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What should my expectations be?
#1
Hi,

This is my first post on these forums. Here is my situation:
  • Married for 21 years
  • 2 girls 6 and 3 years old
  • Not divorced or separated yet and still living in the same house
  • Wife wants divorce and wants sole custody
  • I don't believe she is seeing anyone but does appear to have a remote facebook relationship with a lucky guy
I'm not really worried about money or the house etc. however her position is that she wants to divorce and is happy to do so without involving the courts provided I should have minimal contact with the kids (something like 1 weekend every two weeks and some time with school holidays), full maintenance and pretty much keeping the house. Her position is based on an argument we had last year in front of the kids where I ended up grabbing her arm. This was forgiven later on and life continued until earlier this year when divorced was raised as what she wanted.

I'm new to this but having read these forums I see my options as being:
  • agree to all her terms and deal out of court - but only see my girls a few times a month which will mean I guess over time they will grow apart from me
  • lawyer up and go whole hog down the court route leading to much expense and anguish
  • somehow negotiate with her down from what I thought would be reasonable as 50/50 custody to something else. This may not be possible as she is adamant
She has yet to hire a solicitor but may have received some free advice recently.

Any advice or perspective would be greatly appreciated as whilst losing wife and home would be terrible losing my girls is not something I can put words to
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#2
If it goes to court, then it would only go south for her from her current demands, unless there is a police record of DV?

I believe the court would award an almost 50/50 on the house, and Child maintenance. Don't see how it would be fair for her to keep the entire house, when you both worked for it over the 21 years of marriage.

Before you go to court, you would have to go to mediation first. I believe that you can only end up in court if mediation ends in deadlock, or a no show by your wife.

Most will say on here (and believe me, it does come from this site!) That a court would normally award every other w/end, plus half the school holidays depending on your availability. I think this is the "Normal" agreements. As a father, you are entitled to quality time with your children, and this cannot be dictated by the Mother.

I am only just starting this journey, but my personal concern is that without a court order in place, then no matter terms of hers you agree too, there will be a day when she comes back for me, or changes the terms of contact etc. You then have no legal standing at all.

Mediation first, and maybe speak to a family lawyer in the first instance to get some proper advice.

There are some very good guys that have been through this before, and will offer some very good advice.

Good luck!
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#3
Be aware of terminology....
Custody and residency is sometime confused
Custody is given, by a court, to a parent as 'sole' if the other parent is a danger to the kids ... even your one off grab of the arm does NOT put you in this bracket
http://www.custody.co.uk/Child%20Custody...amily.html

Residency is what your wife wants... she wants the kids to 'live' with her and you have visitation rights as the NonResidentParent... this is NOT 'sole' as the kids have a right to spend time with you

Before you agree to ANYTHING - read up on what you can expect and what your kids rights are. This site (outside the forums has loads)
I include another link:
http://www.childsupportlaws.co.uk/child-...ights.html
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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#4
Thanks both. I've got a lot of reading up to do. My goal is to some how come to an agreement that I can then turn into a legal agreement so that she cannot change the goalposts in the future.
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#5
That's a super objective... it will save you lots of money and stress.

Get something you are happy with then get a solicitor / court to stamp it
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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#6
(07-27-2017, 10:02 AM)MrDaylight Wrote: Hi,

This is my first post on these forums. Here is my situation:
  • Married for 21 years
  • 2 girls 6 and 3 years old
  • Not divorced or separated yet and still living in the same house
  • Wife wants divorce and wants sole custody
  • I don't believe she is seeing anyone but does appear to have a remote facebook relationship with a lucky guy
I'm not really worried about money or the house etc. however her position is that she wants to divorce and is happy to do so without involving the courts provided I should have minimal contact with the kids (something like 1 weekend every two weeks and some time with school holidays), full maintenance and pretty much keeping the house. Her position is based on an argument we had last year in front of the kids where I ended up grabbing her arm. This was forgiven later on and life continued until earlier this year when divorced was raised as what she wanted.

I'm new to this but having read these forums I see my options as being:
  • agree to all her terms and deal out of court - but only see my girls a few times a month which will mean I guess over time they will grow apart from me
  • lawyer up and go whole hog down the court route leading to much expense and anguish
  • somehow negotiate with her down from what I thought would be reasonable as 50/50 custody to something else. This may not be possible as she is adamant
She has yet to hire a solicitor but may have received some free advice recently.

Any advice or perspective would be greatly appreciated as whilst losing wife and home would be terrible losing my girls is not something I can put words to

The number of nights "Staying Contact" would have a bearing on what reduction of Child Support you get. The important numbers if you get the reduction once you exceed 52 nights in a case year, and the next reduction is if you exceed 104.

In terms of what to expect, its depenent on your abaliablity, but the very least is along the lines of Friday till Sunday, every 2 weeks and up to half school holidays.

You might get more like shared care, adding in mid week visits/stay overs, but this depends on if its workable, in terms of getting the child to/from school etc.

The child arrangements will not affect the share out of any profit from the house, as the Welfare Benefit Reforms now put the Resident Parent in a better position.
However, if you move out, and your paying towards a Mortage for a house your child still lives in, you would get a reduction in a CMS situation. My advise is to put the £20, and let them work it out.

Your ex can claim as a single person while your both in the same house, as long as your not sleeping in the same room. http://www.entiteledto.co.uk  will identify what she can get. Therefore you should only be paying your part of the mortgage and your own share of the bills. As an example, with 2 adults and 2 children, only 30-35% of the utility bills. With things like TV Services and landline phones, you need to work out your share depending on use.

With Electric and Gas, if its in your name you must tell your ex when you move out and the 30 days notice starts. It iis illigal for you to have them cut off without telling anyone else who still lives in the house. It might be with some exisitng contracts, your ex is willing to take them over, and its just a case of changing the name on the account.

Make sure you inform the Council Tax Department once you move out. It might be that now your ex could get Council Tax Reduction in her own right, but you need to make sure its paid. They will open as seperate account for your ex on moving out. Do not make the same mistake as me, giving the ex the money to pay it, for 3 years later a letter to come of a Baliff with added fees on it.

Note that if she raises any issues with you seeing the children, she needs to have good reason, what must be something not known when she last left them in your care. In law, then that happened, she had considered everything leading up to it.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#7
You say she forgave you for the arm pulling so don’t let her use it to extract more. That’s not how it works.
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#8
Not only did she forgive me - for our 20th anniversary I bought custom rings for us to replace our slightly cheap ones we had up to that point - doh!. 
Things like that made me believe we were back on track - anyway onwards an upwards !
We realised this morning that until we are officially divorced that I can't start getting another mortgage on another house due to technically it being a second house at that point so we will have to come to our agreement and get it legalised and then fill in the divorce papers or whatever the form is which I hear can take several months for the court to approve.
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#9
Ignore the arm pulling. If she didn't report it to the police, and didn't take legal action, no court will be interested. It's her word against yours.

Get it to mediation asap, but be prepared to take it to court.  Don't bail out on a fair share of what's yours (house, pension) and the right to raise your kids just for any easy life. You'll regret it later on.

This might be the woman you loved etc, but if she is being difficult, you need to put that to one side and temporarily be utterly ruthless with her.  Trust me, she will be planning some nasty stuff if she's already bringing up arm pulling from a year ago.  Once the dust as settled you can go back to being amicable.

You have to try mediation before court action anyway, so might as well go down that route.  Don't be afraid of the legal process, she is probably more scared than you.    I'm going through it and rather enjoying it. Smile
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#10
Thanks Marwood. I'm hopeful that we will be able to agree out of court and perhaps mediation. This will probably hinge on whether she is prepared to accept me getting shared residency of the kids (I believe the right term Smile ) and something reasonable like 50% of the value of our house. If this can't happen then I guess mediation is next.
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