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[Solved] Going for 50/50 to avoid paying maintenence

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Estimable Member Registered

I'm not sure if I can post this here, I know its a forum for dad's looking for advice, and we have really appreciated the advice given here when my partner was going through his CAO court battle.
I'm here now posting as a mum who is after some advice for myself this time. I find this page much more helpful than mum' etc.
Please accept my apologies if this is not allowed, and delete my thread.

My former husband & I split 2016, we have 2 boys now 15 & 11.

He broke our marriage with betrayal, deceit & lies leaving me with no option than to ask him to leave.

The next day I insisted he had the boys as much as he could, for them to stay close to us both. I also work 4 days and needed his support, as he's flexible in work.

Since 2016 3 set nights a week at dads and then the other 4 with mum in our marital home.

The boys almost do as they please if they want an extra night at mum or dad's they do.

I've never refused any extra time. We've both helped out one another if we've needed to swap or cover extra.

Since his recent new relationship I've had them alot more whilst he likes to go away for long weekends each month. It's not a problem I love it.

Our biggest issue and disputes has been over financial contributions, he's never paid maintenance and we agreed verbally he would buy what the boys need when needed.

This has always been a battle, I ask until I'm blue in the face sometimes for something the boys need, then he belittles me and it turns into arguments, which seem to be getting worse lately.

When we've had sit down conversations in the past about maintenance, he has firstly turned nasty, threatened me with his solicitor friend & court, then he turns desperate & nice and then some how manages to manipulate me into giving in.

So I grew some [censored] and finally contacted CMS. He is furious, when he got his letter he sent manipulative msgs telling me to contact CMS and change it otherwise he would take me to court to change contact times.

I refused to let him bully me, so now I have had a mediation invite, I contacted them and suggested he helps pay for the mediation on my side so I can attend.

He refused and got his c100 form signed.

Yesterday I received a letter from his solicitor friend who is trying to bully me into changing the boys whole routine, uproot all they've know for 4 years so he can get 50/50 and not pay me a penny.

I've got 10 days to comply before they make an application for a child arrangements order.

His suggested new routine does not work for me and my job, where I start early on my non school drop days. I also have a day off a week for me to do both school runs and an early night home for homework and a family dinner together.

I really cannot imagine any less time than I already do with my boys. Our relationship has never been the same since he did what he did to our family. I never chose to be a part time parent. It's taken 4 yrs to settle in our routine and now he wants to do a week around each so as a parent I feel a week without seeing my children will not be easy and is somewhat unreasonable. 🙁

I don't care for money when it comes to time with my children, but out of principle I cannot back down now and let him continue to bully & manipulate me.

The mediator was furious with him and said we did not need to be in court, and money would have been better spent on helping me attend mediation.

I suppose what I'm looking for is if anyone has been here, can they offer any advice or information of what the courts may do in a situation like this, its so very obvious after 4 years of a happy private agreement that he only wants more time to avoid costs.

Surely they won't take time from a fair and flexible mother, to help save him from CMS?

Topic starter Posted : 02/03/2020 2:30 am
Illustrious Member

hi and welcome.

Firstly, no problem with you being a mum -we are primarily focused on getting the best results for the children. I'm not too up to date with the court proceedings these days, so hopefully others will add detail here, but the courts do not like custody (child arrangement orders as they are know these days) to be about money, so any messages you have from him that show that his motives are financially driven will help your case immensely, and I would certainly leave CMS to deal with the maintenance - it sounds like you gave him a fair chance to be reasonable about maintenance, and if he wasn't prepared to take that opportunity, then it's only reasonable that you take the steps you have.

Posted : 02/03/2020 6:22 pm
Estimable Member Registered

Hello and welcome,
I myself have sometimes looked through the Mumsnet forum - sometimes it helps to get a sense of another perspective.
I agree with everything actd has mentioned here. The CMS route seems to be the one to take, as the private arrangement you have clearly isn't working. I also think your ex will show himself up in court (if it gets that far) if you are able to clearly prove this whole court application is primarily motivated by an argument over financial contributions. It will be interesting to hear how he might otherwise try to change things and argue for equal shared care when the existing arrangement is of 4 years steady duration, and therefore familiar to your boys (as well as being very close to an equal share as it is).

Posted : 02/03/2020 9:19 pm
Illustrious Member


sounds like he is being very stubborn. there are other dads out there who are not even being allowed to see their kids, and still having to pay maintenance. sounds like he will end up paying lot of legal fees for court, then end up paying maintenance through CMS anyway.

Posted : 02/03/2020 11:30 pm
Estimable Member Registered

Thank you.
A friend of mine has said the same, the courts do not like to hear its about money.
This worries me, because his application for a strict 50/50 is only provoked by my recent maintenance application.
Him threatening legal action is within the same texts as him telling me to call CMS and change it.
I'm worried they won't want to hear it, if I mention maintenance, and they will just work on him getting his 50/50, uprooting the boys whole routine.
Currently, he collects Saturday 4pm and drops back Tuesday after school.
He's battling for Friday til Friday every other week.
I think 7 days is a long time to expect a child to not see either parent. 🙁

I have until the 9th of March to reply to his solicitor, shall I ignore and let him go the distance, I think he will if he's gone as far to get his c100 signed 🙁
I can't agree with what they are proposing.

Topic starter Posted : 03/03/2020 12:07 pm
Estimable Member Registered

I think you've hit the nail on the head here - 7 days is a long time to go without seeing either parent, and your boys have never experienced this before. This is a even-handed assessment on your part, and one your ex clearly isn't thinking through in his determination to get his own way. I personally think it will be all uphill for your ex to explain why unsettling a long established arrangement - amicably reached (and which has been working well), is in the best interests of the children.

In my opinion, a short response about not agreeing to the disruption for the boys (it sounds like your eldest will soon be doing his GCSEs, so could do without this), while emphasizing the long duration of the current arrangement (not to talk about the degree of flexibility the boys already have whenever they want to spend an extra night with either of you) should be enough.

A lot of fathers here would be very happy with the arrangement you and your ex currently have. I only managed to achieve close to this level of time with my son after going to court. I endured a heartbreaking couple of years of only being 'allowed' by his mum to see him one day weekly, with little or no say over decisions relating to him, and even then I only started the court process once he started school (aged 4), and after she'd made it clear that she intended this situation to be permanent. Your ex should consider himself fortunate to have a co-parent who understands that their children want and need to be raised by both parents.

Any court order would have a very limited duration - particularly in relation to your 15 year old. I imagine the question of why your ex is raising a change of arrangements so late in the day will be something he'll also have to answer in court.

Posted : 03/03/2020 5:31 pm
Illustrious Member

I think you should be careful on how you approach it, but I would say that his messages to you are absolutely relevant, he is only trying for 50/50 to avoid paying maintenance, and is not about the children at all, the courts won't like that at all. I would comply with everything you are asked, including replying to documentation. Again, hopefully others can give you more information on the technical side.

Posted : 03/03/2020 5:33 pm
Famed Member

You will be able to furnish the court with a brief position statement at your first hearing. Keep it brief and matter of fact.

Prior to the hearing, you should get a safeguarding letter after your Cafcass call which will contain rec's to the court.

Given the children's ages, they are likely to be spoken to in a neutral setting to assess their wishes and feelings.

Week on week off isn't usually a favoured arrangement in my experience when a court is deciding.

As actd said, if you have evidence to show the application is financially motivated, you can use this. Don't submit it at your first hearing. Mention you have it to back up your position. The court can tell you when they want you to submit the evidence.

Posted : 03/03/2020 5:40 pm
Illustrious Member


i have read some other cases where this 1 week on and 1 week off works well for some parents. but obviously theres disagreements in this situation. at present i see kids fri-sun every, every 2 weeks. and a mid week, every 2 weeks. so i wait like 8 days before having kids for a full weekend again. it's not nice, but i am in court process again, to reduce this time. my fear is what happens when kids enter teen years, and they may not give a dam about these kinds of arrangements and do whatever they want.

Posted : 04/03/2020 12:15 am
Estimable Member Registered

That's where I am at with our boys, 15 & 11. They pretty much do as they please at the mo, with swapping around to suit them, we do try to stick to our routine as much as possible due to work commitments etc.

I am so flexible, only last night my eldest asked if he could go watch the footie with his dad tonight, where he should be home.
I always say yes no prob, I was a little hesitant with all going on at the mo. I agreed obviously as its what my son wanted to do.

If he wins this ridiculous battle for a strict court order of 50/50 week about, Where's that leave us with flexibility? It's ridiculous, the kids themselves won't stick to it

I am aware the boys are pretty much old enough to say what they want now anyway, which is why it's crazy to even consider a court application and this silly new sudden routine at their ages.

Topic starter Posted : 04/03/2020 2:53 am
Illustrious Member

I can't see any reason why a court would make any significant change, though it is up to the judge on the day. If you aren't already doing so, keep a diary of all contact and changes, it could be useful later.

Posted : 04/03/2020 5:30 pm
Estimable Member Registered

Hi all
Back again for some more advice based on my thread please. Sorry for the long post.

So some time has passed, and my ex husband has gone the whole hog, I received his c100 app to court last week!
After his 50/50 proposal through his solicitor, I replied a very good response of why I would not agree and why it would not work. Thanks for the above advice on this guys!

I got another letter with another proposal, he know wants 2 extra nights a month instead.
I did not reply to this 2nd letter, it came as I was under alot of pressure and laid off work due to covid. It was the last thing on my mind.

C100 landed last week, with his reasons for why he wants a CAO. He has put, mother requesting extra time each month, and keeping the children on my nights without agreement.
He also says he pays me £120 approx each month for the children, and I am requesting more money and involved cms with lies about his contact nights so I can increase my payment.

Firstly I have never received a penny towards the children from their father since we seperated.
I'd like them to ask him for evidence of this.

Secondly I can hand on heart say I've never kept our children without agreement, and vice versa never needed to, we have always been so amicable.
As for requesting extra each month, he is referring to 1 Saturday night per month that we agreed Easter 2019, it gave the boys chance to spend a Sunday with mum and him a chance to get away on adult weekends. We've been agreeing between us this 1 saturday a month for a year now until I applied to cms.
He has now point blank told me no I can't have the boys.
Leaving me to have to cancel some weekend plans we've made. Which has left our youngest upset. He even refused mother's day, causing a huge row and upset.

Thirdly, I told cms exactly the correct nights and they've worked it out. He falls 104-155, borderline.
He now only wants at least 2 more nights from his court application so he comes within 156 - 174. (may I add I knew nothing about these bands until he told me via text when trying to get me to tell cms I'd made a mistake)

I noticed he has crossed out his solicitor on his application and looks like he is now going it alone.
So very sad to see lies about the situation on his c100, without them he'd have no grounds to apply for one I suppose.
He has mentioned I'm not amicable, funnily enough he is the one that has blocked me, and refusing the children when they ask to stay at mums, the other way round I have agreed everytime.

Suppose what I'm looking for is advice/experience, I know how it works from here in court stages, with my current partners experience.
I also know family court does not like it to be about money, but also know lies are condoned too.
Sadly we are only there because of money.
Something he hates parting with!
Never spoke to a judge or mags before I'm a little worried of how to approach it and get my point across of why he has me there, without talking as much about cms as I have had to in this thread.
I don't want any changes at all, I want the same contact time. I really don't want a CAO, I don't want the boys (all parties) to lose the flexibility they have always had.
I don't want him to have this control over me anymore.
I'm also concerned they will just grant a shared care order? Seem the most obvious in our situation and as I want to keep to the 60/40 for the children.
Cms told him with a court order he won't have to pay me a penny maintenance.
If this happens it puts us back to square one. I don't care for money as such, but I care for the boys needs and my sanity, and how having to ask him over and over again for help or a contribution towards their essentials is so tiresome, he is intimidating and degrading, it turns into a dispute every time, It gives him control again, the thing I'm trying so hard to get away from.

We are awaiting a court date, they have asked us to produce a parent plan. Shall I just write up what we do now? Believe me I'm tempted to write up less so I get every other full weekend, but the boys are used to our routine.
When cafcass call about safeguarding, there is no concerns, do I go into any detail of why he has us in court?
Do you think I could send in a position statement and to all parties before the hearing?
I feel if I can paint the picture before it's looked at then I won't have to go into the details at all and can just answer questions.
He is a very manipulative, charming man and will worm his way out of this.
I just want them to have an understanding of the truth, how it's been and what he is really like. 🙁

This application makes me so angry, it's ridiculous there's a father that sees his children whenever he wants, yet he is pulling this fast one because he's lost control and sees himself out of pocket.
Whilst currently my partner is sat on hot coals every day awaiting his c79 to come through as he's not seen his children for 9 weeks.

Topic starter Posted : 13/05/2020 12:22 pm
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