[Solved] Going for 50/50 to avoid paying maintenence
Understandably, I think you're making more out of this than what it is.
It doesn't look like he has a strong case.
What happens is this will go to FHDRA, you will state what the current arrangements are.
State them as matter of fact - draw the plan down. It helps if you draw it in a neutral workable pragmatic way that can readily be added to an order.
And say you'd like to keep them because it is their current routine. State it in a way that he agrees it is the current routine.
That's the end of it - be matter of factly.
He will then need to argue to change this routine.
And the court may or may not agree - it comes down to what's best for the children.
The courts are averse to changing routines if they are working.
If he argues it's because of finance and child maintenance - he will be shot down.
But the courts also like to see the children seeing the parents equally as much as possible if it's in their best interest.
All this stuff about finances and the odd night here and there - it's all a red herring, and if anything it harms his case. Don't be the one to bring it up.
Get an order that defines the contact details.
Once this is all done, take it to the CMS and have them calculate child maintenance.
Safeguarding - from what you say there are none. If you believe that say so. CAFCASS will ask why you think you are in court - state that he wants more contact, and you want the current routine because it is best for the children.
Position statement - yes, write one up. 1 or 2 pages. Say the children have a routine, and you'd like to keep it because they are settled into it.
You say you are concerned they will grant a shared residence order - what's wrong with that? even if it's 60/40 or 50/50 or whatever. You'll have to clearly articulate why a shared residence order is not in the children's best interest, and it doesn't sound like it necessarily is.
I think there is a money worry for you, and perhaps there is at least some desire from yourself to have some financial stability vis-a-vis his child maintenance payments (you say you don't want to go back again and again) and you talk a lot about control.
It's important for you to see the woods for the trees and understand whether this is in anyway contributing to your stance regarding contact.
Parenting is a shared responsibility and at the end of the day you will always have to compromise - would it be so bad if he has them 50/50? would he be more inclined to pay for them?
Understand that even if you "win" this out, and you force a defined contact routine, and some CMS payments, there are some losses for all of you - he will be more hardened in contact times, he will fret every time you appear to be not complying with the order, the children will lose some of the flexibility of going and coming whenever they leave, if they end up spending time equally he will resent you for what he sees as taking more money than you deserve, etc... and long term it will just aggravate the both of you.
Outside of all of this, for you, in the end it sounds like this will trade up flexibility and some good will (whatever that is) for some regular child maintenance. You'll have to think whether it's a trade worth making.
Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to reply flyingember, I really appreciate your honest and sound advice.
I definately have no issues with shared care after all its exactly what we do at the moment, when I say I'm concerned I suppose yes it is based on a worry about losing the financial contribution I've managed to finally grow the [censored] to claim for after 4 years of being too scared to do it as he threatened a court battle.
I've read with an order saying shared care, he'd be totally exempt from maintenance as far as cms are concerned? which would mean I'd be back to square one, I'd have no help towards their essential needs like their adult sized shoes, clothes, school fees and hobbies, clubs etc.
I've had 2 cms payments since Feb, I've replenished their clothes drawers & trainers, and help to pay bills due to furlough. But the best bit is I've not had to ask him for anything and really hope I don't need to again.
Don't get me wrong, he buys airpods and £400 bikes and all the cool stuff the children long for, but the broken and ripped essentials are always left unnoticed by him and left to me to buy (which I'm willing to do) and I ask him if I'm short or need the contribution, which he loves, then loves to say no he can't afford to help.
It's all so much detail I know and not what courts want to hear or know about.
Just so hard when you've lived with such headache for 4 years, when you finally think you are doing the right thing to end all the misery, you get punished with this bigger headache!
if court order says there is 50/50 shared, equal day to day care, then he would have good chance of getting CMS to stop maintenance payments. some parents have struggled with CMS to still secure that even with an order like that. it may backfire on him. some parents have gone to court just to get 1 extra night, and they came out worse off. generally 50/50 is difficult to achieve in court.
Shared residence (or live with both parents) doesn't mean no maintenance.
It's the number of nights that does - and your court agreed schedule will show that.
@mumofboys I am in exactly same shoes As you, after CMS have been involved i am being continuously threatened with 50:50 and this week has had first legal letter and after 4 years of my son living with me with regular access to his father - once a week overnight and every other weekend. Please do let me know how this all turned out as I am worried sick about it all. Did you have evidence to substantiate that his application was all about cutting maintenance? What did the courts think and did they allow you to use this in your case as like you said they dont like to hear about money? How did it all turn out in the end, did he get 50:50?
Im in exactly the same scenario and was wondering how this all panned out? Did the courts hear your evidence in relation to the only motivation being to reduce child maintenance and did he get 50/50? Worries sick so would really appreciate a reply- thanks in advance
The first question I would consider is whether he genuinely wants increased contact for the right reasons.
In my opionion, you have to tread carefully when it's about maintenance - unless you have concrete evidence that the only reason he is going for 50/50 is to reduce maintenance, then it could end up backfiring on you. It may be that you could counter with more contact, but stopping short of the shared care - after all, if he is given just short of 50/50, if it's not about the maintenance, why would he say that it's not acceptable.
Hopefully others with more experience of this will be able to give advice on this.
He has stated he wants our child 50/50 so no maintenance. It also has only come up as a result of CMS becoming involved - the accessed he should pay £10 a week based on £10k of annual income then when it went to investigation they found a further £100k of income. This took 5 months and in that time the whole 50/50 was dropped but then the threats started again as a result of the CmS investigation finding £100k of declared income and his payments being significantly changed as a result. Surely thats enough evidence to prove this is just for financial gain
I have this evidence in writing and its been stated to me multiple times. Although then dressed up to being in the Childs best interests but no statement of the real reason why its in his best interests. He also signed an agreement after we split up drafted by a lawyer very clearly outlining our child is to reside with me and with his contact as per current arrangements. He has 2 DUIs and a history of substance abuse which i have some evidence off as well