Couple Agree Shared Care of Children after Divorce
A Family Law and Divorce Case Study - Client Situation
Our client, Mr R contacted us as he was in a difficult situation. Mr R and his wife were living separate lives. They stopped sharing a bedroom years ago and were constantly arguing. Despite this, they continued to live in the same house.
They cared jointly for their two sons, which worked really well as they worked opposite work schedules, which meant they didn’t have to interact that much. Everything was stable until Mr R told his wife he wanted to move out of the family home and get a divorce.
Despite living in an unhappy marriage, Mrs R did not want to get divorced. She was very upset when he told her that he wanted to officially separate. She was worried that she would lose Mr R’s financial support, so changed her work schedule and tried to restrict Mr R’s care of his sons.
Mr R wanted to go ahead with the divorce but he was very concerned that his wife would limit his time with the children.
How We Helped
Mr R called our Family and Child Law Solicitors to get legal advice and help. He told us about the situation he was experiencing with his wife.
He wanted to continue to share the care of his sons after the divorce, but his wife wanted to stay in the family home and become the sole carer for the children.
We advised Mr R that the Divorce proceedings are actually separate from the issues around who care for the children. She assured Mr R that he did not have to move out of the family home to start the divorce process. This would allow him to continue to spend time with his sons as he had always done.
Following this advice, Mr R decided to file a divorce petition at Court immediately.
Mr R and his Solicitor discussed in detail his rights as a father. He already had Parental Responsibility for his children and she advised him about how he could resolve child arrangements issues outside of the Courts system. We also discussed the fact that if an agreement over the children was not reached, they could go to Court and ask a Judge to decide.
Having this information from a specialist Family and Child Law Solicitor, gave Mr R confidence to negotiate with his wife. He knew exactly what to expect and what the Court would look into when making the decision about where the children should live.
The Divorce petition was filed and Mr R’s wife realised that he was represented by a Divorce Solicitor and was determined to end the marriage. As a result she responded to the divorce papers and decided not to defend the divorce. Mr R’s wife proposed that the children should live with her and have contact with their father. She didn’t have any argument as to why the boys shouldn’t live with both parents, apart from the fact that she found her role as a mother more important.
Because Mr R knew what he could expect if the case would end up in Court, his position remained that it was in the children’s best interest to agree the shared care arrangements.
The disagreements continued and we decided it was the right time for Mr R and his wife to attend mediation. With the mediator’s help, Mr R and his wife resolved their issues and agreed they would share the care of their children.
Mr R was relieved that the situation had been resolved amicably and that he didn’t give up on his goal to be involved in his sons’ lives as much as possible.
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