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Advice needed
I was quoted similar when looking down the consent order avenue (which, I don't think I'm going to need anymore).

I did come across this when I was horrified at the cost -

I'm not necessarily saying go with that but there does seem to be cheaper (& apparently quicker) options out there.
Dandad: as of curiosity may I ask why you won't need consent order in you case?

Thanks for the link: but they do only relating to finances.
Don't withdraw the application until the consent order is sealed by the courts. She may say one thing and then change her mind at the last minute. Don't withdraw the application. You do need a solicitor each to draw up the consent order, but it should just be standard time charges - or ask for a fixed fee then you know it won't go over that. You could draft the order yourself which would save some solicitor time. Once it gets down to the nitty gritty of order wording, your ex may start refusing all kinds of things. I can help you draft any order if you want - I'm not a solicitor but drafted my own - then my solicitor just tweaked it into legalese in the odd place.
We managed to come to an agreement between us (a financial one, fortunately our child arrangements have never been in dispute), possibly why I didn't spot that the link I posted doesn't deal with child arrangements. Might be worth a bit of a "Google" though as there may well be others that do at a fraction of the cost.

I'm putting a lot of trust in her though, if she starts making any noises about moving the goalposts on our agreement then I will have a consent order drawn up before I move another inch.
Put it like this - my ex said she wanted to do a consent order - but wanted me to withdraw my application. I didn't so she made more allegations. Ended up being by consent at court pre-hearing on the day of final hearing, with compromises on both sides.
Charlie: Hi, thanks. Wont withdraw application. Consent order should be based on arrangements that you have helped me with. Will check with my stbx if she has not changed her mind, will review once again with her and I thinking to contact solicitor to do a draft. (Fixed fee £600+vat) .Hoping she won't play any games.
Much appreciated for your time and help. What info you would need to help me with an draft?
If we both parties attend first hearing unrepresented, and confirm that we are in agreement on shared childcare will judge make an order on a day or will he tell as off as we have waisted courts time? Who will do an agreement? Will we be referred to solicitors and same fees will be involved?
I've probably already given it :-)

If it's agreed in writing, between Solicitors, and a draft order is ready, approved by both sides - then at first hearing you can go along and get it sealed on the day. They will just be relieved you've come to agreement. If it isn't written up and approved before the day you can guarantee she will not bewishing to stick to the agreement.And Solicitors can then thrash out agreement on the day either for a consent order, or an interim order pending final hearing (if agreement fails). So you need a bottom line for negotiations - ie the one thing you won't compromise on. For me it was "lives with both parents" shared care. I compromised on the amount of time midweek. For you I would stick to 50/50 shared care lives with both parents - and be prepared to be flexible over her wishes for specific holiday weeks etc. But try and have them defined carefully, including when school holidays start and finish (ie school holiday weeks commence at school finish time on the last day of term and end on the morning of return to school) so it's clear how many nights/days there are in each holiday period. But add - except for the Summer holidays when the start day for the holiday weeks will be the first Monday after term ends at 9am (or whatever your Solicitor advises is a good start day). That way there is no argument about when the changeoevers are or the holidays start. The last week-end of summer term is part of the normal schedule and gets rid of the few extra days over the 6 weeks without argument. Although sometimes there is a day or two extra after week 6 but I just let her have those.

So having an idea for the draft order of which holiday weeks you want would be good - then be prepared to accept different weeks if she wants the same ones, as long as there are defined weeks, and the opportunity to swap week s at some point if you both agree (ie a line in the order that says "Such further and other times as agreed between the parties in writing". I would suggest a full half term each and a split half term specifying keeping to regular week-ends on the split half term. If you want May put that, if you want October, put that (those are the two best weeks for holidays possible although some people like to go abroad in February but generally I find it a grim week in the Uk and we have that as the split one).

For Easter I have "the first or last half of the Easter holidays". Had it worded like that because Easter is always longer than two weeks, so it means you get a full half of the holidays. You could add to that "with Easter Bank holiday week-end on alternate years" so that would dictate which half you have each year. I just let her have first say on which half as not bothered about the bank holiday and it makes her feel she is winning something lol.

Summer holidays - a two week and one week block each. So you could have weeks 1,2 and 5 or 3,4 and 6. Bear in mind that holidays tend to be cheaper in weeks 1 and 6. I have May half term, so she has the first two weeks of summer.

There may be sticking points - ie she may refuse to share Christmas on alternate years or something. So you might get so far and get stuck. Hopefully Solicitors will get it drawn up and agreed.
While I am waiting for draft consent order from solicitor, stbx approached asking to add a line ' child arrangements will be in place once house is sold'. Originally it should be in place once any of us moved out of property. I dont agree with wording 'once house will be sold'. She won't sign anything until house is sold and I need to get it sealed before court. Will it make any difference to judges?

It looks like her solicitors not covering finances as she has thought. And absolute won't be granted until finances not resolved. Initially have agreed on 40/60 split (+house deposit ). I want to get at least 50% cost of home improvement (4k) what I have paid for. But she does not agree stating it was my idea, but surely it has increased value of the house.
Any advice? Should I stick to 50% cost, or drop it.
If we both agree, how to put it in consent order? Financial agreement to be drafted by solicitors, and approved by court?

Thank you,
Is your application still in? I'd be prepared for this consent order not coming off. You can't really agree to a line saying child arrangements will start when the house is sold. Because - she might move out, take the kids and then delay the house being sold herself. Not saying she would but that is a scenario.

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