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Worried about custody arrangments

  • mand
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03 Mar 08 #15604 by mand
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Hi all, am new to this site and would welcome any advice that anyone can give me.

I left my husband two and a half years ago and during that time we have had joint custody of our children on a day on/day off basis. My children are 9 and 5.

My husband continues to bully and manipulate me and he keeps promising to reach an amicable financial agreement (i agreed to a pittance of a settlement just to be out of the marriage and to continue with joint custody of the children) but everytime i do or say something that he disagrees with, he threatens to fight me for custody of the kids.

I am now in a new relationship which he doesnt like, my son says that he doesnt like my new partner to his dad but tells me that he does like him so this is causing ructions.

My husband now says that my son wants to live full time with him (i know that my daughter wants to see us both). I am concerned as to what the outcome would be should this all have to go through cafcass and courts - especially as my son is old enough to understand what is going on.

Any ideas?

  • DownButNotOut
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04 Mar 08 #15754 by DownButNotOut
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I really think that for the kids sake you should keep things as amicable and poss and really try to agree to keep the 50/50 thing going.

If you get into a battle it is hard to say what the outcome might be .... though statistically speaking you are more likely to end up with the kids for more than half the time.

So actually in a court battle it is he who is likely to lose his current level of contact. (im saying this without any knowledge of each of your working commitments and parenting capabilities which of course impact the outcome).

It sounds like your finances are not finalised? If you so far accepted a pitance but have no formal final agreement then you should be aware that you may well be entitled to a much better financial settlement and for the old one to be overruled.

The challenge will be to re-open the finance can of worms without it causing even more upset.

  • valene
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08 Mar 08 #16218 by valene
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As a Family Law student my first advice would be for you to seek legal advice. You should be able to get 1 hour free from a solicitor. Alternatively, pick up a very simple Family Law book from the library and look under headings relating to Resident Orders and Contact Orders and prohibited Steps. Also if you are being threatened in any way perhap seek an injunction against your ex (now referred to as Molestation Order - however I am absolutely sure about this bit. But yes pick up a book and read up on the law and see where you stand.
All the best

  • Fiona
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08 Mar 08 #16228 by Fiona
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People do daft things when they are divorcing and very often the anger is a secondary emotion to pain and hurt. Things do tend to settle once the finances have been finalised so may be you need to knuckle down and apply for ancillary relief, if it's not on the cards already. It won't stop you reaching an agreement along the way.

Don't react to his threats relating to residency. When at all possible child related issues are far better dealt with through mediation than the courts. It isn't beyond the realms of possibility your son has said he doesn't like your new partner. Children at this age are at a development stage when they can make rigid moral judgments and maintain a stance of anger and it's not at al uncommon for them have problems accepting someone. Should this turns out to be the case the best way forward is to ask your GP about counselling or family therapy,

If he does apply for residency your son's views would be a factor, but generally speaking keeping siblings together is considered desirable.The courts have a no order policy so they won't make one unless matters can't be resolved otherwise. Anyway shared residency is likely under the following circumstances;
    (1) This is a child with a strong attachment to both parents who was happy and confident in both homes.

    (2) There is a real proximity between the two homes.

    (3) There is a real proximity of the homes

    (4) Child has a real familiarity with both homes and a sense of belonging in each.

    (5) Child has a clearly expressed perception that he has two homes.

    (6) There is a relatively fluid passage for child between the two homes.

    (7) There is a relatively fluid passage of child to and from school from each home.

    (8) There is some post-separation history of child care being shared between his parents.

  • peterc
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08 Mar 08 #16232 by peterc
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fiona - thanks for this reply - its the first chance i have had to really evaluate my relationship with my kids, and put it into context!!! - i would like share parental responsibility - but my wife is saying no she wants them all the time :(

  • Fiona
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10 Mar 08 #16311 by Fiona
Reply from Fiona
peterc,

I'm glad it was useful. :)

Remember, you already have parental responsibility and are seen as an equal parent.

  • sexysadie
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10 Mar 08 #16404 by sexysadie
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And, Peter, haven't you got a violent partner? You will need to keep an eye on things in case your wife becomes violent towards the children as well. So you need to keep a strong relationship with them with a fair amount of contact, in case they need rescuing later.

Sadie

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