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advice from unmarried parents who have separated please?

(3 Posts)
onceaking Fri 14-Feb-14 00:35:58

My partner and I had been together two years and although some bits of our relationship were good we were on the brink of splitting up due to his (admitted) immaturity, selfishness and unreliability when I found out I was pregnant. Termination was out of the question and we stayed together in the hope of creating a stable family for our DC. DP adores DC who is six months old now but is still very self-centered and does way less than his fair share of looking after DC and often behaves selfishly or thoughtlessly towards me. I am torn between wanting to stay with DP for DC's sake, and wanting to leave because I would probably be happier without a high maintenance DP. Only I can make that decision but I have no idea how it is decided which parent DC lives with and how much contact and when with the other parent and how maintenance is decided? Has anyone experience they can share? Both DP and I work full-time and pay for childcare. I have always been the main carer and am still expressing/breastfeeding. DP seems to love DC more than he loves me and I think he will fight for DC. Neither of us has any other DCs. It breaks my heart but I don't think I can stay with DP if he doesn't change.

mumtobealloveragain Fri 14-Feb-14 07:21:43

There is no hard and fast rule about who a child should live with. If you can't decide between you a Court will decide. I would advise you try and do it amicably as court is shit, stressful and very expensive.

Who has been the main carer, work patterns etc will be taken into consideration. If both parents want and are able to look after the child and there's no reason not to then increasingly often a Court will say shared residence is best where children have two homes, one with each parent, and spend equal or nearly equal times with each parent.

However, your 6 mth old son is breastfed, unless your DP starts lactating on separation then he can't meet your DS's needs! You do not need to worry that he will gain residency at this time.

mumtobealloveragain Fri 14-Feb-14 07:23:43

Sorry just to add. Shared residency doesn't have to mean equal time with each parent. But if you both want as much time as possible with DS and you can both facilitate it but can't decide without going to Court then it's something a Court are quite likely to Order.

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