50/50 custody to avoid paying maintenance

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  • #37280 Report



    Looking for some advice & direction from anyone who has been in my situation please.

    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 a, nd 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 balls 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 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?

    #37283 Report


    Evening LittleMiss,

    I have recently had my final hearing for the children’s courts, after being taken by my daughters father! He has the family home and a flourishing business so financially he’s doing wonders. I received the absolute minimum in CMA due to ‘fiddling’.. this is still an ongoing investigation he is unaware of. The only advise I can give you is I hope you kept records of incidents/particular swapped days & nights by him/things he doesn’t do for the boys… you need evidence to build up a picture to the courts as you will be given an opportunity to write out a statement to insist why your current plan shouldn’t change. He will also get to do the same… This is where it can get nasty and desperate. But even at the end of all of it and an order is written up, it doesn’t really stand for much as if he didn’t stick to the order you would then have to make a new application to the court and start the process all over again as to why the order hadn’t worked (again building evidence). It’s cost me £6k… a whole load of solicitor fees/2 court hearings with 2 lots of barrister fees. He got what he wanted (practically 50/50 all due to CMA). But I made sure he took daytime responsibilities too because initially he only wanted them overnight til the next morning! I have breakfast clubs and a nursery bill to fork out for. We’re 1 week in and already he’s asked to swap a few days next week!!! Bloody cheek.
    have strength and don’t be allowed to be bullied.

    #37292 Report


    Hi Littlemiss,

    The issue your ex has is that if he has a new partner, he doesn’t want extra time with his children, he wants time for long weekends away.

    So this is pure bullying.  I’d ignore the 10 day thing, it’s a phony deadline.  I doubt your ex will go for an access order because court-ordered access where he is subject to scrutiny, is the last thing he wants.

    #48902 Report


    Hi LittleMiss1982,

    I honestly could have written word for word your post! I just wondered if you achieved a resolution, or have anything that helped you through this time? I am having the exact same battle now with my ex over our 3 and 9 year old, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared.

    I really hope you’re well and have come through this stronger.



    #48904 Report


    he can apply to court for 50/50 but there is no guarantee he will get it. courts still tend to favour kids living with mothers.

    #48908 Report


    Hi CharleyMac, Littlemiss1982 post is 11 months old so you may not get a reply.

    With you having a 9 year old and a 3 year old its unlikely your ex will get 50-50.  Its best if  possible if you are able to reach agreement with ex how much time he gets without having to go to family court. What contact he gets will also depend on how much he has at moment as well.

    With you having a 3 year old and a 9 year old it could be problematic how midweek contact would work unless your youngest is already in nursery etc.

    #48930 Report


    I’m Michelle one of the Moderators here in the forum.  I can see that the issues raised in this thread are still resonating with members.  CharlyMac it’s good to see you posting.  I’ve sent you a message with some links that may be helpful.

    Kind regards


    #63103 Report


    Hi Michelle,

    Could you possibly share the links you mention? I am having the same issue. It is heartbreaking that a parent can be granted shared 50/50 when their motive is purely financial. Our children’s final hearing is next year and behave in a shocking way to try to a achieve it.

    Thank you.

    #63115 Report


    Hi @Quietlife21, yes I can send you that information. Please look out for a private message from me. Best wishes.

    #64296 Report


    Hi Michelle. I have never posted on this as new. I have signed up as a concerned, mother and Grandparent. Sorry if this is not allowed. My daughter left an abusive and controlling relationship, and is having  real problems with her ex over their 2 year old. Her ex is trying everything to avoid maintenance. He even phoned Child Maintenance to try and get them to stop the process. Told them my daughter had agreed something with him. They have now halted the process, pending further investigation. My daughter has received nothing. He also got the Child Benefit in his own name from the beginning, and won’t sign it over to her. He refused to leave the marital home, so we are supporting them both. In addition to this, he is refusing to contribute to the one morning at nursery. The nursery was to help the wee one learn to mix with other children after Covid restrictions. She loves it, but we are not sure if we can afford to continue it. Unfortunately everything he is doing is not in the interests of his daughter. Its all about money. It would be really appreciated, If you could send me some usefull links, or guidance on this

    #64299 Report



    the CMS are very systematic. they like to use child benefit to decide who child lives with. so if it’s registered under fathers name, they will likely decide child lives with him. other evidence they like to see to decide matters are court orders, like child arrangement orders, as they state who the child lives with, or if child lives with both parents.

    #64306 Report


    Thank you for the response. Unfortunately he applied for it in his own name just after the birth of their daughter. My daughter did not know about this until she looked into it. She was suffering from Post Natal Depression. She has not received any of it to date. The child is with her most of the time.

    #64360 Report


    Hi @MillieNana, Thanks for posting on behalf of your daughter. Please look out for a private message from me with some ideas for support. Best regards, Helen

    #64367 Report

    *deleted user*

    Just a few hopefully helpful thoughts to add.

    Yes, I get how difficult this is. Mine is sixteen now, so large parts of family court behind us, thank goodness but would highlight the following:

    Although it may not seem like it right now, and I had a massive fear of it, actually going to family court can be beneficial and a good thing. Reason being there is a neutral third party to oversee it i.e the judge. You may find that having a regulated arrangement (you can always suggest one) is the least-worst option if the other partner is uncooperative or unhelpful (or indeed a narcissist). There are plenty of organsiations out there who recognise that you cannot co-parent with a narcissist. Nowadays it is referred to as parallel parenting -as indeed you have to to a large extent parent on your own in the face of this, and mitigate the potential harm coming across from the uncooperative parent. That is what grey rock etc is about.

    However many organisations don’t understand these behavioural dynamics and so don’t get it. It is a mistake on their part to think that only if you are patient and helpful enough, you can negotiate…you can’t always as narcissists have an entirely different agenda from your own – their agenda is all about power and control (of you), seasoned with a nasty and toxic mix of anger, (that they are not getting what they want when they want it), jealousy probably , and sometimes sheer hatred of you …this agenda is  not the same as your agenda (to do things in the interests of your child and for their future…)

    Judges in general have very little patience with ex partners who try to use financial matters as a kind of ‘black mail’ to influence child contact. They understand that according to the law they are never, ever supposed to be mixed up with each other. So the moment it gets to court is the moment that these nasty dynamics are laid bare. And in my view, lose a large part of their power.

    Uncooperative partners will try to intimidate you into not going to court and indeed it can be a scary, stressful  process. This is where the letter from a solicitor ‘mate’ comes in. Ask yourself why this isn’t a solicitor receiving proper, legal instructions from their client.

    Nowadays if i received a letter like this I would fire off a letter straight away complaining to the relevant legal association and asking for compensation for bullying and intimidation. Name a figure in your letter back. A LARGE figure. Chase it up. Solicitors are not ‘mates’ and they are accountable. Your ex is counting on your being a rabbit in the headlights and too scared to do anything.

    Be John Wayne instead. Be Clint Eastwood instead. ‘Make my day…’…Even if you don’t feel like it, be it.

    There is such a thing as justice and no one has the right to take that away from you. Asking a so called ‘mate to write the letter is a horrible, horrible thing to do and we are here to protect our families from this ‘horrible’!

    Re the family court.

    Citizens Advice for which forms to use etc.

    Family Court staff can’t give legal advice, but they can advise on procedure so nothing wrong with phoning them when they reopen after Christmas i.e tomorrow and checking if you are doing the right thing and have got procedure correct.

    CMS I’ve heard mixed reports about. Again, it may be the least worst option to have it regulated through them, and in doing so you take the arguments away.

    My advice would be to never depend on the other uncooperative partner for anything financially. It is sad I guess, but in the past i know that the moment I did ask, i.e. for him to pay for a club regularly – all I would get is that he paid for a while and then upset my DD by withdrawing it suddenly as a kind of emotional blackmail.

    However, child maintenance is your entitlement and needs to be there regardless of vaguaries of ex.

    Therefore also please chase up child benefit procedure as well. if you think you should receive it. Fight for it.

    Good luck



    #64369 Report

    *deleted user*

    Also do please look at the Children’s Act. The basis on which judges make their decisions.

    Child maintenance is entirely seperate in law.

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