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Your Separated Father's Rights

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 21 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Rights Parental Responsibility Civil

When you've split up with your ex it's important to know what your rights and responsibilities are regarding your children. The most important thing is to determine whether or not you have parental responsibility for your children. In the case of married couples, you're responsible for any children born in wedlock.

Unmarried Couples

In general terms, an unmarried mother is deemed to have "parental responsibility" for her children. For births registered in England or Wales; as a father you have parental responsibility if:
  • The child's birth was registered after December 1st, 2003 and your name is on the certificate as the father.
  • If the child was born before that time with no father listed on the birth certificate, but the birth was later re-registered with you named as the father.
  • If you and the child's mother sign a Parental Responsibility Agreement.
  • If you're given a parental responsibility order by the court, or a Residence Order for the child to live with you.
  • If you marry the child's mother.

If the parents are not married, parental responsibility does not automatically pass to the natural father if the mother dies.

Same Sex Couples

With same sex couples, after a civil partnership, you have parental responsibility if you have a parental responsibility agreement or a parental responsibility order from the court.

What Parental Responsibility Means for your Rights as a Dad

If you have parental responsibility, you have a say in the upbringing of your children, even if they don't live with you any more.

However, this doesn't apply to the general, day-to-day life of your children; that will lie with the mother if they live with her. But in other questions, such as religion, upbringing, medical treatment and so on, you have the same rights in making decisions as the mother.

So what rights does parental responsibility give you?

Important Decisions - we've already mentioned that decisions on everyday matters lie with the parent who has residency. But if you have parental responsibility, even as the non-resident parent - you have the right to be consulted over important issues such as:
  • Changing schools
  • Going on holidays with others/other organisations etc
  • Serious medical issues
  • Changing surname
  • Emigration
  • Their marriage
  • Adoption

Once your child gets older, he or she may express their opinions and you may feel that your parental responsibility rights are reduced. At this stage, it is therefore important to consider the wishes of the child in major decisions too.

For more details on parental responsibility, take a look at our guide and letter templates.

If you feel your rights are being ignored and you have parental responsibility, you can apply for a specific steps order or a specific issue order. More information about those can be found here:
Specific Issue Orders.

Applying to the Courts

As a father you can apply to the court for parental responsibility. The court will consider:
  • How committed you are as a father
  • The attachment between you and your child
  • Your reasons for applying for the order

Based on what the judge believes to be in the child's best interests they will either accept or grant your application for parental responsibility.

If you've been part of a couple where the children are yours and you don't have parental responsibility, you can still apply to court for certain types of orders, mostly Contact Orders to see the children, but even for a Residence Order to have the children live with you (if granted, you'll then have parental responsibility).

Note that if your former partner has a Residence Order, she can take your children abroad for up to a month without your consent. However, if the trip is longer, or she plans on moving abroad with the children, she will need the consent of both you and anyone else who has parental responsibility for the children. However, if you wish to take your children abroad for a holiday, it's a tougher issue, and legally you're advised to have her agreement first. (Taking a child abroad without the mother's consent can be deemed as abduction in the eyes of the law. Read our article What is Abduction? for more information).

Child Maintenance

Parental responsibility also means you have the duty to support your children financially. If you already have a case ongoing this will probably be done either through the Child Support Agency (CSA) or by an arranged agreement between you and the child's mother. In general terms, you'll pay 15% of your net income for one child, 20% for two and 25% for three children. However, there are adjustments, depending on how much time the children spend with you. If you move abroad, support will be done through the court rather than the CSA. Note that from 25 November 2013, the Child Support Agency (CSA) no longer takes on new cases but will continue to deal with existing cases. The new body handling maintenance issues is the Child Maintenance Service.

When Does Parental Responsibility End?

Your parental responsibility to your children ends when they turn 18 and become legal adults. However, if they're over 16 and marry, it ends with the marriage. If you've obtained parental responsibility through a Residence Order, though, and that Residence Order changes, you don't lose parental responsibility.

You should be aware that if you weren't married to the mother of your children, you're on slightly trickier ground, even if you have your name on the birth certificate or a parental responsibility agreement or order. In that case, any other person with parental responsibility can apply to court to have your parental responsibility ended. Even your children can do that, if they acquire permission from the court.

Court

To help prepare you for going to court for residency or contact, we have a free, comprehensive guide to the whole process here.

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]
My ex who i was married too for 14 years had 3 affairs behind my back then asked for a divorce.... she too me to court for custody of my kids then lied too me saying she wasnt going then also lied about where the hearing was and ended up getting full custody do i still have rights when my name is on the birth certificate?
Shane - 21-Oct-17 @ 9:19 AM
Valentin - Your Question:
My ex doesn’t allow to see my 5 years old son which I cared after every single day since he was born because the mother was busy studying nursing. She hired a solicitor who is threatening me she will apply for a Non-Molestation Order if I will attempt to see my son at school or at home. I hired a solicitor as well who is only sending letters to the other side, but nothing else. I haven’t seen my Son in a month and I know he really misses me. What should I do?

Our Response:
Has your solicitor suggested mediation to your ex? If your solicitor has and your ex has ignored this, or refused, then you may wish to apply to court, please see link here . If you cannot afford legal representation in court, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 17-Oct-17 @ 2:36 PM
@topher8 - most dads want to have their kids as much as possible. Many women work full-time and have kids as single parents. I would have my kids as much as possible as it grants me better leverage to have shared care or residency (if my ex ever objects in the future). Think of the kids first and what's best for them, it's time to concentrate on them, not what your ex is up to. I'd say yes to everything to do with having my kids as there are too many dads out there who are stopped from seeing their kids which is more than heartbreaking. But that's me.
MartinV - 16-Oct-17 @ 3:56 PM
My wife and I have split after 10 years of marriage. Which came out of the blue.I found out shortly after that she had been having an month affair with my sisters husband. My wife has stayed at the family home we rented with our 3 kids who are 9,7 and 3. My wife made me leave the family home as it is next to the school and she needs it for her artist work. She has also has a part time job to earn tax credits and although I work full time could not afford the rent on my own. I am now living at my parents and have been given the short end of the straw as all I have left house with was my clothes. I take the kids to there classes every mon,tues,wed for an hour and have them at my parents every week from Friday 4pm till Sunday 8pm. I work 8-4 everyday so have little time in between. Now my wife is asking for me to have them for more hours and a sunday night. I think the extra hours are unreasonable and I know she is using my love for the kids to try to convince me. I'm not sure where I stand. Am I having them enough already. Any advice???
topher8 - 15-Oct-17 @ 11:18 PM
My ex doesn’t allow to see my 5 years old son which I cared after every single day since he was born because the mother was busy studying nursing. She hired a solicitor who is threatening me she will apply for a Non-Molestation Order if I will attempt to see my son at school or at home. I hired a solicitor as well who is only sending letters to the other side, but nothing else. I haven’t seen my Son in a month and I know he really misses me. What should I do?
Valentin - 14-Oct-17 @ 11:08 PM
richard - Your Question:
After 16 years together my partner decided to leave saying we drifted apart and has moved back to her mum and dads.Ive always paid the mortgage and bills and she helps out with the food bills or any activities the kids wanted to do.I have the children living with me (age 8 & 10 ) and do all the washing, house work etc and she doesn't give me a penny towards there up bring even thought she gets child benefits money for them.Her excuse is that she spend money on them when she has them for 5 -6 hours of the weekend. Basically what happens is she will pick up the children in the morning to take to school while I go to work,then picks them up at 15.30 after school and takes them back to the family homeuntill I come home from work at 17.30 then she leaves to go back to her mum and dads.I want to have the kids living with me as I have proved over the last 5 months that I can provide for them and support then. What rights do I have to gain custody of my kids as it would brake my heart if I lost them aswell.

Our Response:
If you cannot agree between you, then mediation is the next port of call and court if neither of you can agree who should become the primary carer. As your ex is claiming child benefit, she is currently (on paper) considered to be the primary carer. I can only suggest you sit down and try to discuss the matter amicably about what both your plans are. The longer you have the children living at home with you, the less the court will wish to change the situation (should the matter end up in court, if you both cannot agree). As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the children in question. The court will always put the children’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. Usually consistency and stability are considered most important. Also, what you have now is a workable routine with your ex, which is good and positive. You don't say if your ex works, but judging by the time she is putting in to picking the kids up to take to school and picking them up from school, she doesn't work full-time. Therefore, if she did, you may have to pay someone to do this. It seems to me that you are both working at shared-care of the children where no one parent is asked for child maintenance. I would tend to keep this workable arrangement going, with both of you working together for the welfare of the children. Child maintenance is only taken from earnings, and if your ex is not earning, then she will not have to pay. Please also see link here .
SeparatedDads - 13-Oct-17 @ 12:43 PM
Cher - Your Question:
Hi at what age do the children get to choice if they want to go I have always given my child the right to choose it they go with my ex or not on the days that they have them

Our Response:
There is no set age - it is organised through mutual agreement between the parents. If the parents cannot agree, then mediation should be the next step to consider.
SeparatedDads - 13-Oct-17 @ 11:24 AM
Marie - Your Question:
My ex and I broke up when I was expecting my daughter 9 yrs ago, he took me to court when she was a baby and losted access to her due to his criminal record, then he took me again 2yrs ago an got contact through social services, he only sees her 4 times a year supervised an will never be unsupervised, he now wants his name on her birth certificate is there any y I can stop him from getting it put on her birth certificate

Our Response:
If you refuse, your ex would have to take the matter 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.Therefore, there is no guarantee he will be granted this.
SeparatedDads - 12-Oct-17 @ 1:40 PM
My ex and I broke up when I was expecting my daughter 9 yrs ago, he took me to court when she was a baby and losted access to her due to his criminal record, then he took me again 2yrs ago an got contact through social services, he only sees her 4 times a year supervised an will never be unsupervised, he now wants his name on her birth certificate is there any y I can stop him from getting it put on her birth certificate
Marie - 11-Oct-17 @ 8:35 PM
Bob- Your Question:
Mediation has broken down, so we have moved on to the courts to settle (only just been sent the letter so)I currently only see my 2 yr old daughter Tues and Wed 7.45 till 4pm. I want more time and over night stays but she will not allow. What advice can anyone offer?? Plus who and how can I fight for more than 2 days per week?

Our Response:
I have posted your question to our Separated Dads Facebook page, please see link here for answers. Please remember these are people's opinions and they should be balanced with legal advice.
SeparatedDads - 10-Oct-17 @ 2:24 PM
Michelle - Your Question:
Hi, my daughter in law has told my son that she no longer loves him (we suspect another man is involved) and wants to end the marriage. They have a beautiful little girl who is nearly four, and was born in wedlock. There has been absolutely no violence or abuse in their marriage, my son wants equal 50/50 split custody of his daughter but his wife is saying no, can he insist for equal custody? Or can he go for full custody? The only issue on both parts that they both have mental health issues, with my son it's anxiety attacks and with the daughter In law it's an eating disorder which has seen her committed a few times and she is heading that way again, my son has never been committed for his problems and receives regular counselling. Please can you tell me what his rights are? He is still in the marriage home.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Much depends upon whether your son is currently pretty much a hands-on dad with regards to 50/50 shared-care of his child. Where parents cannot agree, mediation is the next option to consider as a way of trying to resolve this issue, please see link here. If no agreement can be made via mediation, or your son's ex refuses to attend, then the only option your son would have would be to take the matter 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. The more involved your son is on a day-to-day basis with his child the more shared-care may be seen as an emotionally and practical arrangement, then the court are more likely to award shared care rather than one parent becoming the primary carer and the other becoming the non-resident parent with access. But, it has to be deemed as workable. There is no point requesting 50/50 shared-care, if for example, your son works away during the week or works long hours etc. Your son may wish to seek some legal advice. However, if your son opts to apply to court and he cannot afford the court fees, he can self-litigate, please see link here . Trying to work alongside his ex helps, please see link here. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 10-Oct-17 @ 12:02 PM
Mediation has broken down, so we have moved on to the courts to settle (only just been sent the letter so) I currently only see my 2 yr old daughter Tues and Wed 7.45 till 4pm. I want more time and over night stays but she will not allow. What advice can anyone offer?? Plus who and how can I fight for more than 2 days per week?
Bob - 9-Oct-17 @ 10:57 PM
Daaad - Your Question:
Hi! Can my ex go abroad with my child without my permission? ?How and where I can forbid my kids going abroad? If I'm paying child support than I think I have rights to do that??!!

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here . However, paying child maintenance does not give you a right to control the other parent's movements. The fact you have parental responsibility means your ex would have to request your consent (unless she has a residence order). If you refuse, then she would have to apply to court. As with any application for an order, the court will always decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your child.
SeparatedDads - 9-Oct-17 @ 2:47 PM
Hi, my daughter in law has told my son that she no longer loves him (we suspect another man is involved) and wants to end the marriage. They have a beautiful little girl who is nearly four, and was born in wedlock. There has been absolutely no violence or abuse in their marriage, my son wants equal 50/50 split custody of his daughter but his wife is saying no, can he insist for equal custody? Or can he go for full custody? The only issue on both partsthat they both have mental health issues, with my son it's anxiety attacks and with the daughter In law it's an eating disorder which has seen her committed a few times and she is heading that way again, my son has never been committed for his problems and receives regular counselling. Please can you tell me what his rights are? He is still in the marriage home.
Michelle - 9-Oct-17 @ 9:26 AM
Hi at what age do the children get to choiceif they want to go I have always given my child the right to choose it they go with my ex or not on the days that they have them
Cher - 7-Oct-17 @ 3:51 PM
Hi! Can my ex go abroad with my child without my permission? ?How and where I can forbid my kids going abroad? If I'm paying child support than I think I have rights to do that??!!
Daaad - 7-Oct-17 @ 11:14 AM
After 16 years together my partner decided to leave saying we drifted apart and has moved back to her mum and dads.Ive always paid the mortgage and bills and she helps out with the food bills or any activities the kids wanted to do. I have the children living with me (age 8 & 10 ) and do all the washing, house work etc and she doesn't give me a penny towards there up bring even thought she gets child benefits money for them. Her excuse is that she spend money on them when she has them for 5 -6 hours of the weekend. Basically what happens is she will pick up the children in the morning to take to school while i go to work,then picks them up at 15.30 after school and takes them back to the family homeuntill i come home from work at 17.30 then she leaves to go back to her mum and dads. I want to have the kids living with me as i have proved over the last 5 months that i can provide for them and support then. What rights do i have to gain custody of my kids as it would brake my heart if i lost them aswell.
richard - 6-Oct-17 @ 12:00 PM
Mickey - Your Question:
Split up with my ex 5 months ago and keeps making excuses that I cant see my 3 kids (ages 5, 2 and 1).I havent seen or even spoken to them since July 3 months ago and its breaking my heart crying all the time, filling up walking down the street everytime I see parents with their kids.Just feel my whole world has fell apart, got made redundant in a good paid job I had for 4 years then split up with ex a week later and been in and out of work since.I cant take any more of this its been 5 months since the split things should be sorted out, instead I just feel lost and still at square 1, Ive even just wished I was dead as it seems to be the only option to rid of this pain. I dont have all this money for solicitors etc.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You do not need money to represent yourself in court, please see link here. Likewise, if you are on a low/or have no income, you will get help with court fees, please see link here. You may wish to also join our Separated Dads forum, as many of our dads can help with advice as they have been through the same or similar situations. The sooner you apply for access to see your kids, the better. It is not a good idea to let things drag. Don't be put off by the prospect of going to court. The courts do wish for dads to see their kids and will do all it can to make it happen, where and when possible. The likes of: Families Need fathers can also help with advice and support. You're are not on your own here.
SeparatedDads - 5-Oct-17 @ 3:35 PM
Split up with my ex 5 months ago and keeps making excuses that I cant see my 3 kids (ages 5, 2 and 1). I havent seen or even spoken to them since July 3 months ago and its breaking my heart crying all the time, filling up walking down the street everytime I see parents with their kids. Just feel my whole world has fell apart, got made redundant in a good paid job I had for 4 years then split up with ex a week later and been in and out of work since. I cant take any more of this its been 5 months since the split things should be sorted out, instead I just feel lost and still at square 1, Ive even just wished I was dead as it seems to be the only option to rid of this pain. I dont have all this money for solicitors etc.
Mickey - 4-Oct-17 @ 7:38 PM
Brenda - Your Question:
My son and his ex girlfriend split up when she was pregnant and my son was really upset, a month later she got a new boyfriend and my son was devastated, she told my son over text that she didn't want to see him or hear from him until the baby was born. I have contacted her and her mother to find out how her and the baby are and all I got told was once the babies born we all can see her 2 hours a week supervised, I have sent numerous messages asking how her and the baby are, even upto her due date and had no reply, my son found out his daughter had been born a week later and was never contacted, she has said unless he agrees to 2 hours a week supervised contact and pays maintenance then he can't see his daughter, we don't know if she is going to put my son on the birth certificate, can anyone help us, can my son get more access and bring her home to meet his family and the baby's

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. The only recourse your son has is to take the matter further i.e to mediation and if his ex refuses to attend mediation, then he will have the option to apply to court, please see link here. If your son cannot afford legal representation, he can self-litigate, please see link here. He may also wish to join our Separated Dads forum as there are many dads who have been through this same position and come out the other side. In addition, if his ex refuses to put him on the birth certificate, he can apply to court for Parental Responsibility alonside his C100 contact order. The courts do want fathers to have contact and access and develop good relationships with their absent parent. Therefore, the sooner he moves forward with this, the better. The court may award supervised contact initially. However, hopefully unsupervised contact will occur in the future. The only other option your son has, is to go along with her demands until a relationship with his daughter has been developed and then if his ex refuses to attend mediation, then apply to court.
SeparatedDads - 3-Oct-17 @ 12:45 PM
My son and his ex girlfriend split up when she was pregnant and my son was really upset, a month later she got a new boyfriend and my son was devastated, she told my son over text that she didn't want to see him or hear from him until the baby was born. I have contacted her and her mother to find out how her and the baby are and all I got told was once the babies born we all can see her 2 hours a week supervised, I have sent numerous messages asking how her and the baby are, even upto her due date and had no reply, my son found out his daughter had been born a week later and was never contacted, she has said unless he agrees to 2 hours a week supervised contact and pays maintenance then he can't see his daughter, we don't know if she is going to put my son on the birth certificate,can anyone help us, can my son get more access and bring her home to meet his family and the baby's
Brenda - 2-Oct-17 @ 10:26 PM
James - Your Question:
I have a daughter who is 3 years old. I split up with her mum when she was 9 months old. I pay lots in maintenance each month to make sure my daughter has everything she needs. I do have access to see her but it is always at her mum's house. I don't like having to see her there as her mum is always making comments to me and creating a bad atmosphere. She will not let me take my daughter out on my own which is what I want to do. I would like to take her for days out etc.Can she stop me doing this?

Our Response:
You can oppose this arrangement. In the first instance you may wish to ask your ex that you see your child unsupervised. If your ex refuses, then you can request that your ex attands mediation as a way of trying to resolve the issues and come to a mutual arrangement, please see link here . If your ex refuses to attend mediation, your only other option is 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. If you have built up a good relationship with your child from a baby, and there is no good or valid reason why your ex should oppose access, the court will issue a court order allowing access. The courts do want fathers to have relationships with their children and will help where it can. You may wish to joint our Separated Dads forum, where you can get advice from dads who have been through the same or similar before. I shall also post your question on our Separated Dads Facebook page, you can refer to the link here .
SeparatedDads - 2-Oct-17 @ 2:35 PM
Ma - Your Question:
My son separated from his wife ( not his decision). They have 2 children aged 5 and 10 ( both born before their marriage). She only allows him to have them overnight once a week ( and she is trying to reduce that fortnightly). She is calling all the shots. He wants to have them twice a week overnight and possibly see them another time in the week if he finishes work on time. Both children love spending time with him so there's no issues there. He works full time mon - fri. Now rents his own home that he's had to build from nothing ( she kept everything- home and contents). He pays full maintenance regularly. Occasionally buys the children clothes and shoes. Has no spare money whatsoever after he's paid all bills etc. Question is, what are his rights to enforce that he has them overnight twice weekly? He can't afford any legal representation ( I think she is deliberately keeping down the overnight access so that her maintenance isn't lowered!)Thanks in advance

Our Response:
If your son and his ex cannot come to a mutual agreement, then your son should suggest mediation, please see link here . If his ex refuses to attend mediation, then his only option will be to apply to court. Unless there is a good reason why access shouldn't be given, then the court will decide uopn what it thinks is in the best interests of his children and make a court order to allow reasonable and fair access to resume. The court will not condone his ex basing his contact on the amount of child maintenance payments she receives. If your son cannot afford legal representation he can self-litigate, please see link here . Many fathers are successfully seeking access this way.
SeparatedDads - 2-Oct-17 @ 12:40 PM
CC - Your Question:
Hi I was wondering if anyone has any advice they could offer as I'm feeling any stuck, my partner and I separated about 6 months ago and I am now with someone else, I have been seeing my daughter regularly (the ex partner tells me when I can have her) but has now changed her mind as she doesn't want anyone else in my daughters life. She is now telling me I will be seeing her at contact centres, I obviously really don't want this but I'm not being given a say, is there anything else I can do? I know people mention mediation and court, this is all new to me so was wondering if anyone could help with advice? Thanks

Our Response:
If your ex has restricted access, please see link here. If your ex will not consider mediation, then your only option would be to apply to court. Unless your ex can come up with proof and/or evidence of a valid reason why you should not see your daughter and why it is in your child's best interests not to see you, then the court will allow access to be resumed under a court order. This would mean your ex would have to stick to any arrangement made through court.
SeparatedDads - 2-Oct-17 @ 11:44 AM
Sandy - Your Question:
Since my split from my ex I have paid 100 a week over the last couple of years bare maybe a couple of weeks where I have been struggling at times I make sure I see my boy at least 4 times a week and I used to be able to have him from friday to Sunday every other weekend but have had that taken away out of spit for my new relationship I have been told I am a great dad and no this is affecting my son as have been asked to deal with his attitude that has come in the last few months but never with me I just want to no if I have a leg to stand on with me being able to take him to mine as have beem told she will stop me seeing him I would understand if I was a bad father but I would give anything to have him live with me. What are my rights on my time with my son? Can I actually be stopped from seeing my boy?

Our Response:
If your ex is denying you access, then you would have to go through the motions laid out in the link here . I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 2-Oct-17 @ 10:02 AM
Hi I was wondering if anyone has any advice they could offer as I'm feeling any stuck, my partner and I separated about 6 months ago and I am now with someone else, I have been seeing my daughter regularly (the ex partner tells me when I can have her) but has now changed her mind as she doesn't want anyone else in my daughters life. She is now telling me I will be seeing her at contact centres, I obviously really don't want this but I'm not being given a say, is there anything else I can do? I know people mention mediation and court, this is all new to me so was wondering if anyone could help with advice? Thanks
CC - 1-Oct-17 @ 5:13 PM
Since my split from my ex i have paid 100 a week over the last couple of years bare maybe a couple of weeks where i have been struggling at times i make sure i see my boy at least 4 times a week and i used to be able to have him from friday to Sunday every other weekend but have had that taken away out of spit for my new relationship i have been told i am a great dad and no this is affecting my son as have been asked to deal with his attitude that has come in the last few months but never with me i just want to no if i have a leg to stand on with me being able to take him to mine as have beem told she will stop me seeing him i would understand if i was a bad father but i would give anything to have him live with me. What are my rights on my time with my son? Can i actually be stopped from seeing my boy?
Sandy - 1-Oct-17 @ 4:19 AM
I have a daughter who is 3 years old. I split up with her mum when she was 9 months old. I pay lots in maintenance each month to make sure my daughter has everything she needs. I do have access to see her but it is always at her mum's house. I don't like having to see her there as her mum is always making comments to me and creating a bad atmosphere. She will not let me take my daughter out on my own which is what I want to do. I would like to take her for days out etc.Can she stop me doing this?
James - 30-Sep-17 @ 7:04 PM
My son separated from his wife ( not his decision). They have 2 children aged 5 and 10 ( both born before their marriage). She only allows him to have them overnight once a week ( and she is trying to reduce that fortnightly). She is calling all the shots. He wants to have them twice a week overnight and possibly see them another time in the week if he finishes work on time. Both children love spending time with him so there's no issues there. He works full time mon - fri. Now rents his own home that he's had to build from nothing ( she kept everything- home and contents). He pays full maintenance regularly. Occasionally buys the children clothes and shoes. Has no spare money whatsoever after he's paid all bills etc. Question is, what are his rights to enforce that he has them overnight twice weekly? He can't afford any legal representation ( I think she is deliberately keeping down the overnight access so that her maintenance isn't lowered!) Thanks in advance
Ma - 30-Sep-17 @ 12:24 PM
RR - Your Question:
Me and my ex split up before my son was born, I am registered on his birth certificate but my ex won’t allowed me take him to my home where his grandma and grandpa live. I’m not allowed to have him over night. Every time I look after him she texts me the same day having ago at me. She is not saying that she wants me to go to a contact centre. But what are my rights as a father to see my son and take him to my family home. He is 2 years old and hasn’t met any of my family. Any advise would be great?

Our Response:
If your ex does not allow you to be in your child's life, you have three options. Firstly, you can try to negotiate between you. Where this fails you would have to suggest your ex attends mediation and if she refuses, or if mediation breaks down then you have the option to apply to court to see your son unsupervised. 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 courts do want non-resident parents to have a relationship with their children, and unless your ex can provide evidence of a good reason why you shouldn't, then access will be granted. Once a court order is in place, your ex will have to stick to it.
SeparatedDads - 29-Sep-17 @ 1:41 PM
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