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He now wants the kids 50/50, what do I do?

6 replies

Gremlin120808 · 12/06/2016 21:06

Wise mumsnetters, I need you advice.
My STBXH and I separated 3 years ago and are in the protracted process of getting divorced. I have stayed in the family home with our 2 DC (now 8yrs and 6yrs), he pays his maintenance and all is fairly amicable. At the beginning he wouldn't/couldn't have the kids overnight due to his living arrangements, but after 4 months he was sorted and started having the kids on a Saturday night. He didn't want them for alternate w/e because he works on a Saturday, so this arrangement stood.
Now he has a partner (that lives with him), he requested alternate w/e. I agreed to this but I wanted them back on a sunday night, all fine so far. I offered monday night in between which he agreed to but never actually had them, it was too difficult for him!
Tonight we had an argument at handover, his partner stuck her oar in telling me to be mindful of the children, I could have swung for her, and he stated he was entitled to have the kids 50/50. That's what he wants and I can't do anything about it.
TBH I don't know where I legally stand.
I should perhaps mention that he is an alcoholic, has OCD and is a transvestite........but mainly he is an arse!
What do I do? What do I instruct my solicitor to do? Can he really just take the kids from me? Somehow I need it written down that the kids live with me and visitation is whatever is arranged.
I'm a very angry person right now, I gave up work to look after the kids (mutually agreed) and now that they are at a more manageable age he wants them.
Has anyone else been through this????

OP posts:
millymollymoomoo · 13/06/2016 08:36

There should be a child arrangement order as part of the divorce - do you have anything in process at all with your solicitors? I think you need one to state exactly what the arrangements are re where they live and access arrangements.
If he really wants 50:50 and you don't agree you'll need mediation - he should also demonstrate how I) this is in the children's best interests and ii) how he proposes to actually do this.
Ultimately if you cannot agree it will go to court I think - personally try to avoid this.
Are you able to actually sit down and discuss cordially arrangements (without his girlfriend)?
You need to keep with the facts rather than emotions and demonstrate why you believe 50:50 is not workable nor in the best interests of the children. His OCD and fact he is transvestite I don't think the courts would give any weight to - the alcoholism is a biggie - however, the fact you trust him with overnights already gives less weight I think to this concern.
You need to discuss with your solicitor.

pinkhalf · 13/06/2016 10:06

No he can't.

Start writing down the occasions you offered contact but he didn't take it. Note the hours he does at work, when he returns the children and when he picks them up.

Lots of men go on about 50/50 so they don't have to pay maintenance - practically they try this but don't have a clue about how it will work.

If you end up going to court you need to show how this man has barely made any change for his children. If you can show you are basing your life around the needs of the children, he will not get this order however much he moans.

50/50 as a norm is the boast of fathers rights groups - well only if you can show you can do what the mother is doing, which means adjustments to working hours, attending school sessions, doctors appointments etc. Don't be fooled - a man who says suddenly that he wants more contact but can't show that he's ever done more than a bath at bedtime and the odd session on the weekend isn't going to be given 50/50 by a court.

Gremlin120808 · 13/06/2016 23:34

Thanks for your advice, I have to say it has really shaken me. I have been keeping a "d**khead diary" which I will now pass on to my solicitor. I have details of quite a few incidents, the worst of which was him admitting to making our DS travel in the footwell of the car because his girlfiend's mum and aunt needed the seats!!

We haven't got to the child arrangement order yet due to him dragging his heels with the financial disclosure form. We were supposed exchange these forms in March but he still hasn't done his. However, I have now moved this up the agenda with my solicitor to "urgent"!

I can easily demonstrate that it's in the kids best interest to live with me, so I shouldn't really panic. It's just the fact that it's a possibility, that he's making me defend my position with the kids. It is logistically nearly impossible for him to have the kids during the week because of his work. He relies on his girlfriend to pick them up from school and look after them on a Saturday during the day. Without her he just couldn't do it. So if they were to split up what would he do?? Give them back to me??
It's laughable really but I am so very angry😡. I want it to be all sorted right now, but I can see this going on and on!!

OP posts:
PrincessHairyMclary · 13/06/2016 23:46

I wasn't married to DDs dad and we didn't live together so my experience is very different to yours however the courts try to maintain the status quo for the children. DDs dad also tried threatening me with the fact he was going to go for 50/50 despite wanting me to have an abortion and barely having anything to do with her for a year.

I disagree about avoiding court as in my experience it has benefitted having the arrangement written down, we are still flexible but can always just go back to the arrangement.

So as an example DDs dad picks her up after school and brings her back at 6pm on Wednesday or has her 9-6 during holidays. He could have her everyother right weekend (after extra curricular dance classes etc) but realistically she only does over nights during school holidays. Mothers/Fathers Day are spent with the relevant parent as are birthdays. Christmas and DDs birthday are alternated I wrote in that this would be from 12 noon Christmas Eve - 12 noon Boxing Day as this protects our Christmas plans on my year and also means DD doesn't have to leave all her new toys when she's with her Dad.

lifeisunjust · 15/06/2016 06:52

Big theoretical proponent of 50 50 care but aa soon as I saw the word transvestite unfortunately no one unless they ve a partner of one knows how damaging this condition is to family and yes in age of political correctness no one dare support the stable parent over the unstable one. Trans nearly always comes with co morbidity and yours as an alcoholic proves it. You are brave the amount of contact already.

Stay strong and remember narcissistic people are deluded.

Gremlin120808 · 15/06/2016 17:59

PrincessH- I like the way you have organised it, I may very well nick your ideas! I am also not too adverse to going to court to get it all finalised, but if I can avoid it I will (I think)?!

Lifeisunjust- thanks for your message. It's hard to talk about the whole trans thing with friends, as you say, unless you've been there you can't understand. But that's the same with any situation I suppose. The fact that he is a transvestite doesn't make him a bad father, he's just a bad father!! He's a narcissist for sure and his judgement on how his lifestyle affects the kids is severely distorted....but then it would be.....he's a narcissist!!!!
I honestly can't remember why I married him!?!?

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