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50/50 Custody and other issues (14 Posts)
Started By:
04 January, 2018 12:32PM
50/50 Custody and other issues
singlemum12 - 04 January, 2018 12:32PM
Hi there

I am separated (ex has filed for divorce but only the initial letter stages) and my ex husband is saying he wants the children 50/50 - i.e. a 3/4 day split or 2/2/3. At the moment he has them 6 days out of a fortnight (2 nights one week and 4 the next), but the children are already getting fed up with the constant shuffling on the weeks that he has them more, and are complaining that they don't have long enough with me. My youngest (they are 6 and 8) is getting pretty emotional at times and it is tough.

We went to mediation yesterday over the children, however he will not back down and is adamant he wants a 2/2/3 day split. I feel this would be too disruptive for them. He is not willing to discuss any finances at this stage (he is currently in the family home and has changed the locks- half the deposit was mine but i wasn't on the mortgage due to being pregnant when we relocated, previous home and was joint and jointly paid for), he does not want to sell the family home. Meanwhile i am in my parent's holiday let and need to be out by April. He earns double what I do.

I strongly suspect his motivation for being adamant that he needs the kid's 7 nights a fortnight it based on maintenance (he currently doesn't pay any) and the house.

Has anyone been through this- what is likely to happen if it ends up in court?
Re: 50/50 Custody and other issues
davidterry - 04 January, 2018 02:38PM
That type of residence arrangement is usually thought to be far too disruptive and unsettling for the children. It usually happens only if that is what both parents actually want. If that is not what they both want then it is usually thought better that the children have a base with one parent and good quality contact with the other.

Reading between the lines it sounds as though your husband is a bully. You made a mistake in moving out of the matrimonial home. What this is about is almost certainly about control and about him wanting to maximise his financial position. If you have not already done so you would be wise to seek your own legal advice as quickly as possible otherwise your husband looks set to trample all over you.
Re: 50/50 Custody and other issues
singlemum12 - 04 January, 2018 05:32PM
Thanks for this. He certainly is a bully. My solicitor has just said that mediation doesn’t have to be legally binding so basically it’s up to me whether I go with that pattern. She says I can’t order financial proceedings until we have a divorce petition (he has been dragging his feet on this too), and has advised me to issue divorce proceedings instead. Just feel like whichever way I go I’m trapped sad smiley
Re: 50/50 Custody and other issues
davidterry - 04 January, 2018 06:25PM
Issue divorce proceedings immediately and ask in the divorce petition that he pays the costs. This puts you in control. It also enables you to force a resolution of financial issues whether your husband wants that or what. Bearing in mind that he is living in the matrimonial home and that your accommodation arrangements are precarious you have every interest in getting this resolved sooner rather than later. It is unwise to leave the timing and the initiative with him. You can and should take control of this. That is something that bullies really, really do not like but you really should not play his game. You do have rights in this.
Re: 50/50 Custody and other issues
singlemum12 - 04 January, 2018 07:31PM
Thank you.

What would you advise I do in the meantime on the issue of child contact arrangements and the suggestion of this 2/2/3 pattern?
Re: 50/50 Custody and other issues
davidterry - 05 January, 2018 11:40AM
If the children live with you then you should let them have contact with their father on whatever basis you think is in their best interests. Provided that is your guide you cannot be criticised.
Re: 50/50 Custody and other issues
singlemum12 - 11 January, 2018 09:23AM
Hi David

I have issued divorce proceedings, however my solicitor has said it has to go to his solicitor first, prior to the court, and they may still then say they will be issuing proceedings- where do I go from there? She has said if he does it he may ask me to pay his costs, totalling £3k!

Secondly, I told my ex I wasn't willing to do the 2/2/3 arrangement, and he has said he will get the ball rolling with court. Panicking, but I refuse to give in, he already has them 6 nights a fortnight, which is ample, I feel.
Re: 50/50 Custody and other issues
singlemum12 - 11 January, 2018 10:03AM
May add, he has refused to go to Mediation to discuss finances, because I have refused to trial the 2/2/3 pattern with the children.. Neither of us have money to burn here!
Re: 50/50 Custody and other issues
davidterry - 11 January, 2018 03:01PM
Well, if he has refused to go to mediation you can make an application to the court to sort out the finances. That sort of stance by your husband is precisely why it looks as though he is a bully who is used to getting his own way if he stamps his feet. You are not marrying him. You are divorcing him. Ignore his tantrums and make an application to the court about the finances.
Re: 50/50 Custody and other issues
singlemum12 - 16 January, 2018 09:20AM
Once my petition came in, my ex came back with his the day after (with falsified reasons for unreasonable behaviour), and he has charged all costs against me. Should I issue mine to court anyway, or is this is a risky business? So confused by it all.
Re: 50/50 Custody and other issues
davidterry - 16 January, 2018 12:42PM
You cannot issue your own divorce petition if your husband has already issued a divorce petition (ie paid a court fee and obtained a case number for the divorce).

However, I was talking about making an application about finances, not about issuing a divorce petition. The two are separate (although you need divorce proceedings in order to make an application about finances).
Re: 50/50 Custody and other issues
singlemum12 - 16 January, 2018 12:53PM
They're both only draft petitions.. I sent mine to his solicitor and his solicitor has now replied with a draft one from my ex, asking me to withdraw mine in order to avoid duplicating costs.

However in the unreasonable behaviour that my ex has cited, he has said I drank heavily with friends and most evenings (completely untrue) and that I had little patience with the children (again untrue) and that I relied on him to discipline them. It is like he is trying to stitch me up, should he then go to court around childcare arrangements.

I do not know whether to just accept his and the costs he is charging me with, or try and get it amended- but I do not know whether there is any sense in doing this... will the reasons in the divorce petition be given any weight in court if I do not contest them and he then goes to court over child contact?
Re: 50/50 Custody and other issues
Maddie - 16 January, 2018 02:25PM
Hey Singlemum12! The reasons for a divorce doesn't matter in the eyes of the court. I believe its only serious cases where someone's life is at risk. If I was in your position, I'd just accept it and move on because it will be quicker and probably cheaper. I am the respondent in my divorce and it hasn't affected any decision making. But I am not a solicitor. All the best.
Re: 50/50 Custody and other issues
davidterry - 16 January, 2018 02:42PM
Issue your petition, based on unreasonable behaviour, immediately. It is very clear this is all about your husband trying to control you. You were first with a draft. Be the first with a divorce petition. If you do not nip this in the bud you will find that this is just the beginning of your husband wanting one thing after another.
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