Advice needed – shared custody
11 August 2021 at 7:11 pm #57463
I’ve been separated from my ex husband coming up to three years now. Things have been mostly amicable but have taken a turn for the worst in recent months.
My ex asked for shared custody when we split and due to mental health struggles at the time, I agreed, genuinely believing it was best for the kids. We had set days – and had them mainly on weekdays due to him working away but some weekends too.
A month or so ago we had a meeting, with our new live-in partners there too. I was basically told my him and his gf that they wanted their weekends and we had to do a week on/week off arrangement or they’d take me to court.
I’m really struggling with this. Firstly, and most importantly, I miss the kids like mad as the longest I went without seeing them before was three days.
My ex also keeps making a plans for the kids without telling me, like changing their karate lesson times, or signing them up for Scouts. I’m only finding out via my eldest son (11) who is unwittingly being messenger.
I’m also unhappy about the way he parents. I try not to pry on what happens when they’re there but I’ve been told in the last week while they’ve been in his care he’s got so drunk he’s thrown up, let our 5 year old son stay up until 1am and given them McDonalds for lunch and fish and chips for tea on the same day!
Not to mention that while he proudly tells everyone he co-parents it’s actually me that takes our children to hospital appointments (despite not driving when he does), buys all their school stuff, replies to party invites, fills out all the school forms, does reading books, etc. He is forgetful, unreliable and doesn’t seem to care that much about the boys – he rarely takes them on days for out, etc.
I want to increase how much I have them to 70-80% of the time, not least because he’s moving from being 5mins walk down the road to half an hour’s drive away, meaning the kids will have ages to travel to school on the weeks with him. My dad thinks, however, that because I initially agreed to co-parenting I can’t change the 50/50 split now.
Any advice would be most welcome please. I currently feel totally at the mercy of my ex, with him messaging things like kids have a karate grading tomorrow the night before! I’ve tried to be nice, like having them extra at the last min so he could celebrate his new gf’s birthday but he’s so rude and horrible to me. Can I legally ask for set days again if we have to keep the 50/50 custody?
Thank you in advance!11 August 2021 at 11:39 pm #57473
if you could both agree to have a 50/50 arrangement, I think it would be a lot better than having to go through the courts to sort it out. whats the current arrangement exactly? some parents do 3 days on, 3 days off, or 1 week on, 1 week off. you mention you will find it hard to do weekly routine. but you should bear in mind that in the courts, often they give the non-resident parent 1 week, 2 weeks in the summer holiday etc, as they recognise children should be spending quality time with both parents. I have an order, although not 50/50, going forward the kids will be staying 2 weeks with me in summer, 1 week in easter and xmas.
if you both do end up having to go to court, the outcome can be unpredictable. they will decide on what is in best interests of the children. it could be an outcome that both of you disagree with but will have to stick to.