TOPIC: Advice needed please for desperate dad!

Advice needed please for desperate dad! 2 months 4 days ago #82736

Hi, im looking for advice. I have been the main carer for my 10 year son for almost 2 years. I have him 9 nights to my ex wifes 5 nights over a 2 week period. We have equal pr but I claim the child benefit, take him to school 4 days a week and generally do the majority of the proper parenting while my ex wife pretty much just lets him do what wants and plays for brownie points. Over the last 2 years i have tried desperately to have a civil relationship with my ex wife for the sake of my son. I have tried mediation but she would not do it and she refuses to sign any sort of agreement despite our arrangement being in place for 2 years. The biggest issue though is she is simply irresponsible and keeps proving this over and over. Her irresponsibility ranges from letting my son have multiple social media accounts but failing to monitor them and stopping me from having access to them to having a drug dealer stay at the house for a few weeks while my son was there. She fights me on everything and says things to my son in an attempt to damage my relationship with him. After the latest incident i have realised that shared parenting is never going to work and i dont feel she is responsible enough to make the important decisions in his life. My plan is to submit my c100 but im a bit confused about what type of order to go for. If i go for a child arrangement order will this give me overall parental responsibility or do i need to apply for another order to strip her of parental responsibility and if so how likely am i to get this?
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Advice needed please for desperate dad! 2 months 4 days ago #82737

Hi there

The C100 form would be for a Child Arrangements Order to define with whom your son lives and what contact he should have with the other parent. It will not effect your ex's parental responsibility, that cannot be taken from her, except in very exceptional circumstances, in fictive never had experience of this happening.... extrememly rare.

If you gain an order that states your child lives with you, I doubt it will make much difference to the day to day care of your son. If you try to limit her contact further, it may back fire on you.

Before you can apply to court you would need to have attempted mediation. It might be helpful and you may be able to get some agreement without the need to go to court, which can put a huge amount of strain on a Separated Parents relationship.

Perhaps you might like to work on a Parenting Plan, this also might help to define and encourage more positive co parenting. I'll get you a link to more info and a template, you could provide your ex with a blank copy for her to work on too.
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Advice needed please for desperate dad! 2 months 4 days ago #82738

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Advice needed please for desperate dad! 2 months 4 days ago #82739

Hopefully someone will bee along to give you more specific advice, but briefly, the courts won't strip her of parental responsibility, but you are looking for a child arrangement order as that's the overall term for the orders given by the court. However, have you had the form signed off by a mediator - you will need this before you can go to court, otherwise the court will send you back to try this. If she is refusing to attend mediation, then that's all you need to get the form signed.

As you are claiming child benefit, you will be looking for your son to reside with you with defined contact with your ex. I would suggest that, at the moment, you go for the same arrangement as you currently have informally, and tell her that you are simply trying to formalise your current arrangement. If you are lucky, she might accept that. If and when you get a court order, you are in a much better position to vary the contact if she continues to behave irresponsibly.
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Advice needed please for desperate dad! 2 months 4 days ago #82740

Hi, yes i have the form signed by a mediator but its only valid for 2 more weeks. I have suggested a parenting plan with my ex and done my version but she hasnt bothered. Its a daily battle as she very bitter and jealous.
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Advice needed please for desperate dad! 2 months 4 days ago #82747

If you only have 2 weeks left on the mediator signature, you need to make a decision as to whether you are submitting a C100 for a Child Arrangement Order.

You would be asking the court to make an order to show that your son lives with you but spends time with the mother

Parental Responsibility is something that both parents should have, regardless of who the child lives with. Mothers get PR automatically by giving birth, fathers get PR by either being married to the mother, having their name on the birth certificate, or being granted PR by a court.

If you are the resident parent, you will have slightly more rights than a non-resident parent. If you have safeguarding concerns about who your child is spending time with in the mother's care, you would need to raise these with CAFCASS & the court during your application. If a certain person being around your child really is of concern, you could also ask the court to make a Prohibited Steps Order so that they are not able to be. It would be up to the court if they deem it necessary.

You might find that a court order laying out contact in a defined way, will assist the situation somewhat but it won't resolve everything.
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Advice needed please for desperate dad! 2 months 2 days ago #82775

If you only have 2 weeks left, and your ex isn't cooperating, I think the simple fact is that it isn't going to get better as things stand, so you need to get your application off to court asap.
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