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What Are My Chances of 50/50 Residence?

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 23 Jun 2017 |
 
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.

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I am currently still married to my wife. We separated in January due to domestic violence, I was the victim. I'm actually trying for joint custody of my daughter. I would give people this advice. When you approach this matter look at it this way. Initial break up: Go for the maximum, go for full parental responsibility and care of your children. Why? Because you may not get it anyway. And simply asking for more time with your kids down the line isn't good. It upsets routine, kids need routine the court likes routine. Do not change routine. My argument to the court is my wife is a great mum!! She's fantastic. But she works full time, makes dangerous decisions and my daughter gets passed to heavy drinkers (grandparents) and is falling behind in key stages of speech etc. My ex wife's home is a mess, she's tired from work etc. This is an argument to help my wife take better care of my daughter. Nowhere, do I mention myself my needs my own wants or how much it's costing me. You have to mitigate properly. You have to sell the grand idea to the judge properly. What you can offer that's better, why it's beneficial for your child etc. Simply going in asking for more time because it hurts you not seeing them is a rubbish argument. It makes no difference to the children. They are still seeing you in a format that is stable. WHAT IS BEST FOR THAT CHILD gents. It's all the judge or court are bothered about. "I have recently invested in after-school groups to further the ability of my daughter's education" And so on. The guy sat judging you is educated he's impartial and he certainly doesn't care about you, or your ex. It's what is best for child. Make the best case in a third person view, look on your requests subjectively and do what you can to better care provide and stimulate the children and the judge will lean towards that. "We have extra curricular evenings judge" Because sitting in front of the telly for another day with dad is no real argument to change or give anyone hope of getting access more time or more of what we all want......with our kids. The pen is mightier than the sword. Think like the judge does educate yourself in what they want to see or consider in your case and play the game. I will win joint custody of my daughter because it simply states great things about my ex, yet faults in my daughter's up bringing that myself and my family will fill. Dead easy
Matty1982 - 23-Jun-17 @ 4:18 PM
@Dadr .. Thanks!! Just hope courts don't go with the 'mother should see them more spiel'. We shall see!!
Anom - 26-May-17 @ 2:57 PM
@Anom - this really is a 50/50 possibility. If the kids were already in school you'd stand a good chance - but as they haven't started yet it makes it more difficult. Good luck mate - hope it works out for you.
DadR - 26-May-17 @ 2:13 PM
Hi All, I've been separated from my ex for a year now, we have two children (4 & 2) and up until now have sorted arrangements between ourselves - I currently have my children Tues PM - Fri PM. She recently told me that she is pregnant again and is moving my kids a 2 hour round trip away and has basically said tough, and that when they start school, I will only get to see them on weekends as they will be going to a local school. Because of this, I've gone through the courts for shared residency so it's on paper when I have them, and requested they stay at their school they're on the waiting list for because I will be taking them to school 3/5 days. She's said she's going to fight it as she misses them when their with me(Which I equally miss them when they are with her.. that's life of being seperated!!!)doesn't want to lose her authority of them as she often uses them against me and stops me seeing them for a period of time if she doesn't agree with something, e.g.. I changed my profile picture to myself and my new partner and she blocked me and stopped me seeing my kids for a week. Any advice on if i'm likely to get 50/50 shared residency would be really helpful.
Anom - 26-May-17 @ 11:49 AM
Hello im going to court for a child arrangements order without a solicitor. My ex up until the day the court papers landed on her doorstep makes up any excuse to stop me seeing the children. My ex has a very poor background with drink police involvement and mental health problems. regular meetings take place with herself social services and the school. Her social worker is very defensive with my ex and answeres a lot of my questions with she has mental health problems, and that's what people with mental health problems do. I've received today the safeguarding letterfrom Cafcass and it says that they were unable to get any response from my ex and that the social worker has been called on several occasions and also has not returned the calls. I spoke today to the social worker about not responding to caffcass and she was very hesitant as to Wethershe had spoken to them or not. I know my wife has got a barrister, do you think it is possible that social services are being avasive on my ex's behalf to deny the courts access to important information which would be very derogatory to my ex. And if you do think this is possible how would I ensure the court gets this information so I can get a fair hearing. Regards fil
Fil - 10-Apr-17 @ 7:55 PM
Hi. My son's mother split up with me when he was a few weeks old. I've not seen him for 3yrs now but was thinking of trying the courts again. Tried mediation a few times over the years but she declined the interview. Do I have a chance of seeing him?I have a job but I live alone and don't drive and I have bipolar and they probably think I'm a lower but I wanted to be a Dad. She and her partner have another child and probably have a great life. I did ask to see him but they put an order in place to say I couldn't ask to see him and I was told I'd get in trouble if I asked to see him directly or through my Dad or sister. My sister sees him a couple of times a yeah,she won't pass messages or anything but I give her books to see him. Can a judge say you can't see your child if you have depression? I don't know what to do anymore.
Red Guth - 19-Mar-17 @ 10:56 PM
Bas - Your Question:
I split with my ex a few years ago and I currently have a court order for my son every other weekend Friday to Monday and also every Wednesday after school. I've tried to get him more but the mother says no so we are going back to court. What are my chances? I would prefer 50/50 as I live close to his school and don't see why I can't have the same time as her.

Our Response:
I'm afraid it is impossible to predict what a court may decide. The court would see the access/contact you have with your son currently, as standard access terms. This means there is no guarantee you would be awarded more time. Much depends upon your son, his age, the general circumstances around your additional request and what Cafcass and the court deems to be in your son's best interests.
SeparatedDads - 15-Feb-17 @ 1:37 PM
I split with my ex a few years ago and I currently have a court order for my son every other weekend Friday to Monday and also every Wednesday after school. I've tried to get him more but the mother says no so we are going back to court. What are my chances? I would prefer 50/50 as I live close to his school and don't see why I can't have the same time as her.
Bas - 14-Feb-17 @ 9:52 PM
I have been separated from my wife for nearly two years I'm having regular contact with my 4 year old daughter from day one. We both agreed on 50-50 I get my daughter 3 nights a week and most of the school holidays. But my ex wants me to sign for a Polish passport for my daughter, when I refuse to do so. She now saying that I can only see my daughter for a few hours on Saturday. I will sign for the passport as my daughter as an English passport and I do not trust my ex.What can i do ?
Jon - 6-Feb-17 @ 2:14 PM
Creechcanary - Your Question:
Thank you for posting on Facebook as it was good to hear different situations for advice and support. Unfortunately the position I'm currently in is that the ex wife refuses to let me have my children for 3 nights every week. Plus once my rent, loans and bills are paid I'm lucky if I have £200 to pay for food and diesel for the month. So if pay the requested £114 I'm left with £76 to live on. That's my diesel to get me to work. So basically she has forced my hand to make myself homeless and in a position unable to see my children. She gets all the benefits and his income. They're able to go off for weekends away, matching tattoos (£400) a piece, drink and smoke - and I, the innocent party, lose everything :-( Children's well being and interests priority, I think not.

Our Response:
You're welcome. Do you have parents and friends you can live with until you get yourself on your feet? Or could you begin with a house share, where bills are incorporated into the rent? Rather than making yourself homeless, which will defeat the object of ever being awarded shared-care, you may just have to think of other solutions. As it is said; 'where there's a will - there's a way'. It may take time, but hopefully you'll get there. Good luck.
SeparatedDads - 6-Dec-16 @ 3:05 PM
Thank you for posting on Facebook as it was good to hear different situations for advice and support. Unfortunately the position I'm currently in is that the ex wife refuses to let me have my children for 3 nights every week. Plus once my rent, loans and bills are paid I'm lucky if I have £200 to pay for food and diesel for the month. So if pay the requested£114 I'm left with £76 to live on. That's my diesel to get me to work. So basically she has forced my hand to make myself homeless and in a position unable to see my children. She gets all the benefits and his income. They're able to go off for weekends away, matching tattoos (£400) a piece, drink and smoke - and I, the innocent party, lose everything :-( Children's well being and interests priority, I think not.
Creechcanary - 3-Dec-16 @ 12:29 AM
Creechcanary - Your Question:
Last new years eve my wife and best friend got found out for having an affair for the previous 10 months. For the sake of our children I was willing to forgive and move on. But I was forced out of my family. Basically I've had to start from scratch. I had nothing. I had to take out a loan to get a deposit on a rental property and furnished it from top to bottom. Initially my wife would only let me have my two children for 2 nights a week. At tat time they were aged 3 months and 18 months. I requested to have them for 3 nights a week shared care. But rudely refused with no reason given. When I threatened with court action she allowed access of 3 nights one week and two nights the next. Financially, I'm broke. I am employed full time. But all of my money goes on the house/bills and supporting my children when I have them. My ex, moved into a housing association property due to being a single mother with 3 children. After being at said property for 2 months she has declared her boyfriend to be living there full time so hence demanding maintenance. I cannot afford to pay her what is asked. If I did look will not be able to support my children when I do have them, and most possibly lose my home. She refuses shared care, still giving no reason. I'm at a loss - if I pay maintenance I will lose my home and children - any advice?

Our Response:
I am very sorry to hear this. By law every father has to pay maintenance, it depends on how you do it, either via a family-based arrangement which is agreed between you and your ex, or via the CMS, you can see how much you should be paying via the link here. The fact you are seeing your kids and having regular access is a plus. If you took the matter to court to request shared-care, it is highly unlikely the court would agree as shared-care is usually agreed mutually via parents. However, you may wish to seek legal advice regarding this. Your main priority currently is to make sure you can fund child maintenance, continue to see your kids regularly and be able to support yourself and not lose your home. Assuming shared-care is not a voluntary option (the resident-parent is often reluctant to agree to shared-care because it reduces your maintenance payments), I am going to put this question to our Separated Dads Facebook page and see whether our dads (who may have been through a similar situation) can come up with any ideas to help. Can you please refer to the Separated Dads Facebook page for your answers.
SeparatedDads - 2-Dec-16 @ 1:52 PM
Last new years eve my wife and best friend got found out for having an affair for the previous 10 months. For the sake of our children I was willing to forgive and move on. But I was forced out of my family. Basically I've had to start from scratch. I had nothing. I had to take out a loan to get a deposit on a rental property and furnished it from top to bottom. Initially my wife would only let me have my two children for 2 nights a week. At tat time they were aged 3 months and 18 months. I requested to have them for 3 nights a week shared care. But rudely refused with no reason given. When I threatened with court action she allowed access of 3 nights one week and two nights the next. Financially, I'm broke. I am employed full time. But all of my money goes on the house/bills and supporting my children when I have them. My ex, moved into a housing association property due to being a single mother with 3 children. After being at said property for 2 months she has declared her boyfriend to be living there full time so hence demanding maintenance. I cannot afford to pay her what is asked. If I did look will not be able to support my children when I do have them, and most possibly lose my home. She refuses shared care, still giving no reason. I'm at a loss - if I pay maintenance I will lose my home and children - any advice?
Creechcanary - 2-Dec-16 @ 7:08 AM
Hi, The mother or my daughter left with my daughter several years ago and while I see my daugher every 6 out of 14 nights on a fortnightly pattern, I have repeatedly asked for an equal 50/50 split as I see no reason not to and also wonder why i still have to pay CSA fees which are quite high even though I care for my daughter so much etc? I recently heard that if parents have a 50/50 split, then payments are no longer required to be made? Is that correct? I've seen no evidence of this, but it would im sure help a lot of dads out there who not only make regular payments to the CSA, but also spend large amounts of money on their child when with them as well as stump up for wrap around care fees at school? Any thoughts and advise greatly appreciated and I hope all the good dads out there are winning. All the best.
MT - 27-Oct-16 @ 11:43 AM
My ex took me to court under false statements and lies, I had mckenzie friend who advised me to accept a non mol which I did, 2 hearings later I kinda realised why she was dragging me to court her legal aid had made a good shadow of the fact she was filing for residency of my daughter, but iv been so focused on proving I havnt done any of the stuff she said that iv come to the realisation that she has no evidence of anything. So basically my daughter is 15 months old, I have a non mol and I'm going for a final hearing I do have 2 days of supervised pick up contact via my sister. I have no money for legal aid and I'm representing myself in court I do not have the education to back myself , but the mckenzie friend made a decision about the resisdency nit being challenged without my consent which is wrong as iv read this online, but it could be to late, I will bring it up to the judge on the final hearing but I am going to ask for shared resisdency because it's beneficial to my little girls development and mental state. She is spending more time with the mothers family than her own parents and it's killing me looking at her face because she is so confused moving back and forward, I know that shared resistency is a rare thing but I like 10 minute drive from the ex and it's in my daughters best interests that she has the same amount of time with her dad than she does with her side of the family. I dunno how I'm going to do this maybe with a bit of luck but anybody have any advice for me to try force the shared residency please.
Marcus - 16-Oct-16 @ 10:38 PM
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/156760 Need as many dads and their family and friends to sign this. You want equal rights to your kids then let's see if the petition can help. All you have to do is click sign and share
Shaz - 15-Jul-16 @ 10:41 PM
My ex wife and I are going to mediation soon. We have a 4 year old daughter together and were married for 6 years. When my daughter was 2 my ex had an affair on me and now lives with the man. When she moved out in November 2014 we immediately setup a 2-2-3 schedule. We also had a app that showed when we both had her. I have printed that out and gave it to my lawyer. Also I have paid half of day care, insurance and any other bills even down to a simple haircut. She does not have to ask for it as we have a joint bank account and I transfer the money instantly. I also have printed out the bank statements since 2014 to show I have paid for everything. We had a apt together and her verbal agreement was that she would pay half of everything so I can find another place to live and she could move back in. Which she did and my parents bought a house which I rent from them. I moved out in May 2015 and she expects me to pay the remander half rent for 6 months until the lease is up. I thought this was bogus as I had to move out and gave her everything and started over. The lease is now up and no money is owed. Can she get me for the 6 months of half rent? Also our daughter starts VPK in August this year and I feel as it is time for 50/50. My ex put down that I should bring her to her house every night by 7pm. I live 45min away and that would be impossible as I work 8-5. I would like 1 week on and 1 week off with 1 month of vacation due to my family living out of state. My ex also makes $15,000 more a year then me and has had her job for 8 years with 401k. Also when we lived together my day went like this for years, Wake up get my daughter dressed, take her to day care, pick her up, make dinner, give her a bath, put her to bed so my ex does not yell at me about how she needs her own time to wind down and go outside and smoke cigarettes and drink a whole to a half a bottle of wine every night. With all of my documentation do I have a good chance at getting 50/50 with 1 month of vacation a year no roll over time?
Josh - 13-Jul-16 @ 1:44 PM
My ex wife and I are going to mediation soon. We have a 4 year old daughter together and were married for 6 years. When my daughter was 2 my ex had an affair on me and now lives with the man. When she moved out in November 2014 we immediately setup a 2-2-3 schedule. We also had a app that showed when we both had her. I have printed that out and gave it to my lawyer. Also I have paid half of day care, insurance and any other bills even down to a simple haircut. She does not have to ask for it as we have a joint bank account and I transfer the money instantly. I also have printed out the bank statements since 2014 to show I have paid for everything. We had a apt together and her verbal agreement was that she would pay half of everything so I can find another place to live and she could move back in. Which she did and my parents bought a house which I rent from them. I moved out in May 2015 and she expects me to pay the remander half rent for 6 months until the lease is up. I thought this was bogus as I had to move out and gave her everything and started over. The lease is now up and no money is owed. Can she get me for the 6 months of half rent? Also our daughter starts VPK in August this year and I feel as it is time for 50/50. My ex put down that I should bring her to her house every night by 7pm. I live 45min away and that would be impossible as I work 8-5. I would like 1 week on and 1 week off with 1 month of vacation due to my family living out of state. My ex also makes $15,000 more a year then me and has had her job for 8 years with 401k. Also when we lived together my day went like this for years, Wake up get my daughter dressed, take her to day care, pick her up, make dinner, give her a bath, put her to bed so my ex does not yell at me about how she needs her own time to wind down and go outside and smoke cigarettes and drink a whole to a half a bottle of wine every night. With all of my documentation do I have a good chance at getting 50/50 with 1 month of vacation a year no roll over time?
Josh - 13-Jul-16 @ 1:18 PM
My ex wife and I are going to mediation soon. We have a 4 year old daughter together and were married for 6 years. When my daughter was 2 my ex had an affair on me and now lives with the man. When she moved out in November 2014 we immediately setup a 2-2-3 schedule. We also had a app that showed when we both had her. I have printed that out and gave it to my lawyer. Also I have paid half of day care, insurance and any other bills even down to a simple haircut. She does not have to ask for it as we have a joint bank account and I transfer the money instantly. I also have printed out the bank statements since 2014 to show I have paid for everything. We had a apt together and her verbal agreement was that she would pay half of everything so I can find another place to live and she could move back in. Which she did and my parents bought a house which I rent from them. I moved out in May 2015 and she expects me to pay the remander half rent for 6 months until the lease is up. I thought this was bogus as I had to move out and gave her everything and started over. The lease is now up and no money is owed. Can she get me for the 6 months of half rent? Also our daughter starts VPK in August this year and I feel as it is time for 50/50. My ex put down that I should bring her to her house every night by 7pm. I live 45min away and that would be impossible as I work 8-5. I would like 1 week on and 1 week off with 1 month of vacation due to my family living out of state. My ex also makes $15,000 more a year then me and has had her job for 8 years with 401k. Also when we lived together my day went like this for years, Wake up get my daughter dressed, take her to day care, pick her up, make dinner, give her a bath, put her to bed so my ex does not yell at me about how she needs her own time to wind down and go outside and smoke cigarettes and drink a whole to a half a bottle of wine every night. With all of my documentation do I have a good chance at getting 50/50 with 1 month of vacation a year no roll over time?
Josh - 13-Jul-16 @ 1:06 PM
I came close to getting 50/50 but got 49/51 I have my son 6 nights every other week and 50% of school holidays social would not agree to 50/50 because the mother said no to it what I thing is petty really all because the mother wanted to get child maintenance when I get work and to make it harder for me till I do get work as I can't get any help with supporting my son I went to cab and they said that 1% is stopping megetting any help most times if the mother says no social services will stand by her and the courts stand by social services
Richie - 10-Jul-16 @ 11:02 AM
Jap - Your Question:
Hi,I've been married for 7 yrs my wife and I bought a house together last year. We've lived in the same house with our 6 years old daughter for 3 years as we were renting the same property before. We have recently seperated and my wife have moved out of the house with our daughter to her parent's. We had initially come to an agreement wherein I would have our daughter Monday night to Thursday morning and every alternate Saturday. Before this I looked after our daughter full time as I only worked part time mostly weekends. My wife was the bread earner.for the we practiced what was agreed and the second week I get a letter from my wife's solicitors saying my daughter is not safe with me Because of my erratic behaviour and anger outbursts.and the reason she moved out of the house was because I threatened to kill her.now I'm only allowed access to our daughter for 6 hours a week.what chances do I have if I go to court requesting for 3 nights a week for our daughter with me.as I've been her primary carer since she was 3 month's old.

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot predict what will happen if it goes to court. Much depends on the Cafcass report which will be carried out before the court case and which is generally adhered to by the courts, please see link: What Goes into the Cafcass Family Report? here. It means both parents will be able to put their reasoning before the reporter and the judge will come to a decision based upon the final report.
SeparatedDads - 6-Jun-16 @ 10:53 AM
Hi,I've been married for 7 yrs my wife and I bought a house together last year. We'velived in the same house with our 6 years old daughter for 3 years as we were renting the same property before. We have recently seperated and my wife have moved out of the house with our daughter to her parent's. We had initially come to an agreement wherein I would have our daughter Monday night to Thursday morning and every alternate Saturday. Before this I looked after our daughter full time as I only worked part time mostly weekends. My wife was the bread earner .for the we practiced what was agreed and the second week I get a letter from my wife's solicitors saying my daughter is not safe with me Because of my erratic behaviour and anger outbursts .and the reason she moved out of the house was because I threatened to kill her.now I'm only allowed access to our daughter for 6 hours a week.what chances do I have if I go to court requesting for 3 nights a week for our daughter with me.as I've been her primary carer since she was 3 month's old.
Jap - 5-Jun-16 @ 8:20 AM
Sr15 - Your Question:
Me and my ex are going to court over custody of our 1 year old daughter. He has her from monday morning untill tuesday late afternoon and she stays with me the rest of the week. He wants to have her more days what are the chances of the court agreeing to this? Their has been problems in the past with canabis being around his house which I contacted health visitor about , given his life style I think 2days with her is more than enough. Any advice

Our Response:
I can't say whether the court will offer more access to your ex. But it is unlikely the court will grant full custody unless absolutely necessary. It is rare that a court will hand a child over to another parent unless there are circumstances where the primary carer is unable to cope, or has serious issues with drugs or alcohol for example. If there are no issues with the stability of your child's upbringing, then you have little to worry about your ex being awarded custody here.
SeparatedDads - 26-Apr-16 @ 10:55 AM
Me and my ex are going to court over custody of our 1 year old daughter. He has her from monday morning untill tuesday late afternoon and she stays with me the rest of the week. He wants to have her more days what are the chances of the court agreeing to this? Their has been problems in the past with canabis being around his house which i contacted health visitor about , given his life style i think 2days with her is more than enough. Any advice
Sr15 - 25-Apr-16 @ 1:34 PM
jag - Your Question:
Hi. I have a 2 year old son who up until 10 days ago I lived with along with my wife. I have split with my wife and am now living with my mum in her 3 bedroom house (owner). My wife with our son is currently living in our house which we joint own for almost 4yrs. I have made all the mortgage and bills payment since we bought the property. Since I have left my wife has given me very limited contact with my son eg 30 mins under her supervision every 3 days. On my last visit she has said that I can no longer see my son.I have contacted mediation and am awaiting her response to mediation. Im prepared to go to court for a joint residency order as I feel my wife wont agree to me having sufficient contact. From the day my son was born I have been a very big part of his life. I have done everything for him. I change his nappy, feed him dinner, do his bath, give him milk, put him to sleep, even sleep with him. I have been doing this almost daily whilst I was in the family home. I even got him ready in the mornings and took him nursery 3 days a week. We have such a strong bond. I now do not see him and im sure he is confused on what is going on. His mother will not see the affect she is having on him and will not give me access. Im hoping on going to court to get joint residency. Where I am staying with my mum 3 miles away from the family home. I still can take him the same nursery if I get joint custody and as im living in a 3 bedroom house theres enough room for him to live me. How realistic is it for me except joint residency? And can I represent myself given my situation or would it be better to get help from solicitor? Thank you for any responses.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You can represent yourself yes, see link: Legal Aid Withdrawal: How to Represent Yourself, here. The more quickly you get the ball rolling here, the better. You can apply straight to the courts if your ex is denying you access - please see link: When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Accesshere and go through the procedure laid out in the article. Unfortunately, we can't say whether you will be awarded joint residency as it is up to the court to decide. Joint recidency is usually only agreed when the parents agree to this arrangement between them. Usually, the court will nominate one parent (generally the mother) as the primary carer and the other non-resident parent with access arrangements. However, this is not set in stone and the more day-to-day input you have had with your son the better chance you have of gaining this.
SeparatedDads - 7-Apr-16 @ 12:28 PM
Hi. I have a 2 year old son who up until 10 days ago I lived with along with my wife. I have split with my wife and am now living with my mum in her 3 bedroom house (owner). My wife with our son is currently living in our house which we joint own for almost 4yrs. I have made all the mortgage and bills payment since we bought the property. Since I have left my wife has given me very limited contact with my son eg 30 mins under her supervision every 3 days. On my last visit she has said that I can no longer see my son. I have contacted mediation and am awaiting her response to mediation.Im prepared to go to court for a joint residency order as I feel my wife wont agree to me having sufficient contact. From the day my son was born I have been a very big part of his life. I have done everything for him. I change his nappy, feed him dinner, do his bath, give him milk, put him to sleep, even sleep with him. I have been doing this almost daily whilst I was in the family home. I even got him ready in the mornings and took him nursery 3 days a week. We have such a strong bond. I now do not see him and im sure he is confused on what is going on. His mother will not see the affect she is having on him and will not give me access. Im hoping on going to court to get joint residency.Where I am staying with my mum 3 miles away from the family home. I still can take him the same nursery if I get joint custody and as im living in a 3 bedroom house theres enough room for him to live me. How realistic is it for me except joint residency?And can I represent myself given my situation or would it be better to get help from solicitor? Thank you for any responses.
jag - 6-Apr-16 @ 6:27 PM
Timmy - Your Question:
I want my children 3 and 6 on a 50/50 basis however I know my ex wife won't agree I have sent her a solicitors letter outlining this and other days ie holidays which she has ignored I see them every other weekend friday7pm till Sunday 6pm and tues and wed every week after school till 7pm what are my chances? I current live at my mom and dads with 3 bedrooms? Thanks

Our Response:
You would have to take the matter to court if your ex does not agree to give you any further time. 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. However, at present, shared custody/residency is not the norm in Britain, although several organisations are trying to increase its visibility and prominence - please see link here. It is impossible to predict how this may play out in your case - as it is very much up to the court to decide. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 6-Apr-16 @ 11:20 AM
I want my children 3 and 6 on a 50/50 basis however I know my ex wife won't agree I have sent her a solicitors letter outlining this and other days ie holidays which she has ignored I see them every other weekend friday7pm till Sunday 6pm and tues and wed every week after school till 7pm what are my chances? I current live at my mom and dads with 3 bedrooms? Thanks
Timmy - 5-Apr-16 @ 11:56 AM
fatherof5 - Your Question:
Hi, I became involved with a 19 year old girl last year, I was 34 and she fell pregnant. I wasn't there through most of the pregnancy, didn't provide anything, wasn't there when she registered my son and since he's been born (4 months ago) I haven't seen him or asked about him. She's taken me to CSA and I'm being ordered to pay but I haven't. I'm just wondering what grounds I would have should I ever go for residency. I have a partner who is the mother of my 3, soon to be 4, children. She fell pregnant whilst the other girl was pregnant. We are on/off. I've moved out twice in the last year and we've had many breaks in the past. I know it seems messy. I'm just trying to get a feel of where I stand. She's messaged multiple times trying t arrange contact but I don't want to see her or have her involved but she's breastfeeding so she has to be. Can I just wait then apply for residency?

Our Response:
I'm confused about why you wish to apply for residency when you have not so far supported your child in any way. You are not on the birth certificate and have paid no child maintenance, so why would you also imagine the court would want to remove your child from the mother and hand over your son to you? Therefore, I'm afraid, the answer is it is highly unlikely. However, as a word of warning, if you have not paid child maintenance through the CSA you will be liable for arrears which is something which may give you a bit of a shock if you continue to ignore the demands.
SeparatedDads - 16-Mar-16 @ 10:38 AM
Stuck- Your Question:
My ex and I have 3 kids. 9,7,5. I have been their primary care giver since birth. Dad left us almost 4 years ago. We agreed to visitation every Wednesday, his day off, 9am to 6 pm and every other Saturday at 6 till Sunday at 6. This is his only free time. Lately his only day off is Sunday and will remain that way. He is not particularly active in their lives. Does not attend teacher conferences, school functions, sporting activities and most recently did not call our son on his birthday. About 2 years ago he moved in with a new partner. There are orders in place that she is not to be alone with the kids. She has proven to make bad decisions. The king da like their dad but have expressed they don't want more time with him. Recently he has asked for 50/50 custody. I'm not comfortable with this as there is no routine or stability with him. His partner and him are physically violent with each other and drink excessively. The kids have witnessed this. We do not communicate at all except for the odd time when he gets very angry over nothing and yells at me during pick up or drop off. A wishes of the child report was done and the kids have expressed a desire to stay with me. They want nothing to change. He continues to fight me. We have a court trial date set in a few months. What are the chances he may gain more access?Thank you.

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot predict what a court may decide. But if a report has been done and the children have expressed their wishes, then it is likely this will be upheld in court. Please see link: What Goes into the Cafcass Family Report? here which should help go some way to answering your question.
SeparatedDads - 15-Mar-16 @ 10:55 AM
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