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Newly separated and could do with advice...
Me and the partner have split up and she's moved out with our 18 month son. I've been my partner's carer for 2 years after she became life threateningly ill during her pregnancy and that means I've pretty much done everything for our son too who I adore.

The ex is much better now but still is physically and mentally ill - which she says I'll use against her. Unfortunately, I would do. It gets straight to the heart of this problem that I'm wrestling with:

Do I go for full custody of my son or do I go for acess every weekend whilst I go back to work full-time?

Has anyone else experienced this kind of decision and whether they did right or wrong?

I'm trying to put my son's needs first. I know going for custody is going to cause merry hell with the ex. It'll be a horrible battle. And I know my son is safe with her. Well, I worry he won't be. If I went for it I'd only be able to work a bare 16 hour week and then he'd have two benefit claiming borderline struggling parents. If I worked full time I could start earning a decent wage again and provide and have weekends where we do things and go on holidays - not struggle buying him a pair of shoes. Plus, if the ex can't cope then she can always come to me for help with him (perhaps).

Got to make a quick decision. The car is already going back and none of the bills are going to get paid.
Do you have Parental Responsibility?
What age is the Child?
Are there any current arrangements?
The opinions here are not that of Separated Dads, but merely a loving father who has been through the process and has come out the other side.
PR - yes. I'm on the birth certificate.
18 months.
I'll get him for this weekend and next.
You are highly unlikely to get custody of the child at 18 months - the Govt push for Breastfeeding to occur so the amount of time you would have would be limited.

Do you really have to push for full custody right now?
The opinions here are not that of Separated Dads, but merely a loving father who has been through the process and has come out the other side.
The ex can't breast feed due to her meds. I fed him through the night since he was born. I'd still see to him through every night (bad sleeper) and get up with him every day. I've changed every nappy, got him dressed and undressed, cooked the meals. The ex can probably do this now but she'll find it a struggle. She's with family now though.

Glad you say do I have to push for custody now. I've been thinking of seeing how it goes and trying to keep an eye on it. I'm getting gnawed at by my relatives - "you've done all this and then she takes him off you" - it heightens my worries about his safety and is making me feel guilty as if I'm not putting him first. I'd dearly love him to be with me but would also dearly love my family back and that ain't gonna happen.
What I would suggest in perhaps every other weekend Fri- sun and 1 or 2 overnights mid week on alternate weeks and see how it goes?
...and so it begins. First weekend I'm supposed to have him and he's too unsettled for me to go and get him. Cancelled.

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