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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35069
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 about to separate from the father of my 5 month old twins.

Customer Question

I am about to separate from the father of my 5 month old twins. He wants us to share custody, 4 days with me and 3 days with him but I do not believe this is healthy for the children at such a young age. I do not work and have been the primary caregiver since birth. Whilst he is a great dad and I want him to be actively involved (he does currently work and spends time overseas on and off) he is not willing to listen to me and believes he will get exactly what he wants. Is there any guidance on what the courts would decide and at what age it is believed to be good for the children (as I am more supportive about shared care when they are old enough to understand).
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.
What proposal would you like to make?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I don't understand what you mean by 'proposal'?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
He wants 4/3 - what do you think would work best for the children?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I wanted advice as to whether this is good for the children. I would rather he came to stay at weekends or took them for days out than overnight stays as I am uncomfortable about the impact on them when they are so young. At this point, I am asking whether there is any guidance on shared custody for such young children.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
May I ask what experience he actually has of the hands on care of the twins?
Without your being there?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

At the weekends he will look after them whilst I get some sleep in the morning but otherwise, he has never had them on his own. He will help out when not working with nappy changes and feeds but generally 'doesn't like routine' (his words) so tends to leave that to me.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Babies are all about routine - especially twins.
The priority for the Family court is the needs of the children for stability and security.
The research evidence from Australia shows clearly that 50'50 shared care is least suitable for the under fives (and not great for any age group)
Having said that the law says that a child is entitled to regular contact with both parents and the courts can and will enforce this.
This may well start with a few hours a couple of times a week and eventually build up to full days and one day alternate weekends plus half of the holidays
You can read more here
You shoudl try and discuss matters with your ex using family mediation
Please ask if you need further details