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Would I get residence/custody?

(14 Posts)
Dildals123 Mon 27-Mar-17 20:59:15

My DH and I are together still, but it is not going great, to say the least.

I work FT, he looks after DS (18m) on a Monday and picks up DD (3) from nursery on Mon, Tue and Wed, on the first two days the pick up is at 3 on Wed at 11.30. On Tue, Wed, Thurs, Fri DS goes to a CM and on Thurs Fri my DD goes to the same childminder.

He quit his job just over a year ago because he wanted to spend more time with the children, he now works flexibly and from home. When the children are ill, he is usually the one who stays home.

This is what we agreed and this is what he wanted.

Now a year in he realises that looking after children is hard work and is, I think, happy to spend more time with them, but also finds it hard work. I am sure every parent with kids these ages can agree to this.

I am now wondering, if we were to get to a divorce, which I hope doesn't happen, would this mean he would get 'custody' or residence, or whatever it is called? I would awful if that happened and it would just be based on the fact that I earn more and therefore it made sense for me to carry on working and the fact that he wanted a life style change. In Sept I went back to work after mat leave and told him I wanted to go down to four days, but he wasn't keen, saying we would lose too much money. If the kids were to live with me I would go down to four days, perhaps hire an aupair (DD is going to school in Sept) or find some good childcare arrangement.

What do you think? Would a judge give me residence over my husband? Arguably he has been the primary carer since September … Or would the mother still have an edge simply because she is the mum and the kids still so young?

BottleBeach Mon 27-Mar-17 21:05:53

Do you think you are unlikely to be able to agree on what should happen? 9 out of 10 parents who separate manage to agree what should happen without needing to go to court.

What arrangements do you think would be best for the children?

I recommend having a look at www.sortingoutseparation.org.uk

SueGeneris Mon 27-Mar-17 21:06:44

I think the emphasis at the moment from the family court perspective is on as close to shared care as possible, or whatever works best for you as a split family to ensure the children get the best opportunity to have a relationship with both parents. I believe you are expected to at least mediate a residence dispute before it goes to court. There tends to be a preference to allow children to continue to live in their home so that may come into it too. I am not a family lawyer though. Perhaps it would help you to think through what the options might be, what changes could be made workwise and who could live where, if it came to it.

It sounds like you don't want that to happen; I hope you can resolve things - this stage of life is very tough on marriages.

FatOldBag Mon 27-Mar-17 21:07:23

Normally it should be shared custody unless there's a reason that won't work. You should both be equally responsible for the kids and decisions about them. As for physical custody, where they live, would slitting 50:50 work for you and do you think your H would agree to that?

Regardless of what your H says about money, if I were in this position I would certainly go down to 4 days a week and see how that goes for a few months, then you are both part-time and caring is more evenly split. As it is, he is currently the main carer.

HeddaGarbled Mon 27-Mar-17 21:50:26

I think it's unlikely that a judge would agree that they would live primarily with you unless your H agrees to that. 50-50 is more likely.

Dildals123 Mon 27-Mar-17 22:22:20

Would it not be difficult for the children to live one place for 50% of the time and somewhere else for the other? That's why I thought that a judge (if it were to come to that) would give preference to a 'primary carer' where they would live let's say 5 days a week and then weekends with the other parent? That's what happened when my parents split up, but that is about 30 years ago.

So you are all saying he is currently the primary carer, so they would live with him for the most part? And I could remedy that by going down to four days?

Our house has a basement flat. I was thinking I could move in to the basement flat, have my own life (ish) but do bed and bath and other bits, while us still being separate. I am not sure I want to live in a basement flat for the rest of my life though …

Lelloteddy Mon 27-Mar-17 22:42:27

Talk to your husband.
What does he want to happen?

Ending up in a courtroom with a judge deciding your children's future is a million miles from where you are now.
Children are not possessions to be divided up 50:50 so that each parent gets and equal 'share' and it's only in MN that the concept of 50:50 care is wheeled out with absolute certainty ( usually by people who have NO idea or experience of how these things actually work)

Cindersinsuburbia Mon 27-Mar-17 22:56:10

lelloteddy children are also not the possession of the mother when a father is actively involved

My EX and I have shared care ( informal arrangement) of our two DC. It was not an agreed spilt as he cheated, however having a relationship with both of us was what was right for our children.

I cried alot at the beginning and hate missing things when they are away, but they adore their father and he does a good job raising them too.

They are split between two homes and apart of a blended family with their dad, they are managing great and its much healthier for them than EOW and a weekday tea time.

I think shared care can work, with two parents who can and are willing to make it work, the fact that courts are heading that way is positive for children albeit heartbreaking for mother's

Lelloteddy Tue 28-Mar-17 08:17:17

Please provide the often referred to proof that 'the courts are heading that way'.........
(And that doesn't include articles from the daily fail wink )

Efferlunt Tue 28-Mar-17 08:29:33

People often have high expectations of what court can achieve and are disappointed and end up in an adversarial relationship with their ex by virtue of the process. The first step is probably to talk to each other and try and work something out between you.

Dildals123 Tue 28-Mar-17 14:01:43

Of course we would try and work it out first, but I just want to know what my position is, should it get to that.

Food for thought. Thanks all.

Slashtrophe Tue 28-Mar-17 14:10:34

I think you're best off getting some really good legal advice, and perhaps from 2 different solicitors.

whattodowiththepoo Tue 28-Mar-17 14:18:53

I just want to know what my position is, should it get to that.

You seem miles away from it getting to that.
No one can see the future but if you want to be proactive and have all of your basis covered just do your best to have as much flexibility at work as possible.
Consider all future questions when making decisions about your career.

Catrina1234 Tue 28-Mar-17 18:53:01

I am a retired social worker and worked in the family courts.

My best advice is to try to work things out between you and keep well away from the family court. Once you go down that route, it will become protracted and distressing. I don't know if you realise that you can't get legal aid for this private law, so unless you can afford lawyers, you have to represent yourself. Even when you've been though months of hearings in the family court and an Order is made, the non resident parent often doesn't keep to the contact arrangements.

The bottom line if you go to court is what is in the best interests of the child rather than which parents has more "right" than the other.

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