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Shared Custody of Your Children

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 10 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Contact Residency Visitation Custody

There are numerous questions surrounding shared custody. What is it? How does it work? And how is it different to contact (as visitation is called these days)?

In many instances, residence (custody) is granted to the mother, and you, as the father have your contact rights set out. With shared custody, your children split their time between their mother and you. The amount varies – it can be as much as 70% with the mother, for instance – but it means you have much greater contact with them. It presumes, of course, that both the mother and father are fit parents.

UK Lagging Behind

It’s an idea that has widespread popularity in Europe, and in the U.S. it’s becoming more common, although the UK has lagged behind in adopting it.

Shared custody demands a high level of commitment from both parents. If you’re going to have your children for three days a week, then during that time you have you need to make sure your schedule revolves around them.

The Advantages of Shared Custody

Shared custody, shared residency or shared parenting as it's also known, can offer several distinct advantages, both for parents and children. For separated fathers, it means they can be far more involved with their children, seeing them on a regular, extended basis every week. Moreover, it also means that neither parent is carrying the entire burden of parenting while the other is considered absent.

With standard Contact Orders, one parent has the majority of responsibility for the day-to-day routine, while the other – usually the separated father – sees the children at the weekend or selected weekdays.

Shared custody means your Children Have Two Homes, two stable bases where they can feel secure. Above all, it means they continue to have a real family life with both parents, which makes them feel more loved.

Research has determined that when children have experience of shared custody they have better relationships with both parents and are more satisfied with their lives. It’s also shown that even when there’s strong animosity between the parents, shared custody works well for the children.

The Disadvantages of Shared Custody

For shared custody to work, you have to live fairly close to you ex, for your children to continue to attend the same schools, see their friends, and so on. This can create social problems for the parents, since proximity means an increased chance of contact with your Ex Partner.

Also, if your job or circumstances change and you have to move elsewhere, then the change from shared custody to contact can create emotional problems for your children (the same can apply if your ex has to move for any reason). In other words, by its nature there has to be a certain amount of flexibility in the plan.

Shared Custody in the UK

At present, shared custody/residency is not the norm in Britain, although several organisations are trying to increase its visibility and prominence. The Shared Parenting Information Net and the Equal Parenting Council are both working to make it a very acceptable option here.

Just because it's not necessarily the norm, does not mean you can’t bring up the idea in Mediation or through your solicitor as a viable means of custody. In most instances, children are also given a say in where they spend their time, and where they have excellent relationships with both parents, it means they’re not in a position where they have to “choose” between Mum and Dad.

What Next?

Why not have a read through our article on Making Joint Decisions About Your Child's Future for some advice and guidance on how you and your ex partner can make parenting decisions together.

Separated Dads Chat Room & Forum

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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[Add a Comment]
Rosso - Your Question:
Hi how would I go about getting something in black and white on my rights as father ?Also how do I go about taking my ex parnter to court For weekends For joint custody CostsAnd just general information please.

Our Response:
You will find all the information you will need across the Separated Dads pages. If you want to come to a set agreement with your ex over childcare, then mediation is your first port of call, please see link here. Only if your ex refuses mediation will you be allowed to apply to court. Costs vary dependent upon the complexity of the case and if you can't afford legal fees, self litigation is an option, please see link here. You may also be able to get a reduction in court fees if you are on a low, or have no income, please see link here. I hope this helps answer your questions.
SeparatedDads - 12-Jun-17 @ 2:15 PM
Rosso - Your Question:
Hi I recently changed my job. I now work 6 days and 3 off rotating.Since I changed my ex parnter is give me nothing but greaf. I ask her before I made rhe change and she agreed it would be better for me.Now ive done it she is saying she os going to deny me access to see our boys ,if.i don't pick set days. The question I have is can my ex do this ?

Our Response:
It sounds like this is an issue best solved via mediation, please see link: Mediation: What is it and is it For Me? here. Parenting works both ways and you need to try to come to a compromise on what is best for your kids. If your new working rota is messing with routine and the day-to-day childcare structure, then you can possibly understand her frustration, especially if she may personally be having to re-arrange her own working days to suit your new rota.
SeparatedDads - 12-Jun-17 @ 2:04 PM
Hi how would I go about getting something in black and white on my rights as father ? Also how do I go about taking my ex parnter to court For weekends For joint custody Costs And just general information please.
Rosso - 10-Jun-17 @ 9:44 AM
Hi I recently changed my job . I now work 6 days and 3 off rotating .Since I changed my ex parnter is give me nothing but greaf. I ask her before i made rhe change and she agreed it would be better for me .Now ive done it she is saying she os going to denyme access to see ourboys ,if.i don't pick set days. The question I have is can my ex do this ?
Rosso - 10-Jun-17 @ 9:35 AM
I split with my ex 8 years ago we have 50/50 custody my problem is my housing will not regime me into a 3 bedroom house I have a 3 yr old daughter who lives with me permently but my son is 13 I'm in a 2 bedroom upstairs flat my son has the 1 bedroom and my daughter is in with me still they say I don't need a 3 bedroom house because my son is a split custody child I just don't get it has anyone any advice please
em - 6-Jun-17 @ 5:59 PM
I have equal 50/50 custody of my youngest daughter who's 16-years-old. Under the old CSA rules I wasn't legally obligated to pay any maintenance - at least according to the calculator they had on their website. Out of sheer good will, I offered to pay my ex £300 per month for the two weeks per month that she had custody of my daughter. Now she's 16 and leaving school I decided that the payments should stop altogether as my ex had benefitted significantly in financial terms from the split and it was time to stand on her own two feet. Now, under the new CMS rules (my ex got straight in touch with them), I've been told that I have to pay £2,649.90 a year until she's 18. It's less than I was paying but I'm struggling to understand how the CMS can justify changing the rules from a situation where legally there was no requirement to pay maintenance to one where I now have to pay more than two and a half grand. For the two weeks per month that I look after my daughter I'm the main point of contact at all times and my ex has nothing to do with her care. I'm now left feeling rather bitter and frustrated that the system seems to have given me a kicking like this.
Aguerooooo - 4-Jun-17 @ 6:48 PM
Hannah - Your Question:
My partner has four children, three of which live with us under a child arrangement order and the eledist lives with her grandmother, again under a child arrangement order. Nothing was ever said in court about how many nights the eledist is able to stay at her mothers but we have noticed she is there more and more which is not what was agreed as the mothers partner poses a risk and has to be supervised when around the eledist at all times. Does anyone know how many nights a child is allowed to stay with their parent without it being classed as them moving back. Thank you

Our Response:
There is no specific laws here. If your partner feels the arrangement is unhealthy, he can prevent his daughter staying with her mother so often whilst his daughter is under 18.
SeparatedDads - 1-Jun-17 @ 12:06 PM
My partner has four children, three of which live with us under a child arrangement order and the eledist lives with her grandmother, again under a child arrangement order. Nothing was ever said in court about how many nights the eledist is able to stay at her mothers but we have noticed she is there more and more which is not what was agreed as the mothers partner poses a risk and has to be supervised when around the eledist at all times. Does anyone know how many nights a child is allowed to stay with their parent without it being classed as them moving back. Thank you
Hannah - 31-May-17 @ 7:06 PM
jooles - Your Question:
HI, I split with my ex 4 years ago.my 2 kids live with him, due to me working shift patterns, it's not feasible for them to live with me full time.Anyway, I currently have them every other weekend and during the holidays. My days off aren't set, so it's been hard work trying to get the weekends off, swapping jobs and using lieu days, whereas he works monday - friday, 9-5!! But now, my shift pattern has changed as I've changed jobs. Ive shown him a copy of my new shift pattern which is a 9 week rolling pattern. My ex is now saying that it's not acceptable and won't budge from the alternate weekends, even tho my new shift pattern means I can see my kids more, albeit during the week. There are some occasions where my days off fall over the weekend, but there are also some that are during the week.Is he being unreasonable?Where do I stand with this? Can anyone offer some words of wisdom please as I'm struggling with this. Thanks in advance.Sorry I've just realised that this is separated dad's forum.whereas I'm a separated mum, although I hope this doesn't make a difference.

Our Response:
It doesn't make a difference that you are on Separated Dads, a separated parent is a separated parent and we are happy to give guidance to all. If your ex will not agree to the changes you have put forward, then you would (in the first instance) have to suggest mediation in order to try to resolve the issue via a third party, please see link here. If your ex refuses to attend mediation, then you will have the option to apply to court. The court will always decide upon what it thinks is in your children's best interests - but once a court order is in place, neither you or your ex will be able to change it (unless via mutual agreement or unless you refer it back to the courts). A court will take your work pattern into consideration and try to work around this where possible. This is why a out-of-court agreement is a much better and less costlier one than court. Alternatively, you could ask a solicitor to write your ex a letter outlining this and hope that your ex takes heed.
SeparatedDads - 30-May-17 @ 2:36 PM
HI, I split with my ex 4 years ago...my 2 kids live with him, due to me working shift patterns, it's not feasible for them to live with me full time. Anyway, I currently have them every other weekend and during the holidays.My days off aren't set, so it's been hard work trying to get the weekends off, swapping jobs and using lieu days, whereas he works monday - friday, 9-5!! But now, my shift pattern has changed as I've changed jobs. Ive shown him a copy of my new shift pattern which is a 9 week rolling pattern. My ex is now saying that it's not acceptable and won't budge from the alternate weekends, even tho my new shift pattern means I can see my kids more, albeit during the week. There are some occasions where my days off fall over the weekend, but there are also some that are during the week. Is he being unreasonable? Where do I stand with this? Can anyone offer some words of wisdom please as I'm struggling with this. Thanks in advance. Sorry I've just realised that this is separated dad's forum...whereas I'm a separated mum, although I hope this doesn't make a difference..
jooles - 28-May-17 @ 2:05 PM
Dave.dave.1981 - Your Question:
I am splitting from my partner. We are not married but have a 3 yo. I want to have custody of my son either shared times or at suitable weekends for her. I want to be able to take my son to visit my parents who live a few hours away without her interfering. What is the best way to have this as a right she cant refuse

Our Response:
Your best option is to try to reach a mutual agreement regarding when you should have access. If you cannot agree, mediation is the next option. Trying to develop an amicable and trusting relationship is always the best way around the situation, please see link here. While a court order may offer rigid times, it is a) at the discretion of the court what those times will be and b) an application to court is seen as the last resort after all other options have been attempted.
SeparatedDads - 25-May-17 @ 1:42 PM
rocky123 - Your Question:
Hi AllI split from my ex wife 3 years ago. I custody of one of my 4 children 1 of which has recently returned to my ex wife based on his wishes.As it stands she has agreed a court order after a 3 year battle. 142 nights to child maintenance service and now trying to backtrack to 87 nights to a private arrangement.I have my children 150 nights. My ex is claiming 8000 of benefits tax credit child benefit which is technically for my shared care how can I challenge it.It costs me 80 a month in fuel for contact I have asked for a variation to ensure this cost is reimburst but I need a court order to ensure tax credit and child benefit is equally shared. Does anyone what I need to do?

Our Response:
As a rule tax credits and child benefit is paid directly to the primary carer (even if you 'theoretically' have shared care benefits are paid to the person who receives child benefit). You may wish to ask other dads if they can contribute any advice via the Separated Dads forum. Otherwise, you would have to seek professional legal advice to see whether you have a case to answer.
SeparatedDads - 22-May-17 @ 1:41 PM
Hi All I split from my ex wife 3 years ago. I custody of one of my 4 children 1 of which has recently returned to my ex wife based on his wishes. As it stands she has agreed a court order after a 3 year battle. 142 nights to child maintenance service and now trying to backtrack to 87 nights to a private arrangement. I have my children 150 nights. My ex is claiming 8000 of benefits tax credit child benefit which is technically for my shared care how can I challenge it. It costs me 80 a month in fuel for contact I have asked for a variation to ensure this cost is reimburst but I need a court order to ensure tax credit and child benefit is equally shared. Does anyone what I need to do?
rocky123 - 21-May-17 @ 11:46 PM
I am splitting from my partner. We are not married but have a 3 yo. I want to have custody of my son either shared times or at suitable weekends for her. I want to be able to take my son to visit my parents who live a few hours away without her interfering. What is the best way to have this as a right she cant refuse
Dave.dave.1981 - 19-May-17 @ 7:07 PM
Hi I split from my children's mother 2 years ago and things have become a little strained recently with her refusing me contact with my 3 children, I don't have anywhere for the children to stay over night with me at the moment, if I appointed a solicitor could I sort out a divorce and apply for joint custody or would that get thrown out ? would the council help me out with a place to rent if I was awarded joint custody ? thanks in advance
Doddie - 16-May-17 @ 8:49 PM
My ex took our two early out of school 3 weeks ago.and just decided to say they are going to live with him.he even changed there schools.without me or social services knowing.we have no issues at present with them either.we managed to arrange a visit I have them now and .I wanna keep them till he gets a court order.which shouldn't be granted in his favour .as this is where there siblings live too and friends .
Worrier - 12-May-17 @ 11:23 PM
Scullster11 - Your Question:
I'm currently separated from my wife last 12months we have tried but to with no real progress, I'm currently living close by my ex and have unlimited access which is great, but here is my concern, I need more space away so I plan on having my son full time which is where the problems will start. My wife has been fighting addictions for the last 5 years tried various doctors. Therapy but the issue doesn't go away now nearly bankrupt part of me is worried for her but can't help her so will I get full custody and if so how do I apply. Also I will need to move as renting a room privately. any guidance would be great and thanks

Our Response:
I'm a touch confused regarding your question as you have unlimited access, but you need more space away. You want to help your ex, but at the same time you want to have your child full-time. I think the best option here is to suggest mediation to your ex with a view of both of you working out what is in your son's best interests. Besides, you will not be allowed to apply to court until you have attempted mediation, please see link here. Therefore, if you feel you should have your son full time, then you will need to discuss this with your ex. If your ex refuses to attend mediation, then you will be allowed to apply to court. However, even though your ex may have some addictions, it does not guarantee the court will take your son from her and hand him over to you to become the primary carer. The court has to view it as absolutely necessary in order to award this. If you want to explore this route, I suggest you seek some professional legal advice. As in all cases, your best option is to try to work with your ex, especially if you already have unlimited access, please see link here . Taking the matter to court is always seen as the last resort as it can be extremely stressful, so where you can, mutual negotiation is key.
SeparatedDads - 8-May-17 @ 10:17 AM
I'm currently separated from my wife last 12months we have tried but to with no real progress, I'm currently living close by my ex and have unlimited access which is great, but here is my concern, I need more space away so I plan on having my son full time which is where the problems will start. My wife has been fighting addictions for the last 5 years tried various doctors. Therapy but the issue doesn't go away now nearly bankrupt part of me is worried for her but can't help her so will I get full custody and if so how do I apply. Also I will need to move as renting a room privately.... any guidance would be great and thanks
Scullster11 - 7-May-17 @ 12:14 AM
Lizzi - Your Question:
Hello Myself and my ex split in February we have two children a 6 year old daughter (who is not biologically his but he has had her name changed by deedpoll) and a 3 year old son who is his. He was paying me £50 a week for both (which isn't much but I was fine with it) he stopped pating me for 3 weeks then I finally got the 150 and he has now decided to cut it from 50 to 30 a week between them. even after we had a talk and I disagreed with the idea.as I am now a single mother.who is classed as being homeless with 2 children I just dont have a clue what to do so I was just wondering if you had any advice you could offer x

Our Response:
Your only option would be to contact CMS. However, unless he officially adopted your other child, he may not be deemed financially responsible. You do not give reason either why he has stopped paying. For instance, if he has lost his job which will affect the amount he pays. Please see link here .
SeparatedDads - 4-May-17 @ 12:50 PM
Hello Myself and my ex split in February we have two children a 6 year old daughter (who is not biologically his but he has had her name changed by deedpoll) and a 3 year old son who is his. He was paying me £50 a week for both (which isn't much but I was fine with it) he stopped pating me for 3 weeks then I finally got the 150 and he has now decided to cut it from 50 to 30 a week between them... even after we had a talk and I disagreed with the idea.....as I am now a single mother....who is classed as being homeless with 2 children i just dont have a clue what to do so I was just wondering if you had any advice you could offer x
Lizzi - 3-May-17 @ 7:33 PM
Luke - Your Question:
Hi, my ex and me split up last year and since then I have seen my daughter sporadically throughout the week usually on a Thursday and Friday and never over night or at the weekend. I am on her birth certificate.My daughter is two in June and I've been asking to have her more and particularly over night. Before we split I was doing night feeding, nappy changing and bathing whenever I was home and I still do all these with her now. My ex will not allow overnight still.I went to a mediator but my ex dragged it out so long my mediator advised to try other means and I have contacted solicitors who have contacted ex with a draft proposal of contact arrangements which she has rejected.I work four days on four days off constantly over the entire year and have proposed having my daughter for three of my days off including the nights between. My ex solicitors keep saying that my daughter needs 'stability' which I fail to see my plan doesn't provide. My solicitor has come up with a one night in the week and every other weekend which is impossible for me and in my opinion is less stable.I do all pick ups and drop offs and I pay more than I am liable for as I wanted my daughter to go to nursery for her social well being.All signs point to me losing even more if I go to court. Is there any chance of being awarded shared custody or is it pointless to ask?

Our Response:
Court is the only options that is left to you if your ex will not compromise in any way. The fact you have regular contact will stand you in good stead in court. The fact your work is irregular might stop the court from opting for shared care, as your solicitor advises they prefer a regular pattern of access. But there is no reason why you shouldn't be awarded overnight stays. The court does want fathers to have a good solid relationship with their children and unless there is a good reason why they shouldn't, it's likely you will be granted overnight access.
SeparatedDads - 3-May-17 @ 12:53 PM
Hi, my ex and me split up last year and since then I have seen my daughter sporadically throughout the week usually on a Thursday and Friday and never over night or at the weekend. I am on her birth certificate. My daughter is two in June and I've been asking to have her more and particularly over night. Before we split I was doing night feeding, nappy changing and bathing whenever I was home and I still do all these with her now. My ex will not allow overnight still. I went to a mediator but my ex dragged it out so long my mediator advised to try other means and I have contacted solicitors who have contacted ex with a draft proposal of contact arrangements which she has rejected. I work four days on four days off constantly over the entire year and have proposed having my daughter for three of my days off including the nights between. My ex solicitors keep saying that my daughter needs 'stability' which I fail to see my plan doesn't provide. My solicitor has come up with a one night in the week and every other weekend which is impossible for me and in my opinion is less stable. I do all pick ups and drop offs and I pay more than I am liable for as I wanted my daughter to go to nursery for her social well being. All signs point to me losing even more if I go to court. Is there any chance of being awarded shared custody or is it pointless to ask?
Luke - 29-Apr-17 @ 10:55 AM
Dadoftheson - Your Question:
What do a I do if I have been separated from my ex partner for 2 months. I've tried to email to arrange visitational rights to keep a paper trace that I am trying to see my son. Only problem I have is I work on a flexible cOntract and my rota is a day to day thing. But the days I am normally off my ex partner says I can't see him because he's at pre school and she is busy. But if she was busy it would benefit her and she'd saved money as he's still under the age for her to get the free legal help for pre school.I don't know what to do as I don't really want to communicate with her anyway as it just leads to arguments and we can never come to an an agreement. I'm waiting upon a family law solicitor friend to come of holiday then a letter will be sent from the solicitor to her door. But I've been told by people to just walk away as she's playing games. Can someone give me advice?

Our Response:
Do you really wish to walk away from seeing your child? If you can't agree on visitation/access, then in the first instance you would have to apply to attend mediation in order to try to resolve your issues mutually, please see link: Mediation: What is it and is it For Me? here. If your ex refuses to attend mediation, then court would be the next option for you to consider. If there is no reason why you should not be granted access through the courts, then an arrangement will be set up that both you and your ex will have to keep to. The court will take your working pattern into consideration when implementing this.
SeparatedDads - 27-Apr-17 @ 2:05 PM
What do a I do if I have been separated from my ex partner for 2 months. I've tried to email to arrange visitational rights to keep a paper trace that I am trying to see my son. Only problem I have is I work on a flexible cOntract and my rota is a day to day thing. But the days I am normally off my ex partner says I can't see him because he's at pre school and she is busy. But if she was busy it would benefit her and she'd saved money as he's still under the age for her to get the free legal help for pre school. I don't know what to do as I don't really want to communicate with her anyway as it just leads to arguments and we can never come to an an agreement. I'm waiting upon a family law solicitor friend to come of holiday then a letter will be sent from the solicitor to her door. But I've been told by people to just walk away as she's playing games.Can someone give me advice?
Dadoftheson - 27-Apr-17 @ 1:56 AM
Hi there. My partner and I have been seperstes since turn of the year.I pay 200 per month for child maintenance.I get my boy three or four nights a week depending on her work schedule.I am living with my mum after the break up and it is.annoyinf that she earned 21k last year and me just a bit more.Yet I have total split access and she wants 200 per month This does.not seem fair. She has the house . Child maintenance and also my child maintenance.Surely to god if it's a split in parenting tight down the middle and she earns good money why should I have to prop her up.? I pay for food nappies everything when he is over here on top of the 200 I give. Her. So in fact it's probably close to 300 a month instead of 200. Surely this is wrong and against everything that split parenting should be about ???
Del - 26-Apr-17 @ 11:51 PM
Jbuk1976 I don't know what the issue is. He's the children's father and is perfectly entitled to see them 50/50. If he has parental responsibility, then there is nothing your partner can do to prevent him and the police will not get involved without a Child Arrangements Order. It is your opinion that the current arrangements give 'continuity', but from the sounds of it, not the father's. I am afraid that the refusal of your partner not to provide any flexibility is not responsible parenting and would be viewed dimly. Cafcass and the courts support flexibility under shared care arrangements. On the face of it, your partner is likely to be the route cause of an Application to the court by the father. It disgusts me when I hear stuff like this. She doesn't own the kids and didn't make them herself, so has no right to deny access under the thin veil of 'continuity '. Either be flexible and stop seeking CMS by way of frustrating access or get prepared for litigation. Unless there is safeguarding issues, courts or more willing to issue Shared Care Arrangements and where both parents can cover half the care, 50/50 is becoming more common. Between me and my ex, her unreasonableness has cost in excess of £30k in litigation, only to end up with the same shared care 50/50 split we had before. I suggest she puts aside her own CMS claims and lack of flexibility or get ready to go to court.
Doc - 26-Apr-17 @ 12:42 PM
Largerman - Your Question:
Since my ex wife ended our marriage in November 2015, I have shared the responsibility in raising our children for 3 nights per week + holidays etc since then.However I am having great difficulty getting the various departments to share the benefits for the children. Unfortunately my ex wife, her solicitor & the benefits agencies are of the opinion that it's fine for me to share almost equally the costs of raising our children, but all of the benefits related to the children should remain with my ex wife. I have been working 54 hours per week to keep my head above water. It's not sustainable & would like some help if you could offer some.

Our Response:
Unfortunately, this is a problem that the DWP cannot seem to be able to solve. Regardless of whether the parents share care of the children where benefits are concerned, HMRC has to decide on who the benefits should be awarded to. The only way this can be done is by allocating one parent to be named as the primary carer - defeating what is essentially the objective of a shared-care arrangement. You can more about this in detail via the Gingerbread link and full report here.
SeparatedDads - 24-Apr-17 @ 12:15 PM
Since my ex wife ended our marriage in November 2015, I have shared the responsibility in raising our children for 3 nights per week + holidays etc since then. However I am having great difficulty getting the various departments to share the benefits for the children.Unfortunately my ex wife, her solicitor & the benefits agencies are of the opinion that it's fine for me to share almost equally the costs of raising our children, but all of the benefits related to the children should remain with my ex wife. I have been working 54 hours per week to keep my head above water. It's not sustainable & would like some help if you could offer some.
Largerman - 23-Apr-17 @ 7:15 PM
midge - Your Question:
Hi, my fiancé and myself have recently split up leaving our 1 year old with her as the primary carer. However, she has a heavy involvement with social services due to mental health & issues with the police. 3 weeks after our breakup she has told me she "cannot cope" and leaves the house when our child cries, violent ex-partners turn up at the door, neglecting the child when he's crying. I've now had full custody of our child for the past 9 days and states she isn't "fit to take him back yet" She gets all of the benefits in her name, and I have a direct debit going into her bank account every week for child maintenance. I'm struggling financially, and have had to rely on family members to look after my child while I work. I'm living at my dad's house and they're happy for him to stay in the long term, however I don't know how what I should do next.I feel like she's taking advantage of me and using our child as a weapon, while she socializes with her new boyfriend & uses money that should go to our child on her social life.

Our Response:
Unless you are considered the primary carer, then you will not be able to claim benefits or stop paying child maintenance. Your only recourse is to ask your ex to reimburse the child maintenance you pay (as a temporary measure) as it is meant to be towards the day-to-day welfare of your child. If an agreement is reached about you becoming the primary carer, then your ex would have to cancel benefits and you would then be eligible to apply. If you wish to be considered the primary carer officially and long term and your ex disagrees, then your only recourse would be to take the matter to court and let the court decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your child. Please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 21-Apr-17 @ 11:01 AM
Hi, my fiancé and myself have recently split up leaving our 1 year old with her as the primary carer. However, she has a heavy involvement with social services due to mental health & issues with the police. 3 weeks after our breakup she has told me she "cannot cope" and leaves the house when our child cries, violent ex-partners turn up at the door, neglecting the child when he's crying. I've now had full custody of our child for the past 9 days and states she isn't "fit to take him back yet" She gets all of the benefits in her name, and I have a direct debit going into her bank account every week for child maintenance. I'm struggling financially, and have had to rely on family members to look after my child while I work. I'm living at my dad's house and they're happy for him to stay in the long term, however I don't know how what I should do next. I feel like she's taking advantage of me and using our child as a weapon, while she socializes with her new boyfriend & uses money that should go to our child on her social life.
midge - 20-Apr-17 @ 4:05 PM
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