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Can I get shared custody
#1
Hi, this is my first post. My wife told me 4 weeks ago that she no longer wants to be together, she's a stay at home mum to our two girls aged 2 and 5. she has told me that she will allow me to have the girls every other weekend Friday night pick up to Sunday evening drop off. I want to have shared custody 50/50 if possible. I work full time but my mum is retired and has looked after the girls lots over the years. Will a court look favourable on me or will they support my wife's wishes? Any one on here with similar experience i would love to hear from you. Thanks
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#2
I would accept what your ex is offering with perhaps a day during week weekly maybe having girls after school if that's possible. That just leaves you to organise contact during school holidays, birthdays, Christmas and special occasions.

It doesn't look at this stage you even will need to go to court if she is offering you contact. If there was any major issues you could arrange mediation between yourselves
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#3
(06-27-2018, 11:13 AM)warwickshire1 Wrote: I would accept what your ex is offering with perhaps a day during week weekly maybe having girls after school if that's possible.  That just leaves you to organise contact during school holidays, birthdays, Christmas and special occasions.

It doesn't look at this stage you even will need to go to court if she is offering you contact. If there was any major issues you could arrange mediation between yourselves
Thanks for the reply. yes I'm hoping it won't go to court and if i can get one day per week plus every other weekend then that won't be too bad as it will bee 4 nights in 14. Ideally I would like 50/50 but I know that is unrealistic as the law favours the mother in most cases....
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#4
Have you discussed the option of 50/50 with her? The point Warwickshire is making is, the standard a court would order would be every other week-end, a midweek night and half the school holidays. Has she mentioned school holidays? Are you still living there? General advice is don't move out until you have child arrangements agreed, ideally in writing.

Personally I don't think it is unrealistic to expect or ask for 50/50. The children have two parents. Providing you can actually make that work. Having your Mum to help out now and then is a good thing - but not if you were basically just leaving them with your Mum all the time. A 50/50 schedule could work on a 2-2-5-5 basis. eg one week they spend two consecutive midweek nights with you, the second week they spend the same two midweek nights with you either side of the week-end with you (hence the 5 consecutive nights). So it could be

Over a fortnight: Monday Tuesday with you, Wed Thurs with her, Fri Sat, Sun Mon Tues with you, Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun with her, then back to the beginning again.

You need to think it through. Could you collect them from and take them to school two nights a week? Presumably you have week-ends off? Are you prepared to do the full on parenting and care with washing, cooking etc? Where would you be living after you separate (with your Mum or renting and could you afford a place with 2 bedrooms?). 50/50 is "shared care".

It comes down to - if you are happy with her being the main carer and having them 4 nights a fortnight and half the holidays. If you are then i would suggest to her that only seeing your children for two nights a fortnight is too long and you think you and they would find that hard, and you would like to see them every 3 or 4 days and them feel they have a home with both parents.

These things are difficult to discuss when you're both still living together as no-one can imagine the change - it's easy to say when you're there but different once you no longer see them every day.

I am not keen on the expression "she willl allow me to have them". She is not the only parent. And whatever she says now, she may change her mind and be difficult once you've moved out. Just warning.

Clearly she just wants you to go and her have the children live with her, and just see you every other week-end. Would you be happy with that? Maybe try suggesting a midweek night on alternate Mondays and Thursdays - that is what I have and it means I only go 3 to 4 days without seeing son. If she says you won't be available to collect them from school you can say your Mother can collect them from school until you get home from work.

Another thought is - do you know why she no longer wants you to be together? Is this out of the blue. If she is seeing someone else then you don't want a situation where she is thinking of just carrying on a normal family life with someone else and effectively replacing the Dad.

I think if you want 50/50 then go for it. But it needs some careful stage planning at the moment. If you're still together and she won't agree to that then you could suggest mediation. Just say to her that you would both like to see your children every day and that won't be possible if you separate so 50/50 would be the way forwards. She is underestimating their bond with you.

I think the difficulty is whatever you agree is informal and she can just change her mind. If she says absolutely no way to 50/50 then you can negotiate back down to 5 nights a fortnight (ie every other week-end through to Monday morning school drop off and a midweek night). If the discussion doesn't go well then suggest you both go to mediation to try and get an agreement drawn up that works for both of you. I would at least try and get something in writing.

Your chances of 50/50 in a court may depend on what kind of care involvement you've had with the children so far. Do you take them to activites at week-ends or do the barbecue cooking in the summer or do things specifically on your own with the kids at any time? Or is it more he organises and does everything?

Presumably this is all a bit of a shock. People don't usually separate unless a) someone is seeing someone else b) it has become intolerable at home. If this has come as a surprise then be careful. Don't move out yet.

What it may come to is - agreeing to every other week-end and a midweek night, putting that into a written agreement and then moving out. And seeing how it goes. If she doesn't keep to it then go to mediation and then court and apply for 50/50.
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#5
Hi Charlie, thanks for the feedback really appreciate the time you have taken. Not 100% sure there’s no one else but I’ve found no evidence to suggest there is either. She has told me she’s been unhappy for the past two years!!!! Anyway, I’m very involved with the girls and I do spend time with them although most of the activities are in the week when I’m at work and weekends are usually spent as a family and so tasks are shared. I do want them half the time and my mum is able to live with me on the days the kids are at school and I’m at work so she can do the school run, I can also work from home a couple of days per week so it can be flexible. I’ll be getting my own 4 bed house so the girls will have a room each and one for my Mum when she stays so I don’t see any issues with my schedule getting in the way but my wife will 100% try to block it. I’d realistically be happy with 5 days out of 14 where I don’t go more than 3 days without having them over. I’m booked to see a solicitor tomorrow to go over finances as well as the girls. Thanks again for your reply, it really means a lot when someone takes the time and is supportive as I’m not getting too much of that at the moment ??
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#6
It's hot weather and day time and the forum can be a bit quiet at certain times - many other posters have similar issues going on and have ups and downs.

Everything you have said above sounds like a reasonable basis for wanting shared care - if not 50/50 then 60/40. It might be an idea to go for a first mediation session (your solicitor will tell you) and get her invited and try and get something pinned down in writing before you agree to move out. Your children have a right to a life and a home with both parents - not just to be looked after by one parent. I would start keeping a diary. Brief notes. Do it in a notebook or set up a separate email account and write it as emails to yourself. Just in case you suddenly get locked out or somethng. eg

1st June - Wife told me she wished us to separate
20th June - Wife says she will allow me to see the children every other week-end
26th June - Asked wife to agree to 50/50 shared care - wife said no - we have said we will discuss further
30th June - Attended a MIAM

and so on. It may help later when she denies what's been said or happened
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#7
Well tonight’s instalment is that she will only allow me to have the children stay one sat night every other week and then have them mid week for a few hours after school then back to hers. I said I wasn’t happy with that arrangement and she said it’s best for the children and the law also sees it that way. I said I’d have to contest it and she said well I’ll see you in court love!! I have all of the conversation recorded on my phone as I need people to hear how calm I’m being and how vindictive she comes across... any advice or views would be appreciated
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#8
Those kind of conversations are bound to happen in these situations. Recordings can't be used in court though. I would try not to get into an argument but just try and say - maybe we should think about it another day - and then suggest it might be an idea to go to mediation and see if you can reach a compromise as it's better if you can agree things between you. ie softly softly - you don't want to get locked out!
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#9
Thanks again. I’m seeing a solicitor today to get some firm advice and find out what they think I should reasonably expect both financially and the kids. I just can’t believe that any fair system would have it that I only have the kids one night every two weeks!!! 26 nights per year!!!! It equates to 7% of the time...it’s ludicrous
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#10
You don't need a solicitor. you can save money and ask for help on here. especially the 1st few stages you can do yourself.

I would go and see a mediator and arrange mediation to see if an agreement can be compromised there. If not then you can take her to court.
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