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50/50 child custody disagreements ... help!

(35 Posts)
singlemum32 Tue 12-Dec-17 11:26:02


I was wondering if anyone could offer some advice or knew of anyone who had been through a similar situation.. basically me and my husband separated in September. It was initially a trial but around November it became official. He said then that he wanted 50/50 custody of the kids (6 and 8 years old) and wanted a 3 day overnight split one week, 4 day overnight the next. I disagreed on the basis that it was too disruptive to them with school and also their age, not to mention not having a stable “base”home. We have been arguing ever since and for he last 3 weeks the kids have been seeing him 2 nights overnight one week, plus a evening for tea, and then 4 nights the next week when it’s his weekend. It has proven very messy and on numerous occasions the children have said they want to stay with me (especially after he has had them for the weekend, i get them back on monday after school and then they have to go back to his on the Tuesday) and don’t like the constant moving around.

I referred for mediation, as I wanted to try and sort something that was fair but didn’t involve so many overnight stays, and he seemed keen to attend mediation, however after both of our initial individual meetings he is now saying he doesn’t want to go any further with mediation (and also I dare say he doesn’t want to discuss any finances!). But he won’t discuss whether he’s going to go to court and we have no idea what’s happening with Christmas yet. He is trying to call all the shots re. christmas and asking for christmas eve to be split, and christmas day, and then he has them until the 29th! Has anyone got any advice around this also?

To make things even worse, he is living in the family home (my name wasn’t on the mortgage because when purchasing it I was pregnant and not working, however half the deposit was mine and our previous house was jointly mortgaged), I moved out because the situation was untenable at home. He has now changed the locks and I am living in my parent’s holiday let but only until March and without him willing to discuss any finances, I really am in a bit of a nightmare situation.

I have a solicitor however she was hoping things could be sorted through mediation. I just don’t know what to do next but wondered if anyone had any ideas or advice.

My biggest worry is the children. He is adamant they are fine with the arrangement as it is and therefore in his eyes it is fair, however this isn’t what they’re saying to me and it just doesn’t seem right that they should be moving beds every other night.
Thank you so much for reading, I know it’s long winded x

squaresandsquares Tue 12-Dec-17 11:36:26

Many parallels here to my situation.
Split in September
He lives in the family home.

What we do is Tuesday nights over night, Thursday nights over night. And one day and one night over weekend. So this weekend it's Friday 530pm to Saturday 530pm.

I feel like this works so far. We live near each other. My two are 2,5.
Sorry I've not been very helpful...

squaresandsquares Tue 12-Dec-17 11:40:19

Also from march im totally in the S**t regarding a home!
He sounds like he's trying to control the situation and get out of paying maintainance.
At Christmas. He's having them Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to Boxing Day midday. I'm popping up to see them Christmas Eve and Christmas Day morning.
Next year it'll swap.
Then he's having usual days...apart from Boxing Day/Tuesday

Vernazza Tue 12-Dec-17 11:43:05

If you are legally married, regardless whether your name is on the mortgage or not, the house is half yours.

Regarding the child custody issue, it's a tough one. The children are always the losers when parents cannot peaceably come to an agreement. Each parent has to realise that the other parent loves and wants the children as much as they do. If you don't want them moving beds every night then would not the marital home be the best base for them? See where I'm going? A lot of women don't grasp that the father loves and has as much right to the children as they do.

And while it sounds to me like he is punishing you for for leaving, changing the locks, we are only hearing your side of the story.

What became unteneble that you moved out and left a six and eight year old?

squaresandsquares Tue 12-Dec-17 11:55:37

She didn't leave the kids though.

Vernazza Tue 12-Dec-17 12:01:39

That's true Squares.

singlemum32 Tue 12-Dec-17 12:27:54

Thanks all, Squares, your routine sounds like a good one, child custody wise. I would like to think my ex would agree to something like this but unfortunately I feel maintenance is driving it (he has always been extremely tight with money) and even last night when I asked if we could jiggle the pattern around as they were not wanting to go back after only having one night back with me, he just said "no this is the routine and we need to stick to it for their wellbeing". - incidentally, it has only been 'routine' for just over 4 weeks now.

I didn't leave the kids no, I took them with me and it is only recently he has instigated this 'pattern'. He was suspicious that i was seeing someone (I had met someone) and put a camera up in the home without my knowledge, alongside tracking my phone. I found the camera and left with the kids. He still wanted me to come home but I refused because of how I felt about him and the marriage, so he is bitter about that too.
I am not excusing myself from this, he probably is trying to punish me, however there were many issues with the relationship and he had been emotionally abusive from day 1. And although I met someone, it doesn't change the fact that I am still entitled to the half of the house.

Ironically, he has this weekend introduced the children to his new lady , who he has only been seeing for around 8 weeks. They haven't met my new man. All very messy sad

expatinscotland Tue 12-Dec-17 12:32:19

You need to find another solicitor.

debbs77 Tue 12-Dec-17 12:36:29

I used to have that set u with my ex and it worked well. He used to do school runs (or get family help) and I had three nights free one week and four the next xx

singlemum32 Tue 12-Dec-17 12:45:20

expatinscotland- why do you think I need another solicitor?

expatinscotland Tue 12-Dec-17 12:48:20

Because she's still banging on about mediation when he's no longer willing to engage with it. And you should have been informed that you still have a stake in the house. She doesn't sound very proactive. My guess is that he's doing this to avoid paying maintenance. He's going to rinse you.

Advicewouldbelovelyta Tue 12-Dec-17 12:48:24

You don't need a new solicitor. Legally you have to go to mediation before you can go to court unless there is extenuating circumstances

Jaxhog Tue 12-Dec-17 12:52:09

If you can't agree amicably, you either need to finish mediation or to have a court decide. Give him the choice.

In the meantime, how about having the kids alternate weeks?

singlemum32 Tue 12-Dec-17 12:57:32

Does anyone know anyone who has been through a similar situation re. child custody, is the court likely to grant 50/50? Its so hard. He is definitely wanting to rinse me, that much is evident- I know what he's like and he's so focused on money. He was receiving the child benefit (I have changed the bank account details recently), turns out he had lied about the amount we received for the last 6 years!

squaresandsquares Tue 12-Dec-17 13:00:44

I'm sorry I don't know about solicitors etc. I hope it gets sorted for you and especially for the kids to be happy.

Blackteadrinker77 Tue 12-Dec-17 13:02:01

There doesn't seem to be a good reason here to stop 50/50 custody.

The children will get used to it.

pinkhorse Tue 12-Dec-17 13:04:24

I do 50/50 with my ex but we didn't go through court.

Why do you alternate most nights where the kids are? I have my ds on a Wednesday and Thursday ( and then Friday Saturday and Sunday if it's my weekend). Surely it's better to do it in blocks rather than changing it every day?

Advicewouldbelovelyta Tue 12-Dec-17 13:18:18

Just a heads up, if you're hoping to get help finding a place to live you're likely to only qualify for a studio or a 1 bedroom at the most

singlemum32 Tue 12-Dec-17 13:31:40

pinkhorse, basically because the kids were in after school on a Tuesday and Wednesday and he always has picked them up from that, so it followed that he had them overnight on a those days.. it just gets messy when he's had them all weekend and then they come back to me for a Monday night and then back to his again..

Blackteadrinker77 Tue 12-Dec-17 14:05:01

Like you said it has only been their "Routine" for 4 weeks, give them and yourself time to get used it.

It is so hard, you go from being a full time parent to being a 50/50 one and emotionally it is wrenching.

singlemum32 Tue 12-Dec-17 14:29:57

It's horrible, I hate being a part time mother, feel so redundant. Even when I'm doing things with friends etc, I feel guilty and then I see all my friends doing things as a family- horrendous. Considered going back to him just for the kids, until they're older.. but I think so much has happened now.. and whether I would massively regret this!

southbailey Tue 12-Dec-17 15:01:48

I totally get this. My kids are a bit older - 14 and 9, but we have only just settled on a compromise after 18 months separated.
They do a long weekend one week (fri til tues am), then 2 consecutive nights the other week.
From our pov - noone got exactly what they wanted. He wanted 50/50, I didn't. But he is their father, loves them and they need to have a life with him too.
MIne swing between being ok going and whinging a bit (the younger one - the older would prefer to be with me most of the time but for now, I feel it is important to keep their relationship with her dad going, plus to be with their sibling).

I thought i would hate being part time mum. Sometimes I find it a bit weepy making but i have come to adore my time to myself.

NorthernSpirit Tue 12-Dec-17 20:59:28

Finances and child contact are completely separate so you need to separate them.

Regarding contact - why shouldn’t the dad have them 50/50? Don’t punish the dad. I’m sure he loves them and misses them as much as you. You need to find a solution that works for you all.

Regarding finances - if you can sort it out between you it will be cheaper than going to court and lining the pockets of solicitors (my OH spent £15k on sorting his finances out. Money he wanted to spend on the children but the EW wouldn’t agree). As a wife you will be entitled to a share of the house, and all of each other’s assets (pensions, car value, any assets over £3k). The starting point is a 50:50 split. You will need a judge to agree a ‘consent’ order.

As it’s the FMH (former marital home). You are both entitled enter.

beingsunny Tue 12-Dec-17 21:11:46

We split in September 2.5 years ago when our son was just turned 3.
We have an almost 50/50 split which works really really well for all of us.

I have him from 5pm Saturday thru to daycare drop off on Wednesday morning. His dad picks him up Wednesday night and has him until 5pm Saturday.

It's been like this since the split and our son has adjusted really well, I consider myself the primary carer but he has two homes two bedrooms two sets of clothes, toys etc so there isn't really any 'moving' I just pack bits he might need in his backpack on Wednesday mornings, we live round the corner so easy to pick up things forgotten although try to avoid it as it can be unsettling as I'm the favourite parent at the moment.

ontheball75 Wed 13-Dec-17 13:53:05

I have a 50/50 arrangement with my ex, it works well for the kids and they are happy with the situation, they have two homes and have there own clothes and toys at each house. The only things that move between homes is school stuff.

It's tough getting used to only being with them 50% of the time but the children get the best of both worlds this way as they get to continue to have a good relationship with both parents.

There are a few different ways of splitting the weeks, have a look at 5522 and 4433 schedules. 5522 is great as the children see you each week and get a full weekend with you.

It's not nice if children are swapping between homes everyday, best really if it's blocks of time each week. But it comes down to what works well for the parents.

Is the child benefit in your name or his for the children? If it's his i would ring them and get that changed as it may hinder you claiming housing benefit for a suitable size home when you move out of your parents holiday let.

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