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Children's custody

(4 Posts)
EcoLimaTango Sat 29-Nov-14 09:18:52

Hi,

I have a doubt about how the custody works, so please any advice will be highly appreciated..

I have recently separated from my partner (he is still living in the same house) and we are having strong disagreement in regards the children's custody. The thing is he wants to live in a room in a shared house with people that he doesn't know (I mean they are not related) and wants to take the children two days a week but they will have to come back to our house to sleep.

The reason for this is that he says he won't be able to afford to rent a whole flat (which once he is out I am very sure will be able to pay a decent rent) and pay child maintenance. I am sure that if the children spend time with him he won't surely have to pay anything to me as he is also taking care of them, does that make sense?

To sum up, what I am requesting him is a shared custody where the children spend equal time in both houses, mainly because I have no support here and I would like to go back to work as soon as possible but he is trying to convince me to stop looking for work and be a SAHM just like until now so I can support him in his work.

My point is that I feel that he doesn't really want to take care of the children other that a few hours a week without any other responsibility.

So, my question is: can a court enforce shared custody? Even if it is not 50:50. I wouldn't mind to have them for longer days that he would do, but it seems that if I let him go with free will to support me when he can, he will find excuses to avoid helping me. (first example, today that I was supposed to go to a tutorial and he has spend the night out and I have to cancel it)

Thank you in advance and sorry for long post x

Starlightbright1 Sat 29-Nov-14 09:29:50

No the courts can't and shouldn't force any parent who doesn't want to spend time with their kids.

How old are your children? As I say to everyone. Don't give up every weekend even in preschool as once they start school you will get precious little time with them.

Do you have friends or family to support you as it sounds like he is going to sabotage any attempts for you to get a life.

As for maintenance it is dependant upon the amount of nights away as they won't be staying away at all he will get no reduction.

You need to plan with no support from him. Find back up and childcare. If you are on WTC once he has left you will be entitled to 70% of childcare paid

EcoLimaTango Sat 29-Nov-14 10:06:31

Thank you for you reply Star.

The children are both under 5. It is so frustrating tbh, sounds like he's going to win this battle. So better to be prepared for it I guess.

Don't get me wrong, it is not like I don't want my children quite the opposite, but for my mental stability I know I will need some time to think and until now he has all the time and I feel I am stuck with children, house and no money.

I have some friends but they are busy with their own lives and a brother that lives nearby, but I can't really rely on him since his work shifts don't let him time to help me.

I am newish to MN, could you tell me what does WTC means? grin

STIDW Sat 29-Nov-14 19:29:31

Legally "custody" was replaced with Parental Responsibility 25 years ago. Your partner will have PR if you married to the him, he is named on the birth certificate or acquired it by agreement or court order.

Parental Responsibility gives both parents equal responsibility and rights to carry out those responsibility.That means parents need to agree important issues such as where a child lives, contact arrangements, changing a child's name, changes in schooling and relocating children to live abroad. When no agreement can be reached it is open to either parent to apply to court for an order to regulate PR. In England & Wales the courts then must give regard to the Welfare Checklist in s1 Children Act 1989 and the welfare of children is the paramount consideration.

IF parents cannot agree a Child Arrangement Order determines where they live and with whom and when they have contact. When children live a substantial amount of time with both parents it is shared care, but shared care doesn't have to be equal time 50:50 parenting, it can be in different proportions. Under the statutory scheme there is a liability to pay child maintenance unless care is shared exactly 50:50.

Above all living and contact arrangements need to meet the needs of children. Staying with a parent who doesn't want to care for them won't be deemed to be in the children's interests. When neither parent wants the children the children go into care! So you cannot force your partner to have your children and trying is likely to cause resentment and resistance bringing about the opposite effect.

Generally it is agreed that children need to maintain their sense of security and established bonds so maintaining many of the existing routines is usually thought to be in the interests of children. Therefore the biggest obstacle to shared care 50:50 after parents separate is the absence of shared care 50:50 before they separate. Also it's difficult to see how living with your partner in shared accommodation would meet the children's needs.

Obviously things change when parents separate and you need to find out where you stand and what state help you might get. WTC=Working Families Tax Credits and you can research what benefits you will be entitled to at www.entitledto.co.uk Keeping a roof over the heads children is the priority, keeping two roofs over their heads is a luxury some parents simply cannot afford. YOu could get help with childcare costs but financially it may not be worthwhile you returning to work until the children are at school.

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