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Can a Father get custody of the children?

  • BewilderedBob
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14 May 12 #330377 by BewilderedBob
Topic started by BewilderedBob
Hi all,
Its been a while since i''ve been on here as a poster but since then things have been ongoing and getting pretty crappy at times and the quick divore my wife ''requested'' is not emerging as she hoped.
It seems she expected me to just give in to everything and roll over to her demands which included me leaving the house even though it was not me that asked for the divorce in the first place!
I have made it clear that I will not move out and she has almost gone as far as getting an occupation order but my solicitor said to hers that if this were to happen they would counter it as it has been clear from some of the things my kids have said that my STBX has been discussing all manner of things with them yet making out that it was me that was doing it.
Things have calmed down now quite alot and we are managing to live in the same house ok.
She has however made many suicide threats lately and some in front of the kids and been going out at all strange hours and even stopped out over night recently. This was another thing she accused me of during a few days away recently to her parents with the kids. Apparently she knew I had ''slept out'' as she put a trap in my bed! I can quite happily swear on my childrens lives that I have slept in that bed alone since Feb 5th bar one night recently when i was blue lighted to hospital with a suspected heart attack!
She even chose to tell the kids ''Dads been sleeping out''..so whatever the trap was (she would not tell me) it couldn''t have been a good one!
Anyway...i''m rambling now.
My qusetion is, I want to challenge her for custody of the kids as i feel they would have far more stability with me and would get a better quality of life.
Before the split I was the main day to day carer and got them up and reday for school etc as i had done since i was made redundant. This was mutually agreed as my wife worked and it made sense to carry on this way until such time as a job came up or whatever.
I now have a job and the kids are farmed out to a breakfast club every morning which they hate and the daughter of my STBXs friend takes them there.
I am not happy with this situation either as i feel they have been severely destabilised by all this and it seems that the STBX is happy for any tom dick or harry to take them.
My wife also now claims loads in tax credits and gets child benefit as she always did although I have applied for both also.
Given the nature of her not being good with money, housework, discipline, time management or any aspect of being a parent really would it be totally mad for me to go for full custody? And what would be the likelihood of getting it?
I work at the mo which would mean I too would not be able to take the kids to school but my Mother could do it until i can change my job to fit around the kids and it would keep a bit more normality in their lives rather than sent from pillar to post.
The STBX cannot understand why I am still here either as she has said that if she were me she would be long gone by now but I feel this is just another bluff to try and force me out.
She says from what she can gather ''normal protocol is for one of you to leave''...who is to say whats normal? I love my kids to bits and have treasured every moment of being a hands on father and a good husband too but this has ripped me apart. Its bad enough losing the woman you thought was there for you forever but for her to change so much and then try to take the kids from you too is just harsh.
Why would she even think i''d give up so easily? I will do anything for them.
And I do not want them to see me packing a bag and leaving with the lasting impression that ''Dad is leaving us'' which was never going to be the case.
If anyone has been in similar situations then please let me know.
Like I say, i''ll go all out to protect my kids and give them the best in life but what i really want is for them to be happy and stable which at present they are not.
Thanks..and sorry for the long rambling post.

  • hawaythelads
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14 May 12 #330391 by hawaythelads
Reply from hawaythelads
Hi Bob,
Noticed your post dropping down the top ten unanswered.
Apparently all the politically correct posters on here say that family law is completely unbiased on gender when it decides whether the children live with the mother or the father.
.........I say you''ve got more chance of seeing God if you''re a bloke.
Shxt or bust time though innit.
You might as well go for it.
All the best
Pete xx

p.s She won''t let the kids go.... because bag the kids.....bag the money.

  • Fiona
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14 May 12 #330516 by Fiona
Reply from Fiona
Can fathers get residence? Of course some fathers can, and there are a number on WV who do although they are probably too busy to post on a regular basis. 12% of single parent families are headed by a father. Recent research estimates 3% of separated parents share care 50:50 but that is more likely to be agreed by parents than imposed by the courts.

When courts consider arrangement for children they must give regard to the Welfare Checklist in s1 Children Act 1983. This includes the views of children according to their age and maturity, background and the effects of any change. Given that the majority of fathers (about 90-95%) with dependent children work in full-time inflexible jobs and work longer hours than any group of men whereas the majority of mothers with dependent don''t'' work or work in part time flexible jobs to accommodate child care it is an uphill struggle changing the long term arrangement which was established during the parents'' relationship. These days the outcome of many residence applications is shared residence and if there is a history of both parents working full time and sharing child care equally eg school drop offs, taking time of work to care for sick children, buying and preparing food for children 50:50 shared residence is likely.

Sadly it isn''t unusual for children to be upset when their parents are separating particularly if they witness outbursts of temper and conflict between their parents. Courts hear allegations and counter allegations all the time and without evidence from professionals such as teachers or social workers that children are suffering significant harm a judge will have difficulty choosing between two stories. Even when it has been established the children have suffered harm or are at risk of harm that is weighed against the strengths such as the sense of security continuing the pattern of care, the strength of established bonds and measures that might be put in place. The courts aren''t looking for the better parent, rather assessing if the parenting is "good enough."

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