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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My wife and I are considering divorcing (we are married and

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My wife and I are considering divorcing (we are married and both have PR). We have a 9 month daughter who was conceived through IVF using a donor egg and my sperm. I have a full time professional job (contract manager) and basically pay for everything I.e. mortgage, bills, food etc. My wife is looking to go back to work part time on 16 hours a week as a TA. Our daughter will need to go in nursery when she is at work and the cost of this will pretty much be around two thirds of her net pay. I can afford to cover the cost of nursery and have family around to support me. She recently had me falsely arrested on a charge of domestic violence and has since dropped the charges although the cps may still decide to take the matter to court (pending decision). I have 16 year old child from my first marriage which I do not see and was cautioned for Assault on my ex-wife 12 years ago. My ex-wife was a family solicitor and basically made my life a hell and I walked away after the cost of trying to gain access/ contact with my daughter Cost me circa £25,000.
What are my chances of getting a residence order in my favour as the main parent?
Hi, thanks for your question.
This would not be a straightforward case for the court to decide and you both need to consider whether only one parent should have a residence order in place (they are now called child arrangement orders). There are many circumstances now where separating parents agree to a shared residence order where the child spends equal amounts of time with both parents.
What is the reason for you wanting to be the main carer and would you be able to meet her day to day needs as well as meeting the requirements of your full-time job? For example, if you are the main carer and you are unable to do the school run and would need the services of a child-minder or third party to assist, the court will want to see how this would be in your child's best interests.
If you were to pursue such an application to court, the court will assess the full facts of the case and decide what is in her best interests based on the following criteria:
- The wishes and feelings of the child concerned
- The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
- The likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the courts decision
- The child’s age, sex, backgrounds and any other characteristics which will be relevant to the court’s decision
- Any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering
- Capability of the child’s parents (or any other person the courts find relevant) at meeting the child’s needs
- The powers available to the court in the given proceedings
The court will allocate a CAFCASS officer who will do background checks (police and social services) and they will feedback to the court with their views and information. The past caution and current arrest will be flagged up and this may be raised as a concern.
Please let me know if you have any further questions regarding this.
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