Reasons for/against 50/50 Shared Care.(8 Posts)
Has anyone had to argue for or against exactly 50/50 Shared Care at Court?
My ex currently has our child alternate weekends (3 nights) and one day midweek overnight. So he has 5 nights every two weeks, so just short of 50/50. It used to be 50/50 (full alternate weeks) but changed a while back and now he has applied to Court to have it changed back to exactly 50/50.
A Court hearing has been set for early next year, by which time our child will have been following the above pattern (5 nights in 14 with dad) for around 9 months - which I hope will go in my favour.
His solicitor has used the argument that our child needs to feel both parents are equally important, surely this can be achieved without an exact divide of time? He knows that 50/50 means he doesn't pay maintenance and I know and he knows this is his motivation for 50/50. This would be fine, but from experience he also refuses to buy things for our child, meaning I have no choice to pay for pretty much everything (clothes, uniforms, shoes, school trips etc) but with no financial help from him or see her go without.
I have lots of reasons why I feel the current arrangement is better, but I simply cannot put them into adequate arguments that I can use at Court. It's so hard to convey the little (seemingly minor) things that make day to day life so hard when it's 50/50. It's just been so much easier for our child the last few months, practically and emotionally. What I want to say is he is irresponsible and won't take responsibility for the "boring" bits such homework, after school activities etc. He is also very unorganised and forgetful which makes things difficult for her, forgotten PE kit, forgot to do to swimming club etc.
It's so much easier for her knowing that I am currently responsible for all these things, but when it was full alternate weeks he insisted on me not doing these things on "his" weeks and then let her down. If that makes sense. She actually enjoys her time with him more now as it's all relaxed and easy and no pressure to remember things or do homework.
Can anyone help me put this into words that can be used in my statement for Court...
Why did it change from 50/50 to 5 days?
How long had the previous schedule been in place before it was change?
How old is your daughter?
How far apart do you live from each other, the school etc?
You're right - being forgetful isnt really an argument.
50/50 care created significant emotional issues for my kids. Attachment disorder being the main issue with extremely high anxiety levels. I would investigate this further to determine if your DD may be impacted in this manner.
whoop You need evidence that he's not sharing parenting equally - so document the dates that you've had to drop PE kit off at school, when your DD has missed her clubs, copies of her reports in which irregular homework submission has been mentioned.
Recent changes to legislation have been interpreted by some courts to mean that 50:50 is the starting point - and if so, then you have to give good reasons, with evidence, for why that's not best for your DD. If he's as flaky as you say, then his legal team won't be able to deny the evidence you present.
Recent changes to legislation have been interpreted by some courts to mean that 50:50 is the starting point
What evidence do you have of this?
I think so much is down to the child/ren and what suits them and makes them feel comfortable, stable and loved. Sometimes you have to do a little trial and error before working this out.
For us, after having many variations, 50/50 has and is working out the best. It's been 18 months now and I see a much more relaxed child. We do the change over every Monday.
With consistency and time people step up to the mark re. Responsibilities and catch on more often than not. Routines develop in both households and keeping the channels of communication open, and that means no griping but constructive help and suggestions when needed, helps unite and instill stability through having similar rules and guidelines for care etc.
Will try to answer all questions. I originally agreed (very reluctantly) to 50/50 as he was adamant he wouldn't "accept" anything else. He stamped his feet, threatened Court for full "custody" and I was worried, stressed and had no money to fight it through Court - I moved out of the family home and money was a big issue. I wanted things to settle down and be calm for our daughter as soon as possible and I even hoped that full alternate weeks might be good for her in some way, he would leave us in peace for a whole week and she could enjoy time with him. We live 5 min drive from each other and from her school. She is 6 now and has done full alternate weeks 50/50 for 2 years.
All the little problems gradually built up. He and I parent totally differently, she gets confused as to what she can and can't do in each house and I think a full week makes that worse. He won't let her see or talk to me in "his" weeks. He is slack with school, forgets her stuff, homework, PE kit, will not let her attend any after school clubs on "his" weeks so she has always done them alternate weeks only. He forgets to pass things back to me, leaving me without school shoes, lunchbox or other really important things and then ignores my emails, forgets to sign forms that mean she misses out on things, never attends any of her plays or shows or does any of the little "extras" like costumes on fancy dress days, harvest baskets for harvest festivals - some of these cause her problems and some are just hard on her and she feels left out. She is now old enough to realise what she wants and she hates having two lives and not being able to do things at her dads. She also gets very tearful and anxious on Tuesdays (swap day) at both houses and finds it hard to leave knowing she wont see or speak to the other parent for a whole week. There's more, but that's the bulk of it. I think he struggles with her for a full week (she is well behaved but quite intense at times, demanding attention etc).
A few months back, after him refusing to discuss any changes however small and ignoring my mediation invitation, I applied to Court for a formal Residence Order. I proposed 50:50 roughly but not full alternate weeks. No more than 3/4 days between swapping homes, her with me every Weds and Thurs so she can do her school activities. He made a prat of himself at Court when the Judge questioned us both our reasons for an against 50/50 alternate weeks. He made reference to "his" weeks and why was it my business if he forgets things on his weeks/doesn't let her do her activities on his weeks etc. The Judge didn't like his attitude and ordered her to spend most school days with me for now, until the next hearings. Hence how we got to this new pattern.
The new pattern is definitely better for her. She is now happy to go to his for 3 nights alternate weekends, has a great time and doesn't cry going there or coming back. She says he shouts less, is less grumpy with her and has started reading and doing her homework with her. She has loved being allowed to swim and play football every week, she has earned a new swimming badge already (usually she takes twice as long as the others). She is calmer, more settled and generally happier. He time with her dad is far more enjoyable now.
The issue is what do I say at the next hearing. He has obtained a letter from the school which is very bland and non committal stating they have no serious concerns, her homework is generally done, she is late sometimes but not cause for concern, she is well presented and seems happy. His angle at the next hearing will be that there are no issues at school therefore she can't have found 50:50 that hard or she would have showed signs of distress. My argument is that this is so much better for her, as above. neither seem very strong arguments though and how can I prove that this is better for her - it's just my word against his.
Hi, I am going through a really similar experience and my x is pushing for 50/50 for financial reasons. It's not good for our son who is struggling with it all. Trouble is he is 13 and he has said he wants 50/50 even though the reality is that dad has only managed 30% over the last 8 months as I have been keeping a diary. Trouble is it's his word against mine and I don't have the money any more to pay for legal representation. His school reports are getting worse but the letter from the school was quite generic. Have you had your hearing yet ?
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