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Who Gets Custody?

By: James Bloom - Updated: 5 Jul 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Marriage Relationship Divorce Breaking

Deciding on residency arrangements (previously known as custody) for your children after you break up can be a complicated issue. If you and your partner cannot agree together on where they will live, a court can be asked to decide. Depending on your individual circumstances, this can be a painful process. The courts will only make a residency order if all other options have been exhausted.

Parental Responsibility

When a married couple separate, both mother and father have parental responsibility. If they are unmarried, only the mother has automatic rights in respect of the child, so if they break up, she has the sole right to look after her child in a manner and place as she sees fit.

Since 2002, an unmarried father can also acquire parental responsibility if he jointly registers the child’s birth with the mother. He can also get parental responsibility if both partners sign a Parental Responsibility Agreement. This can be done at any time during the relationship or separation and can also be ordered by a court during or after the separation process.

Whether or not the father has parental responsibility, he is still responsible for the financial support of his children. He can be contacted by the Child Support Agency for this money.

Deciding Residency

One of the forms usually presented at court along with a divorce petition is a Statement of Arrangements, which proposes where and with whom the children will live, schools they will attend, who looks after them and how often they see the other parent.

The divorce petitioner should, as a matter of good practise, present the statement to the other parent for agreement before it is submitted. Courts encourage the parents to reach an agreement without them having to get involved. If you are having trouble reaching an agreement, it may be worth seeing a mediator before you divorce.

Mediators can be very helpful resolving sensitive issues like where your children will live. They provide an organised and constructive environment in which you can look at all the possible options and concerns and decide which is the most beneficial for your children and you. They have a good track record in helping children maintain family relationships. Mediation can be free depending on your circumstances.

At the start of divorce proceedings, the court will set up a conciliation appointment. If this does not result in agreement, the court will get both you and your partner to talk to a CAFCASS officer, from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Services. If an agreement still cannot be reached, the officer you see will take statements and make a recommendation to the court.

It is important to co-operate with the CAFCASS officer as their opinion is very influential to the court’s decision.

How the Courts Decide

In the 1989 Children’s Act, it states that when the court makes any decision about a child, the child’s welfare must be the court’s ‘paramount consideration’. There is a list of key factors they take into account when making their decision:
  • Your child’s wishes and feelings. These will be given more consideration the older the child is.
  • Your child’s physical, emotional and educational needs. This covers both love & affection and food & housing.
  • The likely effect of a change of circumstances on your child. Their greatest concern here will be causing minimum disturbance to the child.
  • Your child’s age, sex and background. This could include cultural, religious or disability needs.
  • If your child has suffered harm or is at risk of suffering harm. Recently, this also includes any domestic abuse the child has seen or heard.
  • The parents’ capabilities with regard to the child’s needs. This can include assessing whether the non-resident parent is capable of caring for the child. Or whether either parent is impaired by drink or drugs.
  • The range of powers available to the court. There are a range of orders a court can make. Sometimes they decide no order is necessary.
More than half of all cases where residency is ordered by a court result in the mother being awarded sole residency. Around one-fifth result in sole residency being awarded to the father (a significant increase from the 1990s). Joint residency is also awarded in approximately one-fifth of divorces.

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[Add a Comment]
Bob - Your Question:
Please,Where father is awarded custody by court with no child support to either party.if that changes from Mother having just one weekend in two plus every Wednesday after school and overnight to, at her request, 50 50 share.does the father then have to start paying child support?

Our Response:
If the matter was decided in court, it would have to be referred back to court. Unless a year had passed, in which case CMS can take the case over and make a new assessment. You would need to speak to CMS directly to verify this.
DivorceResource - 6-Jul-18 @ 12:57 PM
Jj - Your Question:
Hi me and my partner have recently split up. (Relationship brake down) he is now saying that he is going to take me to court over our son he is 18months Iv not said he can’t see him just that I don’t want him having him alone until he’s older. reason being is he has never done anything with him. bathed/given him food/milk changed put him to bed all the things that make you a father. I’m just worried as I’m now living with my mum an waiting to get a permanent home will he stand a chance in court? I do everything possible for our son like any mother would if I could have a bit of advice would be great thank you

Our Response:
If you cannot agree between you or via mediation (which would be the next option to consider), then your ex would have the option to apply to court. Please see the link here which should help further answer your question.
DivorceResource - 6-Jul-18 @ 10:06 AM
Please, Where father is awarded custody by court with no child support to either party ...if that changes from Mother having just one weekend in two plus every Wednesday after school and overnight to, at her request, 50 50 share ...does the father then have to start paying child support?
Bob - 5-Jul-18 @ 11:04 AM
Hi me and my partner have recently split up. (Relationship brake down) he is now saying that he is going to take me to court over our son he is 18months Iv not said he can’t see him just that I don’t want him having him alone until he’s older.. reason being is he has never done anything with him.. bathed/given him food/milk changed put him to bed all the things that make you a father. I’m just worried as I’m now living with my mum an waiting to get a permanent home will he stand a chance in court? I do everything possible for our son like any mother would if I could have a bit of advice would be great thank you
Jj - 4-Jul-18 @ 11:07 PM
Ks02guy - Your Question:
I am asking for a friend. He has seperated and is going through divorce proceedings. His wife has currently agreed to have 50 50 split on the children in relation to where they stay etc. His eldest son is wanting to live with him at 13 or stay as much as possible. If this is more than the 50 50 agreement, how would that work?

Our Response:
If your friend and his ex cannot agree between them, then mediation is the next option for them to consider with regards to coming to an agreement. Some parents agree to take one child each. It sounds in your friends case, the case of who lives where may still be up to negotiation.
DivorceResource - 29-Jun-18 @ 3:37 PM
I am asking for a friend. He has seperated and is going through divorce proceedings. His wife has currently agreed to have 50 50 split on the children in relation to where they stay etc. His eldest son is wanting to live with him at 13 or stay as much as possible. If this is more than the 50 50 agreement, how would that work?
Ks02guy - 29-Jun-18 @ 2:37 PM
Doting mum- Your Question:
My husband and I have been seperated for about 2 years 7 months. We broke up when my then 5 year old accused him of sexual assault. It was investigated by the police but they did not take it to Court because they did not feel there was enough evidence to secure a conviction even though my son was consistant and the medical report was consistant with sexual abuse. He is threatening to get full custody and is adamant that he will get it because he was not convicted. He was however convicted of growing cannibis and got a 2 year suspended sentance. So he has a criminal record. Is there any chance that he will get custody. I am terrified of my son ever being alone with him. My son still remembers and does not want to be alone with him. What kind of advice could you offer please.

Our Response:
Even regardless of your ex's convictions and investigation, it is very rare that a court will take a child from the resident parent and hand the child to over to the non-resident parent unless absolutely necessary.
DivorceResource - 4-Jun-18 @ 12:29 PM
My husband and i have been seperated for about 2 years 7 months. We broke up when my then 5 year old accused him of sexual assault. It was investigated by the police but they did not take it to Court because they did not feel there was enough evidence to secure a conviction even though my son was consistant and the medical report was consistant with sexual abuse. He is threatening to get full custody and is adamant that he will get it because he was not convicted. He was however convicted of growing cannibis and got a 2 year suspended sentance. So he has a criminal record. Is there any chance that he will get custody. I am terrified of my son ever being alone with him. My son still remembers and does not want to be alone with him. What kind of advice could you offer please.
Doting mum - 1-Jun-18 @ 5:25 PM
Poppi - Your Question:
Currently still cohabiting (and have been for past two years) with to be ex husband. house is due to sell soon and need to arrange residency for our two girls (one 14 one 10). in past two years he’s contributed to mortgage and utility bills but I’ve basically provided everything else financially/ kept house and been girls main parent as he’s self inprisoned himself in single room in house not talking to girls for days on end. now we’re moving out he wants 50/50 care share. eldest doesn’t want this (very tense relationship) and only wants every second weekend. youngest just wants fairness? which he’s told her is week on week off. how do I progress these conflicting issues and his previous care of them?

Our Response:
In situations such as this, mediation is your best course of action where you cannot agree between yourselves, please see link here.
DivorceResource - 24-May-18 @ 3:29 PM
Currently still cohabiting (and have been for past two years) with to be ex husband ... house is due to sell soon and need to arrange residency for our two girls (one 14 one 10) ... in past two years he’s contributed to mortgage and utility bills but I’ve basically provided everything else financially/ kept house and been girls main parent as he’s self inprisoned himself in single room in house not talking to girls for days on end ... now we’removing out he wants 50/50 care share ... eldest doesn’t want this (very tense relationship) and only wants every second weekend ... youngest just wants fairness? which he’s told her is week on week off ... how do I progress these conflicting issues and his previous care of them?
Poppi - 24-May-18 @ 12:33 AM
a father - Your Question:
Hello! one week ago I had to leave my wife and kids because we had an argument and her start to hit me holding in the same time one of my twin baby boy. I grabbed her and took my son from her arms and tried to calm her down. She start yelling like a crazy person. in that moment all I was thinking was my two twin boys(17 months old). I`m a father in uk, no one will give me the right to take them from her. Me and my wife , had a lot of problems in the past because her family and her problem with alcohool. I want to say I never been a fan of alcohool and quit smoking a few months ago. From the moment I quit smoking she start to be more agresive and she start drinking every weekend and even during the week. I was working most of the time and I can understand how hard is to be looking after two boys at once, but almost every day I was cleening the house, feed my kids, change their nappies, bath them. A couple of weeks ago, one of her sisters who was the nanny of my kids, decided to leave and my wife lost it from that time. I couldn`t get into the house without bringing the police. anyway, she ask the police to arest me because I assault her, or hit her. Police seid to her they cannot do that because she didnt had any marks on her body and I was the one with scratches on my hand, neck and head. I didnt report her, obviously. she is the mother of my kids. But now i`m struggling to see my kids. Iwent there and I left for my boys everything they needed(fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken, milk, nappies etc etc) I paid for the bills and she is forcing me to pay for everything( rent, pocket money for her , bills, food, clothes) I dont mind to pay everything for my kids. But I don`t have the obligation to give her money for her needs. I dont want to say anything about what kind of person is she. I want to know if is a possibility to take my kids with me and take care of them. Now i`m not allow to see them, even we discuss to meet in a public place for her to feel comfortable. For me not having the possibility to see my kids only it is the worse nightmare and I want to know if I can take them from her. Thank you so much for your time!

Our Response:
Taking your children from their other parent, is never a good idea, it can backfire , the police can get involved. What may work as a short-term gain can end up being a long-term loss if it goes wrong or backfires. If your ex is distrustful of you currently, then it will be worse if you try to 'take' your kids. Plus, this is not going to look good in court (whatever you say your reasons may be). If you wish to gain access or apply for residency of your children, you are advised to go through the process laid out here. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the children in question. The court will always put the children’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. With regards to child maintenance, your ex can put a claim into CMS. As a non-resident parent you are by law obligated to help support them financially in their day-to-day care. All non-resident parents are required to do this and payment has to be made to the resident parent (unless the resident parent agrees it can go straight to the kids).
DivorceResource - 4-May-18 @ 12:15 PM
Hello! one week ago i had to leave my wife and kids because we had an argument and her start to hit me holding in the same time one of my twin baby boy. I grabbed her and took my son from her arms and tried to calm her down. She start yelling like a crazy person. in that moment all i was thinking was my two twin boys(17 months old). I`m a father in uk, no one will give me the right to take them from her. Me and my wife , had a lot of problems in the past because her family and her problem with alcohool. I want to say I never been a fan of alcohool and quit smoking a few months ago. From the moment i quit smoking she start to be more agresive and she start drinking every weekend and even during the week. i was working most of the time and i can understand how hard is to be looking after two boys at once, but almost every day i was cleening the house, feed my kids, change their nappies, bath them. A couple of weeks ago, one of her sisters who was the nanny of my kids, decided to leave and my wife lost it from that time. i couldn`t get into the house without bringing the police. anyway, she ask the police to arest me because i assault her, or hit her. Police seid to her they cannot do that because she didnt had any marks on her body and i was the one with scratches on my hand, neck and head. i didnt report her, obviously. she is the mother of my kids. But now i`m struggling to see my kids. Iwent there and ileft formy boys everything they needed(fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken, milk, nappies etc etc) I paid for the bills and she is forcing me to pay for everything( rent, pocket money for her , bills, food, clothes) I dont mind to pay everything for my kids. But i don`t have the obligation to give her money for her needs. i dont want to say anything about what kind of person is she. I want to know if is a possibility to take my kids with me and take care of them. Now i`m not allow to see them, even we discuss to meet in a public place for her to feel comfortable. For me not having the possibility to see my kids only it is the worse nightmare and i want to know if i can take them from her. Thank you so much for your time!
a father - 1-May-18 @ 11:32 PM
Summer - Your Question:
Hi I left an emotionally abusive marriage last year after years of suffering. There were verbal insults and also two occasions of physical abuse. He was also becoming extremely aggressive and angry towards. We have two children ages 8 and 5. I reported him to the police (they came to the house and filmed me) and social services became as there is a MARAC on kids records. (My ex works in a school and was investigated). He was eventually cleared on the proviso of doing marriage counselling and anger counselling but this was never followed up by social services. Nothing changed he never put any effort or tried to make the marriage work and now he wants to divorce me. I have accepted it and don’t want to be wjth him either and want out of this marriage. He is amicable and wants me to take children back to my home town where the schools are far better, area and house is better than current living arrangements. I will also have supper of grandparents. He has no practical support and can not afford to look after kids full time. A parent plan has been drawn up with the sol. I wonders can he gain full custody in future with his background? I have no proof

Our Response:
If you are the day-to-day primary carer of your children and continue in this role, it is unlikely a court would pass over residency of the children to your ex. The courts like children to have consistency and stability in their lives and will not remove children from one parent to another unless absolutely necessary.
DivorceResource - 20-Apr-18 @ 11:07 AM
Hi I left an emotionally abusive marriage last year after years of suffering. There were verbal insults and also two occasions of physical abuse. He was also becoming extremely aggressive and angry towards . We have two children ages 8 and 5. I reported him to the police (they came to the house and filmed me) and social services became as there is a MARAC on kids records. (My ex works in a school and was investigated). He was eventually cleared on the proviso of doing marriage counselling and anger counselling but this was never followed up by social services. Nothing changed he never put any effort or tried to make the marriage work and now he wants to divorce me. I have accepted it and don’t want to be wjth him either and want out of this marriage. He is amicable and wants me to take children back to my home town where the schools are far better, area and house is better than current living arrangements. I will also have supper of grandparents. He has no practical support and can not afford to look after kids full time. A parent plan has been drawn up with the sol. I wonders can he gain full custody in future with his background? I have no proof
Summer - 14-Apr-18 @ 9:54 AM
@Steve - get in contact with them. What have you got to lose? At least you can explain yourself now they are older. I'm really sorry that you had to spend your life away from them. But as a father, I would have been getting in touch the day they reached 18.
SamLo - 5-Apr-18 @ 12:57 PM
In my experience I think not missmum. The only way I could see to stop the threats, abuse and upset to our children was to walk away after being pushed away, I too was punched in the face, threatened, lied to and after spending 5 years converting a house from a two bedroom to a three, new kitchen bathroom, windows, I worked so hard only to be told she waited until I had finished the house before she decided to have an affair, in those six months I looked after our children more and more while she spent her time with the new boyfriend. I took my wedding vows seriously. This is why I say that each case should be looked at. I feel the courts are too busy with all these cases. You are being reasonable allowing access and hopefully it will get a lot better for you. I recon in the long term it was better for our children not to be subjected to the hassle, I always remember Easter delivering eggs for our children, dropped them off at the front door, turned round in the car, only for her to throw the eggs under the car as I drove away, seriously, stable well adjusted parent who thinks of her children first. As I said 70/30 no matter what she done according to my solicitor. Maybe different now, but I will never know, I did not marry again and never will. Even my ex wife’s solicitor spoke to me afterwards and said, we do make mistakes and I wish you well in the future. I hope all works out for you missmum, do not give up on your child, the most important thing in all this, best wishes..
Steve - 1-Apr-18 @ 11:19 PM
In 1997 when my son was seven and my daughter was six, I found my then wife sleeping with somebody else, after that night she wanted a divorce. I went for custody of our two children through the courts, after six months I was evicted from my home, told by the Cambridge probation service I could visit them, I told them and the courts that she had told me that she would make my life hell concerning the children. I divorced her in 1998, . Every time I went to pick the children up she said they were not there, we went back to court and she was told to abide by the rules, but again and again they were not there for me to see them, after 8 months of constant lies, threats and upset I decided it would be best to just stay away for the sake of us all. I have never been in contact with my children to this day. I told the court what would happen, In fact both my ex’s parents wanted me to have full custody until she wrote to them and said that if she gained full custody and they backed me, that she would stop them seeing the children. I believe the law is a complete shambles when it comes to this sort of thing. I lost my children, my home, my business because my then wife decided to sleep with someone else. Through a divorce the father usually ends up with virtually nothing and stripped for child maintenance even if they are not allowed to see his children. To start again in a lot of cases is difficult. I still miss them to this day. I am 56 years old and still cry on many occasions thinking about them.... each case should be looked at before decisions are made. Back then I was told by my solicitor that it would be 70.30 to the mother. Oh by the way the reason my wife had so much time with our children was that she never worked after we had our son, no wonder back then that parenting was not shared, I was too busy providing a home which was eventually taken away from me. Still at least her new lover could afford to spend more time with the children, saving grace I suppose.......
Steve - 1-Apr-18 @ 10:16 PM
Rm_wife - Your Question:
Me and my ex partner split up nearly 4 years ago. He was mentally abusive during our relationship and would regularly become aggressive. I finally left him and took the children. I am now married with another child. My husband is in the military and this unfortunately means moving around. We are currently living 2 hours away from my ex. He has the children for 2 nights every other weekend. And is no threatening to take me to court for custody if we have to move any further away. Over the last few years he has moved around a lot and changed jobs several times. He now has better living arrangements and job. He only started paying any maintenance in the last 12 months. I don’t feel that he would provide them with a stable environment. I am so worried that he would get custody and I wouldn’t see my children. Will being a military family go against us? Would he be awarded custody because we have to move more often?

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely your ex would be awarded custody of your children. It is rare that a court will take children away from one parent and hand them to another without very good reason. If the military is part of your life, then the court will understand this and take it on board - it will not go against you in a family court. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the children in question. The court will always put the children’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. Disruption to the family is always kept to the minimum, unless absolutely necessary.
DivorceResource - 22-Feb-18 @ 1:03 PM
Me and my ex partner split up nearly 4 years ago. He was mentally abusive during our relationship and would regularly become aggressive. I finally left him and took the children. I am now married with another child. My husband is in the military and this unfortunately means moving around. We are currently living 2 hours away from my ex. He has the children for 2 nights every other weekend. And is no threatening to take me to court for custody if we have to move any further away. Over the last few years he has moved around a lot and changed jobs several times. He now has better living arrangements and job. He only started paying any maintenance in the last 12 months. I don’t feel that he would provide them with a stable environment. I am so worried that he would get custody and I wouldn’t see my children. Will being a military family go against us? Would he be awarded custody because we have to move more often?
Rm_wife - 20-Feb-18 @ 4:34 PM
Can anyone source me the primary reference for these custody arrangement statistics? Where did the author get the half, one-fifth statistics? Thanks!
OliviaC - 8-Feb-18 @ 10:53 AM
I have a 5 month old baby boy with my partner. We are currently going through an extremely volatile time and it is more than likely going to result in a complete breakdown of our relationship. He keeps threatening me that he will seek advice for 50/50 custody of our baby. Prior to my baby being born, upon finding out I was pregnant, my partner wanted me to have an abortion. It was an extremely stressful time as our relationship was already in a bad place due to various issues he had caused. I insisted that I wanted to keep the baby. When it came to registering my son I was initially going to only give him my surname and was contemplating not even naming his dad on the birth certificate due to the fact that for the majority of the pregnancy he mentioned we shouldn’t be having our baby. He didn’t pay for a single item in preparation for the baby. He didn’t help with anything other than putting the pram together. Every time I mentioned the birth certificate and surname, he would flip out and said it was wrong of me to not put give my child his surname. He wouldn’t even let me double barrell our names. He told me he wanted us to be a family and all to have the same name. So stupidly i listened and I did what he wanted. Now since my baby was born, he’s done about 3 night feeds in 5 months. I can count on two hands how many times he’s put him to bed (he is Home Every bed time) he is relucatant to ever feed him, clothe him. He says he doesn’t know his routine. He says he cant have him overnight during the week on his own because of Work (although he has his other daughter twice a week and every other weekend too) he’s basically not been hands on at all. He’s always been so angry and made me such an anxious person. He’s destroyed our family. He’s pushed me around and made me feel like nothing. He think he is an amazing dad to his daughter but he’s not. He screams in front of her at me even when I beg him not to, he swears in front of her, he has no patience. I don’t like the way he hasn’t raised her and I don’t feel feel comfortable him raising my son 50% of the time. He is a liar and aggressive and I don’t want my son to be a product of him. My baby is with me every minute of every day and has a great bond. How likely is it that he will get 50/50 custody of a baby? He’s not an awful Dad but I don’t trust him to have my son that’s often, alone. The occasional times he has him without me I have to make up all bottles in advance and leave him with instructions on what to do and even then he messages me sometimes for advice. I never signed up to a life without my child. I have tried so hard and put up with so much from him just to keep our family together but there is nothing left I can do. I’m fighting a lost cause but I do not want to lose my child or miss out on half of his life.
Emb. - 27-Jan-18 @ 8:38 PM
My husband and I are going through a divorce now
pjames - 13-Jan-18 @ 1:11 AM
I have been separated from my husband now for over 6months.we have a little girl. Which he doesn't see. He used to always down me and call me vial names and control me. Always asking for my phone asking how much money I spent and where. I worked hard for my money and he was shout and get angry if I was late home for 5min. Or spoke men to long at work. He would tell me what to wear. And if I didnt answer his calls or texts he would get aggressive. He would spit at me. Publicly humiliate me. Punch slam doors and through objects. Then I got pregnant his anger was worse he made me live in hostel I was always alone. He would refuse to give me money for food. Heavily pregnant he drove dangerously and wished me dead and told me three times abort baby and he will not pay a penny to me or baby. Again day of birth with me and family he drove dangerously. And tried to kidnap baby and a suited my dad we called police on him. He didn't come round he started to beg to see baby there was agreement we made nd told police of when he could see child he broke it. And said i was not his wife and he would sleep with other women and I'd have to hide it from family I was just his side peice. I broke completely to much abuse and him threatening me and not paying a penny to child so I refused him near me and child for safety but he keeps coming back leaving months between. I called police again but they said they can't charge him for harassment as he has not shown violence or threat this time. I cannot even leave my home without fear he would attack me or steal child. The police said he can win access to see child. But he's dangerous and she's settled and happy. He didn't come to her hospital appointments when she has serious problems he never came anything or payed anything he said he wanted divorce and wanted nothing to do with child and now months later he wants to see her. He has no visa stay in UK he fighting to get stay he works illegally and he pretending to immigration he Still with me and lives here. I reported this I just don't know what to do anymore I don't want him near me and baby I can't afford solicitor or Court fees I so worried. What do I do
Staystrong - 3-Jan-18 @ 4:19 PM
confusedmum - Your Question:
The baby is my partners who I been with 6 years nearly

Our Response:
I'm afraid we are unable to comment on individual cases. You would have to seek legal advice regarding this matter.
DivorceResource - 8-Dec-17 @ 12:56 PM
the baby is my partners who i been with 6 years nearly
confusedmum - 8-Dec-17 @ 12:39 AM
Zeze - Your Question:
So me and my ex partner share a 2 year I was his primary carer from when he was born my ex partner was very abusive Which then led me calling police on him to remove him from my house Social Workers had then got involved a lot of incidence accrued which then let to my child going on Child protection I was homeless at the time and had nowhere to go so my ex partners mother reached out and said come and stay at hers for a Little while until I find somewhere long story short they kicked me out and called police on me and stopped me from attending my. Child’s nursery or even hospitals appointments and because I moved borough a new social worker has taken on our case. They seem to be on his side and believe everything he says about me they have told me to seek legal advice and take it to court I haven’t seen my child in a couple months he’s father is doing this because he is a bitter human would he get full custody of my child need advice !!!!!! I’m so confused and hurt

Our Response:
If both parents have Parental Responsibility and one parent is keeping the children against the other's wishes, then court is the only option. It will then be up to the court to decide what it thinks is in the best interests of your child. We cannot anticipate what a court will decide as Cafcass will get involved when making such a decision. The Cafcass staff who compile the reports are known as children and family reporters. It’s their job to interview both parents in the case, as well as the children, and any others who might be needed, which could mean social workers, medical professionals, or even relatives. This means, before it makes a decision the court has an all-round comprehensive view from all those involved. It’s a measure of how important the Cafcass recommendation is that the court will almost invariably adhere to it. If you cannot afford legal representation in court, you can represent yourself, please see link here .
DivorceResource - 30-Nov-17 @ 11:37 AM
BF - Your Question:
I have just gone through a divorce that was all going well until I explained that the agreed every Tuesday and every other weekend arrangement for myself with our child would be something I would look to change once I had a suitable place. We are selling our house and will both be buying properties near to his school. I have had a completely active part in my child's life in all aspects including working 5 days in 4 to have him for a day each week (when we were together). My ex wife dropped out of mediation last minute and started making claims of abuse (completely untrue), questioning my mental health and claims of drinking. None of these have any real proof and her mental health issues are worse than anything I have hence I dont believe they carry any weight either way. I have formerly requested 50/50 and she is refusing and threatening to go to court so I see my son only every other weekend. Could she really do this?

Our Response:
Your ex can do this. Likewise, if your ex has refused access and also refused to attend mediation, then you too will have the option to take the matter to court. In a situation such as this when your ex denies access, you may wish to ask a solicitor to send a letter asking your ex to reinstate access and what the repercussions will be if access is not reinstated and/or mediation is refused. Sometimes, this will do the trick. If your ex ignores all efforts of negotiation, your only recourse would be to apply to court for a child arrangement order, please see link here .
DivorceResource - 30-Nov-17 @ 10:44 AM
So me and my ex partner share a 2 year I was his primary carer from when he was born my ex partner was very abusive Which then led me calling police on him to remove him from my house Social Workers had then got involved a lot of incidence accrued whichthen let to my child going on Child protection I was homeless at the time and had nowhere to go so my ex partners mother reached out and said come and stay at hers for a Little while until I find somewhere long story short they kicked me out and called police on me and stopped me from attending my. Child’s nursery or even hospitals appointments and because I moved borough a new social worker has taken on our case. They seem to be on his side and believe everything he says about me they have told me to seek legal advice and take it to court I haven’t seen my child in a couple months he’s father is doing this because he is a bitter human would he get full custody of my child need advice !!!!!! I’m so confused and hurt
Zeze - 29-Nov-17 @ 3:00 PM
I have just gone through a divorce that was all going well until I explained that the agreed every Tuesday and every other weekend arrangement for myself with our child would be something i would look to change once I had a suitable place. We are selling our house and will both be buying properties near to his school. I have had a completely active part in my child's life in all aspects including working 5 days in 4 to have him for a day each week (when we were together). My ex wife dropped out of mediation last minute and started making claims of abuse (completely untrue), questioning my mental health and claims of drinking. None of these have any real proof and her mental health issues are worse than anything I have hence I dont believe they carry any weight either way. I have formerly requested 50/50 and she is refusing and threatening to go to court so I see my son only every other weekend. Could she really do this?
BF - 29-Nov-17 @ 11:59 AM
Divorced and seeking - Your Question:
Hi, I’ve been divorced a number of years and always had a mutual agreement regarding visitation with my child’s (10 yrs old) father. He has every other weekend and 6 weeks of holidays throughout the year. He keeps threatening me with 50/50 custody whenever he doesn’t get his way. We share Xmas and have alternate years, this year is his, but the wkend prior happens to be mine (23rd/24th) so I have made plans to see family. He has told me that I’m wrong and this wkend should be his at Xmas is his turn and therefore tough luck. He never tells me if our child has needed medicine whilst in his care (which happened recently). Her bday falls on my wkend, and he asked to see her which is fine, but he’s made a song and dance because I asked if I was going to be invited to whatever he planned for her bday the wk before, as I have to fit parties, clubs etc on her bday wkend. This I was told was tough. He refuses to bring her to clubs on his wkend and insists to come watch her on mine. He makes her choose between going to parties and doing something “extra fun” with him and sometimes even refuses to let her go to a party. He lives 90mins (without traffic) and two major A roads away from where she goes to school. What are the chances of him actually getting 50/50 custody? I don’t want her life turned upside down, and never being settled in a home, she’s a sensitive little soul and I can’t bear to watch her go throug this. Any advice appreciated.

Our Response:
It is unlikley your ex would be granted 50/50 shared care through the courts, if he lives 90 minutes away. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. However, court is seen as a last resort, your only other recourse is to try to come to an agreement via mediation if you cannot agree between yourselves.
DivorceResource - 21-Nov-17 @ 2:22 PM
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