It depends on the effects of your wife''s behaviour on the children. Do the children show any signs of harm? Changing the established arrangement is an uphill struggle without evidence from professionals that children aren''t surviving satisfactorily.
Any significant harm children suffer or risk of significant harm children as a result of the behaviour of a parent is weighed against the strengths including attachment with the parent and any measures that might be put in place to assess whether parenting is "good enough."
That means if your ex admits the errors of her ways and improves her care of the children there may be reluctance to disrupt the children''s sense of security. The outcome of many residence applications is shared residence.
If your wife has applied for the divorce there isn''t much point wasting time and energy defending. You can agree the mariage has broken down but disagree with the reasons.
[thanks for replys cookie 2 & fiona. Daughters have expressed their wishes to CAFCASS ( ages 11 & 6 ) that they would like to live with dad most of the time, their words not mine. Believe ex has sugar coated her chaotic/irresponsible lifestyle on depression and an alledged attack by a ''faceless stranger'' (non sexual) as to her inability to get girls to school. They in that horrid statistic in the uk of having at least a month off school every year . This only one part of my case, lots of other issues. Ex has a few days ago filed 4 divorce and although reasons are ridiclous, best to just agree if that makes her feel better, she wants her ''pound of flesh for sure''. Fingers crossed but in my heart believe ex will have girls 4 school and me w/ends & school hols etc (would ask for every w/end and majority of hols as a starting point) hope letter from cafcass is the right one 2mo? I''ll let u know, x
CAFCASS write to schools, social workers involved with the children etc so they have the opportunity to raise any concerns about children''s welfare. The court usually adopts CAFCASS recommendations but it is fairly unusual for contact/shared residence to be ordered every weekend. It''s more common to share the quality time at weekends and during the holidays 50:50 so that one parent doesn''t get just the hard work during the week.
Bearing this in mind you may be more successful proposing extended contact alternate weekends, say starting on a Thursday after school and ending on a Tuesday morning dropping off at school. Alternatively every other weekend with an overnight during the week might work.
Thanks for that fiona x i work shifts 4on 4off so have been able to ha8e mix of school/ w/end time with girls (115 nights per year), never off school while in my care. Trouble im moving 25m away with partner so if i dont get residence will only b able 2 do fri to sun and school hols! Be gutted 2 see girls for less time than i already do. X
Update ! Cafcass report in, daming report on mother, alcohol missuse, physical harm to one of my daughters by half brother- who should not b living there ! (aged 21), failing in all duties as a parent-list is endless. Girls expressed to CAFCASS they want to live with me. Reccommendations are that a residence order be made in my favour and contact awarded to ex in line with girls wishes ( 1 to 2 days a week and some hol7) Directions hearing next wk. Q. Will there b a final hearing later? Chances i will obtain order- at court next wk or if it goes 2 another later hearing? Thanks x