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Child arrangements order advice

(22 Posts)
atr79gb Wed 17-Jun-20 19:59:04

I'm in the process of getting divorced.

I live with my STBX in the family home, work from home and spend as much time as I can with my kids. I have a very flexible work schedule that enables me to fit my working day around childcare.

Unfortunately, my STBX is trying to limit the amount of time I have with my children. I have suggested a 50/50 split but she would rather have a 5/2 split. There is no reason not to have a 50/50 split other than the fact that she doesn't want it. She spends around 3 nights per week at her boyfriend's house so the children are used to spending time with both of us.

What are your experiences of getting a child arrangements order through the family court? My goal is for 50/50 custody. Is this reasonable given there is no reason why the children can't spend an equal amount of time with each parent?

OP’s posts: |
drivingtotestmyeyes Wed 17-Jun-20 20:03:08

It depends on a lot of things, age of children where both parents live etc, the courts decide what's in the child's best interests rather than what the parents want, you don't need family court if you both agree on the contact arrangements but can get a child arrangements order to formalise things. Try mediation first as you will need mediator to sign part of the application before you can submit to the courts anyway.

atr79gb Thu 18-Jun-20 22:32:47

@drivingtotestmyeyes thanks for your reply.

We've tried mediation but failed to get anywhere. It's a long story but we split up 2 years ago and my STBX just wanted to carry on as we are - i.e. not divorce and live in the same house but not as a married couple. I told her I didn't want that so filed for divorce.

I've tried for the last 2 years to negotiate with her but haven't got anywhere as she has just buried her head in the sand and refused to agree to anything.

So, now my only option is to progress the custody and finances through the family court.

I appreciate there are lots of factors in the custody arrangements. My kids are 9 and 6 and my ideal arrangement would be a 50/50 care plan.

OP’s posts: |
helpmum2003 Thu 18-Jun-20 22:37:30

Kids often prefer a main home especially as they get older because of seeing friends etc. Would you suggest 5/2 in your favour? Do you plan to live close together?

Doyoumind Thu 18-Jun-20 22:41:56

The court is only interested in what is best for the children. You haven't mentioned what is best for the children at all - only what you and your ex want. Make sure they don't get lost in this battle between you.

atr79gb Thu 18-Jun-20 22:44:46

@helpmum2003 - we plan on living very close to each other (most likely in the same village or at least very near).

My STBX suggested 5/2 in her favour, however I would like 50/50 ideally.

OP’s posts: |
dontdisturbmenow Fri 19-Jun-20 07:35:49

Have you always been very involved in their lives working from home or is it only since the Covid crisis?

The court like to make decisions that impact children as little as possible. If indeed you've been providing care on a 50/50 basis until now, they are more likely to consider that doing so too after moving to different homes is best for the kids.

This also assumes kids are emotionally healthy and there are no issues that mean they'd benefit from spending more time with one parent.

atr79gb Fri 19-Jun-20 09:06:51

@dontdisturbmenow - My flexible home working predates covid 19. I've been doing this for around 2 years. I was pretty involved with the children prior to this but working outside the home.

This was a deliberate career change to enable me to maximize my time with my children.

So, I understand it's important to maintain the status quo. I think it's in the children's interests to maintain a strong, healthy relationship with both parents.

Surely, seeing both parents an equal or near equal amount of time is in their best interests?

OP’s posts: |
dontdisturbmenow Fri 19-Jun-20 09:24:08

Surely, seeing both parents an equal or near equal amount of time is in their best interests?
Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't, depends on a number of factors that the judge will consider but I would think the fact you have been very much involved with every day matters for some time would go in your favour.

I'm not legally trained though so this is only a point of view.

Rhubarb4Custard Fri 19-Jun-20 09:29:29

Surely, seeing both parents an equal or near equal amount of time is in their best interests?

Why do you think it is in a child’s best interests to spend as close to 50% of their time with each parent? Other than 50/50 just sounds like a fair equal split between the parents? It’s not actually very practical to split a child or their time into two.

I’m so fed up of fathers pushing for this 50/50 after they split with the mother, but weren’t pushing for this 50/50 during the relationship and are happy to let the majority of the childcare fall to the mother.

I don’t hear dads ever banging on about 50% while they are still with the mother. They might try to “be as involved as possible” but this rarely means pushing to care for the child exactly 50% of the time

northerngal1982 Fri 19-Jun-20 11:50:37

Totally agree with the PP. in my experience too my ex only wanted 50/50 after I put a claim into child maintenance. Does not put the needs of the child first.

northerngal1982 Fri 19-Jun-20 11:52:48

This OP has been posting for 2 years now since he separated and no matter what anyone says he just waits a few weeks and posts the same again. I'm wondering if there is a family and if there is I can see why the ex is fed up with him!

Quartz2208 Fri 19-Jun-20 11:55:52

You need to frame the question as to what is the right schedule for the children rather than see it as a rigid need for 50/50

If she spends 3 nights at her boyfriend that seems to be an 8/6 split a fortnight - what is wrong with that.

millymollymoomoo Fri 19-Jun-20 12:46:29

Agree with nottherngal

You post, everyone tells you to move things on, that you need to go to court to sort finances and if necessary child arrangements but nothing seems to progress

CodenameVillanelle Fri 19-Jun-20 12:48:14

File for divorce and you can sort out child arrangements through that process. How can we advise you?

dontdisturbmenow Fri 19-Jun-20 13:43:24

I’m so fed up of fathers pushing for this 50/50 after they split with the mother, but weren’t pushing for this 50/50 during the relationship and are happy to let the majority of the childcare fall to the mother
What's the point of that comment when OP has confirmed he has been very involved for quite some time?

Many kids when ask say they like 50/50 best. I think it's often mothers' projections that 50/50 is not good for them.

atr79gb Fri 19-Jun-20 14:21:38

Thanks for all the replies.

Firstly, apologies if it seems I'm constantly posting the same questions without any progress.

My STBX is very controlling. Since separating 2 years ago (her decision), she just wanted to stay living as we were (i.e separate, live in the same house but not divorce and for me to support her financially). She has buried her head in the sand.

She failed to return the acknowledgement of service, and refused to continue with mediation. I've made several offers regarding custody and finances which she has rejected. She has never initiated any discussion around future custody or finance arrangements.

I've tried really hard for the last 2 years to negotiate with her but ultimately I understand, regrettably, that the only way to resolve this is through the family court. I guess I just wanted final validation before going down that route.

Regarding this particular issue (50/50), it isn't about money for me. I'm fortunate enough to be in a strong financial position and would gladly pay additional maintenance to make sure my children have a comfortable life when I'm not with them. The important thing for me is to spend as much time with them as I can.

OP’s posts: |
millymollymoomoo Fri 19-Jun-20 19:08:35

We understand she’s hard work and got her head in the sand - however you seem in a state of inertia
There’s no negotiating or reasoning with her so crack on with the divorce and child arrangements formally

Rhubarb4Custard Fri 19-Jun-20 23:14:01

What's the point of that comment when OP has confirmed he has been very involved for quite some time?

@dontdisturbmenow
Isn’t it interesting how we only ever talk about fathers being very “involved”. No-one is patting mothers on the back saying they should have a 50/50 split because they are so “involved” with their children

dontdisturbmenow Sat 20-Jun-20 06:25:52

@Rhubarb4Custard, stop projecting whatever issues you have on this thread. Go and fight in threads where fathers are shit uninvolved and only become so when maintenance is mentioned.

The point here is OP has had a key role in his children day to day activities and as such, they are most likely as attached and used to him as they are to their mum. If that is indeed the case, why should mum automatically get a residency order because she gave birth to them?

Its not the case here and your attitude is in appropriate to OP's circumstances. None should be patted for raising their kids they signed up to it and should get on with it.

northerngal1982 Sat 20-Jun-20 11:22:49

If you read the previous posts you'll see he got involved after the separation and now wants 50/50

Wishforsnow Sat 20-Jun-20 11:33:53

Op you don't really say what your children would prefer especially the eldest. Is your idea of 50/50 having them go back and forth to a different house every few days. Sometimes causes issues if they have left their homework at the other house for example. Will they feel like they don't have one base? Miss things they want to play with at the other house?

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