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Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33516
Experience:  Over twenty-five years experience
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For several months now my estranged wife and I have shared

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Hi there,For several months now my estranged wife and I have shared custody of our three children 50/50. I have them every monday and tuesday night, she has them every wednesday and thursday night and we alternate weekends.Today she has said she is unhappy with the arrangement and that moving forward it is going to change so that I only have them every other weekend. I should point out that our 50/50 is not court ordered, it is an out of court agreement we came to in mediation.What options do I have here? I dont want to give up my kids and I want to keep our current arrangement. Next monday I am certain she is going to turn up at school and simply try to take them away. Can I stop her?

The starting point is that you both have parental responsibility which means you have equal rights and responsibility. You are allowed to collect the children from school. If you can not agree something through mediation, then I am afraid that the option would be to issue court proceedings for for a child arrangemrnt order. This will be a court order which which sets out where the children are and when. This also gives you and the children a clear understanding of what has been agreed which is tied up in a court order. If there is a breach or someone changes there mind then the court can enforce the order. There is an excellent book on this topic for about ten pounds on Amazon which might also help. Please rate positive.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks Thomas. What are my immediate options? How can I stop her from getting the kids on Monday and, if she does, what can I do about getting them from her?

The police will not get involved. So you either turn up to collect them yourself first or you make the application to the court for a child arrangement order.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Really? So without a court order it simply boils down to whoever gets there first?

In many ways yes.

Thomas Judge, Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33516
Experience: Over twenty-five years experience
Thomas Judge and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

My name is ***** ***** I have been a solicitor for more than 35 years.

A situation where the school is the scene of a parental tug of war would not be seen as acceptable by the courts - and however unfairly in the circumstances, you describe you are at high risk of being seen as the one to "blame"

You have not said how old the children are and how the shared care is working for them - which is the important part of the equation

You mention that you have been to mediation - if it was not within the last three months then you need to attend another mediation assessment and information meeting - and then you can apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order

In the mean time you could make an emergency application for a Specific Issue Order stating that the current arrangements continue until a decision is made about what is best for the children.

At worst you might lose of your two nights in the week - not both

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you Clare, this is really useful.I instantly decided against Going to the school, the kids don’t need to see us fighting in public.The kids are 15, 10 and 8 and the eldest has already said he will still be coming to me on a 50-50 basis regardless of what his mum says. As far as I can tell, the other two are happy with 50/50 as well but I won’t know until I see them next week now

I am glad that you made that choice.

Your eldest is free to decide for himself - so far as the younger two are concerned tread carefully - it is hard for children to be faced with decision making like this.

It may be that they are struggling a little more - so maybe an offer to drop to just every tuesday and alternate wekends may assist

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Very helpful again. Thank you Clare.

You are welcome - good luck