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How Visitation Rights Work For Fathers

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 10 Dec 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.

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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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
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
BW - Your Question:
Since my divorce I've had a contact order allowing me a few hours during week, 10hrs every Sun and 1 sleepover 1st Sat every month.This court order has continually been breached as my ex has accused me of child abduction, banging on door at her home, shouting abuse through letterbox, harrassment to police and court.It's only taken me 6 years to prove to police all have been lies in order to stop my children having contact with me.I proved my innocence using audio/video recordings, emails, phone call logs, text messages and witness testimonies.Before I managed to prove this, I was in court with an application to enforce the contact order. My ex dug her heels in and wrote all her lies on a court document.We are back in court in Dec as she refused me contact unless it is supervised. Now I have proof she lied so will court tell her off for lying?

Our Response:
We cannot predict what the court may decide or how it will react. Since December 2008, the family courts became empowered to add warning notices to contact orders. While the court can issues fines and even (as a last resort imprisonment), the latter option is a rarity, for the simple reason the court will always decide first and foremost what it thinks is in the best interests of the child/children. Therefore, because imprisonment is likely to affect the child, it is not ordinarily used. As a rule, offending parties will often be given a second chance in relation to a first breach. However, family courts are now taking subsequent breaches of contact orders seriously, and should make use of the various levels of punishment available to administer.
SeparatedDads - 20-Nov-17 @ 10:16 AM
Since my divorce I've had a contact order allowing me a few hours during week, 10hrs every Sun and 1 sleepover 1st Sat every month. This court order has continually been breached as my ex has accused me of child abduction, banging on door at her home, shouting abuse through letterbox, harrassment to police and court. It's only taken me 6 years to prove to police all have been lies in order to stop my children having contact with me. I proved my innocence using audio/video recordings, emails, phone call logs, text messages and witness testimonies. Before I managed to prove this, I was in court with an application to enforce the contact order. My ex dug her heels in and wrote all her lies on a court document. We are back in court in Dec as she refused me contact unless it is supervised. Now I have proof she lied so will court tell her off for lying?
BW - 19-Nov-17 @ 8:36 AM
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
Stressedrelative - 18-Nov-17 @ 6:21 PM
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!
BigDaddyBob - 18-Nov-17 @ 10:03 AM
Shell - Your Question:
My ex wants to see his daughter again he has missed contact befor and has been gone a few years and now wants to see her again. If he misses contact this time am I aloud to stop contact untill the child is 16.?

Our Response:
You may wish to negotiate an agreement via mediation, please see link here. It makes it a little more official, if you feel your ex may let your child down again.
SeparatedDads - 17-Nov-17 @ 1:55 PM
Baby - Your Question:
Hello,Me and my ex partner broke up before our child was born. I’ve also been very good when it comes to him having her on his own etc for a few hours every week, we had a massive falling out, for no other reason then he likes to think because I’m nice to him I want to be with him, when in fact all I ever done was let our child experience things and activities with us a family. It’s got to the point where I had to hide my private life from him so I can lead a stressful and normal life without him questioning everything I do and say. I’ve been with my new partner now for a while and he has known of this, because I didn’t talk about him or post things etc about him he assumed we weren’t together and then saw him and kicked off causing me to make a complaint against him and getting the police involved as he has starting harrasing me etc. He sees her one night a week and a full day every weekend, I’ve been told by a lot of people I am more than fair when it comes to contact and he has a lot more time then any other father does. He has her on the days that I work. I had really bad pre/post natal depression and he forced me to have the full day on the weekend and I got to the point where I didn’t want o argue so I agreed. He is now constantly asking my mum who is the agreed point of contact to have our child over night. She has never had a night without me. Even if I go on nights out I still wake up to her and do her night feed. I’m looking for some advice and people who have been to court to when the baby has to stay over at the fathers. Our child is 11 months, he dad has drug and alcohol issues, and has family matters going on with makes him very unstable. I’m just looking for some advice and someone to help me stop worrying so much. I am not ready for him to have her over night. We haven’t been together since I was 3 months pregnant, so it’s not like he has seen her over night etc yet

Our Response:
There are two parents in every relationship. If they have parental responsibility, they 'should' have an equal say when it comes to the upbringing and care of the child. In an ideal world, care would be shared with parents having their child an equal amount of time. Many mothers assume the control is in their hands regarding when the non-resident parent should and should not see their child. With some primary carers the control goes to their heads and they use it as a weapon to punish the other parent. All parents, should first and foremost put their child's best interests first. If they think the other parent is a good parent, who will look after, care and protect their child and not put their child into harm's way, then they deserve equal consideration. In all matters of disagreement between parents, mediation should be considered in order to try to reach an agreement, please see link here. If you cannot come to an agreement via mediation, your ex will have the opportunity to take the matter to court. Then the matter will be out of your hands and a decision put in a judge's to decide. 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. However, if you can resolve it between you both somehow, then this is by far the best option.
SeparatedDads - 17-Nov-17 @ 10:24 AM
Hello, Me and my ex partner broke up before our child was born. I’ve also been very good when it comes to him having her on his own etc for a few hours every week, we had a massive falling out, for no other reason then he likes to think because I’m nice to him I want to be with him, when in fact all I ever done was let our child experience things and activities with us a family. It’s got to the point where I had to hide my private life from him so I can lead a stressful and normal life without him questioning everything I do and say. I’ve been with my new partner now for a while and he has known of this, because I didn’t talk about him or post things etc about him he assumed we weren’t together and then saw him and kicked off causing me to make a complaint against him and getting the police involved as he has starting harrasing me etc. He sees her one night a week and a full day every weekend, I’ve been told by a lot of people I am more than fair when it comes to contact and he has a lot more time then any other father does. He has her on the days that I work. I had really bad pre/post natal depression and he forced me to have the full day on the weekend and I got to the point where I didn’t want o argue so I agreed. He is now constantly asking my mum who is the agreed point of contact to have our child over night. She has never had a night without me. Even if I go on nights out I still wake up to her and do her night feed. I’m looking for some advice and people who have been to court to when the baby has to stay over at the fathers. Our child is 11 months, he dad has drug and alcohol issues, and has family matters going on with makes him very unstable. I’m just looking for some advice and someone to help me stop worrying so much. I am not ready for him to have her over night. We haven’t been together since I was 3 months pregnant, so it’s not like he has seen her over night etc yet
Baby - 16-Nov-17 @ 1:32 PM
My ex wants to see his daughter again he has missed contact befor and has been gone a few years and now wants to see her again. If he misses contact this time am I aloud to stop contact untill the child is 16.?
Shell - 14-Nov-17 @ 6:33 PM
My daughter is divorced from her husband. She mas sexually, physically and mentally abused by him since my grandson was born. He was charged by the CPS and went to court, but as is often the case in domestic situations he was found not guilty.My grandson is terrified of his father a visit was ordered by the family court, organised by Cafcass and supervised by one of their officers who reported that my grandson showed signs of an abused child who lived with an unpredictable carerand recommended that the fact-finding hearing should take place and no further contact should take place until after this fact-finding hearing. My Granson who is nearly 4 hasn't seen my ex son in law for the past 20 months, the fact-finding hearing took place this week and the judge hasinstructed a guardian to be appointed for my grandson Along with His ownsolicitor. What does this mean for my grandson, will it keep him safe and does it mean any future visits with his father will be supervised? My son-in-law has already told my daughter that he will have his revenge on her for leaving him and my daughter is terrified that this will be through her son. My son in law was a school teacher, who was sacked from his position as his profile was seen by a colleague on a on a fetish web site voulenteering to take part in a rape Scenario. This was not disclosed to the family court.My grandson is happy and settled, my son in law is a manipulating person who plays terrifying mind games. What will happen next?
Helen - 9-Nov-17 @ 8:22 AM
Leanne8 - Your Question:
Hi my son is 5 years old and I split from his dad just before my son first birthday, his dad has never took him for overnight nights his own choice and because of that hes never had him for xmas eve, he has only started paying for his son April this year so the rest of the years I haven't received a penny from him, my son has just started school in august and I stay 2mins away from the school, I have him in a routine during the week for school and now his dad is demanding for a monday night over night which he doesn't drive and stays 15minutes away from school, also demanding to change his football class which I signed him up for and has been going for a year but hes demanding he wants him going somewhere else, he only has him 2 days a week, he has now went to a lawyer, any advice is helpfull

Our Response:
Your ex will not be allowed to apply to court, unless such issues cannot be agreed mutually via mediation, please see link here. Therefore, mediation is something you may wish to consider.
SeparatedDads - 3-Nov-17 @ 2:14 PM
Hi my son is 5 years old and i split from his dad just before my son first birthday, his dad has never took him for overnight nights his own choice and because of that hes never had him for xmas eve, he has only started paying for his son April this year so the rest of the years i haven't received a penny from him, my son has just started school in august and i stay 2mins away from the school, i have him in a routine during the week for school and now his dad is demanding for a monday night over night which he doesn't drive and stays 15minutes away from school, also demanding to change his football class which i signed him up for and has been going for a year but hes demanding he wants him going somewhere else, he only has him 2 days a week, he has now went to a lawyer, any advice is helpfull
Leanne8 - 3-Nov-17 @ 1:49 AM
My children dad has started a new relationship and he has now stated he only wants the 4 children 4 days a month now instead of the Saturday Sunday he has had them every week in the last 9 years! He recently dropped this and asked could we do 3 weekends and one weekend to himself! Which I agreed too... my problem is I have 4 children one with Autism who will not understand the change and looks forward to dads time, and worked for both myself and dad as I opted to work weekends as this is better for the children! What action can I take or what’s the right avenue to go down.
Kelli - 20-Oct-17 @ 9:13 AM
Kit - Your Question:
I had a fling several years ago and when I told my "partner" that I thought I was pregnant, he cut all contact with me. We unfortunately were young, stupid and didn't know each other very well. I now have an eight year old who I have raised singlehandedly but I keep wondering if I should write to the dad to let him know we are here, that I did not terminate etc. I was hurt and I did not pursue the dad in any shape or form. My fear is him being granted 50/50 custody hence me not chasing him. I wouldn't mind my child and the dad getting to know each other but this father of my child is effectively a stranger, I don't know if I can trust him. I don't know if he has grown to be "in the best interest" of our child and obviously if courts get involved, the whole thing is taken out of my hands. He has no idea of our child's name, age, gender or even where to find me since we have moved 9 times. I didn't mean to alienate but I sort of went into protective mode. My child is aware of who dad is and that some daddies just aren't ready to be daddies - I never talked bad and so my child has developed a natural curiosity. I really wish they could know each other (if they both want that) without so much fear on my part of what could go wrong in court. Where do I stand legally? Dad would never be able to find me. Only I can find him. Would this go against me? It is only my word against his that I told him I thought I was pregnant.

Our Response:
If the father of your child is not named on the birth certificate, then he currently has no rights. Neither would he have any rights to 50/50 shared care, a court would never hand a child over to a parent they do not know. However, he would be entitled to apply for parental responsibility through mediation or the courts and contact if he wishes (although if your child has never met his father, then contact would be limited/supervised at first). The emotional side of the decision, is really up to you regarding whether you should approach him or not, that we cannot advise you on. There are many reasons why the father might have decided not to pursue you through the courts (he could apply to the courts to find you, if he wished). Therefore, you may wish to take tentative steps if you wish to get back in touch. As you say, you want to make decisions based upon what you feel is in the best interests of your son and this should always come first.
SeparatedDads - 19-Oct-17 @ 12:53 PM
I had a fling several years ago and when I told my "partner" that I thought I was pregnant, he cut all contact with me. We unfortunately were young, stupid and didn't know each other very well. I now have an eight year old who I have raised singlehandedly but I keep wondering if I should write to the dad to let him know we are here, that I did not terminate etc. I was hurt and I did not pursue the dad in any shape or form. My fear is him being granted 50/50 custody hence me not chasing him. I wouldn't mind my child and the dad getting to know each other but this father of my child is effectively a stranger, I don't know if I can trust him. I don't know if he has grown to be "in the best interest" of our child and obviously if courts get involved, the whole thing is taken out of my hands. He has no idea of our child's name, age, gender or even where to find me since we have moved 9 times. I didn't mean to alienate but I sort of went into protective mode. My child is aware of who dad is and that some daddies just aren't ready to be daddies - I never talked bad and so my child has developed a natural curiosity. I really wish they could know each other (if they both want that) without so much fear on my part of what could go wrong in court. Where do I stand legally? Dad would never be able to find me. Only I can find him. Would this go against me? It is only my word against his that I told him I thought I was pregnant.
Kit - 18-Oct-17 @ 3:37 AM
Ann - Your Question:
HiMy ex-partner and I had a on and off relationship with violence and even the my son being in Child Protection Plan once, I fled the house and currently in a Women's refuge however I am pregnant and the father has PR for our son as he registered him. He hasn't seen our boy yet and I am worried if the courts forces me to facilitate visitations. Could you please advise me on my rights? I haven't applied for Child Maintenance to avoid him finding us or give him more reason to start looking for us.

Our Response:
If the father wishes to try to trace you, he can do through the courts. Much depends upon how insistent he is with regards to attempting to find you. If you can prove your ex was violent, then the court will always decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your children. Therefore, contact or access will be more difficult for him to obtain. If you do decide to apply for child maintenance, the fact he is responsible for paying towards their day-to-day upkeep does not give him the automatic right to see the children. Only a court can decide that, where you refuse.
SeparatedDads - 17-Oct-17 @ 2:58 PM
Hi My ex-partner and I had a on and off relationship with violence and even the my son being in Child Protection Plan once, I fled the house and currently in a Women's refuge however I am pregnant and the father has PR for our son as he registered him. He hasn't seen our boy yet and I am worried if the courts forces me to facilitate visitations . Could you please advise me on my rights? I haven't applied for Child Maintenance to avoid him finding us or give him more reason to start looking for us.
Ann - 13-Oct-17 @ 3:06 PM
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