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What Are My Chances of 50/50 Residence?

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 25 Jul 2021 |
 
Court Contact Shared Child Ex Family

Q.

I currently have my son 3 nights a week and this has been the arrangement that my ex told me I was allowed. I work a 4 on, 4 off shift system so my weeks are 8 days. Ideally, I want to share our son 50/50 but was told by her that I should think myself lucky as most dads don't have their children anywhere near as much. Is it right that I have no hope of 50/50 custody?

(PA, 20 April 2010)

A.

I can entirely sympathise with your predicament. This may not be what you want to hear, but you do have a lot more contact with your son than most separated dads. There is no legal minimum or maximum where Custody Is Shared, as each case depends on its particular facts. In all cases, however, the court will be primarily focused on the child’s best interests. You haven’t said whether you and your ex were married or not, so all I can advise you on is if you were to make a freestanding application to the Family Court to try to enforce your right to an extra half a day a week.

If You Go To Court

Of course, you will be able to judge your ex’s potential reaction to a family court case better than I can. What would she do if you told her you were taking her to court over the extra half day? This is a judgment call for you. At the moment, your custody is shared 43/57 – and while every moment with your son is extremely precious, would there be a possibility that your ex could make things a lot more difficult than they are now? I don’t know how old your son is, but what effect could his parents going to court have on him? Forgive me if I’m way off the mark here, but it seems to me as though you’re very angry that your ex has control of the situation – i.e. that she has dictated how much time you spend with your son, rather than it being a joint decision between two parents (and I can understand why you would feel this way).

The Court’s Decision

If you were to make an application to the family court, the judge or magistrate would look at what was best for your son. This doesn’t necessarily accord with what either you or your ex wants. The court would look at both you and your ex as equals, and decide what to do about custody based on the evidence put before it. Although it used to be quite rare, courts are increasingly prepared to grant shared custody. What they are looking for is whether you and your ex can get along for the benefit of your child, and, in terms of practicality, if you live close enough to one another and the distance to your child’s school.

Another option would be to look at Mediation, which would mean that the decision would remain you and your ex’s to make rather than at the discretion of a third party. If you went to court, there is always the chance that the court could direct that you had less of a share of the custody of your son, rather than more. I wish you the best of luck with whatever you decide.

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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I am currently going for 50/50 custody of my 6 year old son. I currently have him on a Friday from school - Monday drop off to school every other weekends, 50/50 holidays and alternate christmas and birthdays. Unfortunately my ex will not agree to anything which isn't on the court order. I wanted to take him to football practice on a Friday and she refuses as its not my weekend. I also don't see him for around 12 days at a time. Its just too long. I appreciate that I probably get more than others on here but I wanted to know if anyone has been in a similar situation and what the outcome was ? This is the second time in court as my ex just refuses anything I ask for... Take him to his swimming lessons in the week. The solicitor costs are now upwards of 5k so some guidance would be appreciated. I hope to hear back soon
MR GB - 25-Jul-21 @ 3:51 AM
I have two boys 13 and 12 the eldest one will be 14 in November. I currently have 5 nights she has 9 nights . The boys want equal time with both parents as you can imagine she’s refusing . I live 10 mins from their mother and 7 minutes from their school . She’s refused mediation and keeps going on that it’s all because I will not have to pay child maintenance, not realising I will be financially worse off . She’s refused to listen to both boys who have both stated to her face they want equal time . I’m just a normal dad who loves his time with his children I don’t drink don’t smoke don’t get drunk .. What are my chances at court and any advice during my hearing would be much appreciated. Thank you .
N/A - 2-Jun-21 @ 7:53 AM
Hi there. My ex wife left me 2 years ago for a woman..and I had to move out of our the family home which we don’t own..and had to pretty had to find accommodation etc as I have no family support here in the uk..now I’ve met someone who has been so supportive that she allows me have the kids every 2nd weekend..in a 1 bed flat..now the ex wants 50/50 custody but I can’t provide that what grounds do I stand as she trying to move them to America or that’s the only way she can save her relationship if we do 50/50 thanks Jason
Jd - 16-Apr-21 @ 2:18 PM
I have never lived with my ex, we broke up 2 years ago. I have a 10 year old with her. I spend most weekends with my kid. Will I be able to get 50/50 shared care?
DanR - 14-Apr-21 @ 6:46 PM
@nick.i can see your a bit sensitive .truth hurts Nick doesn't it ?.what would you do if we where in the same room ???
C laurie - 26-Feb-21 @ 10:53 PM
@chris are you a troll or just a cuckold? Your comment fills me with rage you're lucky we are not in the same room. You're an absolute disgrace to your children. Their father is a weak pathetic cuck. A true father and real man NEVER gives up on his children and No other man can nor will replace him. You're disgusting.
Nick - 26-Feb-21 @ 8:41 PM
Last post forever .i (highly doupt) this child is mine because i asked for a (DNA test )and I would have (payied for it )and we didn't even have to make (contact or see each other) all the mother had to do was take the child to the doctor give me the (doctor name) in text or emailthe doctor takes blood and hair and mouth swabs .painless process. The child is 16 now she might get( curious when a bit older )and she might want to know herself who her bio father is .there is a few options off bio father's especially with her mother .(f I would love to get that dna test done) .just to prove I wasn't the bio father that would shut all my famìly up .then I could say this is why I never fought for this child because (she is not mine) .then I make them apologise for calling me a bad father .
C laurie - 26-Dec-20 @ 7:16 PM
This is to Sam in my book you are worthless whore you have3 kids to 3 different father's. You (burn everybody )you are close to 50 years old so your looks are gone and your body gone that was the only thing you had now you got nothing .in reality your a used up 50 year old bar maid on minimum wage .
C laurie - 26-Dec-20 @ 4:29 PM
With the (childs age) its up to her to make the decision and come to me if she wants meet me .to then I am done .
C laurie - 25-Dec-20 @ 11:19 PM
The mother off this teenager has heaps off( text messages )off me threatening her but I been to( court for that years ago and was put on orders) . The child was 11 at the time so in (reality) that was my( last chance off ever seeing her again though the courts) .she is 16 now .(with having 11 years off zero contact and the childs age .I dont think I have much off a (case even if I went to court).so I won't be posting in blogs like this anymore .(I am done) .in my book I never a had a child .
C laurie - 25-Dec-20 @ 10:08 PM
@MANNY I Hiya I know it’s been a few months but my best advice is to keep all your messages this will be valuable evidence when going to court. ask for your children as much as possible and keep a log of how often you have your children as evidence for going to court keep all of your text conversations civil and only about the children/separation and don’t give in you don’t deserve to be a bit part player in your children’s lives . In going to court know everything about the children do something routinely special with them like walks where you can talk and spend actual quality time . Also waiting is the enemy the longer you leave it to get sorted the harder it will be to sort and prove your side of the argument . Good luck and I hope everything works out well for you .
GonZo - 24-Dec-20 @ 11:15 AM
Some of the responses to this thread are appalling if a mother wishes to continue a relationship with another person the rights and responsibilities of the actual father should not be diminished ignored or disrespected and I for one would be disappointed in myself for not fighting for my right to equal opportunity in regards to time with my children I’m currently going through a divorce where my ex is constantly dictating to me when where and how long I have my children there needs to be some consistency I have missed out on birthdays Christmases and holidays with them due to her controlling and conniving nature I understand if there are issues where people are unwell or unwilling but for all the good dads out there keep doing the right thing and fight to be in your children’s lives I will fight for my childrenas I am an equal parent under current U.K. law .
GonZo - 24-Dec-20 @ 11:06 AM
In the modern world where couples could be non gender specific the only justice is equality how can a court give or show any bias as each parents time, input and presence is as valuable as the other What if when a bias is shown by a court to the mother the father then identifies with being a mother which mother then gets the bias Hence equality is the only answer
Johnboy - 17-Dec-20 @ 8:23 PM
Hi I need some advise my kids have been having problems with there mum social services have been involved on many accassions well my kids Wish to leave there mum and live with me there 16 id love for this to happen but the place I. In wouldn't accommodate more people so would I get housedthrough council if this was to happen As I need a 3 bedroom house in London and to private rent would cost a ton of cash that I dont have
Soppy dad - 23-Nov-20 @ 12:48 AM
@cindy.i believe once you separate the bio father should never bother the mother about access to the child not even legally. Because the mother needs to move on with her new partner and he or she has to take on the parental role. Having a bio father wanting access disturbs all that .I have family members who went legally for his girls thats great for him .but for me I am not one off those men i believe wait to they are adults and then try and meet them .I believe in this and stand bye it .
Christopher - 18-Nov-20 @ 12:02 AM
My personal suggestion is: Once couple separated,the best way avoid suffering emotionally is to move on to new relationship and new kids better income job,love yourself and believe yourself you only live better by moving on.No point to fight for custody as it’s wasted of time and energy.everyone should think about how to foucus on better career,and live better life.past must let it go.The more money you earn means the more can support kids. Money is very important once kids start go school...etc
Cindy - 15-Nov-20 @ 4:12 AM
@amelia.i am first to admit I have mental health issues I think I had all my life .i really like fighting the feeling I get before it starts and during the fight and then after the fight .and I am no spring chicken and this has never left me .i have got better with age .i would king hit people for no reason when younger even women if they got in my face I have like switch and once on .i thought this was normal behaviour well my mates where same .know with the internet I learnt that maybe that behavior is not normal .so I try avoid situation places and people that I don't like .then there is no trouble .
Chriso - 14-Oct-20 @ 9:27 PM
@amelia. It's probably best to walk away for he's (mental health ) .i did the (same thing) I needed to put myself first .its the best thing to do in bad break ups where there is (tension or bad blood) .in situations like that and mine there is no ponit of going to court to get the every second weekend .because just won't work gods truth i would end up fighting with her (mother and partner) then be in handcuffs daughter be crying torn between to parents .(no good from that ).i am sorry I am not better men .its best to wait to they are adults .
Chriso - 14-Oct-20 @ 8:58 PM
Hi, my partner has a 14 month old daughter. His ex fell pregnant while having an affair. Refused for ages to do a dna test and threatened to put whoever she wanted on the birth certificate if he didn't comply with her ridiculous request, she has constantly breaks mediation and mico manages everything including him. He has recorded every vist he has ever had with his daughter and every encounter with his ex as she is always saying she doesn't do something when she has or is verbally abusive in front of the daughter. She is playing the breast feeding card as to why he can't spend more than 4-7 hours with his daughter. She took the baby 2.5 HR drive away from him to make it almost impossible to maintain work/life balance and travel all that way every weekend to see his daughter for a few hours, refuses to meet half way or drive anywhere to help with the extended travel from her taking his daughter away from him. He can buy human breast milk so he can respect the fact she only wants the daughter to have breast milk but she refused as an attempt to get longer period of time with his daughter. Basically if he just took her to court to get 1-2 nights custody every second week if it would be possible to achieve this given the situation. As his mental health is very bad because of the constant abuse and injust with no hope of it getting better. It's almost at the point where he doesn't know how much longer he can keep going before he walks away from his daughter because the mother is pure evil. Cheers
Amelia - 14-Oct-20 @ 2:29 AM
Hi, I stumbled upon this site accidentally and it's been a lifesaver sofar. My story; my wife and I have been married for 13years and have 2 girls; 7 and 3. Unfortunately and like many others in the country, I lost my job due to covid in May and whilst I was trying to deal with this, my wife told me just over a month ago that she wanted to split up which was even made harder by my emotional state from not being in work. Regardless, I did not fight her or disagree with her and she had decided to leave the house with the kids but we agreed that as the house was all the kids knew, it would be better at least initially if they stayed in the house along with her whilst I left temporarily. (Call me an idiot I know) I came back to the house a week and a half later at which point she tried to insist I leave again and I refused. She ended up calling the police even though I can say categorically that there was NO verbal or physical threat, just an exchange of heated words about not wanting to leave! I was advised by family by family to please leave again as the kids were in the house and if anything such as tempers flaring happened with police being there, the image of me being taken away/detained is something I didn't want the kids to have plus how that could affect my case if we ever ended up in court. I now temporarily stay with a mate until I can get back on my feet but I have this burning sense of injustice plus the realisation that the person I was married to for 13yrs tried to get me arrested especially as she's the one who wanted to separate. Need some steer as to how to be done with this quick and get 50/50 custody as soon as I can get my own place but she's hinted at child maintenance costs which is useless to talk about until I get back on my feet work-wise. How is best to navigate my scenario to get shared custody etc Any good advise is welcome. Thank You!
Manny1 - 25-Aug-20 @ 7:52 PM
Hi, I stumbled upon this site accidentally and it's been a lifesaver sofar. My story; my wife and I have been married for 13years and have 2 girls; 7 and 3. Unfortunately and like many others in the country, I lost my job due to covid in May and whilst I was trying to deal with this, my wife told me just over a month ago that she wanted to split up which was even made harder by my emotional state from not being in work. Regardless, I did not fight her or disagree with her and she had decided to leave the house with the kids but we agreed that as the house was all the kids knew, it would be better at least initially if they stayed in the house along with her whilst I left temporarily. (Call me an idiot I know) I came back to the house a week and a half later at which point she tried to insist I leave again and I refused. She ended up calling the police even though I can say categorically that there was NO verbal or physical threat, just an exchange of heated words about not wanting to leave! I was advised by family by family to please leave again as the kids were in the house and if anything such as tempers flaring happened with police being there, the image of me being taken away/detained is something I didn't want the kids to have plus how that could affect my case if we ever ended up in court. I now temporarily stay with a mate until I can get back on my feet but I have this burning sense of injustice plus the realisation that the person I was married to for 13yrs tried to get me arrested especially as she's the one who wanted to separate. Need some steer as to how to be done with this quick and get 50/50 custody as soon as I can get my own place but she's hinted at child maintenance costs which is useless to talk about until I get back on my feet work-wise. How is best to navigate my scenario to get shared custody etc Any good advise is welcome. Thank You!
Manny1 - 25-Aug-20 @ 7:30 PM
Hi, I stumbled upon this site accidentally and it's been a lifesaver sofar. My story; my wife and I have been married for 13years and have 2 girls; 7 and 3. Unfortunately and like many others in the country, I lost my job due to covid in May and whilst I was trying to deal with this, my wife told me just over a month ago that she wanted to split up which was even made harder by my emotional state from not being in work. Regardless, I did not fight her or disagree with her and she had decided to leave the house with the kids but we agreed that as the house was all the kids knew, it would be better at least initially if they stayed in the house along with her whilst I left temporarily. (Call me an idiot I know) I came back to the house a week and a half later at which point she tried to insist I leave again and I refused. She ended up calling the police even though I can say categorically that there was NO verbal or physical threat, just an exchange of heated words about not wanting to leave! I was advised by family by family to please leave again as the kids were in the house and if anything such as tempers flaring happened with police being there, the image of me being taken away/detained is something I didn't want the kids to have plus how that could affect my case if we ever ended up in court. I now temporarily stay with a mate until I can get back on my feet but I have this burning sense of injustice plus the realisation that the person I was married to for 13yrs tried to get me arrested especially as she's the one who wanted to separate. Need some steer as to how to be done with this quick and get 50/50 custody as soon as I can get my own place but she's hinted at child maintenance costs which is useless to talk about until I get back on my feet work-wise. How is best to navigate my scenario to get shared custody etc Any good advise is welcome. Thank You!
Manny1 - 25-Aug-20 @ 7:26 PM
Hi, I stumbled upon this site accidentally and it's been a lifesaver sofar. My story; my wife and I have been married for 13years and have 2 girls; 7 and 3. Unfortunately and like many others in the country, I lost my job due to covid in May and whilst I was trying to deal with this, my wife told me just over a month ago that she wanted to split up which was even made harder by my emotional state from not being in work. Regardless, I did not fight her or disagree with her and she had decided to leave the house with the kids but we agreed that as the house was all the kids knew, it would be better at least initially if they stayed in the house along with her whilst I left temporarily. (Call me an idiot I know) I came back to the house a week and a half later at which point she tried to insist I leave again and I refused. She ended up calling the police even though I can say categorically that there was NO verbal or physical threat, just an exchange of heated words about not wanting to leave! I was advised by family by family to please leave again as the kids were in the house and if anything such as tempers flaring happened with police being there, the image of me being taken away/detained is something I didn't want the kids to have plus how that could affect my case if we ever ended up in court. I now temporarily stay with a mate until I can get back on my feet but I have this burning sense of injustice plus the realisation that the person I was married to for 13yrs tried to get me arrested especially as she's the one who wanted to separate. Need some steer as to how to be done with this quick and get 50/50 custody as soon as I can get my own place but she's hinted at child maintenance costs which is useless to talk about until I get back on my feet work-wise. How is best to navigate my scenario to get shared custody etc Any good advise is welcome. Thank You!
Manny1 - 25-Aug-20 @ 5:22 PM
Hi, I stumbled upon this site accidentally and it's been a lifesaver sofar. My story; my wife and I have been married for 13years and have 2 girls; 7 and 3. Unfortunately and like many others in the country, I lost my job due to covid in May and whilst I was trying to deal with this, my wife told me just over a month ago that she wanted to split up which was even made harder by my emotional state from not being in work. Regardless, I did not fight her or disagree with her and she had decided to leave the house with the kids but we agreed that as the house was all the kids knew, it would be better at least initially if they stayed in the house along with her whilst I left temporarily. (Call me an idiot I know) I came back to the house a week and a half later at which point she tried to insist I leave again and I refused. She ended up calling the police even though I can say categorically that there was NO verbal or physical threat, just an exchange of heated words about not wanting to leave! I was advised by family by family to please leave again as the kids were in the house and if anything such as tempers flaring happened with police being there, the image of me being taken away/detained is something I didn't want the kids to have plus how that could affect my case if we ever ended up in court. I now temporarily stay with a mate until I can get back on my feet but I have this burning sense of injustice plus the realisation that the person I was married to for 13yrs tried to get me arrested especially as she's the one who wanted to separate. Need some steer as to how to be done with this quick and get 50/50 custody as soon as I can get my own place but she's hinted at child maintenance costs which is useless to talk about until I get back on my feet work-wise. How is best to navigate my scenario to get shared custody etc Any good advise is welcome. Thank You!
Manny1 - 25-Aug-20 @ 4:55 PM
Hi, I stumbled upon this site accidentally and it's been a lifesaver sofar. My story; my wife and I have been married for 13years and have 2 girls; 7 and 3. Unfortunately and like many others in the country, I lost my job due to covid in May and whilst I was trying to deal with this, my wife told me just over a month ago that she wanted to split up which was even made harder by my emotional state from not being in work. Regardless, I did not fight her or disagree with her and she had decided to leave the house with the kids but we agreed that as the house was all the kids knew, it would be better at least initially if they stayed in the house along with her whilst I left temporarily. (Call me an idiot I know) I came back to the house a week and a half later at which point she tried to insist I leave again and I refused. She ended up calling the police even though I can say categorically that there was NO verbal or physical threat, just an exchange of heated words about not wanting to leave! I was advised by family by family to please leave again as the kids were in the house and if anything such as tempers flaring happened with police being there, the image of me being taken away/detained is something I didn't want the kids to have plus how that could affect my case if we ever ended up in court. I now temporarily stay with a mate until I can get back on my feet but I have this burning sense of injustice plus the realisation that the person I was married to for 13yrs tried to get me arrested especially as she's the one who wanted to separate. Need some steer as to how to be done with this quick and get 50/50 custody as soon as I can get my own place but she's hinted at child maintenance costs which is useless to talk about until I get back on my feet work-wise. How is best to navigate my scenario to get shared custody etc Any good advise is welcome. Thank You!
Manny1 - 25-Aug-20 @ 4:50 PM
Hi my ex partner has 50/50 with my 3 children we have been split nearly 2 years and since then there has been none stop games he get the kids 3nights 4 days Friday to Monday he was only having them Saturday till Sunday and asked for extra days I agreed with that as I do believe kids should see both parents especially when there young anyway games have been none stopped played 1st it was I'm not bringing kids home they don't need there mum now he saying hes taking me to court for full custody y would anyone want to take 3 happy children of there motherand today my kids come home and there dad has asked if they want to live with him my 5 year old and 4 year old said they want to live with there mum my kids shouldn't ever be asked that or made to feel like they have to answer that what do I do iv been ringing for advice today and the fees are massive I currently don't work due to the ex no longer wanting to have them while I worked witch was fine but now he was full custody will he will even tho my kids are happy healthy and all there needs are being met
Jenna - 24-Aug-20 @ 7:54 PM
Hi, I recently split with my partner we have two babies one is 19months one is 2months old. He has said he is going to take me to court for custody but he was arrested for domestic violence towards me. He says I am mentally unwell (obviously a tactic he will use in court) I’m not but he is going to try everything to win custody. The fact that he has been violent towards me and was arrested for it and gave a statement admitting it will that mean he won’t receive custody or could he possibly gain custody?
Mum - 15-Jul-20 @ 9:46 PM
I have been a single parent since early pregnancy when my daughter's dad chose not to want a family with me, although I have ensured that he has played an active role in her life. She spends time with him 5 nights a fortnight as well as special requests - birthday's, family occasions, one week of his annual leave (his choice) as well as sharing Xmas, Easter and bank holidays. Yet this is not enough for him and wants to take me to court for more. What are his chances of 50/50 residency? I feel I am doing all that is reasonable in the circumstances.
Lou Saynuss - 18-Jun-20 @ 12:18 AM
My ex and I separated a little over 2 years ago. She moved 233 miles away (average 4-5 hour drive). For the last 2 years we have had a fair and reasonable arrangement where we would meet halfway for pick up and drop off whenever I have the kids. I only see them for one weekend a month and during the school holidays (half terms, Easter, etc...). Since the turn of the new year she has decided she is no longer going to bring them halfway and if I want to have them stay with me I have to go and pick them up after work, getting there for like 8pm then back home for around midnight at least, and then do the same when I take them back on the Sunday. I am taking her to court for this and I want to know if a court can order her to continue to bring them halfway? Does anyone know of any cases I can look at and use?
Rob - 21-Feb-20 @ 3:35 PM
I've recently told my ex her maintenece is going down as i pay what the calculator has told me shes due and I have them 3 nights a week and 4 weeks a year for holiday.My ex isnt happy with this and now wants to reduce the time i have with them so the money I currently pay stays the same, where do i stand
Dan - 10-Jan-20 @ 9:26 AM
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