My ex has just informed me he has applied for a joint residence order.
I have always been the parent with care, giving up work to stay at home and bring up children.
Since separation contact was agreed with my ex and over time I have co operated on increasing contact at his request.
Current contact is:Every other weekend Thurs after school to Monday school drop off.
Half of all school holidays
On the alternative Thursday (my contact time)I agree to his parents picking them up from school and returning at bed time. (this was a point of dispute recently but I conceded and agreed to let this continue provided the children are happy to do so.)
The children are happy and settled with the current arrangement, I even have very recent emails from my ex stating that he agrees it has been working well too. The children are both doing well at school despite all the change over the last couple of years. He doesn''t live far away (a 20 minute drive) I am in walking distance to the childrens school and all their friends are nearby, the children are 6 and nearly 10.
Any advice on where I should start on preparing my case for things to remain as they are? He has said he wants 50/50 and that he will get it as it is his entitlement!!! ( I thought it was supposed to be about what is in the best interests of the children??)My ex has refused meditation saying he refuses to compromise?? Any advice really appreciated, worried too about the children getting dragged into this, although also want their feelings and opinions taken into account.
The current arrangement has been in place for about a year.
If I felt it was in the childrens best interest I would offer additional contact, but I can''t think of any reason how this would benefit the children. I suppose I need to see what his arguments are and consider it then.
I have asked him to mediate several times each time he has flatly refused and I have the emails with his responses (will this help?). I also sent him information on how mediation can help but again he refused. He has also said things like "if you don''t agree to this/that or the other I will go for 50/50" again I have this in writing. He is very demanding and controlling and I am fed up with the threats and bullying.
My ex took me to court for joint residence but it was just him being a bully as I wanted a contact order for every other weekend rather than every Saturday. The judge agreed a contact order and then touched lightly on the joint residence, said in his opinion it was a control issue, children settled and happy and mum keeps residence.
I do feel for you as I remember the panic when my solicitor informed me of his intentions. The status quo is set so I would be surprised if it were ordered.
I agree with Poppy P if it''s been going on for over a year now he''s gonna have to come up with a incredibly strong argument to change it. With the emails you have it will just go to prove he''s doing it to try and control you and threaten you. Have you ever attended mediation in the past at all?
Obviously it is voluntary so him refusing does looka little unreasonable but I wouldn''t say it would help massively this is just my opinion though.
Iv''e also thought about applying for joint residence not a 50/50 and still concidering it.
Listen to his reasons first you may be surprised with what he coems up with. But if there ludicrous or w.e just roll with it. let him threaten you take you to court etc.
He might get joint residence but that wouldn''t necessarily mean that the time the children spend with each of you would change at all. He certainly doesn''t have a right to 50:50 and any solicitor worth their salt will tell him that.
If he wants to change the status quo he will have to demonstrate that it would be in the best interests of the children. Refusing to negotiate or go to mediation and having a fixed outcome from which he will not budge will not help his case at all.