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Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2788
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I have shared custody (50/50) with my ex-husband for our

Customer Question

Hi. I have shared custody (50/50) with my ex-husband for our 9-year old son. The problem is that our son doesn't want to spend time with his father and it is becoming increasingly difficult to convince him to see his father at all. For the last 6 months it was therefore basically me looking after our son.
I work full-time as an academic and clearly need somebody to help with childcare.
My question is therefore whether my ex-husband would have to contribute towards childcare.
Any advice is highly appreciated.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 12 months ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. Please confirm if there are any court orders in place regarding the arrangements, and what exactly the arrangements are?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
we got a court order when our son was 3 years old. It comprised that he would spend 50% of the time with his dad and 50% with me. Because we couldn't agree on a schedule the judge decided that we would have an alternating schedule, i.e. one day with me, one day with his day, one day with me etc.Our son never wanted to see his dad although we both encouraged him. He recently started to disappear from his dad's home when we was supposed to spend time with him. He would run either to a friend's place or try to get to our house which is 30min away - so clearly not safe for a 9-year old.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Do you need more information?
Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is ***** ***** I have been a solicitor for more than 30 years

What steps has your ex taken regarding the fact that he no longer sees your son

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thanks for your reply, Clare.He is currently leaving it up to me to decide. He used to insist on his time with our son which was easier when our son was little (but always a major battle). When I now suggest that they spend time together, he shows up, but if Carl doesn't want to go with him he just leaves.
Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.

How many nights has he spent there in the last six months?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
About 5
Expert:  Harris replied 12 months ago.

Thanks for confirming and I apologise for my colleagues interjection above.

As there is a current court order in place, there remains a risk that the father can apply to court to enforce the order and it would be wise to consider having it varied in light of the change of circumstances. You can attempt to agree this with the father either directly or through mediation (you can find local ones here: familymediationcouncil.org.uk). The mediator will assist you both in reaching an amicable agreement that is in the child's best interests. If mediation does not help, then you will be able to pursue an application to court under Form C100 together with a £215 court fee to your local family court to vary the child arrangement order and the court can make a decision regarding the matter.

In relation to child-care costs, the father does not have to contribute towards these specifically. However, as your son is spending the majority of his time with you, you would be entitled to apply for child maintenance. This is calculated based on the father's gross income and how often, on average, he stays overnight with him. If you can provide me details of the father's gross income I can confirm his legal liability.

In the meantime if you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top as I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2788
Experience: Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
Harris and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thanks for your advice, Harris.One last question: Where can I find information about child maintenance in cases like ours where both parents still officially share custody? I can see that child maintenance might be straightforward if the child officially lives with one parent - but how do they decide when - according to the court order - our son lives in both places although in fact he doesn't?Thanks again for your helpful advice!
Expert:  Harris replied 12 months ago.

You can see the guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/336698/child-living-arrangements.pdf

There can sometimes be argument that for a shared-care arrangement there should be no child maintenance liability however, you (or the other parent) must demonstrate that the arrangement is fully equal and both parents deal with day to day issues for the child.

Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.

Just to add to the above.

The CMS/CSA works on what is actually happening - so you will only need to amend the order if your ex tries to claim that the child IS staying with him.

Expert:  Harris replied 11 months ago.

Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top of this page as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.

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