How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask plclegal Your Own Question
plclegal, Barrister
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 6638
Experience:  Barrister at law
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
plclegal is online now

I am splitting with my partner. We have one daughter (my

This answer was rated:

I am splitting with my partner. We have one daughter (my only child, 3 yrs old), we live in my house, mortgage i my name only, I owned it before i met my partner. He has three children by 2 different relationships, one of which he left in Ireland to move to the UK with his partner, he then had two children with her, who he sees every other weekend (although he reneges often and doesn't see them sometimes for a month or more.) He has been in arrears with the CSA / CMS several times. \he is a lorry driver working 12 hr days. I am a Group Bid Manager and am senior enough to be flexible, working from home as needed etc. He will soon be moving out but has said he will go for full custody. This is purely to strike fear into me (he is never really interested in spending quality time with my daughter so I don't see why he suddenly wants her with him 100% of the time). What can i do to increase my chances of getting custody, to a greater proportion? I honestly don't believe she would be better off even 50/50 with him.
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: No, we are going to book mediation next as we argue whenever we discuss
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: We are in Wiltshire
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Only that i have worked hard to build relationships with friends for my daughter, hobbies etc so she has routine and a support network around her, and have definitely been the 'primary parent'.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I’ll do my best to assist you.

I've reviewed your question.

There's nothing here at all to suggest that his application for full custody will succeed. He may well say that this os what he is hoping for but I personally cannot see it, on the basis of the information provided.

Can I assist further?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He is a very stubborn man. He will go all out just to cause me distress. I don't even want him to have 50/50 and i cannot risk that he may for some reason win custody. I know i am a good parent with a stable life and home for my child, he is not, but i want to cover all of my bases and try and get as much as i can in terms of the time my daughter spends with me. If i can get it to 80/20 then OK, but he is telling me the law has changed and now the courts favour joint residency, meaning he would at least get 50/50. I cannot risk this happening, so what pieces of data/information/evidence can i gather to show the courts how things really are? Would something like a gant chart showing hour by hour who cares for my daughter throughout the week help my cause, ie if i can prove he currently only spends 20% of all time with her would that support my case?

All relevant data will assist your arguments, yes.

Don't forget that your child's welfare will be at the centre of this discussion, it's not a battle between you as such.

Can I clarify anything further?

If you have further questions, you can always come back to me.

In the meantime, if you could take a second to provide a 5 star rating (at the top right of your screen), I'll be credited for my time spent responding to your question.

Kind regards,


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My daughter's welfare is the priority, absolutely, but for him it will be all about 'getting one over' on me. Over the time we have been together he has demonstrated emotional abuse, many incidents of being short or aggressive towards my daughter (or ignoring her completely) because he's angry with me, generally being a bully towards us and his other children. I have logged every incident but I wonder would any of this stand up in court as it is literally just information i have written down. There has never been any physical abuse except for an incident when he was so rough putting her cardigan on that he hurt her arm and she couldn't lift it - I took her to the hospital, he insisted on coming too and massively played down what had happened.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
one final question, in your experience, if two parents came to court both seeking sole custody and they both came across as fit parents, would custody normally be granted at 50/50 ie the child having to spend half their time at each house?

You can only do the best you can to present your case to the court.

In my experience shared care is not awarded unless there is a chance that the parents can communicate and work together. Where there is a high level of distrust and dysfunction in the relationship between the adults, the court is less likely to award shared care as ultimately the arrangement will fail. The court does not in fact favour 50/50 shared care, though it is true that in more cases than before it is an option, and the 'weekend dad' model for contact no longer exists.

The reality is that the court will look at what is in the best interests of your daughter, and that does include considering all options, but that if there is no good reason to change her 'norm' then it would not necessarily do so.

I hope this reassures you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
A little. Thank you very much.

My pleasure.

Please do take a second to provide the rating for me so I can be credited for my time.

You can always come back to me if you have further questions.

Best wishes,


plclegal and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you