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Exh trying to meet 50/50 childcare arrangements

(49 Posts)
samesh1tdifferentday Sun 28-Jan-18 08:48:49

My exh has been extremely cross since we split and tried a number of ways to make me suffer emotionally which I understand fully but hope it's not damaging the dcs.
We were married for 13 years recently divorced and have lived apart now for a year and a half.
He lives with his girlfriend and 2 children of hers and I win the family home in court simply by proving I could afford to pay the mortgage.this made him even more volatile and we now have NIL communication which is actually easier than trying and failing. I tried for mediation he wouldn't go and i have found myself having to let him try 50/50 childcare it works 2 nights in the week and 3 every other is a lot of back and forth for the children but his girlfriend is nice and the children seem ok so far.
My question here on MN is does anyone have any experience with this. My main concern is that he is simply trying to get half of my benefits and stop maintenance completely with a view to me not being able to afford the house. I wish it was genuine care that he wanted it half the time he's not there and his girlfriend is looking after all 4 dcs whilst I am at home doing nothing.
Although this is a welcome break it isn't realistic and I hope she can keep up this amount of extra care to a good standard which I know is difficult long term especially as they are both trying to work. Surely come the school holidays this 50/50 isn't achievable as much girls are off for 8 weeks he is self employed so any days off are a double whammy as you are off work AND not earning ( he's not a high earner) and if she takes time off for 50% of the school holidays then she will have no holiday left to take. I am a full time student and can have all the holidays covered. I'm just hoping that if I give it time he can't take my finances from me on this basis because then it would be difficult to live in the family home.
Surely he wouldn't try and take this away from them again but I don't trust his judgement based on what he has done to us already. Any advice appreciated.

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MissWimpyDimple Sun 28-Jan-18 08:53:13

He can definitely use 50/50 as a way of not paying maintenance. He wouldn't be able to take half your benefits though.

One person can claim for the children, actual arrangements don't matter, the important thing is who gets the child benefit. If that's you, then you get the benefits too.

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Sun 28-Jan-18 08:59:54

I'd get legal advice. He isn't really doing 50/50 if his gf is doing lots of childcare for him. It's madness that a relative stranger is caring for your kids while you are at home without them, just so he doesn't have to pay child support.
I'd tell the solicitor that this is just a ploy to stop you from being able to afford the house and see what they recommend.
Another thing he can do ( which is really unfair imo) is teduce pauments because he lives with a woman who has 2 dc and those dc are taken into account when cs is calculated.

Dozer Sun 28-Jan-18 09:02:33

Why did you agree to 50/50 if you didn’t think this was best for the DC?

Why not just seek to change it?

samesh1tdifferentday Sun 28-Jan-18 17:07:42

Because legally he can do 50/50 I will contest it soon

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Dozer Sun 28-Jan-18 19:51:29

That’s an assumption: the legal thing is uncertain until tested in a court. Potentially harder to contest if a 50/50 arrangement is already in place.

wobytide Sun 28-Jan-18 22:55:23

So the kids are happy, the arrangement is working.

And you are worried that you might not have enough money at some point ?

All about the kids hey

Blankscreen Sun 28-Jan-18 23:00:51

It is up to to him what arrangements he makes on his 50% time similarly it's up to you what arrangements you make in your time.

His new family unit are looking are the children in that time at their cost so it's right that he shouldn't pay you maintenance. He providing a roof over their head food etc

Surely if you are already divorced isn't the house issue is all sorted?

Tbh it.aound like you annoyed you're not getting maintenance and want to reduce contact as a way of getting money off him.

samesh1tdifferentday Sun 28-Jan-18 23:57:40

It IS 100% about the children and I'm happy if he has the maintenance tbh it's not much anyway so wouldn't be missed.
My issue is that he simply can't maintain 50/50 as he is self employed so will need to work.
I have spent 15 years trying to encourage him to work less and have family time so in hind sight I'm pleased that the children have a new relationship with him.we aren't all gold diggers but I do need to ensure that he isn't using them as a tool to piss me off. I'm happy if it works but I can't see it tbh

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samesh1tdifferentday Sun 28-Jan-18 23:59:24

I am getting maintenance at the moment

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Whatiwishfor Mon 29-Jan-18 12:47:44

I had a similar thing with my soon to be ex husband. He declared he wanted the children 50% of the time, but he also wanted to do a course and thought was ok to "just give them to someone else"! It does start as 50/50 as you both have pr. But circumstances are taken into consideration. Like whos been the main carer up to now, who they are living with atm, schooling etc etc.
I think you have got to have a really strong relationship with your ex for it to be 50/50, it 100% wouldn't work in my situation as my ex wont communicate with me, hes vicious and vindictive.
Personally i would get legal advise.

2boysDad Mon 29-Jan-18 14:08:32

"My issue is that he simply can't maintain 50/50 as he is self employed so will need to work."

That's his problem not yours. Why not just see what happens. If he can't cope and you have to "come to the rescue" then it won't be 50/50 and in that case he WILL need to start paying you maintainence.

Also a couple of points.

1) If he applies for the child benefit, he'll probably get it for ONE of your two kids (the only way it can be shared).

2) Legal Advice isn't free. It's all very well people advising you to get legal advice but they're not offering to pay for it are they? Cheaper for everyone if you can sort this out between you.

samesh1tdifferentday Mon 29-Jan-18 14:28:36

Well that's good advice all round no I can't afford solicitor again as I've just spent £7000 to stop him getting us to leave the family home... he wanted it stating " you'll be ok you can get benefits" well great!!! I don't want to come out of a marriage where he was the earner to simply take from the government, I helped him grow his business as he is a high earner and I have been SAHM for 14 years. I have started a nursing degree to be self sufficient and independent.
I'm not sure but nearly happy that I won't need his maintenance and I'm sure it costs me more than £80 a week he gives me for 4dcs anyway.
I don't mind the 50/50 at all so long as my children stay happy and balanced which at the moment they are ( only 2 months in )
You know when you just know someone well enough to know that his intentions aren't geared towards the children but aimed at hurting me because once I got the house ( by proving I could afford it!!) then he set about the children, he also keeps telling the children that they can move schools ( which I certainly don't agree on.they are all settled and achieving well) my eldest 2 have been lucky enough to get a state place at one of the top 5 performing schools ( OFSTED and performance tables alike) and he wants to move them!! Again I KNOW to get at me.
There is zero communication between us and actually I get better response contacting his girlfriend I'm not angry but just trying to be precautious as I need to protect the children but I have been told to let him try and fail, I'm certain that if he keeps leaving his girlfriend at home with 6 dcs whilst I'm putting my feet up I hope she finds the backbone to tell him that she has enough on her plate.... I feel for her as she's trying hard to accommodate this arrangement for him.
I know it will end up in court but whilst the children are no disgruntled then I feel like he can have his turn if he thinks it's that easy.
He forgets who has been doing the childcare for the past 14 years so that he could build his business and hobbies.
I got used to him never being there it was that simple, so my anger if you sense it is NOTHING to do with money but I do simply have to pre empty what may happen especially as I've just taken out a hefty student loan to be a nurse.

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RockPaperCut Tue 30-Jan-18 11:05:42

I can understand your frustration op as I’m going through the same. Unfortunately a lot of fathers use the children as a way to get back at the other parent their main motivation being reducing the amount of maintenance they pay for their children. I wish the system changed in a way which took money/maintenance completely out of the equasion.

I’m just going through a CAO in court. And what I can say is they look very carefully at what arrangements have been made in the past. What proposals your ex has in terms of care whilst he is at work. And the time he spends with your dc at present.

For me, my dc are 6 & 3. It was deemed not in my youngest’s best interest to spend 50/50 shared care with ex-MIL or whoever whilst ex works 60+ hours a week. He was not happy about that. But he had 8 months to show he had arranged flexibility in his work pattern to enable him to be present and he didn’t.

sothisisnew Tue 30-Jan-18 11:43:55

'Unfortunately a lot of fathers use the children as a way to get back at the other parent their main motivation being reducing the amount of maintenance they pay for their children.'

Do you have any stats on this?

Similarly, do you have any stats on the number of RPs who will try to keep hold of as many nights with the DC in order to hang on to their maintenance?

As maintenance and contact time are inevitably linked (how else could it work?), it must be very difficult to root out the 'main' motivation, so I'm interested.

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Tue 30-Jan-18 11:53:54

Well it serms obvious to me that if you are leaving your dc with your gf for vast amounts of the contact time,(and as nice as gf is, she has no emotional attachment to the dc) instead of leaving them with their mum, who is at home and able to care for them, them primary motivation is denying her money rather than the best interests of the children

RockPaperCut Tue 30-Jan-18 11:58:48

Of course I don’t have the stats. I’m going by my own experience and that of other friends who have divorced. Why else would a father who has never taken an interest in his children all of a sudden demand shared care! Demand shared care when they themselves are not in a position to be able to facilitate it?!

samesh1tdifferentday Tue 30-Jan-18 18:51:37

I know it's absurd but I guess he can't apply for my benefits unless he has a court order. I am going to prepare for court because as you say his gf has no emotional attachment to them as yet.i know I will look back and think why did I do this, I think to avoid court again but it may be inevitable
I have been a bit weak in fighting him as I hate confrontation but there will come a time when I need to have my babies back I miss them.

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donners312 Tue 30-Jan-18 19:05:52

Hilarious that someone would think you are 'holding onto nights' so he doesn't reduce £80 PW CM!!

I would be winding the GF up about how much you enjoy your child free nights and how much of a good and relaxing time you have on them. Bet she never even gets one!

RockPaperCut Tue 30-Jan-18 20:43:18

Op sometimes you have no option but to go to court once you’ve exhausted all other options. Honestly It’s an absolutely awful process, but needs must.

samesh1tdifferentday Wed 31-Jan-18 02:02:18

I'm not sure I can afford it again yet ☹️maybe I'll threaten it ?

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RockPaperCut Wed 31-Jan-18 17:34:10

Check out wikivorce, it’s fairly straight forward process, £215 court fee. You can self rep with the help of a Mckenzie Friend who are faily inexpensive. Or alternatively cut out solicitors go with a direct acess barrister for the hearings. I hope things work out for you.

samesh1tdifferentday Wed 31-Jan-18 19:57:38

Thanks I used direct access for the finances she was great and I do have her in standby in case of CAO.
I hope it doesn't come to that children have come home tonight but apart from being tired behaviour is good so keeping fingers crossed that they aren't harmed too much by this.
I'd love to think he is being genuine and just giving them the love they deserve but he is a man scorned and I don't trust him 1 bit, he won't rest until I suffer. He wouldn't piss in me if I was on fire.sad all round thanks for your posts x keeping going

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samesh1tdifferentday Thu 01-Feb-18 06:31:03

Brainwave...... I may try mediation but involve my 2 eldest children to find out how they are coping x

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Amilliondreams Thu 01-Feb-18 06:39:56

Have you told him clearly how much time you think is more appropriate for him to have them? It doesn’t sound as if you have. I would start with that, obviously basing it on the children’s needs.

He may well be doing what you suggest but if it is working relatively well and the children are happy there is probably not a lot you can do. Maybe wait to see how he copes during the holidays. He might change his mind then if he is not genuine.

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