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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35050
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 partner has a 50 50 custody agreement with her ex which

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Hi, my partner has a 50 50 custody agreement with her ex which works very well, and has done for the last 8 months or so. Neither partners pay maintenance as a result. My partners ex (ex boyfriend) has just said that he is changing jobs and as a result will no longer have 50 50 custody. He and his current girlfriend have said to my partner that she is the mother, so the 3 year old daughter is her problem, and to just deal with it. My partner is a single mother of two and her time and financials are very finely balanced. When she doesnt have her kids she is working to earn the money to put a roof over their head and feed them. This change in arrangement threatens her whole livelihood. Is there anything she can do to stop this change on custody? There is no formal document of this 50 50 custody, but a mediator was seen around 8 months ago and the arrangement started after that. My partners ex is not a good person, and is not expected to pay maintenance unless forced. His new girlfriend has already said that they will be getting married and having another child. Which as I am sure you can determine, is not an intelligent move considering he cannot look after his current child.
Any advice you can give us regarding how to manage this situation, either to push back on the change in custody, or to guarantee maintenance would be most helpful.
Kind Regards,
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
For clarity - is it just the one child that your partner and her ex share?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Yes, the answer to your question. My ex has two children from different fathers. The first father is following a 50 50 custody routine with my partners first daughter who is 8 years of age, no issues there, fair split, no maintenance. The youngest daughters father, she is 3 1/2 years of age, seems to be maneuvering his way out of any responsibility, his girlfriend is prompting him. His attitude is: "I decide when I see my daughter, and you work around my job shifts" (ie. no 50 50 custody, last minute requests for visitation, drop offs, no structured arrangement). My partner owns a hair salon and obviously has bookings for weeks in advance, works nights and weekends, she cannot run a business without any structured custody arrangement, random drop offs etc,just not good for taking bookings at her salon. Obviously if the ex is not pulling his weight, my partner will need to pay more child care and work less nights / weekends (she usually works thurs and Friday nights). What can we do to put my partner in the best position to deal with this situation? Ideally we would stay as we are (50 50), but it doesnt seem to be feasible. What can she do to ensure she is not out of pocket (child care cost, loss of earnings from nights and weekends - now unable to work), so that she can actually keep her business going, which pays her rent and puts food on the table for the kids. Thanks in advance.

kind regards,


I am afraid that your partner cannot force her ex to have the child more often than he wishes to.
She can however insist that there is a set pattern of time the child spends with Dad - even if it is alternate weekends only - so that there are no last minute demands for contact and no unexpected returns.
In addition she can apply for Child Maintenance at 12% of his gross income - with a deduction if he has the child more than 52 nights a year
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
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