What''s this I hear about a "dad''s deal"?
I''ve recently heard somewhere in the press that there''s a "deal" that the court give to dads.
Apparently it''s almost as simple as "give the father every other weekend", as a deal, and that''s pretty much the end of the story.
I''ve also heard that it''s almost futile to even bother fighting for residence of children because, regardless of what the mum does, the dad just gets the dad''s deal.
I''m worried enough as it is, since my kids seem to have not only a very clear idea of where they are and with whom on what day, but they''re both young (5 and 7).
My sol has said that since there is no order in place, while I can encourage contact as much as possible (which I do), if the children are adamant they want to stay at home, I am listening to their needs.
Am I, as most dads (it seems), regardless of routine in place, bad behaviour and abuse from her side just headed for changes being made by court?
It isn''t unusual for parents to share the quality time at weekends and during the school holidays 50:50 with perhaps a night or so during the week. However, apparently 12% of single parent families are headed by a father and recent research estimates 3% of separated parents share care 50:50. There are a number of WV dads who have their children living with them for the majority of the time or 50:50 . There are also a number of mums who don''t'' have children living with them eg Rob?, Monitor, GuernseyGuy, Oz?, Tinny, Mummybear, Elizabeth, Soulruler, Ssoria immediatiatey spring to mind but there quite a few others.
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 arrangement which was established during the parents'' relationship.
As far as abuse or neglect are concerned the 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 that is weighed against the strengths such as the sense of security, 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."