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shared residency

(24 Posts)
gocat Fri 06-Jun-08 21:20:24

Anyone out there who has shared residency for there dc's? My ex is repetedly taking me to court to increase access, which is currently, every other weekend, fri night till monday am., and pretty much half all school holidays. He now wants to collect them fom me, tuesday at about 6.30 pm to have them overnight and take to school wed morning. He has mentioned increasing this to thursday nights also. He cant collect them from school himself due to work - I work around pick-up/drop off times. I feel this is very much about csa regulations regading overnight stays - so despite the fact that the responsibility will be mine to collect/do clubs/tea etc., if they stay overnight with him sufficient nights he will not have to contribute anything. Any thoughts anyone?

Tinkerbel6 Sat 07-Jun-08 09:54:16

I have no experience in this but think twice about shared care cause then you wont get any maintenance, you might not get any benefits either, and he could use this in the future to push for full custody, stand your ground as I think its damaging for a child to be pulled from pillar to post.

gillybean2 Sat 07-Jun-08 10:30:31

Do you actually have a SRO order in place?

Even if he has them 50% of the time he will still have to pay CSA. As it is currently the person with the child benefit book is the one that the CSA regard as the resident parent, even when a SRO is in place.

If he has them 50% of the time the calculation only takes into account each whole overnight on average per week (rounded down). So 3.5 overnights per week would get rounded down to 3 and the calculation would be reduced by 3/7ths, so you'd still get 4/7ths.

There are a number of challenges and appeals to this situation going on currently, so things may change. But that is how it works right now.

I would suggest that if he want to collect them on tuesday that he should do this from school. You have to work your hours round school pick up, if he wants to be an equal parent he should too. He can't have it all his own way. Are the children wanting this arrangement and does he live close enough to school to enable this to be a practical option?

Also if he already has fri-mon every fortnight and half the hols that equals

39 school weeks x3 overnights = 117
13 holiday weeks x7 /2 = 45.5
5 non pupil days /2 = 2.5

So total of 165 overnights right now divided by 52 weeks = 3.17 overnights per week on average. This gets rounded down to 3 overnights per week

If he then had 1 more overnight every school week that would be an additional
39 x 1 overnight

165 + 39 = 204. Divide this by 52 weeks = 3.9 overnights per week on average. This would still get rounded down to 3 by teh CSA but your ex is likely to argue that actually the children spend more time with him so child benefit book should get transfered to him. If he did get this done you'd be the one responsible to pay CSA to him at 4/7ths.

So even witha SRO the person holding the child benefit book is the one who is considered to have overall residency and entitlement to WTC and CTC. If you don't have the child benefit you may loose out on WTC and CTC too.

As I said there are a number of appeals to this situation and those with true 50/50 argue they should be entitled to half the WTC & CTC and other benefits too and that noone should pay maintenance if the children spend equal time with both parents. But I don't forsee any sudden change to the law regarding this right now. In time it will come I'm sure.

Does that help answer any of your concerns at all? Or have I simply given you a whole lot of new ones!?


CarGirl Sat 07-Jun-08 10:34:29

I think I would just state if he wants them overnight during the week then it has to be straight from school or him sort out childcare as you will have other plans if he is going to have them overnight (work/night class/going away etc). Also state it is not in their best interest to be collected at 6.30pm as it will be disruptive to their evening & bedtime routine on a school night.

SmugColditz Sat 07-Jun-08 10:37:20

Just say no. 'm fairly sure that the court will not insist on increasing this already reasonable access. Shared residency is often more about the adults involved that the children's wishes. What do they think about it?

gillybean2 Sat 07-Jun-08 11:08:53

I am all in favour of SRO I have to say, as I feel it is better for the children to have two parents considered equal in the eyes of the law and it allows both parents to parent effectively without eiterh feeling second class or being dennied info about their child from schools, doctors etc.

However a SRO does NOT mean equal time and does not have to mean equal time either.

I agree with others here that if he is going to have them an additional overnight, and goes to court over this, I would really question his motives given that he already has a very decent amount of time with them and doesn't seem to be putting the children's needs first with this suggestion.

You haven't said how old your children are and thus it's hard to know when their bedtime would be or what afterschool care they would need (homework, activities etc).

But picking them up at 6.30 from you means that you still have had to collect them from school. You will do homework with them, deal with any afterschool clubs or visits to/from friends, and in all likelyhood give them their dinner and be the one sorting out their bags (lunch boxes, PE kit, letters home etc).

The children also may be excited about going to see dad and therefore are less likely to settle to homework etc too and might even miss out on some clubs that might be later in the evening such as cubs/scouts/brownies.

So what is it that he is actually going to get in quality of time both for himself and the children by picking them up from you at 6.30?

All that will happen is they will wash and change at his, go to bed and be given breakast and a lift to school in the morning. Which seems to all intents and purposes as if he is simply doing this to up his overnights.

You can not choose to work longer hours with this arrangement, you still have the majority of the costs associated with this day, and the quality of time he will spend with the children is poor imo as is the amount of parenting time he will actually achieve with this arrangement.

Midweek contact is usually considered a good thing to allow the parent to have more contact with school and to have real, everyday parenting time to be able with homework, afterschool clubs etc. He is not going to be getting any of these things so how exactly does he see it benefiting the children to have this extra time?

Would he accomodate you by collecting the children from school and taking care of them till you could come and get them after work at 6.30? Perhaps you should ask him! If he is agreeable maybe he can do that on the monday he drops the children at school, or the friday that he doesn't have them overnight, so you can have more flexibility with your own working arrangements.

He can't have it all his own way I'm afraid. I don't know how things have been in court for you both, whether you have been able to agree things by and large or if it has been a big battle. Do you have the same judge each time? Is the judge not bored by now and telling him to go to mediation to sort this out? Has your ex suggested mediation as a way to move forward on these things rather than going to court each time? If not maybe you could suggest it as it seems a lot of stress and hassle to keep putting you all through.

As I said I'm in favour of SRO, but Shared Residency doesn't automatically equate to equal time. Contact should be about what is best for the children, not what dad (or mum) wants. He needs to show how this will be of benefit to everyone, and if he can't then perhaps it is just money motivated.

Hopefully I answered your question regarding that side of it in my last post to this thread

Take care

gocat Sat 07-Jun-08 16:43:41

Thanks so much Gilly, you have posted exactly what I'm feeling. We have been in court several times, and recently had 4 X 2 1/2 hour mediation sessions. My ex is unwilling to communicate with me directly, he just sends formal letters which he Cc's to the court. We have always had the same judge, and he insisted we have mediation to attempt to resolve these issues, however My ex refuses to back down so a final hearing has been set for next month. The children are 8and 4, the 4 year old starts school in sept. The 8 year old already stays o/n on a tuesday on alternate weeks, however this used to fit in with beavers, which he no longer does on that night. On balance he would rather not go because it's such a disruptive day, and makes the time directly after school quite stressful - waiting for Dad to arrive. Imo they see plenty of their Dad, and this is really totally about racking up as many nights as possible from a csa point of view. That amount of time does not constitute meaningful contact, and is the sort of thing you might do in an emergency situation, not on a weekly basis. Infact, I collect the children every day from school, including the Friday that he has them over the weekend, I then take them to swimming lessons and he doesn't collect them untill 6.45 ish to allow him a full day at work. I really don't feel I should be doing this another day in the week. The alternative is for them to go into an after school club which I'm not keen on - hence my working school hours. Also the children don't want this either. Hopefully the judge will see this fom my point of view, as I am really not doing this to prevent access, it is simply too disruptive midweek.

ska Sat 07-Jun-08 16:56:10

my dh has shared care and control with his ex for their 2 dc. This has been for more than 9 years. We have them in a pattern wed overnight and friday overnight every school week and alternate whole weekends plus alternate half terms and half of all other school holidays. we pick up the younger one from mum's house on the two school days and drop at school on the school morning - this is because his school is 5 mins from her house. Previously I have got them (when they were younger) from schools/nursery etc. This arrangement works ok. Older one gets home to us on these days on school bus and now picks up our dd from school on way.
Sometimes we do hardly see the two of them because they do stuff with friends/DofE/Brownies etc but for our family it is important that this is their home and tehy sleep here on 'our' nights. They really clearly see themselves as having 2 homes which are equal but different and they have 4 parents not 2. (so the two dsp cout equally!!) remember the 2 were 4.5 and 1.5 when this started happening. although their is an order around maintenance no-one actually pays anything at present because it wasn't making sense - truly the costs are about equal. we both split costs of big school trips etc but otherwsie the child ben seems to cover her 'extra' costs. we are lucky as both sides of the family have enough money to manage at present but times have been extremely hard for both at different stages and at those times we did battle much more.
i would say sco are ok but i do appreciate that not everyone will be as lucky as we have turned out to be. good luck, btw avoid the courts for this stuff if you can - it is so expensive and just seems to antagonise everyone.

gocat Sat 07-Jun-08 20:34:39

Thanks ska, sounds like you've all worked things out well, I wish we could also do this. My situation is different in that my ex is single and moves around a lot. He rents houses for 6 to 12 months at a time and is currently planning on moving in with a friend for a while. As far as expenses go, the csa have secured payments for the last 3 months but I recieved nothing for almost a year. Any clubs/out of school activities are paid for by me or they don't go. I can see that as they get older I will shoulder the costs for school trips/uniform etc., as he simply is not prepared to pay for that kind of stuff. As he will not speak to me, we can only communicate thru court, and a court orders are the only way forward for him, as he can not handle any flexibility at all. Booking holidays is a nightmare as I will be in contempt of court if the flights don't fit exactly with the dates he has managed to get them to set out. It's a total ball and chain situation - serious control stuff. My only hope is that the kids will see sense as they get older and stand up to his regiem, and hopefully vote with their feet. We really could have it so good, he just can't see beyond maximum disruption, and is hell bent on this disruptive path. There is only so much I can do, and right now I feel like throwing in the towell and letting him do his thing - it's so exhausting to 'do battle' all the time!!!

Tinkerbel6 Sun 08-Jun-08 11:21:58

If you ex moves around a lot then that is not stable for the children, he doesn't pay maintenace for them, he don't communicate with you and you do all the running around with school runs even though he has them 2 nights of the week angry, I can't see the courts giving him any more access and I don't think he is doing this cause he wants to see them more but is doing this to get at you, don't throw the towel in but fight against this as this is your children mental health that you ex is playing around with here, be strong for them

gocat Sun 08-Jun-08 16:52:56

Thanks Tinkerbel, you're right, it's too unsettling for them and is clearly based on having them over night rather than any sort of meaningful contact. I fully intend to fight this, cause if i don;t I will end up being a doormat, doing all the donkey work, allowing him to sweep in at the end of the day in order to put them to bed, where ever that may be! After 2 years of these sort of issues coming up over and over, I'm shattered - frankly the system stinks and needs a serious overhaul imo. Fingers crossed for next month!! And thanks for all your posts everyone.

lostdad Mon 09-Jun-08 08:39:10

Father's perspective...if I had a penny every time I was told that mothers are the main parent because they look after the children most of the time....or a penny everytime I was told that mothers look after the children most of the time they are the main parent - I would have at least £9.77 by now.

Seriously - isn't this a good thing? A father who wants to play a major role into the upbringing of his children?

lostdad Mon 09-Jun-08 08:39:34

Father's perspective...if I had a penny every time I was told that mothers are the main parent because they look after the children most of the time....or a penny everytime I was told that mothers look after the children most of the time they are the main parent - I would have at least £9.77 by now.

Seriously - isn't this a good thing? A father who wants to play a major role into the upbringing of his children?

gillybean2 Mon 09-Jun-08 11:39:06

Lostdad yes it is good that he wants to spend time with them. Being able to spend that time with them by changing his work hours etc is what is required to do that.

If his reasons for doing this are money motivated and he's not prepared to do what needs to be done to be a fully involved parent (school pick up's, afterschool activities, pay the maintenance to support his children, change his work hours etc) then he's only doing it to suit himself.

This should be about what is best for the children. IMO it isn't right that mum has to run around to accomodate him and have to put her work second or pay for afterschool care even on the days she isn't having the children overnight because dad won't amend his working day to accomodate.

ska Mon 09-Jun-08 15:37:27

always, always, always it has to be about what is best for the children and it is very hard indeed to remember this. We have had so many huge rows that, looking back, were actually about what ever it was that meant the original marrage end. Both sides. I think now we have just about got to a place where we are more confident and know that the children actually come to both houses because they want to do so. Because it is home. My sis on the otherhand had similar problems to OP with her ex. Now neither of the two children (adults) will have anything to do with their dad. Very sad.

gocat Thu 19-Jun-08 23:48:49

very delayed response to lostdad here, but I need to say that I've had 10 hours of mediation with my ex recently and at least 1 hour of that was spent discussing Mothers' day. It took the mediator and I that long to help my ex see that it would be good for our kids to see their mum on mothers' day! Last year it was 'his weekend' and I wasn't allowed to see my kids, however, I did take them round with cards etc on Fathers' day - there's just no winning with some people.

Of course it's a good thing that he wants to play a major role in the upbringing of our children, however, that shouldn't be about cherry picking times to suit, while someone else is flapping around doing all the inconvenient stuff, faffing around on the periphery is not an option where kids are concerned, you're in or you're out! Your thoughts lost dad?

asylumum Mon 21-Jul-08 23:19:11

my partner wants shared residency of our just one year daughter. he currently lives in a boat. He says he will take baby to his widowered father and at times to his brothers house. He has no experience in child care but thinks he does. am concerned about the safety of the baby. what age is right for shared residency. has applied for pso too.

gillybean2 Tue 22-Jul-08 07:55:35

asylumum - My response to 'he has no experience of child care' is that neither did you till you became a parent. It's a hands on learning experience, he will learn very fast once given the oportunity to be a parent.

Shared residency does NOT mean equal time, it means equal recognition that you are both valid and equal parents with equal responsibilities to your child. It also means that neither of you is a considered a better, more important, or primary parent to your child.

Regarding the situation you describe - The housing arrangement isn't ideal. He needs to sort out how he intends parenting time to work. Your child needs to know they have two equal homes. Staying at his dad's or his brother's and not having any fixed arrangement doesn't equal a 'home' in my opinion.

If you are concerned he wouldn't know how to deal with a very young baby then ask him to attend a parenting course. He will do this if he is serious about his parental responsibilities.

How much time does he spend with your dd at the moment? Are you still breastfeeding? Do you work? Does his work allow him flexible hours so he can have midweek contact perhaps?

Talk about your concerns and work out what is really worrying you about him taking on his parental responsibilities and find the solutions that are needed for your dd to have a very important relationship with her dad.

Best wishes

Twinkie1 Tue 22-Jul-08 08:02:31

XH and I have saherd residency of DD - but she resides with me and sees him every other weekend and half the school holidays.

Mothers day and fathers day are not any different to a normal weekend - that is something you ahve to get over and celebrate with them when you can - birthdays she is with us unless it is his weekend and we have her alternatly Christmas Day and Boxing Day each year.

We live too far away from him to do seperate nights in the week but the residency is nothing to do with contact.

I would sign your DD/DS up to clubs and tell him that he cannot have the chi8ld that night - it is disruptive and not settling for a young child especially if your X is not doing it for the right reason. Tell the judge you are prepared for him to have the extra nights if he arranges his working pattern so they can be picked up from school and looked after properly bu him - I am sure a judge would see sense and realise what sort of man he is by his letters and the aggro he has put you through - Good Luck!

asylumum Tue 22-Jul-08 09:43:15

My on and off partner does not work neither supports the child financially.he says if he works then he wont have time to see the baby.
Iam not working at the moment. Am concerned about hygiene issues feeding and weird behaviour. In the past he has blamed his behaviour on his mental problem. Now he says he doesnt have mental problem because there is court case this friday. He is been abusive to my 11 yr dota from prv r/ship. have called the police on him before.He denied it all. Am not sleeping he is a good speaker than Iam. He will smooth talk me in court.

asylumum Tue 22-Jul-08 09:46:45

He is hesistant to go for parenting classes. He says he has learnt everything on the internet.

gillybean2 Tue 22-Jul-08 17:47:31

Asylumum - Well if he's hesitant then he's not prepared to do what it takes to show you, the court and CAFCASS that he is responsible enough to take care of his child.

He is hesitant to go, you are hesitant to agree contact. If he goes then it will make you less hesitant, so it's down to him if he wants to make this happen he has to compromise...

No-one knows it all. And if he's not prepared to do it for the best interest of his child then you need to argue that point in court.

If he has a sol he won't be speaking in court, so no chance to smooth talk you.

If he can't get a job to support his child then he's not fulfilling his responsibilities to provide financially. Even on job seekers allowance he'd have to pay something. I think it's a fiver a week. Check with the CSA.

Do you have a sol and have you got a list of concerns to raise with regard to mental health issues etc. You can ask for his medical records in court and a letter from his doctor confirming he has no history of this if he's denying it.

There are routes you can go down so that he gets contact perhaps supervised to start with until he can show you, CAFCASS and court that he is able to be a responsible parent and hopefully make you less hesitant. Court is likely to want some kind of contact agreed too, so you need to show you aren't being difficult and that you will compromise when your concerns have been met and if it's in teh best interest of your child (which it usually is). Perhaps start your own thread for more advice on what your key issues and questions are and you'll get lots of advice and hear from others who have similar and different experiences.

Take care

Sazzy1234 Mon 16-Jan-17 06:05:20

Ppp Hi I got residency of my daughter we got a court order for seeing her dad I stopped it for serveral reasons im bk in court with him he phoned ss for no reason saying i camt cope with her and iv got mental issues (I havnt theres no proof) we been split up some time and would I lose residency/ custody cos of it?Thanks x

CL12345 Tue 17-Jan-17 07:42:02

Sazzy1234, I don't know about your query, but you better open a new thread if you want answers, this one is almost 10 year old ;)

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