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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33813
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Planning on separating from my husband. I am a stay at home

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Planning on separating from my husband. I am a stay at home Mum, however I have high earning potential. I do a small amount of work as a consultant while the children are in preschool and I could make ends meet. My husband has lower earning potential and is currently employed full time. He has been emotional abusive towards me. He is not very hands on with the children and has never looked after them overnight on his own. The maximum time he has spent with them on his own is 4 hours. The children, both boys are 2 and 3. The 3 year old has separation anxiety and gets upset when I am not about. He is not competent with the children but he is not violent towards them. I believe the best for them is to have lots of short contact with my husband rather than them staying over night for 3 or 4 days at a time to start with. I also believe it is better for their development to only do short stays in preschool like they do now. I am.concerned that mediation will not go well, as he struggles to put the children's needs first and is a very controlling . If all else failed and we couldnt reach an agreement....what would be the likely outcome in court? Based on those small facts. Does my time as the main carer for the children count for anything? I know he would want to go straight for shared access. He couldnt cope well with it. Contact with him is important but surely it needs to be built up over time?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 6 months ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. The children have a right to a relationship with both parents and any arrangements must be in their interest and a court will consider staying contact and a shared arrangement to be in their interests unless you are able to demonstrate there are welfare or parenting concerns regarding the father.

For your information the Court will take into consideration the following when making a decision regarding the application:

1.The wishes and feelings of the child concerned
2. The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
3. The likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the courts decision
4. The child’s age, sex, backgrounds and any other characteristics which will be relevant to the court’s decision
5. Any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering
6. Capability of the child’s parents (or any other person the courts find relevant) at meeting the child’s needs
7. The powers available to the court in the given proceedings

If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 6 months ago.

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

Please do not worry - the priority for the court is the needs of the children and since you have been the main carer until now that is what will continue for the foreseeable future.

The starting point will indeed be shorter stays - starting at a couple of hours and building up from there at a reasonable pace.

The aim should be for them to spend alternate weekends with their father plus one night a week and up to half of the school holidays (eventually)

Stay calm in the negotiations and remember that the priority is the needs of the children

Please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you Claire. Very useful. Wanting to avoid court at all costs as it is not in the children's best interests. However I am keen to know when the judge would give joint custody....would that be for older children or if both parents had been contributing more to their upbringing? I cannot see in the short term how that would benefit 2 young children, if the mother has done 95 percent of the upbringing if not more and is fit and stable. I am not opposed in the long term to it, if my husband showed he could step up and meet their needs well. I just want to avoid it at all costs in the short term as it would cause them considerable distress. I want to try mediation first and agree some key areas which are fundamental for the children and are in their best interests. However my husband is very controlling and a known bully and I need to know if all else fails, can I have a fair hearing in court? Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 6 months ago.

In fact there is no longer and concept of Custody and Access - it disappeared in 1989.

It was replaced by Residence and Contact - which was in turn replaced two years ago with the concept of Child Arrangements and sharing the care

Shared Care does not mean 50/50 shared care - it simply acknowledges that when the children are with the other parent he (or she) has their care for that time and a reminder that BOTH parents have Parental Responsibility for the child

The priority for the ocurt is the needs of the child - so they will expect the relationship to be built up before alternate weekends are reached

Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33813
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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