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    • The Maestro
    • By The Maestro 10th Jun 17, 7:09 PM
    • 70Posts
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    The Maestro
    Child custody when I work full time - advice needed
    • #1
    • 10th Jun 17, 7:09 PM
    Child custody when I work full time - advice needed 10th Jun 17 at 7:09 PM

    I am considering separating from my wife. We have 2 young children whom I would want at least joint custody of. The thing is that I work full time and have a contract which says that I have to be prepared to travel 75% of the time.

    So obviously I am not in a position to be able to pick the children up after day care etc. It would be very difficult for me to find an alternative job in the short/medium term. Also, my wife won't work (has never worked since married even before children, or when children were looked after by others 4 days a week) and has not contributed financially to the marriage at all, so I am in a position where I need a relatively well paid job to keep us all going.

    From what I've been reading this will count against me when it comes to custody decisions. Also the fact that I am not so involved in the children's life due to the long hours and time away inherent in my job. This is not by choice, it's just a practical necessity.

    It's also made much more difficult by the fact that my wife will not discuss anything and will be very obstructive. I would expect that my wife would want to get 70% of the house + custody + large spousal maintenance. From what I read she would probably get that based on 'needs' even though she has been constantly lazy and abusive both physically and mentally. Irrespective of who is at fault (not that anyone considers that these days), the practical reality is that I am not in a position to look after the children, and I'd probably rather kill myself than having to do this job for many more years while having to pay for 2 households and rarely seeing the children.

    I've tried to think of ways to approach this which would have a reasonable outcome but I can't think of any. Has anyone been in a similar situation, or can anyone think of anything which I might not have considered?
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    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 4th Jul 17, 8:00 PM
    • 30,864 Posts
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    That argument didn't hold on Jack's long thread.

    It was the fact that his wife hadn't worked that meant he had to maintain her, even though there was nothing to stop her looking for work as their children were much older.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Oh dear. How enabling.
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 11th Jul 17, 9:27 PM
    • 2,897 Posts
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    I'm quite shocked that you can speak with such hatred about this woman when its such a short time ago that you decided to bring a child into the world with her, and no care at all for the fact that your wife and newborn spent a week in hospital?

    Poor children.
    Last edited by Red-Squirrel; 11-07-2017 at 9:49 PM.
    • The Maestro
    • By The Maestro 15th Jul 17, 4:27 AM
    • 70 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    The Maestro
    Hi all,

    Sorry but I avoided this thread soon after I started it because I suspected a personal !!!! storm would happen, I wanted to keep to practical advice. Looking back I think I was right. What is the point in even discussing whether or not my wife may or may not be lazy or depressed, or whether I am selfish or she is selfish when we have no fault divorces and everything is found in the woman's favour? As Caroline_a said "With your current job role I would say that full time residency is not possible for you, so you have to accept that should you separate the children would stay with their mother, and you would have to apply for access to see them at weekends". So the woman gets 60-70% of the assets but the man can't ever get back the time he sacrificed away from the children putting a roof over everyone's head and providing them with y'know "food". Then to add insult to injury he's not suitable to even look after the children in future because he has a 'full time job'.

    And women go on about sacrificing their 'career' to have children (I suspect it's a very low percentage of women would make this point, just the top 1% who influence the laws and feminist SJWs). Yet very few people men or women would even go to work if they didn't have to. Very few people enjoy work and even fewer have a career. Ask anyone 'if you won the lottery would you go to work the next day?" And I'm not talking about 'work' per se, I'm just talking about the world or work today. Most people would work if it was on better terms. Compare that with having and looking after children - that's rarely a 'burden' or something anyone would give up for money.

    @Mojisola - income suport, universal credit and various other benefits are means tested against spousal maintenance. I never said anything about child maintenance.

    And before I am accused of sexism, I know that sometimes it works the opposite way around and the woman is the main breadwiner but I am just talking about the most usual case.
    Last edited by The Maestro; 15-07-2017 at 4:58 AM.
    • The Maestro
    • By The Maestro 15th Jul 17, 5:04 AM
    • 70 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    The Maestro
    I'm offering only problems and no answers. This is really difficult, but the only options I see are:

    1. UK go the whole hog like Sweden. Male 'abortions', males get equal paternity leave etc.
    2. Take the clock back 100 years and make divorce fairly impossible.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 15th Jul 17, 9:58 PM
    • 38,759 Posts
    • 35,540 Thanks
    There was a reason why I asked about your job early on. No-one is saying you're not suitable to look after the children, least of all because you have a full-time job, but anyone involved in the decision about where the children should live would want to know how you propose combining a job in which you work 11-12 hours a day with having the children live with you.

    To me, your options would include a live-in nanny, perhaps combined with nursery /childminder, or reducing your hours.
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    • Sambella
    • By Sambella 16th Jul 17, 9:57 PM
    • 388 Posts
    • 396 Thanks
    Could you have the children every other weekend?

    One problem may be the baby. Often overnight stays often donít start until the child reaches two years old but if the ex is happy for you to have the baby then thatís good. Failing that you can have daytime access to baby.

    1 night or more during the week (ask for flexibility in pick ups) but would have to be before childrenís bedtime.

    You can also ask for holidays, say 1 week at Xmas, two weeks in summer. Whatever suits you. Contact is based on YOUR availability.

    When kids are school you can get half of school holidays if you want but it all depends on what holidays.

    There has to be a question mark as to whether or not your ex will cope being a single parent based on what you have said . If she doesnít you may well end up with residency and if you do you would seriously need to consider changing jobs.

    Public holidays and ability to see them in special days for birthdays for example. A morning or an afternoon then perhaps.

    If you have parental responsibility (on the birth certificate) entitlements come with that life example the school can keep you informed of stuff . Separate parents night etc.
    • Tedding
    • By Tedding 18th Nov 17, 7:46 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    I'm offering only problems and no answers. This is really difficult, but the only options I see are:

    1. UK go the whole hog like Sweden. Male 'abortions', males get equal paternity leave etc.
    2. Take the clock back 100 years and make divorce fairly impossible.

    This thread has shocked me so much that I've stopped lurking to comment. As a Swedish national, I have no idea what male abortions are but I can assure you that men do not get to decide whether or not their partner has an abortion, nor can they "opt out" of being a parent pre-birth. We have much farer paternity leave laws but with that comes the expectation that housework and childcare are split 50-50. I'm assuming the "turn back the clock" suggestion was a tasteless joke?! I find the hatred you seem to express for women rather shocking. Perhaps you should try to address that. Do you realise that your "turn back the clocks" joke is reference to a time when women were legally incredibly vulnerable and trapped in marriage to ensure men have undisturbed access to housework, childcare and sex. Making such a joke implies that you think that's fine.

    I've been in the UK for a while and I work in a legal field, but not family law, so this isn't legal advice. It hard to know what you're hoping to achieve from posting here. Assuming you are UK based, there is no such thing as "child custody". Custody is for prisoners. Child residency agreements are decided based on the best interests of the child. It would be difficult, but not impossible, for you to argue that it is better for your child to be in professional childcare (which is cripplingly expensive) or a potential new partner, than with their mother. As you admit you wouldn't be available to bring your children home from daycare, I hope you get a more solid plan than that before you try! You'd have an extra high burden because you'd be arguing for a significant change from the status quo and you're not willing or able to change your career to put yourself in a position to care for them yourself. If you honestly believe that your wife is so negligent that your children would not be safe in her care then you must do something to change that now, no matter what the impact on your career is. If they're safe with her now then there is no reason to assume they wouldn't be post-divorce.

    You give the impression of not really understanding how hard it is to look after children. If you have a 0 year old child, presumably your wife had a baby within the last few months. Of course she's tired! Has she recovered from the birth yet? Is the baby sleeping through yet? Are you getting up to look after it in the night if not? Letting the 4 year old watch TV is not enough evidence alone to decide that she is a lazy or unfit parent. If you didn't like her work ethic before you had children, why on earth did you have children together?! As for complaining that your child runs to you and expects some attention from you when you get home from work, I'm shocked. If you're not willing to even do 50% of the evening and weekend child-related-work are you sure you'd manage with sole responsibility for them all day?

    "Spousal maintenance" is rare in the UK and is designed to function something like compensation to a spouse who sacrificed a career to facilitate their partner's. As you openly state that your job requires you to be able to travel a lot, your wife probably is facilitating your career to a high degree because you wouldn't have the flexibility to do that is she wasn't at home holding the fort. Her career options would be limited to things which would fit in around childcare and your career. If you had 50-50 residency, so you've got your children Sunday - Tuesday or Wednesday, how would you manage? What about days in the future when your children are off school sick? When they've been up all night? When they have a class assembly in the morning, the only dentist appointment available for them is at 2pm or a trip that comes home too late for after school club? If your job is inflexible then these are things you need to plan for because at the moment your wife is facilitating you having both the inflexible job and the children.

    It sounds like you're really unhappy in the status quo, and I'm sorry for you for that. But a future in which you don't change your career at all and somehow become the resident parent at least 50% of the time doesn't sound realistic and it is your children who would miss out. Your wife might have PND or she might just be exhausted from having a new baby, a small child and a husband who seems to resent her and not recognise her contribution. Things might get better as your youngest gets older but it sounds like you'd be wise to start changing your lifestyle now so that you are logistically and emotionally able to care for your children should this end in divorce.
    • squirrelchops
    • By squirrelchops 20th Nov 17, 7:38 AM
    • 1,798 Posts
    • 2,873 Thanks
    Focusing on the needs of the children, yes they have a right to a relationship with their father.

    HOWEVER, I have yet to see a 50/50 shared custody arrangement work when the parents do not get on. There are so many things you will need to discuss for this type of arrangement to work and if you cannot communicate it becomes problematic. Child forgets PE kit so you need to pop by mothers to collect it - if you cannot stand each other how on Earth do you just do this. A small example but these little things are the reality of shared care arrangements.

    Children get busier as they get older with parties, activities and seeing friends. Again shared care arrangements can make this difficult. I have know children miss out as one parent has forced the fact it is their day to have the child and would not be flexible about taking the child to these events. Also children naturally decide with whom they wish to spend more time with as they get older. An arrangment made now may look very different in a few years time but it is remarkable how many parents expect it to remain the same. Again if you cannot discuss with mother of the children what are you going to do....go to court everytime a change is needed??? Well that would be a huge waste of time and money for everyone.

    Mediation will be the first port of call to try to come to some arrangements as the courts do not want private law cases clogging up the system.

    There was also an article in the paper recently about parental alientation which is awful if one parent undermines or puts down the other parent to the child. This has led to Social Services having to become involved due to the emotional harm this can cause children. Again think about the impact on the children rather than you must have 50/50 custody.
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