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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34900
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 the mother of 2 children as I used to work in London and

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I am the mother of 2 children as I used to work in London and my ex husband (father) does nt work he without legal arrangement but amicable agreement had them during the week myself at weekends
I have now moved back to the area and for the last 6 months have shared custody ie 3/4 nights a week =he is saying I still have to pay him maintenance as he receives the child benefit? as I am also paying for all their extras ie school trips etc surely this seems ridiculous? There is no court order or documented agreement on custody? my son is 17 in full time education and my daughter is 11 = the father says unless I pay a certain amount I cant see the children ie back to only 2 nights a week so he still gets paid if I have them half its not worth it for him as he may not get any money- what shall I do?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Are the children happy with the current arrangements and how often have you had them overnight in the last two weeks?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The children are happy to see/stay with me the 3/4 nights a week they are upset as he is now saying they cant and also I have had them from Thursday 29th May I have had them 7 nights and my mum has had them 2 nights up until today (13 days)and I am due to have them tomorrow -this has been more due to kids holidays which I always do - generally I have them 3 nights one week 4 nights next as an average

Could you manage of the children lived with you full time
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes but I cant see him agreeing to that

It is not up to your ex to decide what time the children spend with you.
It is up to you both as parents to agree how your daughter shares her time between you - your son is free to make his own choices
If your ex does not feel it is "worth it" if you have the children half of the time then the answer is simple - they can move to live with you and spend two nights a week with him.
You need to start by discussing matters with your ex using Family mediation ( It would be sensible to use a mediator trained to work with young people so that your daughters wishes can be heard.
If that fails then you can apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order so that the Court can decide.
Whilst your daughter is on the young side for her wishes to be decisive the facat that there has been shared care for the last six months make i t likely that this is what will continue
You can read more on these sites
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Claire just one last thing dio I still have to pay maintenance ?
If the care is shared equally between you then there is no requirement to pay maintenance.
If he has them more nights a year than you do then there is - although it will be heavily discounted to reflect the time they spend with you
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you