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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34898
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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My wife has had custody of our three children for 6 years.

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My wife has had custody of our three children for 6 years. Throughout that time I have had the children 3-4 days a fortnight, every other xmas, taken them on holidays, bought them expensive stuff like laptops, active school involvement, I tutored my youngest through maths and French GCSE - everything but day to day parenting minutiae (doctors dentists etc). My ex acknowledges I am a good father and the kids have a great relationship with me. My ex and I have successfully negotiated any variations in the diary e.g. my taking the kids for a week mid term whilst she went skiing.
My ex earns a modest income has had Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit, significant maintenance, a beautiful 4 bed house without mortgage, large pension, and a trust to fund school fees and related items etc. etc..
My two oldest have left home or are at uni. I have had my now 16 year old (Aidan) 4 days a fortnight and he boarded two days a fortnight.
I am now in a stable domestic situation - am sharing a new house with mother of 3 grown up children who have all left home ( new house not hers) my son has a designated bedroom - she is very supportive of Aidan but respects her role and does not try to be mum. We always all have dinner together. We have been on holidays together and I have solo holidays with Aidan.
My wife is now dating a wealthy man and they often go away for w/es - they are going to the US for 14 days over xmas and New Year.
I now want "custody" week on and week off so that I can be there as a parent for the whole week including the minutiae.
My wife has opposed this insisting that she has him one night a week in my week. Whilst this is a small point - it means that this will be more confusing for Aidan, more coming and going and will undermine the purpose for me to have a proper parent role throughout the whole week.
If it came to it can I sue either for joint custody or for a variation to visit rights (these were never specified other than to be agreed in the decree absolute)?
Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you.
Since your son is now 16 it is entirely up to him how he shares his time between the houses - there are no court orders that either of you can apply for
Please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can you direct me to the applicable law - I have been googling for ages and most commentary seems to suggest 18?

No problem - it is in the Children Act here
Exceptional circumstances would usually mean a young person who has learning or other difficulties