Shared care and maintenance
8 November 2019 at 11:33 am #32711
Hi everyone, interested to know if anyone has any previous experience with this please.
My ex wife and I share care for our 2 boys and the time between us is almost identical with the exception of a Sunday night on my weekend where I have to drop the boys back to their Mum at her insistence, even though they come back to me after school the next day. The split in a typical fortnight is therefore 6 nights with me and 8 nights with their Mum – were it not for the Sunday night drop off which I am enforced to do, it would be 7 nights each. As a result I am also forced to pay maintenance. This is in-spite of the fact that I earn less and have to provide everything for the boys when they’re with me, clothes, food etc. all expenses (school trips for example) are also split. If anything, I spend more time with the boys during the week as I have changed job and working pattern to be with them rather than use after and pre school clubs – where as their Mum has family and friends and uses clubs to support the boys.
Personally, I feel like I’m being charged to relinquish time with the boys on a Sunday night, cutting short our weekend purely for the benefit of their Mum. I totally agree that all parents should contribute but the CMS seems to be a blunt hammer that looks purely at nights spent in each home rather than the reality – any help, ideas, experience would be warmly welcomed. Thank you.9 November 2019 at 8:55 am #32726
Why does your ex want the children returned on a Sunday night? Is she making sure they are ready for the school week? Ensuring homework is done? Bath night?
Perhaps having been apart all weekend, she feel she needs to see them before she starts her working week. That doesn’t sound unreasonable. If Sunday night is important to her, could you not swap a different night in the week, making it equal?
Well done for rearranging work to allow more time with your boys, but how you ex provides wrap around care is up to her, as long as the children are safe and happy.9 November 2019 at 10:52 am #32731
Unless you can agree about shared care then you only really have two options. Put up and shut up or go via mediation and possibly court.
I’ll be honest and say that though there maybe justifiable reasons on your ex’s part re the Sunday night, it does suggest that finances could be an element of this.
Though how she manages childcare is her business, I also know of cases where the parent who would provide care was awarded contact on this basis over the need for third party care. Which given that the children are having to have wraparound care before and after school is quite significant. So on that front I’d say you’d have a good case for increasing contact further as this would arguably be in the children’s best interests.
The CMS however do also still require in some circumstances those with 50-50 care to pay maintenance. Dependent on the parent getting in first as to who is awarded, despite those that will say not to the contrary. (Ultimately with two parents it’s difficult to divide 365 evenly so one parent will have more!)
In the first instance, I would send a formal non emotive email stating you wish to review the current arrangement. Give an outline of your plan. If Sunday is so she touched base with the children or so she at least gets some quality weekend time be wary of simply riding roughshod over this and look at other dates.