I have a six year old son who I have custody of on a 2 week rota: Twice one week and three times the next.
Because of other issues with my ex (and the fact that any disagreement we have results in her getting what she wants and me having to put up with it) I'm at the point where I'm considering taking it to court. I want to push for 50/50 custody (I'm in the UK and know the UK are very behind other countries when it comes to this) but I'm worried about a few things:
1. I know I see my child a lot more than other fathers do so I'm lucky there, but how likely is it that by the end of this case I could actually end up having my time reduced?
2. How likely are the courts going to consider 50/50 or will they be unlikely to change anything as we've had this routine in place for 4-5 years and they may not want to introduce any change to the child?
Even if 50/50 isn't an option at this point I still want to take it to court to get our agreement 'in writing' so they can't force changes on me any time they want, but this is a once in a lifetime thing so this will be my only chance at getting 50/50 custody so that's what I want to start with.
i would advise that you only go to court if she ends up stopping you from seeing your child. i went to court when ex wouldnt let kids stay overnight or broke agreements from current court order, where i was stuck with seing one child for 2 hours a month. going to court will only make things more hostile between you and her. and she will most likely make things as difficult as possible for you.
its possible for your time with your child to get reduced. another dad recently went to court here and lost a monday overnight stay with his son, because it was deemed that his son was getting moved around too much in the week. It's very difficult to get 50/50 equal care as other dads have experienced. and i guarantee you that once you go to court, you will become a repeat customer like me, and end up going back every year.
First, you will need to record everything - is the current order being breached? If so, record every instance, and consider whether what you really want is an enforcement.
Second, the court shies away from issuing orders unless it's necessary. If you have an "agreement" in place that is being continuously breached, you have to demonstrate that you are being screwed around and need to record this order "to put any disagreements to bed and to ensure the reliability of the contact".
Third, if you would like to vary the order, you will have to demonstrate that it is in the child's best interest to do so. You can argue that a 50/50 is going to do this, but it's going to be tough.
Last, how do you handle the ex. Stick to the written agreement - you may agree to something else, but if she doesn't agree don't argue, just go back to the written agreement. You have to train her that contact is not a bargaining tool and you will quickly go back to the written procedures if you don't agree how to change them. Be very quick with contacting social services, or even police, then take it to court if she breaches written orders.