I’m after advice before I leave my relationship. We’ve been together 6 years and share a 3yr old daughter. My partner also has a child from a previous relationship who he sees only on alternate weekends with extra in the school holidays. I know he will fight me for 50/50 custody because he did with his older child and he feels hes missed out so much on his upbringing. Hes about to go to university so he will have a lot more free time and what’s stopping me from leaving is that I’m scared of how he will react, but also just terrified of ending up with 50/50 custody. I’m not unreasonable, he really is a useless father and I have concerns for our daughters safety if she were to live with him, aswell as the fact that he simply wont parent her in any way shape or form. I’ve been a full time mum since she was born with him working full time so that’s our usual arrangement.
But what is the likelihood that we’ll end up in a shared arrangement?
If there is a safeguarding issue then CAFCASS would be involved but my experience of CAFCASS is that they very much look to the future, experience of lack of parenting in the past isn’t taken into account. It’s all about looking to the future and allowing the other parent (despite all the serious issues you raise) to build a future with the child/children. Like I say, only my experience so far with the system.
You mention the word fight for 50:50 shared care; it would be better to talk to your ex and explain your concerns as fighting through court over children will only strain your parenting relationship with him. If you have concerns then I would talk to him either directly or at mediation so that the both of you can agree on an arrangement that works for the children. It maybe that you could suggest some kind of middle ground with a phased approach where contact builds up as it will be a big impact on your children – putting it into the hands of the court could result in an order being made which neither parent is happy with.
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