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Question about contact to ask for? Confused
#1
I have seen a few posts about 50/50 shared care, this is ideally what i would eventually like as i believe its in the best interests of our daughter to spend equal time with both sides of her family. 

Anyway i obviously work full time although i do get home early most days, usually 1-2 oclock but it has been known to be even earlier. But i could also work a normal working day. The ex works part time, 2 days a week, Monday and Tuesday, i have no idea why she chose to do them days as she used too work Monday and Friday. Anyway that doesnt really matter, she drops our daughter at nursery on them days although im not sure times or how long for yet as im kept out of the loop.  Im just a little confused with all this contact stuff. 

I understand that contact is based on my availability? So If i was at work when i had my daughter and my mom looked after her or she went to nursery for a few hours, as it is my time am i right in thinking that it is upto me where she goes?  After all thats just what any normal working parent/family do when and if needed right? And its exactly what she does at the minute. But im guessing they would conclude that im not available so wouldnt award contact during that time? 

From my understanding though if the ex is available to have our daughter because she is not at work then she would presumably get that time back? I wouldnt be adverse to agreeing to let her do this as long as i got her back after work for the night but we all know it wont end there and it will only work from her point of view, if it was the other way around we all know she wouldnt agree to it. And it also wouldnt be the best thing for our daughter to keep changing around constantly.  But in theory would that work the other way around if i was available when she has to take her to nursery etc? Although i think nursery is a good thing for my daughter. 


My daughter is still only 1 so it wont happen for a while yet anyway but im just confused as what to ask for when we go back to court. I know the courts want us to co-parent and sort things ourselves later but i really need the court to understand that she will not do this and a defined order will need to be sorted now because she flatly refuses to co parent and there will be no negotiation about future arrangements i can be pretty sure. She will take the stance of whatever the court order says now will be it and ill end up back in court to vary or define things later.

So if i ask to work towards 50/50 care, 1 week/1 week or 2-2-3 alternate weekends would the court say i couldnt have it because im at work and the mother is not and available to have her? Im guessing they would ask the mother if she agrees with it as they always do and she probably wont as she will be able to care for our daughter. Once she reaches school age would that change as i could arrange pick up and drop off at school and i would be home to have and spend half the quality time with her. I can arrange time off work for half holidays etc and dont work weekends so thats not a problem. 

This child benefit confuses me too. If i was to get 50/50 then id pay her no maintenance right? Im guessing a lot of people want 50/50 so thats exactly what they wont have to do but even though i would love not to hand over money to her that is not my priority. Would she still get child benefits in that case? A lot of things seem to be decided by who gets what and can make decisions based on getting them benefits? I know the CMS calculations are based on nights but if she did care for our daughter during the day and i have her back at night then i assume she could use that to claim she actually cares more and has more than 50/50 based on time in care and not nights?  

It seems that im unlikely to get 50/50 shared care until she at least starts school as there is no need for full time nursery as the mother only works part time as i said. She chooses to work part time (16 hours) because she is better off doing that because of the benefits she gets and would be worse off going to work full time.  Which is understandable to be honest, although i dont think its right. I probably wont get overnights until she is 2 either. This is another reason she will resist change because she will get less money from me as things change and she will obviously resist it and not agree. 

Sorry this is probably just rabble, im just confused as hell and need to ask for an increased contact schedule in a statement for the next hearing. I really dont know what i should ask for, for the best. If i ask for 50/50 shared care based on nights but im at work the next day, how is that going to work? If only they could be reasonable, all this stuff could be sorted amicably.
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#2
(01-30-2018, 10:59 PM)Charlielovesyou Wrote: I have seen a few posts about 50/50 shared care, this is ideally what i would eventually like as i believe its in the best interests of our daughter to spend equal time with both sides of her family. 

Anyway i obviously work full time although i do get home early most days, usually 1-2 oclock but it has been known to be even earlier. But i could also work a normal working day. The ex works part time, 2 days a week, Monday and Tuesday, i have no idea why she chose to do them days as she used too work Monday and Friday. Anyway that doesnt really matter, she drops our daughter at nursery on them days although im not sure times or how long for yet as im kept out of the loop.  Im just a little confused with all this contact stuff. 

I understand that contact is based on my availability? So If i was at work when i had my daughter and my mom looked after her or she went to nursery for a few hours, as it is my time am i right in thinking that it is upto me where she goes?  After all thats just what any normal working parent/family do when and if needed right? And its exactly what she does at the minute. But im guessing they would conclude that im not available so wouldnt award contact during that time? 

From my understanding though if the ex is available to have our daughter because she is not at work then she would presumably get that time back? I wouldnt be adverse to agreeing to let her do this as long as i got her back after work for the night but we all know it wont end there and it will only work from her point of view, if it was the other way around we all know she wouldnt agree to it. And it also wouldnt be the best thing for our daughter to keep changing around constantly.  But in theory would that work the other way around if i was available when she has to take her to nursery etc? Although i think nursery is a good thing for my daughter. 


My daughter is still only 1 so it wont happen for a while yet anyway but im just confused as what to ask for when we go back to court. I know the courts want us to co-parent and sort things ourselves later but i really need the court to understand that she will not do this and a defined order will need to be sorted now because she flatly refuses to co parent and there will be no negotiation about future arrangements i can be pretty sure. She will take the stance of whatever the court order says now will be it and ill end up back in court to vary or define things later.

So if i ask to work towards 50/50 care, 1 week/1 week or 2-2-3 alternate weekends would the court say i couldnt have it because im at work and the mother is not and available to have her? Im guessing they would ask the mother if she agrees with it as they always do and she probably wont as she will be able to care for our daughter. Once she reaches school age would that change as i could arrange pick up and drop off at school and i would be home to have and spend half the quality time with her. I can arrange time off work for half holidays etc and dont work weekends so thats not a problem. 

This child benefit confuses me too. If i was to get 50/50 then id pay her no maintenance right? Im guessing a lot of people want 50/50 so thats exactly what they wont have to do but even though i would love not to hand over money to her that is not my priority. Would she still get child benefits in that case? A lot of things seem to be decided by who gets what and can make decisions based on getting them benefits? I know the CMS calculations are based on nights but if she did care for our daughter during the day and i have her back at night then i assume she could use that to claim she actually cares more and has more than 50/50 based on time in care and not nights?  

It seems that im unlikely to get 50/50 shared care until she at least starts school as there is no need for full time nursery as the mother only works part time as i said. She chooses to work part time (16 hours) because she is better off doing that because of the benefits she gets and would be worse off going to work full time.  Which is understandable to be honest, although i dont think its right. I probably wont get overnights until she is 2 either. This is another reason she will resist change because she will get less money from me as things change and she will obviously resist it and not agree. 

Sorry this is probably just rabble, im just confused as hell and need to ask for an increased contact schedule in a statement for the next hearing. I really dont know what i should ask for, for the best. If i ask for 50/50 shared care based on nights but im at work the next day, how is that going to work? If only they could be reasonable, all this stuff could be sorted amicably.

It is not going to work, as only where Child Benefit is paid, can you get aproved Childcare paid via Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit.

Also, until the child is 2, you will not get more than 4-6 hours, over 1 or 2 days, unless its by agreement.

How it works, is if either parent is using childcare in their time when the other is avalaible, the court would give them that time.

Contact, what is what you will be having if your ex gets the Child Benefit, is based on your avaliablity.

In your case, you will get half the Quality Time, if you ask for it, what is along the lines of every other weekend, and half school holidays.

Shared care might not be workable, as even without considering the other things like distance etc, your not avaliable for it.

At best from 2, you might get mid week contact as well, for example collect the child, play, dinner and back to your ex, unless you can drop the child to school when old enough.
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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#3
It sounds like you need to do things in stages and think about 50/50 when your daughter is at school/older. Sounds complicated with the nursery and benefits.

Not sure what Mark things but how about 70/30 ish shared care at this stage? ie child "lives with both parents" - with you 2.5 nights a week - eg pick up from nursery one night and overnight (on a day ex is working eg - a tues or wed?) then sat night till 4pm Sun one week-end and Fri night till 4pm Sat the next week-end (eg half a week-end every week).

You might get less but it shows you are working around ex being available to do care midweek and also "give her a break" while ensuring regular time for daughter.

Mark is the expert on the legal side and courts, but I'd be tempted to ask for that. What are things like with the ex? If she has parents and family she won't see it as a break as she can leave daughter elsewhere, but there's no reason why it shouldn't be with her Dad. Is she speaking to you at all or is she averse to any contact?
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#4
Ok thanks for the advice . Charlie7000 my ex wont speak to me at all and was saying she would not allow contact. She thinks i dont have or gives me a say in anything and wont even disclose nursery or doctors details to me. She has only agreed to let me have contact in a contact centre because she was told by the courts. The likelihood of her agreeing to anything is zero, she would never admit it but it will be mainly because of money she would lose. This is the reason we are in court because she will not allow me contact. Before court it was on her terms, if, when and where and only when and if it suited her. If she was busy then it wasnt her fault or problem, she uses her other daughter as an excuse as to why i cant have contact a lot. She is still claiming im aggressive, abusive and have anger issues in court.

She doesnt care if im trying to help her out or give her a break. She used to refuse any help off anyone and wouldnt let me have my daughter without her being there but then wants to play the struggling single mom game with anyone that will listen.

Anyway in my last statement i gave them a increasing contact schedule where as i saw her for a couple of hours on 2 week nights and for 3-4 hours on saturday or sunday. In a few months i suggested we continue with this but i have my daughter for a whole day at the weekend. Once she is 2 we then move forward towards shared quality time and she stays 1 night a week, either friday/sat/sun. And then onto sharing quality time a couple of months after that, so i get half of everything. I have said i am willing to negotiate and work with the mother to arrange days and times but she simply will not do it unless it is on her terms, and is the making the decisions and i just agree to them.

I understand the part that if im at work then im not available for contact but what is stopping me having her for the nights in the week? Work will accommodate me in order to be able to pick up or drop off at nursery or where ever so that is workable for me. The fact that i work in the day should have no bearing on anything afterwards really. I am available every evening to have my daughter so again i can have her for a couple/few hours after work. I live 10 minutes away at most and my mom lives 2 minutes from her so distance is not a problem.

If our daughter starts nursery full time, although as i said this probably wont happen, but later when she starts school then there should be no reason why i cant have 50/50 care is there? I want to get as close as i can to that and i will be asking for it tbh. Im not going to ask for less because the legal and benefits system is lop sided towards the mother.

This system is so messed up its driving me insane!
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#5
Sounds like you've asked for a reasonable progress in your statement.
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