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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34910
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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I am wondering how to go about making arrangements for shared

Customer Question

I am wondering how to go about making arrangements for shared custody of my son (4). I was never married to his mother and we separated last year because she was having affairs. Since then I have looked after Oscar about 50% of the time and contributed to his upbringing by buying him clothes, feeding him etc. I am about to start a full time degree course and I can't get access to any of the grants or funding for parents because I am not the one who gets the child benefit and tax credits. I don't want to go for full custody because I think it's best for him to have both parents in his life so is there any way of getting official shared custody and if so, how do I go about it? there is a reasonable level of cooperation between myself and my ex but I suspect I will have to do all the leg work.
I would greatly appreciate any help you could give me on this matter.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Just to check - there is no dispute between you as to the time he spends with each of you?
Does your ex work?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Thank you for getting back to me. There is no dispute over time spent and we are both quite flexible. I have kept a journal since January to keep track of the times I have had him.

My ex does work. She is a teaching assistant so she is considered full time but has school holidays.

I am willing to split everything down the middle in terms of costs, time spent and benefits. The money is secondary in many respects. I mainly want rights. I will need access to the grants and funding if am going to be able to complete my degree though.


Many thanks



Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Will an Order be sufficient or is actually based on who received the Child Benefit?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am not sure what you mean by an Order. I was told at the job centre that child benefit can now be split between two parents but I don't know how to do this and if i need my ex to agree to anything. when I spoke to the student finance people they said I would need proof, like a reference number, that I receive some of the benefit for Oscar for them to process that part of the finance/grant.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
I am sorry but you have been misinformed.
The benefits can only be split if there is more than one child so that you can each claim for one child
Your best option would be to seek the agreement of your ex to the transfer of the benefits to you - and offer to pay all the funds to her so that she is no worse off
The only other option is to apply for the benefit yourself and allow HMRC to make the decision - although this may well have a negative effect on your relationship as parents
I am sorry not to give better news.
Please ask if you need further details