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It’s time to split from this lazy git

FAMILY FORUM: After years of unhappy marriage, a reader is ready to move on.

QUESTION:

After too many years of unhappy marriage I’m preparing to leave my husband. He is not abusive but he is lazy.

I used to think it would be better for the kids if we stayed together, no matter what. But I just can’t take it anymore.

Can he be expected to share custody 50:50? I’ve heard some Dads take the kids half the time to avoid paying child support. I want to make sure this doesn’t happen in our case.

ANSWER:

The law does not automatically entitle your husband to share the care of the children on a 50/50 basis with you. Separating parents are encouraged to reach an agreement between themselves.

If you are unable to discuss matters, mediation may help. If unsuccessful the Family Court can make an Order about parenting. This may be that the children live with each of you for an equal amount of time or the children live predominantly with one of you and spend some lesser time with the other.

Dividing the children’s time between two households will only work in some limited circumstances and is not appropriate for everyone. A 50/50 arrangement depends on a number of factors such as the children’s age, to whom they are most closely bonded, and most importantly, what is in the best interests of the child.

Child support is calculated from your combined incomes and the time spent with each of you. Even if the child lives for equal amounts of time with each of you, your husband will still have to pay support if his income is greater than yours.

Submit Your Questions

Have you got a question you’d like us to tackle?

Fill out the form below or send questions to Family Forum, The Advertiser, 31 Waymouth St, Adelaide 5000.

We treat communications in strict confidence except when the law demands otherwise, as in child abuse.

Relationships Australia (SA) appoints panels of general practitioners, medical specialists, lawyers, therapeutic and financial counsellors to discuss each letter before the appropriate professional answers it.

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