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XP wants the piece of paper to say he has joint residency...but not the responsibility

(18 Posts)
circlehead Sat 24-Sep-11 17:37:08

Some of you may know my backstory, but to summarise; split with XP 7 months ago, we have a 13mo DS who lives with me. XP refuses to have a routine as he works unscheduled hours, and as I am currently a SAHM on benefits, he sees DS as and when he is not working - a couple of times a week, inc. overnight when convinient for XP. (I know this situation is far from ideal...)

Anyway, XP has moved from 1 temporary flatshare to another as cannot afford to rent a place of his own. But he is now looking at buying, with help from his parents. He is looking at some of the HomeBuy schemes and has said that for some of them, in order to be elegible for a 2 bedroomed place, he needs a document to say that we have shared residence of DS. Although, he says, we ''wouldn't really, things will just stay as they are''. hmm He also said that when DS gets to school age, then we can discuss whom he will live with/where he will go to school (we live about an hour apart, so will have to be one or the other) which makes me feel like retching quite frankly, but am trying to keep my personal feelings out. Can you even do shared residency with this amount of distance?

I would like XP to be able to provide DS with a stable home with his own room, but can't help but feel I would be getting screwed over somehow if he gets a document to say he has joint residency, yet continues to see DS as and when. I would like to add I am not opposed to doing 50/50, if we were to actually do 50/50 but feel DS is currently too young, and obviously as I said, logistically we couldn't do it with school anyway...

What are your thoughts? Please talk some sense to me as am currently bewildered and find X intimidating and manipulative

needanewname Sat 24-Sep-11 17:39:41

Personally I wouldn't do it, you never know when he might use it against you

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 24-Sep-11 17:44:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

niceguy2 Sat 24-Sep-11 20:01:57

I think when looking at issues of residence it's always worth asking the question: "What do the kid(s) get out of this?" In this case nothing. Well I guess he may be able to argue that if he has a 2 bed then when DS is a bit older he can stay there. But that's not going to be for some time and who knows what will happen between now & then.

It's clear his main motivation for shared residence is for the house, not because he feels its what's best for his son.

In most cases I do think the ideal is shared residence for children but having been a single dad for most of a decade, I also realise that the ideal world is not one a lone parent lives in. I can't see any good coming out of it for you. And none for your DS either. So why does he think you should weaken your own legal position for no benefit? He's obviously not thought this one through at all.

The only way to truly get shared residence is by court order. You can go to a solicitor now and draw up an agreement but its not legally binding at all. So I'd just tell him that you can't provide him with such a document because only a court can. And since there's no dispute over contact/access, no court will be interested in issuing an order just so he can get a bigger place to live. They have more pressing things to worry about. Even if he did for some reason decide to take you to court, firstly he'd be compelled to try mediation. After that you don't think the judge would be impressed when they realise what he's after.

In short, put the blame on the law/court system rather than you having to be the baddie by saying no.

Lastly it wouldn't affect tax credits/child benefit since even with shared residence there would be a primary carer defined which usually would be you.

chelen Sat 24-Sep-11 20:45:04

EEEEk, no, please seek proper legal advice before even thinking of doing this.

If your ex is not willing at present to get into a routine or to prioritise the needs of the child then it is not shared residency, the child is resident with you and the ex is being very selfish.

You can usually get a half hour consultation with a solicitor free and some law colleges will give free legal advice as part of teh students training.

Shared residency is wonderful for some situations where two people are equally committed to a child. In other circs it is far better for a child to have one main home and quality contact time with the other parent.

The decision on school would flow from residency. I would say rather hard to do shared residency at an hour apart, unless you are talking walking distance across a large city?

Get legal advice.

gracie45 Sat 24-Sep-11 20:58:50

Ex husb is such a bully and liar.he left me in 2004 and got divorced fro ridiculous reasons in 2005.he has made me go to about 20 stressful court cases and has managed to get shared residency.My solic didn't explain it at the time or I would not have let it go through if i had been told i could oppose it.He has my children 6pm Fridays to 6pm sundays about 44 weekends a year and half the hols.I dont drive and the 32 schools they go to are a long walk from the house.I only get 7 weekends a year in term time.all we do is rush in the mornings and walk hoem tired and hungry 4.15pm then they have homework most days and reading and i give them a bath each pm then they r gone again most fridays.he is a dreadful liar and lies in court.it's an awful system where u cant speak unless in witness box and even then u r only allowed to answer their questions.is anyone else in similar sitaution?Does anyone want to set up families need mothers?The judges all seem to be male and on the fathers' side.i am so upset

FagAshLill Sat 24-Sep-11 21:01:16

Tell him to fuck off.

Sorry to be blunt but he is only asking this for his own needs not for those of your child. Also, the kids have been driving me potty today so have lost all patience. sorry x.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Sat 24-Sep-11 21:58:17

I'd do it for my ex and I loathe him.

Thing is, you've got your place to live - did he leave the family home so that you could stay there with your son? And now he's struggling with accommodation. You say your ex can't have your son because he lives in flatshares but then are unwilling to help him to resolve it.

Obviously, he doesn't actually want shared residence he just needs the paper to show to the housing authorities to get somewhere decent and permenant to live - and to have his son sometimes too.

Put it this way - would you and your ds be in any way worse off if you were to do this, or is there a chance it could be better for your ds?

circlehead Sat 24-Sep-11 22:05:50

Thanks for all your responses, TBH I was expecting some YABU-type answers too, but looks like my hunch is valid after all.

Niceguy thanks so much for your comprehensive reply. So unless we went through the whole process that you outlined, XP will not obtain such a document? Oh, here's another question with regard to school, which has been somewhat answered. If XP doesn't have court-ordered residency, does that mean he couldn't apply to a primary school in his area?

Does anyone know if there is an actual distance limit on joint residency? FWIW, he is in London and I am in a neighbouring county.

FALill Thanks for raising a smile smile

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 24-Sep-11 22:08:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

circlehead Sat 24-Sep-11 22:11:21

NotSuch No, we both moved out of our flat when we split. I have found a new place with DS. I don't stop him having DS in his flatshares, he has him regularly overnight. I trust that he is a good dad and a good judge of where is suitable for DS to stay, so no probs there.

I do know what you are saying though.

circlehead Sat 24-Sep-11 23:07:47

I think XP is unclear himself whether he actually wants joint residency or not... On one hand he says nothing will change, and it is just for the document to secure a good flat, but on the other he is talking about DS living with him in the future and going to school there... This coming from the bloke who won't allocate any regular time to DS.

niceguy2 Sun 25-Sep-11 09:29:53

OK, you have to understand the difference between an agreement and an order.

You can right now enter a shared residence agreement. You just decide between yourselves and off you go. If you like, you can get your solicitor to draw up a nice sounding document, pay them a small fortune and wham. There you go. You don't have to have it in writing. Verbal agreement is just as valid. However, the key thing to note here that it's not legally binding at all. Either of you can change your mind and nothing will happen.

If you had a shared residence order, that means a court's decided that it's in the best interests of your son that you share residence. That IS legally binding. Meaning you might decide you don't like x,y,z anymore but that's tough shit. The court has ORDERED you to comply with their terms and the only way to vary that is to go back to court.

So if I am to guess, the homebuy scheme people would want to see an order, not an agreement since the latter is not legally binding and he could change his mind at any time. That said they may just accept any document such as a solicitors letters with long complicated words in it.

As for school, usually it would be the main carer but again if you decided to share residence then it could also be his area. But cross that bridge when you come to it. Right now I'd suggest you don't entertain his idea unless he's backing his words up with some real action.

By the way, I'm not a legal person so I reserve the right to be totally wrong.

QueenofWhatever Sun 25-Sep-11 09:45:08

But I would have thought that if you provide a document saying there is shared residency when there clearly isn't then that is fraud? Is it not like benefits when a single parent has a partner move in and the single parent still claims as a single parent?

FWIW I wouldn't provide my ex with such a piece of paper. I also wouldn't be prepared to have a long term arrangement of unstructured contact. As your child gets older, it could be unsettling as well as him still having too much call over your life.

circlehead Sun 25-Sep-11 11:24:59

I think I am getting muddled up with all the legal terms confused I thought joint residency meant 50/50 and shared residency meant any other proportion of time, e.g 30/70, which is about what it is. So right now we have an shared residence agreement, informal though it is? I do fully intend to have a structured routine in time.

niceguy2 Sun 25-Sep-11 23:16:46

No, legally speaking there are two types. Shared residence and contact.

You can have shared and it doesn't have to be 50-50. But in practice courts will only award this if the dad spends a lot of time with the child(ren). So for example if he spends 2-3 days a week. Or weekends with holidays etc. There's no set rule so to speak. Shared residence gives him a bigger say in the day to day decisions.

The other is where you have full residence and he gets contact. This means he can see the kids on the days the courts have said he can. Here, it's clear you are the main carer and he is not. You are still expected to talk and work together and this is more common where dad sees the child less. Eg. every other weekend.

What you have at the moment is an agreement. Until a court issues an order you can call it what you like. Shared, joint, full, whatever. It doesn't really matter.

solidgoldbrass Mon 26-Sep-11 17:53:30

If you've got an XP who has repeatedly demonstrated himself to be a selfish wanker, like this one, remember that you don't need to do him any favours at all. Like others have said, in this case tell him that you are not agreeing anything without independent legal advice and then subsequently that it's not in DS' best interests to 'agree' shared residency when XP can't commit to any kind of stable structure at present.

CardyMow Mon 03-Oct-11 01:45:29

School applications are based on who is in receipt of Child Benefit for that child - which by what you have said, I am assuming it's YOU.

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