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How Visitation Rights Work For Fathers

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 19 Feb 2018 | 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.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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Fryy321 - Your Question:
Hi. My partner has two children with his ex, she has recently found out that he is in a new relationship and is now refusing to let him see the girls. Obviously, he is heartbroken, I spend most evenings comforting my crying partner. He pays £150 a week child maintenance, also owns and pays the mortgage on the home she and the kids live in. What steps can he take to secure his visiting rights? Going to court is the very last option.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. The article, When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access here, will tell your partner all he needs to know about regaining access. A court will not punish your partner for being in a relationship. Therefore if he has had access to date, access is likely to be reinstated through court. However, in the meantime, hopefully the matter can be resolved outside of court. A solicitor's letter in the first instance, might do the trick. Your partner may also wish to join the Separated Dads forum, where our dads can give some very good advice. We hope the situation resolves itself soon.
SeparatedDads - 20-Feb-18 @ 12:47 PM
Hi. My partner has two children with his ex, she has recently found out that he is in a new relationship and is now refusing to let him see the girls. Obviously, he is heartbroken, I spend most evenings comforting my crying partner. He pays £150 a week child maintenance, also owns and pays the mortgage on the home she and the kids live in. What steps can he take to secure his visiting rights? Going to court is the very last option.
Fryy321 - 19-Feb-18 @ 6:50 PM
Hi I have a 5 month old baby ,my ex partner gives me verbal abuse even in front of the baby,I have called the police as I'm scared of his temper,they said it be better to go to court ,I don't stop him visiting our daughter I just don't want verbal abuse he says he's going to take her one weekend and threatens me , will court allow this? as I prefer to be around when he sees her I don't want him taking the baby
Wrenn - 18-Feb-18 @ 11:10 PM
Sunny- Your Question:
My ex wants to see our kids all the time whenever he want to. I told him about cutting down to a few days a week and Saturday or Sunday. Can I do that by law. He keeps saying I can't by law.

Our Response:
If you cannot agree a structure or arrangement between you, then you would have to suggest mediation as a way of coming to an agreement, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 9-Feb-18 @ 12:31 PM
My ex wants to see our kids all the time whenever he want to. I told him about cutting down to a few days a week and Saturday or Sunday . Can I do that by law . He keeps saying I can't by law .
Sunny - 6-Feb-18 @ 5:20 PM
Purl - Your Question:
Hi my son has recently be told he has a child the child is now 8mnths old he his not on the birth certificate because the mother also has another child by her ex partner and so put him on the birt certificate. Does my son have any legal rights because he wants to be part of the child's life but at the moment although he buys her clothing and nappies milk etc the mother only lets him see her on her terms I.e if and when it suits her and often lets him down at last minute after promising he can see the child.

Our Response:
Yes, your son does have rights to apply to be registered on the birth certificate. Likewise, it is fraudulent to knowingly put a person on the birth certificate who is not the biological father of the child. Therefore, in the first instance your son may wish to send a letter to his ex requesting he is added to the birth certificate and/or awarded parental responsibility of his child, please see link here. If his ex ignores the letter (which can be written by himself or through a solicitor), then he should consider mediation. If his ex refuses to discuss the matter, then his only option would be to apply to court, please see link here. He can apply for both PR and access to his child at the same time.
SeparatedDads - 6-Feb-18 @ 10:11 AM
Hi my son has recently be told he has a child the child is now 8mnths old he his not on the birth certificate because the mother also has another child by her ex partner and so put him on the birt certificate. Does my son have any legal rights because he wants to be part of the child's life but at the moment although he buys her clothing and nappies milk etc the mother only lets him see her on her terms I.e if and when it suits her and often lets him down at last minute after promising he can see the child.
Purl - 5-Feb-18 @ 1:20 PM
I became a father a month ago now after having a fling with the mother of the child. We were never properly together and we decided at the time that we wouldn't be together however I would be fully supportive from a financial and an emotional level. She is breastfeeding and whilst I fully understand that my role is to work around her feeding schedule to see her I am frustrated. For the first four weeks I had to get permission to come and see her and now I am back to work full time I asked her mother to give me certain times to come and see her. She is "not ready" to bring the baby down to my house just yet, which is only a 5minute walk away. Therefore I have been told to come up three days a week. It's a total of 3 and a half hours a week that I've been told. It's frustrating because all I want to do is see my baby girl. Should I just ride the storm for now? Or should I seek legal advice? Am I entitled to more time with her?
Larry - 28-Jan-18 @ 5:54 PM
Bounty - Your Question:
Hi, so my sons father left me when we found out I was pregnant, played no role through the pregnancy and birth, isn’t on the birth certificate but did see my son briefly for the first few months, after that it was if he asked, which was once, the last time he saw my now 4 year old was 2 year 8 month ago. He moved to London which is nearly 300 mile away, got married and had a child and hasn’t contacted me in over a year and a half until a couple weeks ago demanding visitation or he’s taking me to court. He’s very manipulative and a total narcissist. It’s important to add my child has special needs and struggles with new relationships and being out of routine etc. Since it’s been so long and we have completely separate lives I don’t understand why he’s asking to suddenly see my son and I feel like I have no legal backing at all in order to say no. Really need some help and advice!

Our Response:
As the father of your child, he has the right to request access to see his child. If you do not agree, then mediation is the next option, if you cannot agree via mediation, then your child's father will have the option to apply to court. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. We cannot advise you about trying to stop access on the back of your own personal view of the father. The court would need to assess this matter if you do not personally think he should be allowed.
SeparatedDads - 25-Jan-18 @ 11:33 AM
Hi, so my sons father left me when we found out I was pregnant, played no role through the pregnancy and birth, isn’t on the birth certificate but did see my son briefly for the first few months, after that it was if he asked, which was once, the last time he saw my now 4 year old was 2 year 8 month ago. He moved to London which is nearly 300 mile away,got married and had a child and hasn’t contacted me in over a year and a half until a couple weeks ago demanding visitation or he’s taking me to court. He’s very manipulative and a total narcissist. It’s important to add my child has special needs and struggles with new relationships and being out of routine etc. Since it’s been so long and we have completely separate lives I don’t understand why he’s asking to suddenly see my son and I feel like I have no legal backing at all in order to say no. Really need some help and advice!
Bounty - 24-Jan-18 @ 9:22 AM
Bsmith18 - Your Question:
I was with my daughters dad for 7 years and married for 18 months. Our marriage broke down 2 years ago and he got violent. He was charged with 2 section 39 assaults against myself and after his bail conditions ended he literally made my life a living hell, making threats to both me and my new partner. Due to the violence I endured I was and still am very scared of this man. My daughter witnessed some of the abuse and talks about it still near enough weekly. I grew up without my dad and really wanted my daughter to have a relationship with her father, regardless of his past with me so every other weekend she would go to her dads. Within 3 months he had introduced her to 3 different women and their kids which I didn't like but anyway he got with his current girlfriend and my daughter starts coming home upset, she said when she goes he never spends time with her as he is always with this new girlfriend, he left her overnight at his mums to be with this girlfriend (bearing in mind he sees her 2 days out of 14) my daughter says she doesn't feel important to him anymore so I took it up with him and he just said that's his life now and she'll have to get used to it. After a couple of months my daughter had changed, her behaviour on coming back from her dads was awful and she would be reserved. She told me she had shared a room with the girlfriends 12 year old son (she is 7) which I think is absolutely terrible. She would tell me things that he would say to her but then be in tears begging me not to take these issues up with her dad because she'll get in trouble. She admitted that she was scared of her dad and I stopped access. As well as this he is up to his eyeballs in n debt and has bailiffs knocking at the door which I don't feel is nice for a 7 year old child to see. I got a letter through for mediation but I don't want to be around him as I am so petrified of him and since the assault have struggled with anxiety. The other day my daughter broke down at school saying she can't get the bad things daddy has done out of her head and saying he had hit her. Which I knew nothing about but obviously I am absolutely devastated as my daughter has kept this to herself. I have now had a phone call from cafcass saying there is a court date in march and he wants access. My daughter has begged me to not go through her dads anymore. I don't want her to have to go there when she doesn't feel safe. Any advice please?

Our Response:
If your ex has had a previous criminal record, Cafcass will get involved and undertake interviews. Please see link here , which should help answer your question.
SeparatedDads - 23-Jan-18 @ 3:25 PM
I was with my daughters dad for 7 years and married for 18 months. Our marriage broke down 2 years ago and he got violent. He was charged with 2 section 39 assaults against myself and after his bail conditions ended he literally made my life a living hell, making threats to both me and my new partner. Due to the violence I endured I was and still am very scared of this man. My daughter witnessed some of the abuse and talks about it still near enough weekly. I grew up without my dad and really wanted my daughter to have a relationship with her father, regardless of his past with me so every other weekend she would go to her dads. Within 3 months he had introduced her to 3 different women and their kids which I didn't like but anyway he got with his current girlfriend and my daughter starts coming home upset, she said when she goes he never spends time with her as he is always with this new girlfriend, he left her overnight at his mums to be with this girlfriend (bearing in mind he sees her 2 days out of 14) my daughter says she doesn't feel important to him anymore so I took it up with him and he just said that's his life now and she'll have to get used to it. After a couple of months my daughter had changed, her behaviour on coming back from her dads was awful and she would be reserved. She told me she had shared a room with the girlfriends 12 year old son (she is 7) which I think is absolutely terrible. She would tell me things that he would say to her but then be in tears begging me not to take these issues up with her dad because she'll get in trouble. She admitted that she was scared of her dad and I stopped access. As well as this he is up to his eyeballs in n debt and has bailiffs knocking at the door which I don't feel is nice for a 7 year old child to see. I got a letter through for mediation but I don't want to be around him as I am so petrified of him and since the assault have struggled with anxiety. The other day my daughter broke down at school saying she can't get the bad things daddy has done out of her head and saying he had hit her. Which I knew nothing about but obviously I am absolutely devastated as my daughter has kept this to herself. I have now had a phone call from cafcass saying there is a court date in march and he wants access. My daughter has begged me to not go through her dads anymore. I don't want her to have to go there when she doesn't feel safe. Any advice please?
Bsmith18 - 23-Jan-18 @ 4:58 AM
Wilso - Your Question:
Advice please.My partner has a daughter who lives a 7hr drive away. he sees her once a month and pays to stay in a hotel in an expensive holiday area (this is where she lives) during the duration. A once night visit costs him £250 easy. On top of this he pays the mother £200 a month maintenance. In school holidays if the child is allowed to visit her paternal family (mother is often hard work about this) then my partner has to drive to pick his daughter up and drive back. (Mother will never meet half way). We’ve been together now a few years and are currently expecting a child of our own and the mother still won’t allow her child to stay in our home (even though myself and his daughter get on well) meaning my partner has to go stay with family for the duration of his time with his daughter. I really don’t think any of this seems fair.Can she do a this? What are his rights?

Our Response:
In the first instance, if your partner is travelling so far, he may be able to apply for a child maintenance variation, please see link here. Unless there is a good reason why the mother will not allow your partner's daughter to stay with you, then your partner has a right to try to resolve this issue. He can attempt to do this either mutually with his ex, through suggesting mediation, or, in this instance because of the distance he should be able to apply straight to court. One way of trying to push the issue, would be to ask a solicitor outlining your partner's rights, requesting overnight access and specifying that if his ex refuses to negotiate, then he will pursue the matter through court. If your partner has had regular access for a while, then there is no reason why a court would not go to the next step i.e overnight access (unless the re is a court order in place already). Likewise, unless his ex can come up with a valid reason why access should not be overnight, then your partner stands a good chance. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. This would mean his ex would have to relinquish control and allow the courts to make a decision on her behalf, meaning the control and decision making would be taken away from her. Given this, your partner may find she may decide to negotiate. If she takes the stance and refuses access altogether, then your partner would have to leave it to the court to decide. But due to the fact he does have regular access, then this will work in his favour.
SeparatedDads - 18-Jan-18 @ 1:54 PM
Advice please. My partner has a daughter who lives a 7hr drive away... he sees her once a month and pays to stay in a hotel in an expensive holiday area (this is where she lives) during the duration. A once night visit costs him £250 easy. On top of this he pays the mother £200 a month maintenance. In school holidays if the child is allowed to visit her paternal family (mother is often hard work about this) then my partner has to drive to pick his daughter up and drive back. (Mother will never meet half way). We’ve been together now a few years and are currently expecting a child of our own and the mother still won’t allow her child to stay in our home (even though myself and his daughter get on well) meaning my partner has to go stay with family for the duration of his time with his daughter. I really don’t think any of this seems fair. Can she do a this? What are his rights?
Wilso - 18-Jan-18 @ 5:36 AM
yawbolo - Your Question:
My ex and I are separated for 3 months now. we have a 2 year old which we agreed upon separation that I will see him 2nights a week ( one night sleepover ) and sleepover over the weekend at her place, which I have no problem with and haven't failed to do so. I also pay her child support and I even give her £70 more than the agreed amount. she is currently pregnant by a guy she has only known for 3 weeks and already wants to introduce my son him. I am worried about the safety of my child because she barely knows this and wants him around my son and she refuses to see the potential dangers she could be putting our son in.i have tried to talk to her about having my son at my place for a couple days in the week when I have him, but she has totally refused and threatened to take me to court where I wouldnt be able see my son only through a contact centre and also threaten to have my visa revoked as well. ( I am currently on a spouse visa). what are my rights here as a sparated dad and what can I do legally to protect my child and also be able to spend time with me.

Our Response:
The more important issue here is that you have separated and are by law required to tell the Home Office if your visa is based on your relationship, please see link here . With regards to your ex introducing your son to the father of her new child, you would have to judge whether your ex would put your child in a situation that could be harmful to him. You may wish to suggest mediation to your ex as a way of attempting to resolve these issues via a third person, please see link here. Please also see the link here, which may help. If your ex does not agree to mediation, then your only other option is court. However, I imagine court is the last situation you would wish to face if you are facing visa issues. Therefore, you would need to try to sort this issue out too.
SeparatedDads - 21-Dec-17 @ 2:57 PM
my ex and I are separated for 3 months now . we have a 2 year old which we agreed upon separation that I will see him 2nights a week( one night sleepover )and sleepover over the weekend at her place, which I have no problem with and haven't failed to do so. I also pay her child support and I even give her £70 more than the agreed amount. she is currently pregnant by a guy she has only known for 3 weeks and already wants to introduce my son him . I am worried about the safety of my child because she barely knows this and wants him around my son and she refuses to see the potential dangers she could be putting our son in. i have tried to talk to her about having my son at my placefor a couple days in the week when i have him, but she has totally refused and threatened to take me to court where i wouldnt be able see my son only through a contact centre and also threaten to have my visa revoked as well. ( i am currently on a spouse visa) . what are my rights here as a sparated dad and what can i do legally to protect my child and also be able to spend time with me.
yawbolo - 19-Dec-17 @ 6:53 PM
Ash - Your Question:
Hi.I married my ex wife from outside the eu.she came to the UK settled with me we had our first child a girl.the wife changed and constantly argued with me and my extended family.this went on for a couple of yrs.she wasn't neutralised as a UK citizen so I sent her back to her native country and she took our daughter too.i thought time apart would make her see sense but it didn't happen.i sent her divorce papers and we got divorced.she got in touch with a solicitor in UK and I ended up in high court to decide child support.the judge ruled I should pay her 350 pound a month.as for the right to see my Child judge ruled I would have to take it up with courts in her country.i went last year and she and her family refused to let me see the Child.i got a solicitor over there I attended court several times,baillifs were sent to her house with court orders and they basically tore them up and never attended once.upon my return to UK I stopped child support.now,somehow,shes managed to get back into this country and I have received a letter from her solicitor saying I need to backpay child support or find myself in court.i need advice please as I have no intention of paying unless I can see my child who I havnt seen for 4 years.if I have to I will pack my job in.i am not paying and not seeing my Child.please help.

Our Response:
Child access and child maintenance are unrelated and are considered as separate issues, which means by law you still have to pay child maintenance to help support the day-to-day welfare of your child regardless of whether you see your child or not. Therefore, if you owe child maintenance it is likely you will be requested to pay the amount owing. If your child is resident in this country, then you can take the matter back to court for access. If you cannot afford the legal fees of being represented by a solicitor, you can self-litigate, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 11-Dec-17 @ 2:10 PM
Dad4life - Your Question:
Hi my ex is not letting me see my daughter. I only found out a week after she was born and when I got to the hospital the doctors said for me to say my goodbyes cause when she was born she suffered a brain injury due to lack of oxygen and was on life support to help her breathe. I didn't accept what I was told me and my family took her results to others doctors for a second and third opinion. Call it a miracle cause she cause she can now breathe for herself and feed without tubes. When she came home her mother informed me that she had been registered and I wasn't on the birth certificate which upset me and since then she has blocked my number and hasn't replied to none of my attempts to make some sort of arrangement so I can see my daughter who is now 6 months old. Cause my name is not on the birth certificate what can I do or what rights do I have cause I miss my lil girl so much and I just want to support and be able to see her.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. However you do have rights to pursue this, please see the link here, which shows you the process you would have to go through. Mediation would be the first line to pursue, please see link here. You can also apply to the courts for parental responsibility, please see link here. If you cannot afford legal representation, you can self-litigate, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 11-Dec-17 @ 11:23 AM
Hi my ex is not letting me see my daughter. I only found out a week after she was born and when I got to the hospital the doctors said for me to say my goodbyes cause when she was born she suffered a brain injury due to lack of oxygen and was on life support to help her breathe. I didn't accept what I was told me and my family took her results to others doctors for a second and third opinion. Call it a miracle cause she cause she can now breathe for herself and feed without tubes. When she came home her mother informed me that she had been registered and I wasn't on the birth certificate which upset me and since then she has blocked my number and hasn't replied to none of my attempts to make some sort of arrangement so I can see my daughter who is now 6 months old. Cause my name is not on the birth certificate what can I do or what rights do I have cause I miss my lil girl so much and I just want to support and be able to see her.
Dad4life - 9-Dec-17 @ 9:21 PM
Hi. I married my ex wife from outside the eu.she came to the UK settled with me we had our first child a girl.the wife changed and constantly argued with me and my extended family.this went on for a couple of yrs.she wasn't neutralised as a UK citizen so I sent her back to her native country and she took our daughter too.i thought time apart would make her see sense but it didn't happen.i sent her divorce papers and we got divorced.she got in touch with a solicitor in UK and I ended up in high court to decide child support.the judge ruled I should pay her 350 pound a month.as for the right to see my Child judge ruled I would have to take it up with courts in her country.i went last year and she and her family refused to let me see the Child.i got a solicitor over there I attended court several times,baillifs were sent to her house with court orders and they basically tore them up and never attended once.upon my return to UK I stopped child support.now,somehow,shes managed to get back into this country and I have received a letter from her solicitor saying I need to backpay child support or find myself in court.i need advice please as I have no intention of paying unless I can see my child who I havnt seen for 4 years.if I have to I will pack my job in.i am not paying and not seeing my Child.please help.
Ash - 8-Dec-17 @ 3:41 PM
mamam - Your Question:
Hi, my son is 5 in 4 months. His dad left the country 3 years ago and chose to have no contact with our son. He never paid any child support, he never sent anything for birthdays or christmasses. He ignored all my attempts to contact him and emails over those years. He is a stranger to my son now. He contacted me today for the first time in years saying he wants to see him! All though he admits he wont be a stable or regular part of his life. We spoke very amicabally. My son says he does not want to see him. He thinks he is a “bad man” because his last memory of his dad is that my son broke his leg while on his lap going down a slide and then he dissapeared and never saw him again (this is true but my son dpesnt remember anything else about him or has memories of him. The accident happened when my son was 1 and a half and the day it happened his dad left and never saw him again). My son has a very stable happy life with me and my partner who my son chooses to see as his dad. (He is his stepdad). I am so scared if his real dad sees him and then dissapears again that this will affect my son badly where as right now he is just happy and doesnt even want to see him. I dont know what the right thing to do is regarding my son. his dad definitely has no plans to be a regular and stable part of his life and this is what scares me for my son, how it will affect him and shake things up when right now he is very happy and stable. My gut says not to allow it because it seems selfish of my ex to try and satisfy some kind of guilt he has while having no intention to actually be a parent to his son! But then the other part of me doesn’t want to deny anything. I dont want my son to be screwed up for me having allowed his father in and out of his life but I also don’t want him to feel I never allowed them contact (even though he doesnt want to see him) I need some help I honestly dont know what to do or what our rights are.

Our Response:
It's a tricky question to answer and only one you can really answer yourself. Your son is only five, and therefore you would have to make a decision on his behalf and as always, keeping in mind what you think is in your child's best interests. It's good that the telephone conversation was amicable and that you keep an open and balanced opinion. I can only advise that the conversation continues until you can both try to come to a mutual resolution. If you speak to your ex again and relay your doubts and fears, it also puts the decision back to him to see the situation with reason. Honesty and diplomacy are the best ways forward here. It's sad that your son carries this opinion of his father being a 'bad man', as a child of five cannot see the muti-layered emotions/flaws/reasons we all have for making the decisions we do in life. None of us are perfect and some less than others. That doesn't mean those people who are less perfect don't have emotions too and obviously your child's father has been doing some serious thinking. It's a sweeping statement to say his reasons might be to 'satisfy his guilt' - you don't know that for sure. However, the final decision ultimately still rests with you. Best of luck - I'm sure you'll make the right decision as you are coming at it from the right place, which is from a point of being open-minded and open to further discussion.
SeparatedDads - 7-Dec-17 @ 11:23 AM
Hi, my son is 5 in 4 months. His dad left the country 3 years ago and chose to have no contact with our son. He never paid any child support, he never sent anything for birthdays or christmasses. He ignored all my attempts to contact him and emails over those years. He is a stranger to my son now. He contacted me today for the first time in years saying he wants to see him! All though he admits he wont be a stable or regular part of his life. We spoke very amicabally. My son says he does not want to see him. He thinks he is a “bad man” because his last memory of his dad is that my son broke his leg while on his lap going down a slide and then he dissapeared and never saw him again (this is true but my son dpesnt remember anything else about him or has memories of him. The accident happened when my son was 1 and a half and the day it happened his dad left and never saw him again). My son has a very stable happy life with me and my partner who my son chooses to see as his dad. (He is his stepdad). I am so scared if his real dad sees him and then dissapears again that this will affect my son badly where as right now he is just happy and doesnt even want to see him. I dont know what the right thing to do is regarding my son. his dad definitely has no plans to be a regular and stable part of his life and this is what scares me for my son, how it will affect him and shake things up when right now he is very happy and stable. My gut says not to allow it because it seems selfish of my ex to try and satisfy some kind of guilt he has while having no intention to actually be a parent to his son! But then the other part of me doesn’t want to deny anything. I dont want my son to be screwed up for me having allowed his father in and out of his life but i also don’t want him to feel i never allowed them contact (even though he doesnt want to see him) i need some help i honestly dont know what to do or what our rights are.
mamam - 6-Dec-17 @ 8:42 AM
perrry - Your Question:
I recently attended court with my child's father and a court order was put in place regarding contact he never kept to it once said that he couldn't make transport arrangement, now he is taking me back to court to make me, make transport arrangements where do I stand with this legally as I am self represented

Our Response:
As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. The court will attempt to make arrangements 'fair', meaning it could order that you both meet halfway, or that one parent picks up and the other drops off. Much depends upon the logistics of your situation. If one parent is being unduly awkward regarding helping with transport arrangements, then the court will seek to redress the balance towards what it thinks is in the best interests of the child.
SeparatedDads - 4-Dec-17 @ 12:39 PM
I recently attended court with my child's father and a court order was put in place regarding contact he never kept to it once said that he couldn't make transport arrangement, now he is taking me back to court to make me, make transport arrangements where do I stand with this legally as I am self represented
perrry - 2-Dec-17 @ 12:52 AM
@Connor - if it's Christmas Eve, you might have to try and work around things. Perhaps, if you give your daughter back at 4pm, you could negotiate another four hours on another day. If the order says 104pm on Xmas eve, it should really stand at that, but because it falls on your day so the both of you are right, you might have to reach a compromise on this occasion.
EllioTfs - 30-Nov-17 @ 1:54 PM
Hello. Me and my child’s dad broke up in July after him hitting me in a public place which was captured clearly on cctv. He then went to court and was given an injunction where he’s not allowed near me or the house, but is allowed to see our child through a third party, but since then he’s been in my house on multiple occasions and strangled me twice in front of our child! He’s been given plenty of opportunities to see our child but has let him down at last minute to go out with his mates on nights out and take drugs, or just living his normal everyday activities. Since I’ve now applied for Csa he’s now threatening to take me to court even though he sees our son once a week when he can be bothered. The other night I felt so low he called the police out as he thought I was going to do something stupid, which the next day followed by a call from social services. Where would I stand in court? I don’t feel safe him having my child over night. His dad has aspergus and needs to learn to control his temper. I’m just so worried our child would end up getting hurt whilst he not in my care, as he has slapped him across the face a few times . Please help
Worried - 28-Nov-17 @ 10:29 PM
My child arrangements order says that I am to spend Christmas Eve with my daughter from 10am to 4pm, however this year Christmas eve is on a Sunday which is the day I would ordinarily have my daughter which is until 8pm. I have made the Mother aware that this means I will have her from 10am until 8pm but she is arguing with me saying that I don't get that amount of time with her so I was just wondering if I am in the right by saying this to her?
Connor - 28-Nov-17 @ 10:08 PM
My ex was abusive and I have a none Mal order on in at the moment which will only run out after the baby is born so he went be on the birth certificate can I be forced to put his name on after the none Mal runs out. Also I am very worried about contact with my baby as he is a drug user and very abusive to me. He broke the none Mal order and is now having drug counseling but I am still scared about leaving my baby with him if he gets granted access is there anything I can do i am scared for her safety whilst with him.
Dolly - 22-Nov-17 @ 2:12 AM
BigDaddyBob - Your Question:
My ex was ordered by courts yesterday to meet me today with my children and has failed to appear what do I do? Shall I ring 101? I haven't seen them for 2 weeks and this is hurting me so much!

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. If you can see a solicitor to write her a letter reminding her of the terms of the court order, then this may work. Otherwise, you would have to refer the matter back to court for breach of the order. The order comes with a warning and the courts can enforce the order.
SeparatedDads - 21-Nov-17 @ 12:03 PM
Stressedrelative - Your Question:
My daughters ex has contact every weekend and due to a non molestation order contact was to be done through me - there wa verbal agreement that I wud meet him halfway between 2 properties which I have been doing every weekend for over a year this is proving difficult as he refuses to give me times to drop her or collect her until last minute and now my granddaughter is at school full time her mom wants to see her also at weekends. Her ex knows know where they live and the DV has resolved apart from the verbal abuse but he refuses to collect her from near her home And as I challenged him he is now refusing to let me collect or drop her and to be honest I feel very intimidated by him. He says due to court order he does not have to collect her and it’s my daughters responsibility to deliver her to him - there is nothing determined in court papers only that contact through 3rd person - how do we stand in insisting he collects her and also if my daughters refuses to take her he will tell my granddaughter we are stopping her see him - which neither my daughter or myself want despite the emotional abuse he subjects us all to - where do we now stand please

Our Response:
You would have to suggest mediation as a way of attempting to resolve the issue outside of court, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 21-Nov-17 @ 11:41 AM
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