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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33012
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Hi My husband and I are in the process of a divorce. It

Customer Question


My husband and I are in the process of a divorce. It is relatively amicable. We have 2 children aged 3 years and 2 years old. Both boys. I stayed at home from April 2010 to July 2012 (so the elder child was 2+ when I went back to work part time and the younger child 1). Between July 2012 and January 2013 I was always the one who did the handovers with the nanny on the 4 days I went to work both in the morning and the evening. I have every Thursday off with the boys and weekends.

Their father has always been a good dad but he works long hours so has had less time with the kids. Since we separated in January he has spent more time with them and had more time doing handovers with the nanny etc. We have also tried to split weekend time. Originally we had an in-out relationship in one house but since the end of May we have had our own houses. The boys have been spending 2-3 nights per week at his house.

I want the boys to spend 2 nights per week at his house and half the weekend time. My ex is insisting on 3 nights minimum.

I want to know how likely the court would be to give him 3 nights/shared care. I think this is too much given the age of the boys. I want them to have a stable primary home with me but also good time with them. My husband thinks 2 nights is not enough and he has proven he can do 3 nights minimum with them.

How can I show him evidence that he would be unlikely to be granted this by a court and he should be happy with 2 nights plus half the weekend time?

I am a lawyer but not in this area. I would like to know how strong my case is.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High
Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008.
During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions
from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other
users, I might not always respond in
minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me
while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully.

Do you have a contact order in place?
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to assist you but need some further information first
How do you envisage a normal week would go?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I would like a normal week to be that the boys are with me from Saturday evening to Thursday. I have Thursdays off at home with the boys. We would then do an after work handover (as we do currently) to their father who would have them for Thursday night, Friday night (he has some flexibility to work from home on a Friday so I think it makes sense for them to be with him then) and then all day Saturday returning to me for tea-time (6pm) on Saturday.


Do you think this is unfair? We are amicable and trying to work this out by email.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Does your husband work at weekends?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No. He works Monday to Friday. I work Mon-Weds and Friday. Neither of us work weekends at all really. Slightly longer hours than me - he leaves the house at 0745, I leave at 0830. He gets back at 1900-1915 (when he needs to for the boys) I get back at 1830.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
Solicitor asked 2 questions and then did not respond.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
The first point to make is that if you and your ex agree then any arrangement that you make is acceptable - there is no one who will come along and say it is unacceptable.
There are those who do alternate days - personally I would consider that inappropriate - others do alternate weeks - which again I might question - but what I feel or a Judge or Magistrate feels is irrelevant provided both parents agree
So anything I say is basically just a guide to the way a court is likely to approach the matter if you as parents cannot agree and one of you makes an application to the Court for the court to make the decision - please keep that in mind!
As a starting point the court will generally look to parents having alternate weekends so that they can go away with the children etc.
Your thoughts on the Thursday night through Friday because he is able to work at home on Friday are sound and suggest that you are clearly focussed on what is important
I have to say that it is less clear that the court would agree with you that two nights rather that three is appropriate given that you both work long hours on the days that you work and the major part of stability and security is routine and the ability of the parents to co-operate with each other
This is not to say that you may not find a Judge who agrees with you - just that there is no guarantee that he or she will do so.
One option could be for you to agree two nights a week plus alternate Saturdays
If you have not already done so then you could consider using Family Mediation - and you may also find the website here helpful
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need clarification of any point

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