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How Visitation Rights Work For Fathers

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Separated Dads Visitation Rights Contact

As a father you want to stay in close touch with your children, even after you and your partner have separated. Obviously, the best and simplest way to do this is an agreement between you and your ex, which can be made legally binding by solicitors. This means it doesn’t have to go through the courts, and will work when relations between the pair of you are amicable.

If you have Parental Responsibility, either by being married to the mother when the child was born, being present when the birth was registered and having your name on the birth certificate as the father, or through a Parental Responsibility Agreement or Parental Responsibility Order, you have rights and responsibilities to your children.

Obviously, part of that is support in financial terms, but also in emotional and legal terms, too. In return, you have contact with your children. Family Courts have a principle called “presumption of contact”, under which they have to do everything possible for fathers to see their children.

Contact Orders

Very often, Court-issued Contact Orders prove unnecessary, since arrangements will have been worked out privately or in mediation between the two parents. However, even where a Contact Order is issued, often the parents are allowed to work out the details for themselves. Before any Contact Order is issued, however, the court must take several things into consideration:

  • What the child wishes, if he or she is old enough to make any kind of decision
  • The educational and emotional needs of the child
  • Whether there’s any risk of harm to the child
  • Whether you’re capable of meeting the child’s needs during contact

These might seem possibly weighted against you, but the sole intent is for the welfare of the child. In the vast majority of cases – well over 90% – Contact Orders are granted. If it’s come to a hearing, one important factor will be the report by the Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) officer. Both parents, as well as other carers and teachers, will have been interviewed, and in most cases the court accepts the report as it stands (although you can challenge part of it or even ask for a new report from a different officer if you disagree).

Residence Order

A Residence Order determines who the children should live with. If none has been issued, then the children will stay with their mother. You can apply for a Residence Order to have full custody of your children, but realistically speaking, unless there are pressing reasons they should not stay with their mother, it’s unlikely your request will be granted custody.

Things Not To Do

When you have contact with the children, you should not attempt to take them out of the country without written permission from their mother. Even if it’s for a holiday, this needs to be discussed and permission in writing given. While you have the children, don’t say negative things about your ex-partner. It creates confusion and a bad atmosphere for the children. You have more positive things to concentrate on during your time with them, anyway.

Take at look at our article Making the Most of Your Time With Your Child for some ideas about what you can do together.

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The Separated Dads Forum is a place where you can discuss relevant issues and concerns including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or just have a general chat with other dads.

Please help us launch it and make it a great resource for dads going through difficult times. We hope to see you on the Forum soon....

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[Add a Comment]
Rio - Your Question:
Hi,Can I start by saying that I think the state of legal positions concerning children are ridiculous, the system is way more empowering of women whom in most cases are not any more providing of care than fathers! We have a legal framework whereby it's almost supportive of women weaponising children after a split and us fathers having to jump through hoops for basic rights all while being liable to pay maintenance! My Question; I separated with my partner 3-4 years ago who immediately got with another man and has not been consistent with my visitation sometimes outright just refusing, I do not know where they live, what school he goes to nor his medical health even though I pay an agreed amount to her every month! Of recent she has been taking the child abroad a lot without consulting me most recently to go and get married and I want to know where I stand legally in order to gain equal access to my child! I really think the law needs to come down tougher on mothers who do this because they are basically untouchable and obviously the child is going to be more familiar and desire to be with their mother more if that's what who they exposed to in the more consistent manner.

Our Response:
Firstly, if you have not had consistent access to your child, then a family court is not going to offer you shared care, as it would not be seen as in the best interests of your child as it would cause your child disruption. If you have any specific issues then you either have to suggest mediation to your ex and if she refuses, take the matter to court, please see link here. If your ex denies you access then you would have to take the matter to court via a C100 form. Despite what you may think, the court does want fathers to have good access to their children. If you do not have the address of your ex, then you can apply via a C4 form, which is an application for disclosure of the whereabouts of a child/children. This will enable you, as the father to take the matter to court. In situations such as this, court although seen as the last option is sometimes the only option, as once a court order is in place your ex will have to adhere to it. Therefore, you may wish to seek some legal advice in order to explore your options.
SeparatedDads - 19-Jan-17 @ 10:48 AM
Hi, Can I start by saying that I think the state of legal positions concerning children are ridiculous, the system is way more empowering of women whom in most cases are not any more providing of care than fathers! We have a legal framework whereby it's almost supportive of women weaponising children after a split and us fathers having to jump through hoops for basic rights all while being liable to pay maintenance! My Question; I separated with my partner 3-4 years ago who immediately got with another man and has not been consistent with my visitation sometimes outright just refusing, I do not know where they live, what school he goes to nor his medical health even though I pay an agreed amount to her every month! Of recent she has been taking the child abroad a lot without consulting me most recently to go and get married and I want to know where I stand legally in order to gain equal access to my child! I really think the law needs to come down tougher on mothers who do this because they are basically untouchable and obviously the child is going to be more familiar and desire to be with their mother more if that's what who they exposed to in the more consistent manner.
Rio - 18-Jan-17 @ 10:26 AM
cncrnmum - Your Question:
I left my husband in July. He has had regular visitation with the children each month. We live a fair distance from one another so weekly visits are quite impossible. He speaks to them every day. Skype on weekends. The problem I am having is his insistence on sleeping with both children aged 5 and 6. Even in a hotel room with 2 double beds he will sleep with them. He is living at his mother's at moment and sleeps with them there as well. He and I were not allowed to sleep together as consenting adults before we were married. He had to sleep on her sofa so I see no reason why he can't sleep there when the children visit. On his last visit here he had a night terror scaring both children senseless. He doesn't just wake up screaming he punches and kicks too. I have demanded a letter of confirmation of the sleeping arrangements on the forthcoming visit. Can I refuse to take the children to see him if the letter is not produced? I have no interest in using my children ad weapons. I am genuinely concerned about them. I can appreciate he misses them but can we please move on in an appropriate manner? They are not securite blankets. I don't want them developing anxiety issues.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this and your ex is obviously feeling very insecure and is emotionally affected by the break up. Have you not ever wanted to be close and sleep with your children for comfort yourself? It is understandable he wants this kind of closeness to his children after separation - but equally understandable you feel that there needs to be some balance, especially if he has night terrors (which is more where the issue lies). The fact you have 'demanded' a letter possibly may not be the best way to approach this. Both of you have equal parental repsonsibility, so presumably both of you want what is in the best interests of your children. Therefore, you might want to approach this amicably, if you can, without any need for a written confimation (there is no point to one as it won't hold any legal water). If you feel there are issues to be resolved and you can't resolve them between you, then mediation is the best option, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 11-Jan-17 @ 2:27 PM
Leroy - Your Question:
Good evening, I have come across this site and would like some advice please.My ex partner and I split up before the birth of our daughter approximately 3 1/2 years ago. I wasn't present at the birth as I wasn't told she was in labour. When my daughter was born she was very sick and taken to a specialist hospital who treated her for a number of ailments. I was present at the hospital for a week but never really give much information about how poorly she was. I was asked for a blood sample to see if I could offer her blood if needed. During this time a DNA test was conducted to confirm I was infact her father which proved I was.When she was registered at birth my name was not added to the birth certificate (we weren't married, I understand the mother has the right to omit this from the certificate). I had restricted access to my daughter during this time and never formed a bond with her.We agreed at the time to make an agreement for child maintenance which was paid cash, but then I received notification (12months later) from the CSA that I had been named as the father and needed to pay some arrears (£98 for 12 months). This has been paid.I am now paying a further amount per week to my ex for my daughter (not a problem as a standing order has been set up so all payments have been recorded, this includes any arrears owed).During the last two years I have had no visitation rights to my daughter, this has been for a number of reasons:1. My ex has moved to a number of different addresses of which I wasn't made aware of.2. A PIN notice was served on me by my ex as I wanted to drop some birthday presents off to my daughter and it got a little heated. I was told by the police that I couldn't contact my ex or daughter from the point on.My ex has now had another baby (3 months ago), and I have been made aware that her new partner is looking to adopt my daughter. Where do I stand?So in a nutshell:1. I am not on the birth certificate but confirmed parentage by DNA2. I do not know where my daughter lives.3. The CSA have no contact details for my ex so I have no way of forwarding a solicitors letter to her.4. I want to know where I stand if her new partner adopts my daughter.Your advice would be appreciated.Kind regards

Our Response:
If you are not registered on the birth certificate you have no parental rights unless you apply to court for parental responsibility and/or contact. It means your ex can press ahead with the adoption. If you do not challenge the adoption and the adoption takes place, you will no longer be financially responsible for paying towards the upkeep of your child, this will transfer to the child's adoptive father. Please see Family Lives link here .
SeparatedDads - 11-Jan-17 @ 12:26 PM
I left my husband in July.He has had regular visitation with the children each month.We live a fair distance from one another so weekly visits are quite impossible.He speaks to them every day.Skype on weekends.The problem I am having is his insistence on sleeping with both children aged 5 and 6.Even in a hotel room with 2 double beds he will sleep with them.He is living at his mother's at moment and sleeps with them there as well.He and I were not allowed to sleep together as consenting adults before we were married.He had to sleep on her sofa so I see no reason why he can't sleep there when the children visit.On his last visit here he had a night terror scaring both children senseless.He doesn't just wake up screaming he punches and kicks too.I have demanded a letter of confirmation of the sleeping arrangements on the forthcoming visit.Can I refuse to take the children to see him if the letter is not produced?I have no interest in using my children ad weapons. I am genuinely concerned about them. I can appreciate he misses them but can we please move on in an appropriate manner?They are not securite blankets.I don't want them developing anxiety issues.
cncrnmum - 10-Jan-17 @ 6:17 PM
Good evening, I have come across this site and would like some advice please. My ex partner and I split up before the birth of our daughter approximately 3 1/2 years ago. I wasn't present at the birth as I wasn't told she was in labour. When my daughter was born she was very sick and taken to a specialist hospital who treated her for a number of ailments. I was present at the hospital for a week but never really give much information about how poorly she was. I was asked for a blood sample to see if I could offer her blood if needed. During this time a DNA test was conducted to confirm I was infact her father which proved I was. When she was registered at birth my name was not added to the birth certificate (we weren't married, I understand the mother has the right to omit this from the certificate). I had restricted access to my daughter during this time and never formed a bond with her. We agreed at the time to make an agreement for child maintenance which was paid cash, but then I received notification (12months later) from the CSA that I had been named as the father and needed to pay some arrears (£98 for 12 months). This has been paid. I am now paying a further amount per week to my ex for my daughter (not a problem as a standing order has been set up so all payments have been recorded, this includes any arrears owed). During the last two years I have had no visitation rights to my daughter, this has been for a number of reasons: 1. My ex has moved to a number of different addresses of which I wasn't made aware of. 2. A PIN notice was served on me by my ex as I wanted to drop some birthday presents off to my daughter and it got a little heated. I was told by the police that I couldn't contact my ex or daughter from the point on. My ex has now had another baby (3 months ago), and I have been made aware that her new partner is looking to adopt my daughter.Where do I stand? So in a nutshell: 1. I am not on the birth certificate but confirmed parentage by DNA 2. I do not know where my daughter lives. 3. The CSA have no contact details for my ex so I have no way of forwarding a solicitors letter to her. 4. I want to know where I stand if her new partner adopts my daughter. Your advice would be appreciated. Kind regards
Leroy - 10-Jan-17 @ 5:26 PM
hi, my partner has asked to be put on his daughters birth certificate, she is now 7 years old (he was not told of when she was getting registered) anyways he pays for his daughter and gets her every 2nd weekend when hes off from work and during holidays. but he has nothing written down on paper and i am scared she will one day stop his contact with her as she now has a new partner and he doesnt like her dad. she never answers the phone when my parnter phones to speak to his daughter. but will only get in contact when regarding money.
boo - 27-Dec-16 @ 9:06 PM
Hello, my main question is how many people can have parental responsibility of one child as the law when I read it say's more than 2 which suggests any amount of people can have it to the one child e.g. a silly number like 10 ... however the forms show only 3 spaces... Parent 1 or A, Parent 2 or B and Step parent... could you clarify this for me?? Also if there was only the mother with parental responsibility and the biological father is estranged by choice from the child does he need to be involved although not having parental responsibility? And finally if the Mother (only one with parental responsibility) and I (Step dad) are happy to go ahead with an application for 'Parental responsibility' and the estranged father (by choice) does not need to be involved, but a grandparent who was one of the main resident carers of the child for 6 years (child and mother lived under the mothers parents roof mainly from birth) also wanted to be on the application for parental responsibility would they be eligible as the 'other parent/Parent 2/Parent B'?? I eagerly await your reply.
Step dad - 22-Dec-16 @ 11:53 PM
cncrnmum - Your Question:
I left my husband in July. He has had regular visitation with the children each month. We live a fair distance from one another so weekly visits are quite impossible. He speaks to them every day. Skype on weekends. The problem I am having is his insistence on sleeping with both children aged 5 and 6. Even in a hotel room with 2 double beds he will sleep with them. He is living at his mother's at moment and sleeps with them there as well. He and I were not allowed to sleep together as consenting adults before we were married. He had to sleep on her sofa so I see no reason why he can't sleep there when the children visit. On his last visit here he had a night terror scaring both children senseless. He doesn't just wake up screaming he punches and kicks too. I have demanded a letter of confirmation of the sleeping arrangements on the forthcoming visit. Can I refuse to take the children to see him if the letter is not produced? I have no interest in using my children ad weapons. I am genuinely concerned about them. I can appreciate he misses them but can we please move on in an appropriate manner? They are not securite blankets. I don't want them developing anxiety issues.

Our Response:
If your ex does not wish to discuss this with you, then you may wish to suggest mediation as an option to resolve the issue, please see link: Mediation: What is it and is it For Me? here . I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 20-Dec-16 @ 3:04 PM
I left my husband in July.He has had regular visitation with the children each month.We live a fair distance from one another so weekly visits are quite impossible.He speaks to them every day.Skype on weekends.The problem I am having is his insistence on sleeping with both children aged 5 and 6.Even in a hotel room with 2 double beds he will sleep with them.He is living at his mother's at moment and sleeps with them there as well.He and I were not allowed to sleep together as consenting adults before we were married.He had to sleep on her sofa so I see no reason why he can't sleep there when the children visit.On his last visit here he had a night terror scaring both children senseless.He doesn't just wake up screaming he punches and kicks too.I have demanded a letter of confirmation of the sleeping arrangements on the forthcoming visit.Can I refuse to take the children to see him if the letter is not produced?I have no interest in using my children ad weapons. I am genuinely concerned about them. I can appreciate he misses them but can we please move on in an appropriate manner?They are not securite blankets.I don't want them developing anxiety issues.
cncrnmum - 17-Dec-16 @ 3:05 PM
Aj - Your Question:
Me and my fiance have split 2 weeks ago and she is saying I can't have our 2 year old daughter over night can she do this as I want to see her every chance I get

Our Response:
I'm afraid she can, as you are not guaranteed overnight access even if you have parental responsibility. Much depends upon the reasons why your ex is refusing. Sometimes resident parents can become over-protective for various reasons and when you split from your partner it is only natural that you will both have some very raw emotions and find it difficult to get along. However, because you have a child together, it is important that you find a way to communicate. The situation is not only about the two of you but also about the wellbeing of your child and that is what you need to focus on, please see link here . You are not being denied access, which is a plus, but if you insist on wanting overnight access then your options would be to either suggest mediation, please see link: Mediation: What is it and is it For Me? here and if your refuses as a last resort you would have to apply to court, please see link here. However, even if the matter goes to court, there is no guarantee the court will award overnight access. The court will always decide upon what is in the best interests of your child - but the courts do want fathers to have a good relationship with their children, so unless there is a good reason why you shouldn't have your child overnight, you stand a good chance.
SeparatedDads - 13-Dec-16 @ 2:31 PM
Me and my fiance have split 2 weeks ago and she is saying I can't have our 2 year old daughter over night can she do this as I want to see her every chance I get
Aj - 10-Dec-16 @ 1:08 AM
1markw - Your Question:
Hi,My partner and I split up 4 years ago to which I got a court order for every other weekend as access. Over the 4 years she has continually breached the order if I have something planned. I felt hard done by by the first order and therefore have requested mediation to which she refused.I work shifts and therefore on some of my weekends I am on nights. I have left the kids in the the care of their step mum, my wife, who they have built a relationship with over the last 3 years.Since discovering that I am going back to court and the children are rarely left wth my wife, my ex has been making malicious allegations to social services about the kids and my wife to prevent them from coming. Social services investigated and it was logged as malicious. She has ceased all contact as she says that I should always be at home when I have the kids. I can't possibly juggle both and often need help from family. My children come first but I also need to keep a roof over their head. Is she allowed to do this and would the court frown upon me going to work on the odd occasion?Please help!

Our Response:
The courts will not frown upon you having to work. Given your ex is in breach of the order, you can take the matter to court to have it enforced, and the order may also be varied if the circumstances have changed since the order was made, please see link here. However, in general terms, you have the autonomy to make such decisions regarding who looks after your kids through having equal parental responsibility with your ex.
SeparatedDads - 6-Dec-16 @ 12:04 PM
Hi, My partner and I split up 4 years ago to which I got a court order for every other weekend as access. Over the 4 years she has continually breached the order if I have something planned. I felt hard done by by the first order and therefore have requested mediation to which she refused. I work shifts and therefore on some of my weekends I am on nights. I have left the kids in the the care of their step mum, my wife, who they have built a relationship with over the last 3 years. Since discovering that I am going back to court and the children are rarely left wth my wife, my ex has been making malicious allegations to social services about the kids and my wife to prevent them from coming. Social services investigated and it was logged as malicious. She has ceased all contact as she says that I should always be at home when I have the kids. I can't possibly juggle both and often need help from family. My children come first but I also need to keep a roof over their head. Is she allowed to do this and would the court frown upon me going to work on the odd occasion? Please help!
1markw - 5-Dec-16 @ 5:58 PM
HWDT2LG - Your Question:
HiI have been separated from my wife for 15 months, after a lot of too and from regarding our two children there was a period of 7 weeks where I was not aloud to see our children ( Not for want of trying ).I sat mediation and my wife rejected her appointment, I filed for court proceedings and instructed legal representation to write to her with my intent so that my intentions for rights to our children was clear.Since then we made an agreement ( Verbal non legal, supposedly drawn up for me to sign and never materialized ) between the two of us where I am to take care of my children every weekend Fri 7-7:30pm to Sunday 7Pm, If I make any plans to have time away from our children I give her notice of this within plenty of time ( 1 month ) at this point I did not progress with the court application.Recently I was coaxed out of work for 2 days to provide care for our children ( out of schedule ) again on her behalf under the pretense that it was not her partners responsibility to look after our two children whilst she was unwell, Last Weekend, I was blocked from seeing my children even after agreements had been made to travel with our youngest child to see family in another area of the country whilst our eldest child remained at home with there mother.I have since experienced the same unreasonable behavior shown in the first instance which has also been relayed through her cohabiting partner in a threatening manner whilst having care of our respective children. I would like to know what my next steps are as I would like a schedule for our two children that is agreed in full and adhered to.There are circumstances beyond my control that are unfair on our children and myself ( the children being the focal point) and would appreciate any information or help. All I would like is regular and fair access to our children.

Our Response:
If the mediation process fails, then court is the next step. If your ex has denied you access to your children, please see link here and go through the process. Once a court order is made both parties are committed to adhere to it, whereas an agreement made through mediation is not officially binding.
SeparatedDads - 2-Dec-16 @ 10:54 AM
Hi I have been separated from my wife for 15 months, after a lot of too and from regarding our two children there was a period of 7 weeks where i was not aloud to see our children ( Not for want of trying ). I sat mediation and my wife rejected her appointment, I filed for court proceedings and instructed legal representation to write to her with my intent so that my intentions for rights to our children was clear. Since then we made an agreement ( Verbal non legal, supposedly drawn up for me to sign and never materialized ) between the two of us where I am to take care of my children every weekend Fri 7-7:30pm to Sunday 7Pm, If i make any plans to have time away from our children i give her notice of this within plenty of time ( 1 month ) at this point i did not progress with the court application. Recently i was coaxed out of work for 2 days to provide care for our children ( out of schedule ) again on her behalf under the pretense that it was not her partners responsibility to look after our two children whilst she was unwell, Last Weekend, i was blocked from seeing my children even after agreements had been made to travel with our youngest child to see family in another area of the country whilst our eldest child remained at home with there mother. I have since experienced the same unreasonable behavior shown in the first instance which has also been relayed through her cohabiting partner in a threatening manner whilst having care of our respective children . I would like to know what my next steps are as i would like a schedule for our two children that is agreed in full and adhered to. There are circumstances beyond my control that are unfair on our children and myself ( the children being the focal point) and would appreciate any information or help. All i would like is regular and fair access to our children.
HWDT2LG - 1-Dec-16 @ 2:36 PM
My daughter is 5 years old, her father has had contact with her most weekends but never overnight although he wants this and is emotionally blackmailing my daughter with new bedroom and toys, and saying that I'm crazy and nasty and that's why she can't stay, this isn't the case her father was abusive to me and doesn't pay maintance and most weekends picks her up late and brings her back early, if our daughter is playing up he brings her early because he can't cope, now he is threatening to take me to court for him to have her every week and two weeks a year a alternative Christmas's which I do not agree with, a few weeks ago he threatened to hurt me physically so I had to phone the police now we talk through third party's usually his sister, out daughter didn't have contact with her dad for 5 weeks recently and I saw a dramatic change in her behaviour she wasn't getting angry with me and her behaviour was good, last weekend he seen her and her behaviour had changed she is angry and blaming me for why she can't stay with her dad and she gets upset and angry because he left her and she's seen him loose his temper and shout, I'm in the process of taking her to see a doctor so she can talk to someone without any worries. My solicitor advised me to go for a child arrangement order but I'm scared in case a judge will say he can overnights I really don't feel this is right for her he livs 30-40 minutes away with his partner and a he has a child on the way with her and a son living with them who I don't think our daughter has met. I don't want to stop contact completely and I never had I just have to put mine and our daughters safety first, however I do feel he is emotionally abusing our child I just want some advice on what he could get if I did take him to court or if he took me to court we have tried mediation which is how we made arrangements for the amount of hours he sees her over the weekend. Thank you
Mcc - 24-Nov-16 @ 6:10 PM
MATT - Your Question:
I have two girls that live with their mother but since June I haven't been allowed to see them. My ex made a case with child maintenance service which made little difference in terms of payments because I paid every month anyway, but since then I have not been allowed to see them. I have recently had a third child with my current partner and this seems to have added to the excuses that I cannot see my two girls. I get all sorts of excuses such as you are your not seeing them because you don't see them, you have another child now so you don't need to bother with the girls now. I used to have the girls once a month because the travel is so expensive we live over 30 miles apart and I do not drive, and have had problems with my ex from the start of my new relationship. my middle child's birthday was in July and I still have her presents at my home, its now November and I desperately need some advice.

Our Response:
In the first instance you would have to suggest mediation, please see link: Mediation: What is it and is it For Me? here. If your ex refuses, then as specified in the article, you would have the option of applying through court via a C100 contact order. If a court order was awarded, both you and your ex would have to stick to the terms. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 8-Nov-16 @ 2:59 PM
I have two girls that live with their mother but since June I haven't been allowed to see them. My exmade a case with child maintenance service which made little difference in terms of payments because I paid every month anyway, but since then I have not been allowed to see them.I have recently had a third child with my current partner and this seems to have added to the excuses that I cannot see my two girls. I get all sorts of excuses such as you are your not seeing them because you don't see them, you have another child now so you don't need tobother with the girls now. I used to have the girls once a month because the travel is so expensive we live over 30 miles apart and I do not drive, and have had problems with my ex from the start of my new relationship. my middle child's birthday was in July and I still have her presents at my home, its now November and I desperately need some advice.
MATT - 4-Nov-16 @ 3:06 PM
Hi, My wife and I separated just under a year after marriage nearly 4 months ago due to too many arguments and her becoming violent towards me towards the end of her pregnancy. The Police got involved during our last argument and I didn't press charges for her violent conduct with her being 8 months pregnant at the time. We have 2 children together and our eldest is 21 months old who I have have every weekend on Friday night and Saturday night. This works well and he loves seeing me when I show up to collect him from my ex. I love spending time with him and I feel we have a very strong bond that couldn't ever be broken. our newborn is 8 weeks old and I take him after work every Wednesday for a couple of hours and I see him for an hour when I pick my eldest son up Friday evening and when I drop him off again on Sundays. I would just like to ask advice in regards to rights on visitation of our 8 week old little boy. I love both of my kids more than life itself, however I feel like I haven't bonded with my 8 week old or even know him very well. I agreed with my ex that when my 8 week old reaches 3 months old we would half bottle feed (at weekends) and half breastfeed when he is with her during the week. seeing as he is 3 months around Christmas we agreed this would be the perfect time for me to start taking him for the weekend. Just to be amicable and so my ex does not feel alone, I agreed to alternate weekends with the children until my youngest is a bit older and then every 3rd weekend I would take both of them. The problem is she is now saying she doesn't feel ready to have her newborn taken away for at least a few more months which would mean I wouldn't get to see my youngest over Christmas. our families don't really see eye to eye either which makes it harder for my family to see our newborn too. Any advice anyone can give me in regards to my rights would be appreciated. Thanks, Max
Maximusaurelius - 2-Nov-16 @ 11:05 PM
Hi, My wife and I separated just under a year after marriage nearly 4 months ago due to too many arguments and her becoming violent towards me towards the end of her pregnancy. The Police got involved during our last argument and I didn't press charges for her violent conduct with her being 8 months pregnant at the time. We have 2 children together and our eldest is 21 months old who I have have every weekend on Friday night and Saturday night. This works well and he loves seeing me when I show up to collect him from my ex. I love spending time with him and I feel we have a very strong bond that couldn't ever be broken. our newborn is 8 weeks old and I take him after work every Wednesday for a couple of hours and I see him for an hour when I pick my eldest son up Friday evening and when I drop him off again on Sundays. I would just like to ask advice in regards to rights on visitation of our 8 week old little boy. I love both of my kids more than life itself, however I feel like I haven't bonded with my 8 week old or even know him very well. I agreed with my ex that when my 8 week old reaches 3 months old we would half bottle feed (at weekends) and half breastfeed when he is with her during the week. seeing as he is 3 months around Christmas we agreed this would be the perfect time for me to start taking him for the weekend. Just to be amicable and so my ex does not feel alone, I agreed to alternate weekends with the children until my youngest is a bit older and then every 3rd weekend I would take both of them. The problem is she is now saying she doesn't feel ready to have her newborn taken away for at least a few more months which would mean I wouldn't get to see my youngest over Christmas. our families don't really see eye to eye either which makes it harder for my family to see our newborn too. Any advice anyone can give me in regards to my rights would be appreciated. Thanks, Max
Maximusaurelius - 2-Nov-16 @ 11:05 PM
Hi, My wife and I separated just under a year after marriage nearly 4 months ago due to too many arguments and her becoming violent towards me towards the end of her pregnancy. The Police got involved during our last argument and I didn't press charges for her violent conduct with her being 8 months pregnant at the time. We have 2 children together and our eldest is 21 months old who I have have every weekend on Friday night and Saturday night. This works well and he loves seeing me when I show up to collect him from my ex. I love spending time with him and I feel we have a very strong bond that couldn't ever be broken. our newborn is 8 weeks old and I take him after work every Wednesday for a couple of hours and I see him for an hour when I pick my eldest son up Friday evening and when I drop him off again on Sundays. I would just like to ask advice in regards to rights on visitation of our 8 week old little boy. I love both of my kids more than life itself, however I feel like I haven't bonded with my 8 week old or even know him very well. I agreed with my ex that when my 8 week old reaches 3 months old we would half bottle feed (at weekends) and half breastfeed when he is with her during the week. seeing as he is 3 months around Christmas we agreed this would be the perfect time for me to start taking him for the weekend. Just to be amicable and so my ex does not feel alone, I agreed to alternate weekends with the children until my youngest is a bit older and then every 3rd weekend I would take both of them. The problem is she is now saying she doesn't feel ready to have her newborn taken away for at least a few more months which would mean I wouldn't get to see my youngest over Christmas. our families don't really see eye to eye either which makes it harder for my family to see our newborn too. Any advice anyone can give me in regards to my rights would be appreciated. Thanks, Max
Maximusaurelius - 2-Nov-16 @ 11:04 PM
Hi, My wife and I separated just under a year after marriage nearly 4 months ago due to too many arguments and her becoming violent towards me towards the end of her pregnancy. The Police got involved during our last argument and I didn't press charges for her violent conduct with her being 8 months pregnant at the time. We have 2 children together and our eldest is 21 months old who I have have every weekend on Friday night and Saturday night. This works well and he loves seeing me when I show up to collect him from my ex. I love spending time with him and I feel we have a very strong bond that couldn't ever be broken. our newborn is 8 weeks old and I take him after work every Wednesday for a couple of hours and I see him for an hour when I pick my eldest son up Friday evening and when I drop him off again on Sundays. I would just like to ask advice in regards to rights on visitation of our 8 week old little boy. I love both of my kids more than life itself, however I feel like I haven't bonded with my 8 week old or even know him very well. I agreed with my ex that when my 8 week old reaches 3 months old we would half bottle feed (at weekends) and half breastfeed when he is with her during the week. seeing as he is 3 months around Christmas we agreed this would be the perfect time for me to start taking him for the weekend. Just to be amicable and so my ex does not feel alone, I agreed to alternate weekends with the children until my youngest is a bit older and then every 3rd weekend I would take both of them. The problem is she is now saying she doesn't feel ready to have her newborn taken away for at least a few more months which would mean I wouldn't get to see my youngest over Christmas. our families don't really see eye to eye either which makes it harder for my family to see our newborn too. Any advice anyone can give me in regards to my rights would be appreciated. Thanks, Max
Maximusaurelius - 2-Nov-16 @ 10:58 PM
Lea - Your Question:
Hi. I've been with my partner nearly 7 months now and during this time his ex is trying her best to make it impossible for him to be with me. I don't rise to her or message her back when she messages abuse to me as Im thinking of their kids in the long run. She's trying all sorts to split us up as she is bitter and jealous he's finally moved on after she treated him like dirt, not returning home from a night out, taking drugs and sleeping with all sorts. They've been separated for years. She constantly uses the kids as a weapon as she knows that's the only way to get at him as the kids are his life and nothing else is working to make him run back to her. Now the last resort is it's basically coming down to the kids or me with her. She is mentally killing these kids, who are 6 & 10. Father had his days with them without me around then that lastest is she flew in a fit of rage because he took them bowling so she turned up, reversed her car in to a wall, possibly under the influence of alcohol and was trying to punch father in front of the kids, who were hysterical but apparently this is fathers fault and now he can't see them again. Her outbursts are becoming a weekly thing and stops him seeing them. So now our relationship as a couple is in jepordy because the kids don't want to speak to him, because she's filling their heads with he doesn't want to know and has a new family now he wants to do what's best for them and that may involve us separating. Is it wrong of me to think that's unfair as this is what she wants and has aimed to do?! Any ideas on the best way to deal with her so we don't have to seperate? I'm not here to take her kids away from her, I'm here to love their dad and one day eventually get to know them. Any ideas welcome, thank you

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this and it is a situation that happens in so many families. You are at least taking the right action by not rising to her abuse and both you and your partner need to keep your distance to avoid any further confrontation that may take place. If his ex has stopped access completely, then he may wish to seek legal advice about taking the matter to court, please see link: When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access, here. If your partner cannot afford the hefty legal fees and he needs to take the matter to court, then he can self-litigate, please see link here. However, if the matter goes to court the children will have their say regarding whether they wish to see their dad or not and if the mother is trying to prevent this, Cafcass will get involved. Please see link: What Goes into the Cafcass Family Report? here . The report means both parents can have their say regarding what they think is in the best interests of the children. We obviously can't speculate how the case will turn out, but the courts are aware of some parents who try to alienate their kids from the other and they do want dads to have a relationship with their children. Seeking family mediation is another option, but from what you say, his partner is likely to refuse any suggestion.
SeparatedDads - 31-Oct-16 @ 10:33 AM
Hi. I've been with my partner nearly 7 months now and during this time his ex is trying her best to make it impossible for him to be with me. I don't rise to her or message her back when she messages abuse to me as Im thinking of their kids in the long run. She's trying all sorts to split us up as she is bitter and jealous he's finally moved on after she treated him like dirt, not returning home from a night out, taking drugs and sleeping with all sorts. They've been separated for years. She constantly uses the kids as a weapon as she knows that's the only way to get at him as the kids are his life and nothing else is working to make him run back to her. Now the last resort is it's basically coming down to the kids or me with her. She is mentally killing these kids, who are 6 & 10. Father had his days with them without me around then that lastest is she flew in a fit of rage because he took them bowling so she turned up, reversed her car in to a wall, possibly under the influence of alcohol and was trying to punch father in front of the kids, who were hysterical but apparently this is fathers fault and now he can't see them again. Her outbursts are becoming a weekly thing and stops him seeing them. So now our relationship as a couple is in jepordy because the kids don't want to speak to him, because she's filling their heads with he doesn't want to know and has a new family now he wants to do what's best for them and that may involve us separating. Is it wrong of me to think that's unfair as this is what she wants and has aimed to do?! Any ideas on the best way to deal with her so we don't have to seperate? I'm not here to take her kids away from her, I'm here to love their dad and one day eventually get to know them. Any ideas welcome, thank you
Lea - 30-Oct-16 @ 2:18 PM
Hi. I've been with my partner nearly 7 months now and during this time his ex is trying her best to make it impossible for him to be with me. I don't rise to her or message her back when she messages abuse to me as Im thinking of their kids in the long run. She's trying all sorts to split us up as she is bitter and jealous he's finally moved on after she treated him like dirt, not returning home from a night out, taking drugs and sleeping with all sorts. They've been separated for years. She constantly uses the kids as a weapon as she knows that's the only way to get at him as the kids are his life and nothing else is working to make him run back to her. Now the last resort is it's basically coming down to the kids or me with her. She is mentally killing these kids, who are 6 & 10. Father had his days with them without me around then that lastest is she flew in a fit of rage because he took them bowling so she turned up, reversed her car in to a wall, possibly under the influence of alcohol and was trying to punch father in front of the kids, who were hysterical but apparently this is fathers fault and now he can't see them again. Her outbursts are becoming a weekly thing and stops him seeing them. So now our relationship as a couple is in jepordy because the kids don't want to speak to him, because she's filling their heads with he doesn't want to know and has a new family now he wants to do what's best for them and that may involve us separating. Is it wrong of me to think that's unfair as this is what she wants and has aimed to do?! Any ideas on the best way to deal with her so we don't have to seperate? I'm not here to take her kids away from her, I'm here to love their dad and one day eventually get to know them. Any ideas welcome, thank you
Lea - 30-Oct-16 @ 9:49 AM
Hello I am a mother to a 8month old daughter throughout the pregnancy and since my daughter was born i have tried endlessly to get my daughters farther to be in her life. He does not feed her clothe her be there for her see her on a regular basis. I made excuses for his behaviour as she is his first child but I have reached my limit now. He has time for everything else, the money to maintain himself but no regard for his child. Once now and again he will get in contact and insist he wants to be a farther only to let her down again The last time he hadn't seen her for 2 months and when he did see her it was because his vehicle was broken down and was just sitting at home. Only to have her 2hours and say he wants to return her as he has football to play. I have asked him to go to mediationfor any future contact as verbal agreement is non existent.He insists when she grows up she can find him. I feel like this man is treating his baby with no regard. I just wanted to share my opinion as there are many decent mothers who try soo hard for their children to have farthers but their are many farthers who just care only for themselves.
Jaz2016 - 25-Oct-16 @ 10:28 PM
John - Your Question:
Last week my wife told me she doesn't love me anymore and doesn't want to be with me anymore. We've been together for 13 years(8 years married) she has been very clear it is over to the point where even though my head is in pieces I know that there is no hope of reconciliation.We have two children 4 and 5 and at the minute I'm living at my brother's, they are staying here on a Saturday, and she says I can put them to bed twice a week at her house. I know I need to focus on my kids but how am I meant to be making any decisions kids wise whilst I'm like this for the longer term when I get my own place 3-4 months I could probably do it sooner but don't want too. I love my kids but I don't want to get strong armed into something whilst I'm feeling like this.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this and I can imagine how you must feel, please see link here and here. On a practical level, you have to do what feels right for you. But, at the same time, getting an established place where your children can come and stay 'may' be better for you in the short and long term with regards to access. It is very difficult to advise, as every person is different with different needs and emotions and non of us have a crystal ball to say whether we are making the right decisions or not. But there are no legal rules here and if you can sort this out mutually between you and your ex in an amicable fashion, this will also help lessen the pain. We wish you the best of luck.
SeparatedDads - 17-Oct-16 @ 3:08 PM
Last week my wife told me she doesn't love me anymore and doesn't want to be with me anymore. We've been together for 13 years(8 years married) she has been very clear it is over to the point where even though my head is in pieces I know that there is no hope of reconciliation. We have two children 4 and 5 and at the minute I'm living at my brother's, they are staying here on a Saturday, and she says I can put them to bed twice a week at her house. I know I need to focus on my kids but how am I meant to be making any decisions kids wise whilst I'm like this for the longer term when I get my own place 3-4 months I could probably do it sooner but don't want too. I love my kids but I don't want to get strong armed into something whilst I'm feeling like this.
John - 15-Oct-16 @ 7:53 PM
I have been separated from my children's mother for a year now and I have have my sons two days a week ever since this. I recently got into a new relationship and my ex starting to act very differently to which she now demands me to take the kids every second weekend. I would love for this to happen but my job is flexible working hours between 7am and 10pm and they changed every couple of weeks. My contract is one weekend off in four but my ex does not care and said I should be getting my work sorted so I can have them every second weekend. I had this contract before we broke up and I have spoke to my work but they are refusing to give me every second weekend off and now my ex denies visitation on my days off if I don't take them on that weekend. When I spoke to her about mediation to get legal advice because she denies visitation she said "I think you'll find they will see me as being very reasonable with letting you see the children every week". I am stuck between a rock and a hard place and I have no idea what to do, can anyone give me some advice how to progress without losing my kids or my job?
Nick - 15-Oct-16 @ 2:55 PM
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