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How common is it for the father to get custody?

(100 Posts)
HellloBambinos Sun 31-May-20 16:43:59

Asking for a friend of mine although it is all still quite hypothetical at the moment. He is fairly sure his wife is going to want to leave him quite soon as they had some problems before lockdown and things have got worse rather than better.

They have two school aged DC and he has said if she does leave him he wants at least 50% custody. But that people have told him courts prefer kids to have a ‘main’ home so he wants that to be with him.

For what it’s worth they’ve always been a very equal couple in terms of childcare responsibilities but he does more pick ups and drop offs as he is public sector so quite flexible.

He’s asked me if I know any families where the Dad has got custody but I genuinely. I’ve only really known situations where it’s made more sense for the Mum to have main custody as she works part time anyway or similar. So could anyone tell me how common it is and would he have a chance?

Both great parents btw so no safety issues or anything.

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ShiveringCoyote Sun 31-May-20 16:47:11

Why would he not want his children to have equal time with both parents? If they are agreed to 50/50 and its doable then I can imagine they won't need to go to court for custody, just have them sign off on an agreement.

Spillinteas Sun 31-May-20 16:48:24

I think the courts are pretty fair these days. Many families on here are 50/50

I think there has been a considerable effort to make sure the fathers have equal access - whether it was good for the child or not

UnmentionedElephantDildo Sun 31-May-20 16:48:42

But that people have told him courts prefer kids to have a ‘main’ home

That is not necessarily true. What does he think his individual DC would like best? Will the separating couple be able to acquire two suitable size properties near to each other, so schools clubs friends are all easily accessible whichever household they are in?

And what age 'school age'?

Destroyedpeople Sun 31-May-20 16:49:13

There is no such thing as 'custody' and hasn't been for many years. They are children not criminals.

Ponoka7 Sun 31-May-20 16:51:20

Although the children have a 'main' home, both parents can be given equal time. So I don't think the advice that he has been given is totally correct.

If he starts demanding residency without them even starting to discuss the arrangements, he will shut things down between him and his ex. That isn't the way to go.
Does he think that the child arrangements could be worked out amicably?

Trevsadick Sun 31-May-20 16:51:40

I would start by him recording how much childcare he does.

50:50 isn't unusual. Especially where neither parent is the primary carer.

borntohula Sun 31-May-20 16:52:53

'Custody' is not a thing anymore and as pp says, why would it need to go to Court? In the best interests of the children, if both are 'great' parents, it would potentially be an automatic 50/50 shared residence.

CelestialSpanking Sun 31-May-20 16:53:56

Is there a particular reason why he wants primary residency of the children and not shared residency? Are the children old enough to have some kind of a say?

NoHardSell Sun 31-May-20 16:54:24

It's not a great start, is it? Does he mean that he thinks the children would be better off in his care for some reason? The way you present it doesn't sound that way. I know men who have had the primary care of children. They fell into two camps - domestic bullies who did it to punish the mother - men whose exes were drug addicts. Most people I know nowadays just arrange 50:50 or the father is a disney dad who swings by for the odd weekend when he feels like it. Not many women voluntarily agree to less than 50:50.

TheMotherofAllDilemmas Sun 31-May-20 16:55:39

50/50 is the departure point, not necessarily the aim. What he and his wife need to think about is what is better for the kids. It is not about splitting them and their time in two so both parents are equally served.

Trevsadick Sun 31-May-20 16:56:06

Does anyone ever ask women why they want primary care?

Dugsbollox Sun 31-May-20 16:56:10

His wants are secondary to the children's needs. If 50/50 is best in their circumstances then it wouldn't be that unusual for it to be granted.

isoblue Sun 31-May-20 16:57:17

DH has majority care. This was after years of DSS’ Mum not taking him to school though. Every time she took it back to court, he was awarded more time.

HellloBambinos Sun 31-May-20 16:57:28

Sorry, forgive me if I’m phrasing it wrong, I’ve not had much experience!

50/50 would be best but I think he’s started to fret as someone has obviously told him it’s not good for his kids. They are both in primary. He will of course talk things through with his wife, but was just wondering if it was common as I don’t know of any families where the dad is the primary caregiver.

OP’s posts: |
Dugsbollox Sun 31-May-20 17:02:42

I know of two families where residence I'd guess would be counted as shared. The parents live about 2 miles from each other, well within easy school and hobby drop off/pickup distances. The kids have lived this way for years, parents come and go with each other, are civil to each other, and it works well.

Queenie8 Sun 31-May-20 17:03:05

I know of a child who is with dad 100% of the time, but mum abandoned child and dad to have a fling with a man who is a paedophile, she is still with him and went on to have a child with him. I know she also lost care of the second child too.

The older child has thrived in dad's care.

CarlottaValdez Sun 31-May-20 17:04:23

I’ve known this happen once and it was because the mum just moved out and in with someone else leaving the children with their father. I don’t know her well enough to know the ins and outs (I worked with her).

OneRingToRuleThemAll Sun 31-May-20 17:04:32

Who does the majority of the actual caring now? School pick ups, doctors and dentist appointments, buying clothes and shoes, taking them to friends and parties, hosting friends? That is the parent who will get the majority share of parenting because it minimises disruption to the children.

OnlyJudyCanJudgeMe Sun 31-May-20 17:06:45

It’s very common to have 50/50 (or a combination) care.

Spillinteas Sun 31-May-20 17:08:23

In some cases it isnt best for the kids. Going through a divorce can rock families to the core. Then they are blasted in to a new way of life where they can’t sleep in their own bedroom for half of week.

It should totally come down to how the children feel about it - not how much the parents want them or how much less child support is paid - and yes this does happen.

CarlottaValdez Sun 31-May-20 17:09:13

Is it very common though (genuinely asking). I know probably 10 couples who split after children and the mums are all primary carer with dads doing EOW or so.

Ponoka7 Sun 31-May-20 17:10:13

He needs to stop fretting. Courts don't like to award 50:50 because it van disrupt a child going to friends houses, after school activities and parties etc. But if an arrangement can be made between parents and both will facilitate the child's interests, then 50:50 can happen.

okiedokieme Sun 31-May-20 17:10:13

Today it's common to have 50/50 no main home and for two dc, no maintenance and one parent claims child benefit for each so equal unless large income discrepancy

HellloBambinos Sun 31-May-20 17:10:49

@OneRingToRuleThemAll I can’t comment on every single event but I know he does a lot of the school pick ups and drop offs, plus appointments as it’s easier workwise for him to do it. I’d imagine his wife does the clothes buying but I think friends and parties are equal. Can’t say for certain tho.

OP’s posts: |

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