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How do I get out of my relationship without losing my son?

(8 Posts)
Abbigale Wed 06-Nov-13 16:10:02

I'm in a relationship of about 8 years. We are not married but live together and have a 5 year old. The relationship is extremely unhealthy and I'm desperate to get out of it. Im the mum but also the main earner in the family and I'm terrified that if I leave I will lose custody of my child and end up being the one that just pays the bills and gets visitation rights...Can anyone help me?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 06-Nov-13 16:12:21

Who is the main care provider for the child?

Abbigale Wed 06-Nov-13 17:05:31

This depends what you mean and that is why I am so unsure what will happen. I work longer hours so my partner picks son up from afterschool childminder about an hour or so before I get home. I work on Saturdays so he has him on Saturdays. However, I am the emotional support, the person he comes to, the person that makes sure he has clean clothes on, I put him to bed and get him up and dressed, I feed him.....

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 06-Nov-13 17:12:06

Well your dp would be the ever so slightly more present one but i dont think it is enough for him to refuse 50/50 shared care. Unless he suddenly goes part time at work or something.

In your shoes i would be considering what measures you can put in place now so that your ds will be spending quality time with you if you do separate. So if you are working late evenings and saturdays then could you consider reducing your hours? Ds wont be benefitting from 50/50 care if the time he i supposed to be with you is spent with CMers.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 06-Nov-13 20:03:33

I was in your situation and now have 50:50 care. Get good legal advice from a specialist family law solicitor.

probablyparanoid Fri 15-Nov-13 18:40:01

Just wanted to drop in to support you on this. In your shoes I would be nervous too - especially if I were looking for more than 50:50. You need to get advice on how best to put yourself in the best possible position before you get out of the relationship. Eg it might be best to try to reduce hours or work flexibly - to work to move to be more of the principle carer if that were possible financially, or you might think about how you can make sure that you are the one that manages their lives - through organising their social lives, doctors appointments, etc (even if you are not there all the time). I would document everything - keep a diary showing clearly the role that you have and what you do do for them. But mostly I would say get advice - before doing anything drastic - . There is a book called something along the lines of 100% most stupid mistakes men make in divorce - it has some good stuff in there about men and getting decent access that would apply to you as a working parent generally. Good luck

Til80 Mon 18-Nov-13 12:37:54

I am/was also the main and only income earner. I left my husband in December last year. We have a 13 year old son. I moved to a flat 10 mins away. We negotiated everything without lawyers. My husband has been unemployed for several years. We have joint custody. My son stays with me Tuesday and Wednesday and with my ex Mondays and Thursdays - and every other weekend Friday till Monday. We split school holidays. But we also have the agreement where I can drop in and see our son afterwork anytime. Our son is at that age where a dad's presence is really important.

We negotiated financial arrangements ourselves (we saved a large amount of money during the marriage) and I am happy to support them both financially until our son is 16. Our son has taken the split amazingly well. We have a family meal once a week and me (me and my ex) talk more now that we used to when living together.

It can be done.

alikat724 Wed 27-Nov-13 11:00:14

Til80 your post is really inspiring! Just now agreeing arrangements for my own split, so very grateful for a hopeful role model.

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