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TOPIC: 5050 shared care

5050 shared care 8 months 9 minutes ago #97528

Hi all.
I would like some help and guidance please if anyone can assist. I will brief you on my VERY difficult case.
I am in a same sex marriage and we split up 20 months ago. We have two children, both through IVF, My ex carried one child, and I carried our second. Since the split, we had an initial rota for the children staying at both our homes. This rota was built and arranged around my working pattern- 10 weeks of 12 hour shifts. She works part time on my days off, so there have never been any childcare issues. In total she has them 40 nights and I have them 30 in the 10 week period.
This pattern works rather well, but I would like to see my children more. I have asked her to increase my nights to 5 more, so that the girls are with us equally at 35 nights each, as currently I have to go 7nights at one point of this rota and I feel it is too long for me to be away from them.. This proposal she has rejected. So I am now in the process of going to court to get this equality for us all.
I would like some advice and guidance if possible to see if anyone else has been in this situation?
We both do the school runs, take to extra curricular activities, dentist, doctors, hospital appointments and any other day to day living- they have everything they need and want at both homes, so the only items that get taken to both houses are their sleeping teddies.

It just seems so frustrating, that because she has them 10 more nights than me, she is the one that wont negotiate on any movement for a rota that was initially temporary, not agreed and signed formally and she gets to make the decisions on our futures. She has assumed the role of the main carer from when we were a family unit as we made the decision that she went part time and I would remain full time. Now it seems, that I am being penalised for remaining in full time employment and she is choosing to remain part time, even though the family dynamics have now changed.

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5050 shared care 7 months 4 weeks ago #97530

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Hi there

I don’t think the fact that you were in a same sex marriage has any bearing on possible outcome.

Your roles have been defined for sometime, but as you almost have equal shared care, I would be loathe to advise that court would be the right course of action, as by your own submission it works well.

I would like to suggest that you offer a compromise, by asking her to agree some movement around the period of seven days, when you go without seeing them. Would you settle for another two days, to break up that week?

Court should always be a last resort, it can put the relationship between separated parents under a great deal of strain.

Sorry if it’s not what you wanted to hear, but it may cost you thousands and you may come out of it with nothing extra.

All the best

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

5050 shared care 7 months 4 weeks ago #97534

Thanks for your reply,

I have tried mediation last year to resolve the issues and unfortunately this broke down as she stated I hadn't prepared and that the girls were too young for any further unsettlement and wasn't willing to change the status quo just yet... JUST YET.
She suggested that she would be willing to relook at it in the future but not right now. I asked again in December 2018 and again the only acknowledgment was that she had addressed this back in July and unwilling to talk about it further.
The girls understand how they go to each others houses by how many sleeps they stay with each of us- so to increase my nights by approx 1 per set and 2 on my final week so I only go 5 days without seeing them.. I don't think is unreasonable or upsetting any status quo... as the status quo is sleeps not days..
My journey now is to go to court- and that is in preparation, so I was just after advice and guidance if anyone has had similar experiences (not necessarily f-f or m-m relationships but any)

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5050 shared care 7 months 4 weeks ago #97540

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Hi again...

My comments were made with my Moderation experience over many years... equal shared care can be awarded, but to be honest it’s difficult to achieve... and my fear for you is that a judge will look at the contact you currently have, and because of your ex’s objections, will not see a compelling enough case to change the existing arrangements.

You may get a more favourable hearing if you go before a higher judge, as they tend to be more fair minded and thorough... If it’s before Magistrates, their lack of legal knowledge often leads them to sit on the fence, without the courage to push too hard against any objections.

I really don’t want to discourage you from your chosen journey, and we will do our best to advice and support you through the process.

It’s simply impossible to predict outcomes, it can often be down to the judge on the day, and similar cases can have wildly different outcomes.

We have had members that have been successful in getting a shared care order, but more often than not, they come away with less than they asked for in that respect. If you are able to get an Order that recognises that the children live with both of you, as opposed to living with one and visiting the other parent, you would be on the right track. You may get a compromise result of a couple of days, rather than the full 5 days that youre asking for... quite often successful orders are more about making compromises, and working together.

All the best

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

5050 shared care 7 months 3 weeks ago #97548

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Hi

Mojo has given you some good advice & it's a shame you're going to have to head to court.

How old are the children?

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DAD.info Moderator

I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

5050 shared care 3 months 1 week ago #100025

Hi all,

Thought I would update- we had our final hearing on 2nd July 2019.
I was asking for 50/50 split care so in my 10 week rota an extra 5 nights.. the courts awarded me 4!!!!
I am so happy with the results.

Now for the next battle.. CMS payments and Child Benefit.
Ex is still claiming that for the sake of 11 hours per week, she is still entitled to claim CMS payments from me and claim CB for both children.

I have been in touch with the CB office and they have advised me to resubmit my claim for CB as I am the biological mother of one of the girls,and given the shared care arrangement I should be entitled to have this back from her.

I am currently waiting for the CMS adjustments to come through to then make an appeal that as we both share equal care of the children, CMS should be considered as a NIL payment due to us both sharing the daily needs and requirements of the girls even though it is not quite 50/50.

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5050 shared care 3 months 1 week ago #100028

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That’s a good result, well done. Best of luck with your next battle too!

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

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