Rainbowqueeen Fri 12-May-17 00:34:08

Definitely seek legal advice.

I think that the fact that you are essentially the main career now, despite your MH issues and haven't caused your child any harm and that you have stopped the drinking and are undergoing ongoing treatment for your issues will definitely play in your favour.

Do you think he is just saying he wants custody to frighten you? It is a common tactic used by men to control their partners and stop them leaving

Chipshopninja Fri 12-May-17 00:54:05

I think he would do it.
My best chance of avoiding court would be to suggest 50/50 but I don't think that would be best for dad. I think she needs one main home

Chipshopninja Fri 12-May-17 00:55:13

DD not dad

BillSykesDog Fri 12-May-17 01:04:34

When you say he hurt her what do you mean? Did he actually hit or beat her? Or was it something like her trying to run away, him trying to stop her and her getting hurt as a result?

Chipshopninja Fri 12-May-17 01:36:37

She was being "naughty" and he put her on the naughty step but he banged her down on ot so jard that she was screaming in pain. This was a week after she had had surgery for appendecitis. I know i should have left then

DumDumdum99 Fri 12-May-17 01:56:07

Drinking a bottle of wine every night and carrying on the next day as normal, ie not aggressive whilst drinking I would say that wouldn't be that much of an issue? It is good that you have cut it out though as it's not great.

He obviously loses his temper and has no patience, I really think if it were ever to come to it and you told them that you have a better chance than him.

Sorry but yes you should of left then.

TrinityTaylor Fri 12-May-17 02:04:12

he sounds like an abusive twat. not surprised you drank to that level. he manhandled a child a week after they'd had surgery?!!

BillSykesDog Fri 12-May-17 02:41:41

That's 70 units per week which is classed as a physical dependence. It's 5 x the recommended limit. And it's pretty well known that usually self reported alcohol intake needs to be timesed by two.

He could quite easily argue that his action was misjudged too and the amount of force was unintentional. But I think it's hard to argue that drinking a bottle of wine a night for years was unintentional.

Neither of you sounds ideal TBH. My gut feeling is that your DD would probably be allowed to stay with you, but I also suspect that you might be looking at SS involvement and monitoring to make sure you're not drinking.

Wallywobbles Fri 12-May-17 05:59:21

Seek professional psych help now. It's viewed positively by the courts and will help you manage separating. They will write an evaluation for you at your request.

Make life easier for your lawyer by giving then everything up front.

I don't think you'd loose primary in France where I am.

But and it's a big but what are you reasons for not accepting 50/50. Thats a more likely corner you'll have to fight?

booitsme Fri 12-May-17 06:18:43

Really upsetting for op for a poster with no social services or legal knowledge to guess whether social services will become involved and criticise op. Why comment!

Op go and see a family solicitor and get advice. From the limited info I've seen here you are the main carer and sound like you may have had post natal depression but you are doing much better now. No shame or blame in getting support from gp and maybe a referral to a therapist for the anxiety. I see a therapist for the same. Well done on realising the drinking is a depressant and only exasperates problems.

It's very concerning you say partner had hurt your child twice. I am worried he could do that again. You know you need to protect your child and you need to leave if you have any safety concerns. Don't stay due to fear. Threats to seek residence are often used to control and make someone stay. The court are likely to maintain a status qou - ie leave a child with a main carer, unless child is at risk of harm with them. There doesn't even have to be a court order re child. If you leave and father wants a court order he will have to apply for one and will first of all have to attend a mediation information and assessment meeting to hear about how mediation may be a better option for making child arrangements. Court orders should be a last resort for children - family's often work better without them. The courts have moved away from "custody battles", it's about how a child in a safe way can share time with each parent. CAB can offer advice and signpost you to resources to help women and help check you are claiming all available benefits - tax credits for a single mum can be significant if you are working over 18 hours. You'll be ok OP. Get some advice and support and I wish you well.

Chipshopninja Fri 12-May-17 07:20:18

Thank you for all the replies and advice.

Wally _ ive already had a course of CBT and seeing a counsellor through the GP. I spoke to the GP about my concerns re custody and they said it wasnt true that he would get custody but i know they arent experts in that.

Its not that i wouldnt accept 50/50 i would if it was deamed neccessary. I just dont think it would be best for DD. I think one base for a young child and visiting the other parent is better. I think she would be safer and more stable with me

Grimbles Fri 12-May-17 07:23:21

If your previous issues didn't worry him enough for you to be primary carer whilst you are together then I can't really see how he can use it against you if you separate?

AFAIK any court will take any existing routine into account for the sake of the child - therefore if you perform the majority of the care then it is usually in the child's best interests for this to continue.

RedHelenB Fri 12-May-17 07:25:39

You say my child but it is his too and if he is involved now then I can't see why you wouldn't go 50/50. Sounds like both of you have been less than perfect parents but so are we all!

Grimbles Fri 12-May-17 07:30:07

When you say 50/50 do you mean the father will be changing his work hours to cover 50% of school runs, appointments, illnesses, holidays and so on?

Because ime it tends to mean 50% of the time outside of these things.

booitsme Fri 12-May-17 07:38:36

some of these comments are making me cross.

Don't judge someone for self medicating depression - you may be in their shoes one day!

Secondly this 50/50 discussion is unhelpful - the child has rights not the parents! It's far better to discuss how the child will share time with both parents and not worry about what percentage that equates to - it's about what's best for the child. They aren't a prize to be divided into two! For some children 50/50 does work but that's not the point. It's about working out parenting arrangements that are in the best interests of the child. A child's needs will change with their development and so what worked at 4 wont necessarily work at 8. It needs to be fluid and tailor made to the child who has a right to spend time with both parents if safe to do so.

Op please try not to worry about losing residence - please see a solicitor I am very sure you will find it reassuring.

StiginaGrump Fri 12-May-17 07:45:11

Yeah what booitisme said. You would find a solicitor meeting very reassuring in all probablility

BillSykesDog Fri 12-May-17 07:59:00

Really upsetting for op for a poster with no social services or legal knowledge to guess whether social services will become involved and criticise op. Why comment!

Erm, who said I don't? Actually I've worked on an NHS project which involved working with and reviewing a large volume of SS files that had NHS input. Yes, situations like that often involve SS monitoring for relapse and yes it is common for parents to retain their children in that situation.

And 'well if he let you be primary carer he can't change his mind' isn't true either. If only for the reason that at night when the OP drank he was another (presumably) sober responsibile adult in the house and he would have a right to change his mind if that was removed from the situation.

Re 'mustn't judge'. When care of children comes into the equation that goes out of the window and people in authority will judge you and have every right to.

However the OP is doing really well being 8 months sober and as long as she is cooperative and stays on the wagon she should be viewed sympathetically.

statetrooperstacey Fri 12-May-17 08:04:59

I wouldn't worry about the previous drinking.
Be very very generous with your contact proposals try and go for maybe a third with ex and 2 thirds with you.

Chipshopninja Fri 12-May-17 09:23:26

I thought about proposing the following:

Sunday monday and tuesday night with me
Wednesday and thursday night with oh
Weekends as friday and saturday night split 50/50
Holidays split 50/50 done a week at a time

This way dd would start the school week from the same house each week which i feel is important for consistency and calm.

Also it would mean less moving around netween houses

So if ive got it right say we start on my weekend then it would go...

Friday to Tuesday night with me
Wednesday to saturday night with oh
Sunday to tuesday night with me
Wednesday and thursday night with oh
Friday to tuesday night with me

I think this way dd would be quite settled but see us both regularly.

Obviously id want her with me more than that but im trying to put her first in this.

Dont even know if thats relevant but thinking as i type

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