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Applying for Custody: Court Procedure

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 16 Feb 2017 |
 
Court Family Custody Residence Order

If you are seeking custody of your children, you will need to use Children Act form C1 which is readily available from the HM Courts and Tribunal Service website. The order that you will be seeking from the court is a ‘residence order’. It is possible to share custody with your ex-partner, although the courts are sometimes unwilling to grant these types of orders on the basis that they generally mean upheaval for the child – in that the child has to live in two homes.

A residence order also gives the person with the order ‘parental responsibility’ for the lifetime of the order, which usually lasts until the child turns 16. If you are in any doubt as to the type of order you should be applying for, seek the advice of a solicitor.

What a Residence Order Means

A residence order enables a parent to take their child out of the country for a maximum period of one month without having to seek the other parent’s consent. If you are seeking to emigrate on a permanent basis with your child, you can only do this with your ex-partner’s consent, or by order of the court. Similarly, a residence order does not allow you to change the child’s surname without the written consent of your ex-partner. For more details on this, see Specific Issue Orders on this website.

It is worth noting that, if you get a residence order, this does not give you carte blanche to make unilateral decisions in respect of your child’s upbringing. Both parents still have Joint Responsibility in determining how your child should be brought up.

Who Can Apply For a Residence Order?

The parent or guardian of a child can apply for a residence order, as can the married step-parent of a child, as long as that child lived with the step-parent as ‘a child of the family’. It is also possible for someone who has lived with the child for at least three years to apply.

In making a residence order, the court will consider a number of issues:

  • What the child wants – although the court does not have to act on the child’s wishes, they must take it into account
  • The child’s emotional, educational and physical needs
  • The likely effect on any change in the child’s life
  • The child’s sex, age and background, as well as anything else that the court deems relevant in respect of the child
  • Any harm that the child has suffered or any risk of harm
  • The capability of each parent or other person of meeting the child’s needs. This includes work commitments of the person applying for the residence order, and whether their routine is conductive to caring for the child.
  • The domestic routine of the child up until the present time

Other Considerations

If the child’s parents are unmarried, the mother has sole parental responsibility until the father gains parental responsibility. This can be done either by agreement or through a court order. If a child is very young, the court generally assumes that the child will be better off with his or her mother unless the contrary can be proven. You should not let this dissuade you, however – all cases in the family court are decided on their own merits and just because you are the father does not mean that you won’t get a residence order.

Help Filling Out the Forms

There are numerous resources online that can assist you with filling out the forms to apply for residence orders. The HM Courts and Tribunal Service website publishes guides to assist with The Family Rights Group, which has a step-by-step procedure to help you through the application. There is a lot more information on the Cafcass website and Dad Info, among others.

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Hi my name is jordan im 19 am a dad and my ex has stopped me seeing my son i am a great dad and im missing my son too she stoped me one because i had work and i couldnt watch him then, she text me saying she wants me to stay away, so i did for 2 to 3 weeks, then i still had message or call of her witch i was upset and yes i been to her door the day knocking and being nice to her i said can i see harry please or have him for couple hours she said no get away from my door, then i said what days can i have him she said i dont want you to have him so bye so i left then she rang the police then they said i was harrassing her witch it wasnt because i was talking and being nice and talking like a man about things and she was shouting and screaming at me if you could get back to me that will be great all of this is really hurting me i am a good dad
ross - 16-Feb-17 @ 8:57 PM
Unfortunatly myself and my wife are considering divorce and separation. However during some of our talks whilst the kids are at school she made her intentions very clear that she wanted our flat and kids to herself. And me out of the picture. Since then i have confirmed with the housing authority that as i am a sole tenant she cannot evict me. But.....she has done some work with social workers....(whom are now friends of hers). And i really would not put it past her to try something underhanded.( visa vie). False aligations and the like.....can anyone give me some advise as to how to protect myself from this. I dont think i could bare losing them.....!!!
Bower - 10-Feb-17 @ 4:32 PM
My partner want to apply for custody but said to me if he gets denied he can only apply every 4 years. Is this true ? Does the circumstances change at all if the child was taken from the mother by docs
Kelg - 21-Jan-17 @ 9:06 AM
Lcarve - Your Question:
Hello there, I was hoping that I could get some advice on the following:I have been a single dad to my daughter since she was 3 months of age, she is now 9 years old. She was born in Portugal but has lived here in England all of her life. Her mother practically abandoned her at 3 months of age, and since that time has had almost absolutely no contact whatsoever with my daughter. She does not endeavour to get in contact with my daughter even for her birthday or Christmas; and for a very long time I do not even know of her whereabouts. I want therefore to seek full child custody of my daughter, as I have been the sole carer for her practically all of her life and her mother has had no involvement in her upbringing whatsoever.Please could you advise me on this matter, and give advice as to how I would go about attaining full child custody of my daughter? Thank you greatly in advance - any advice is greatly welcome. Kind regards, Luther.

Our Response:
You would have to apply for a child arrangement order through the courts, please see link here which will determine who your child will live with on a full-time basis. If you have had full-time care, then your daughter will remain in your care.
SeparatedDads - 13-Jan-17 @ 2:50 PM
Hello there, I was hoping that I could get some advice on the following: I have been a single dad to my daughter since she was 3 months of age, she is now 9 years old. She was born in Portugal but has lived here in England all of her life. Her mother practically abandoned her at 3 months of age, and since that time has had almost absolutely no contact whatsoever with my daughter. She does not endeavour to get in contact with my daughter even for her birthday or Christmas; and for a very long time I do not even know of her whereabouts. I want therefore to seek full child custody of my daughter, as I have been the sole carer for her practically all of her life and her mother has had no involvement in her upbringing whatsoever. Please could you advise me on this matter, and give advice as to how I would go about attaining full child custody of my daughter? Thank you greatly in advance - any advice is greatly welcome. Kind regards, Luther.
Lcarve - 11-Jan-17 @ 10:26 PM
Bob4321 - Your Question:
Hi. I am currently in a bit of a dilemma and would welcome any advice. Me and my wife split two years ago and since then we shared custody of our daughter on an informal agreement between us. It was a pretty equal share, I had her Wed til Sat lunch time. Everything seemed to be going well until in October 2016 out of nowhere she phoned social services and accused me of abusing our daughter as she had noticed some odd behaviours. I was only allowed supervised contact while the issue was resolved. Eventually, after 4 weeks I had a meeting with social services who said that everything could return to normal and they were extremely annoyed with my ex for making false claims and even suggested that I should apply for residency. I didn't as I didn't want to put my daughter through a big change(she is only 5). Recently my ex has decided that the agreement should change to a 5 and 2 day split in her favour and as we only work on an informal agreement there is nothing I can do to stop her. My dilemma is do I now apply for custody of our daughter? I genuinely believe she is better of with me. My worry is that in going through the official process it could be very upsetting for my daughter and could even result in my contact being reduced. Any advice would be very welcome.

Our Response:
I'm afraid it is rare the courts will take a child from one parent and hand her over to another unless there is very good reason. However, if your access is being changed without your consent, then you would have to either suggest mediation, please see link here. If your ex refuses to attend, your next option would be court where Cafcass would get involved, please see link here. If you have had consisent access since the investigation, then in all likelihood this will be continued through a court order which your ex would have to adhere to. However, if you feel you wish to seek residency, then I suggest you seek some professional legal advice in order to explore your options.
SeparatedDads - 11-Jan-17 @ 2:50 PM
Hi. I am currently in a bit of a dilemma and would welcome any advice. Me and my wife split two years ago and since then we shared custody of our daughter on an informal agreement between us. It was a pretty equal share, I had her Wed til Sat lunch time. Everything seemed to be going well until in October 2016 out of nowhere she phoned social services and accused me of abusing our daughter as she had noticed some odd behaviours. I was only allowed supervised contact while the issue was resolved. Eventually, after 4 weeks I had a meeting with social services who said that everything could return to normal and they were extremely annoyed with my ex for making false claims and even suggested that I should apply for residency. I didn't as I didn't want to put my daughter through a big change(she is only 5). Recently my ex has decided that the agreement should change to a 5 and 2 day split in her favour and as we only work on an informal agreement there is nothing i can do to stop her. My dilemma is do I now apply for custody of our daughter? I genuinely believe she is better of with me. My worry is that in going through the official process it could be very upsetting for my daughter and could even result in my contact being reduced. Any advice would be very welcome.
Bob4321 - 11-Jan-17 @ 8:13 AM
hi i am a full time father to 4 children(boys) eldest is 6, my 2nd eldest is 3 my youngest twin boys are 2. Me and their mum split last year we had social services involvement due to family breakdown different ways of parenting and emotional abuse on both parts. social services decided to move my ex to a refuge and was asked if she wanted to take all 4 children and never gave me a choice to which she said no and left me with my eldest 2 and she took our 2 youngest boys. After me finding out she was dating a pedophile and put him around our youngest boys I alerted social services who then confirmed the guy was not allowed contact with any children and told my ex to keep him away from our children she was then moved to a council property to which she then gave the pedophile her new address and he started following her and our boys round town shouting and swearing demanding money from her what she owed him I flipped and threatened the guy. a few months later I noticed our 2 youngest boys were been neglected clothes that were too tight cutting into their skin (3-6 clothes on 12 month old boys) very sore bums to the point where they were in agony could not sit down without screaming and constantly crying their bums were bleeding and weeping I told their mum to get medical attention 2 weeks later I noticed it got worse I told her i was reporting her to social services due to neglect and i wanted our boys in my care she did not hesitate and gave me our 2 boys and told me if i want them to come get them and pay for what they need... i did not hesitate I have had all 4 of our children in my care for 10 months now.... their mum keeps threatening me with court i have set mediation up to which she has phoned them and declined mediation and wants to take me straight to court for joint custody..... before this abrupt decision to not try mediation I had given her 1 night a week contact Saturday 12pm to sunday 1pm to which she agreed then started going down hill phoning me 2 hours before due to bring them home screaming she cannot cope and sick of eldest mouth and behaviour and wants them back home with me etc (even though I had asked her for a written proof of contact where when times etc and even asked her to sign and date everytime she had contact) saying she could not afford her bus fare to come and get our kids she has let our children down so so much.... so much so that our eldest sits and cries and asks me why his mum is not coming does my mummy love me etcto which I can only reply "mummy must be busy love and yes mummy loves you she loves you all" he has done drawings of a broken heart sayin I don't love you mummy..... when I softly asked him why he felt like that he said "my mummy does not read me a story when I stopped at hers she put me and my brother to bed and closed the door left us in the dark I shouted mummy to read me a story she said no because she had to sort her boyfriends little girls". the last time our boys had overnight contact 4 weeks
father1987 - 3-Dec-16 @ 9:47 PM
hi i am a full time father to 4 children(boys) eldest is 6, my 2nd eldest is 3 my youngest twin boys are 2. Me and their mum split last year we had social services involvement due to family breakdown different ways of parenting and emotional abuse on both parts. social services decided to move my ex to a refuge and was asked if she wanted to take all 4 children and never gave me a choice to which she said no and left me with my eldest 2 and she took our 2 youngest boys. After me finding out she was dating a pedophile and put him around our youngest boys I alerted social services who then confirmed the guy was not allowed contact with any children and told my ex to keep him away from our children she was then moved to a council property to which she then gave the pedophile her new address and he started following her and our boys round town shouting and swearing demanding money from her what she owed him I flipped and threatened the guy. a few months later I noticed our 2 youngest boys were been neglected clothes that were too tight cutting into their skin (3-6 clothes on 12 month old boys) very sore bums to the point where they were in agony could not sit down without screaming and constantly crying their bums were bleeding and weeping I told their mum to get medical attention 2 weeks later I noticed it got worse I told her i was reporting her to social services due to neglect and i wanted our boys in my care she did not hesitate and gave me our 2 boys and told me if i want them to come get them and pay for what they need... i did not hesitate I have had all 4 of our children in my care for 10 months now.... their mum keeps threatening me with court i have set mediation up to which she has phoned them and declined mediation and wants to take me straight to court for joint custody..... before this abrupt decision to not try mediation I had given her 1 night a week contact Saturday 12pm to sunday 1pm to which she agreed then started going down hill phoning me 2 hours before due to bring them home screaming she cannot cope and sick of eldest mouth and behaviour and wants them back home with me etc (even though I had asked her for a written proof of contact where when times etc and even asked her to sign and date everytime she had contact) saying she could not afford her bus fare to come and get our kids she has let our children down so so much.... so much so that our eldest sits and cries and asks me why his mum is not coming does my mummy love me etcto which I can only reply "mummy must be busy love and yes mummy loves you she loves you all" he has done drawings of a broken heart sayin I don't love you mummy..... when I softly asked him why he felt like that he said "my mummy does not read me a story when I stopped at hers she put me and my brother to bed and closed the door left us in the dark I shouted mummy to read me a story she said no because she had to sort her boyfriends little girls". the last time our boys had overnight contact 4 weeks
father1987 - 3-Dec-16 @ 9:16 PM
Shez - Your Question:
Me and my girlfriend split as she was pregnant but I'm always keen and see my daughter as much as possible between time off from the military and travelling me and my current partner love having I want her full time but understand that won't happen as my daughter ( Ella ) is only 2 at the moment and I understand little girls need to be with there moms but I %100 know she will have a better life with me I'm not on the birth certificate which seems to be an issue but my ex's mom approached me saying I need to apply for parental rights which knowing my ex and her current partner just tells me there on drugs. And if her moms telling me that I know it's gone too far and I really need to know where I stand plz

Our Response:
It is very rare a court will hand a child over to another parent, even if the non-resident parent does have parental responsibility. I can only suggest you apply for PR (as your ex says), this will give you a better chance if your ex agrees she can no longer look after your child.
SeparatedDads - 2-Dec-16 @ 12:58 PM
Me and my girlfriend split as she was pregnant but I'm always keen and see my daughter as much as possible between time off from the military and travelling me and my current partner love having I want her full time but understand that won't happen as my daughter ( Ella ) is only 2 at the moment and I understand little girls need to be with there moms but I %100 know she will have a better life with me I'm not on the birth certificate which seems to be an issue but my ex's mom approached me saying I need to apply for parental rights which knowing my ex and her current partner just tells me there on drugs. And if her moms telling me that I know it's gone too far and I really need to know where I stand plz
Shez - 1-Dec-16 @ 11:53 PM
hi, so unlike most p4ople on here ii am a mother.. I have 2 beautiful boiys aged 5 and 3. none of them live with me, although I hve contact every other weekend, ok so I allowed my boys to move in with family due to beng in a violent relationship with one of their dads. I messed with drugs and had a really bad few!. months going through all of this etc. this was 24 months ago. I am now in a settled relationship, I am in my first year at university. I have 2 jobs. however ive recently been made aware that all is not fine for my eldest boy, who has now moved in with his nan and aunty and I'm not 100% sure why. well his dads girlfriends daughter slapped my son around the face although this is only through word of mouth, but alarm bells are ringing for me. how is the best way to approach this situation. I don't want to accuse anyone of anything but I'm sure all of this is a breach of our residency order. what do I do ?????
kd - 15-Nov-16 @ 6:10 PM
pearpops - Your Question:
My partner is having a tough time trying to see his children. His ex wife is refusing any contact with the children. He attempted mediation with her which has failed, which I know in the long run will go in his favour but now she is stating that they are moving and that we would have to find her before even being able to take her to court. She tells the children that "Daddy no longer loves you and is making a new family" which is surely emotional abuse. I find her very unstable and a liar at best. I know that they very rarely move children from one home to another, but if she's already doing that to spite him and moving them from their school why would this make a difference if they lived with us. It'd be exactly the same situation. Do you think there's no chance of the father winning PR?Thanks for you advice

Our Response:
It is rare that a court will deny a father PR, but that does not mean your partner will be awarded contact or access. However, residency (custody) is a different matter again. Only if your partner has day-to-day hands-on contact with his children and there is a very good reason why the children 'can't' stay with the resident parent (mother) will the court rule the children should be handed over to the other parent. The court will always opt for consistency and stability of one particular parent, over a change in location. If your partner is concerned his ex may move prior to the court case, then he may be able to apply for a Prohibited Steps order through the court (but you would have to seek legal advice regarding this if your partner does not have PR). A Prohibited Steps Order (PSO) is an order granted by the court in family cases which prevents either parent from carrying out certain events or making specific trips with their children without the express permission of the other parent. This is more common in cases where there is suspicion that one parent may leave the area with their children. However, there is no guarantee the court will award this, much depends upon the situation and the circumstances involved. If mediation has failed, court is the next step. However, at least any contact/access order made through court is not subject to change and your partner's ex will have to keep to it.
SeparatedDads - 15-Nov-16 @ 10:52 AM
My partner is having a tough time trying to see his children. His ex wife is refusing any contact with the children. He attempted mediation with her which has failed, which I know in the long run will go in his favour but now she is stating that they are moving and that we would have to find her before even being able to take her to court. She tells the children that "Daddy no longer loves you and is making a new family" which is surely emotional abuse. I find her very unstable and a liar at best. I know that they very rarely move children from one home to another, but if she's already doing that to spite him and moving them from their school why would this make a difference if they lived with us. It'd be exactly the same situation. Do you think there's no chance of the father winning PR?Thanks for you advice
pearpops - 14-Nov-16 @ 12:21 PM
What happens if court order supervised visits onley from one parent . And both parents brake that order by letting the child stay overnight unsupervised ?
Fara - 2-Nov-16 @ 7:50 PM
Hi, I have 3 children with my ex partner and my 15yr old wants to live with me, there is a Residency Order in place from 2009. How do I go about resolving this, I believe my daughter to be emotionally mature enough to make her own decision and she turns 16 in 8 months time.
djnewton66 - 15-Oct-16 @ 2:52 PM
sa - Your Question:
I am a divorced mother of 4 children my children live with my ex husband in Jordan not in UK and he is a Jordanian. and he has agreed to move to the UK and bring the children only if he gets full custody of the children which I am happy to do so as it is the only way I can have my children back in UK, and by doing that will I still be able to see my kids when I grant him full custody

Our Response:
In this case I would seek legal advice, especially if this is a promise he could quite easily break and once done you would have little recourse. There is no guarantee your ex would be allowed into the country either if he is not a British citizen. Therefore, before you agree to anything seek professional advice.
SeparatedDads - 14-Oct-16 @ 10:56 AM
I am a divorced mother of 4 children my children live with my ex husband in Jordan not in UK and he is a Jordanian. and he has agreed to move to the UK and bring the children only if he gets full custody of the children which I am happy to do so as it is the only way I can have my children back in UK, and by doing that will I still be able to see my kids when i grant him full custody
sa - 13-Oct-16 @ 10:12 AM
GranmaM - Your Question:
Can anyone help. My son has been trying to get access to his daughter since she was born. Mother announced she was splitting up when 6 wks pregnant. Mother has refused with no valid reason(per our solicitor and hers).Son had to arrange DNA to prove he was the Dad beforehe could see a solicitor about contact. Son attended Contact Centre (at her request). She stopped these visits just before the "in my son's favour" report was produced. She then made any access almost impossible. Said it had to take place at 6.30pm-7.30pm one night a week - the wee girl was under 1yrs and wanted her bed at that time. She then announced no contact whatsoever but has finally agreed to mediation (on her solicitors very strong advice). If she pulls out of this again - which I strongly suspect will happen - when can son go to Court for access. Does anyone know?His ex has an 18month older child with an ex, then my son's daughter and is now pregnant to her first ex again. My son pays full CSA and always has done. He just wants to be a Dad an help with her upbringing - can this woman cut him out with no valid reason (she has been proven as a liar - by her own solicitor no less). Any advice would be appreciated - Scottish jurisdiction.

Our Response:
I am very sorry to hear this. I can only encourage your son not to give up hope as there is only so far the mother can push the situation before it gets to court. Mediation can be used as a stalling process and if the mediation process breaks down, then your son can apply to court. Unfortunately, it can be a long road, but the more his ex evades the situation the more it actually plays into your son's hands in order to help build his case. I know it may not seem so, but he is taking the correct route and hopefully in the end he will be granted access. If if finds the legal fees too excessive (which is when many non-resident parents stop the process), he can self-litigate, please see link here. He/you may also find our Separated Dads forum helpful as dads can give good advice as they have been through a similar or the same process. The courts are aware when a parent is playing the system to their advantage and they do want fathers to have relationships with their children. I wish your son the best of luck, I'm sure in the end it will come right.
SeparatedDads - 6-Oct-16 @ 12:07 PM
Can anyone help.My son has been trying to get access to his daughter since she was born. Mother announced she was splitting up when 6 wks pregnant. Mother has refused with no valid reason(per our solicitor and hers).Son had to arrange DNA to prove he was the Dad beforehe could see a solicitor about contact. Son attended Contact Centre (at her request). She stopped these visits just before the "in my son's favour" report was produced. She then made any access almost impossible.Said it had to take place at 6.30pm-7.30pm one night a week - the wee girl was under 1yrs and wanted her bed at that time. She then announced no contact whatsoever but has finally agreed to mediation (on her solicitors very strong advice).If she pulls out of this again - which I strongly suspect will happen - when can son go to Court for access.Does anyone know?His ex has an 18month older child with an ex, then my son's daughter and is now pregnant to her first ex again.My son pays full CSA and always has done.He just wants to be a Dad an help with her upbringing - can this woman cut him out with no valid reason (she has been proven as a liar - by her own solicitor no less).Any advice would be appreciated - Scottish jurisdiction.
GranmaM - 5-Oct-16 @ 3:40 PM
I have a agreement in place with my ex on when my 5year old son sees and stays with me , it's been differecult because my ex tells my stuff her boyfriend does to her violently and the have a baby together aswell now , ATM there not together but he's around the house most the time still as far as I no he's ok around my son but he makes it differecult when it comes to me and my ex talking as he wont allow her to talk to me, and I would like more time with my son .... As of lately my son is acting out of personality and when my ex asks he ses I've told him this but I don't , and he's as good as gold with me ... My ex ses if it carries on she will stop the agreement done by solicitors and stop me seeing him , I havnt done a thing wrong should I take this to court for more access as my son always ses he want to live with me but I no she's a good mum to him and I would never want to take him away from her please a little advice would help so much right now ... Tom
Tom - 28-Sep-16 @ 8:28 PM
Concerned parent- Your Question:
We have a residency order in place, as the children's mother is an addict. That we are aware of the order lasts until the children are 18, however we have been made aware that the mother may be able to apply for a residency if she cleans up her act!! Is that correct? The children have been living with us for 4 years (half their life), would she have to prove she is clean? She has never stuck to her visits and comes and goes as she pleases, but I'm concerned that if she was to get clean she could get them back.

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely the court would rule to upset the arrangement that currently stands and award the children back to the mother unless necessary. There is nothing to stop the mother from applying, but the court will always decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of the children and stability and consistency are of the upmost importance. Your partner could also apply for a child arrangement order which would determine where the children should live on a permanent basis, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 27-Sep-16 @ 2:41 PM
We have a residency order in place, as the children's mother is an addict. That we are aware of the order lasts until the children are 18, however we have been made aware that the mother may be able to apply for a residency if she cleans up her act!! Is that correct? The children have been living with us for 4 years (half their life), would she have to prove she is clean? She has never stuck to her visits and comes and goes as she pleases, but I'm concerned that if she was to get clean she could get them back.
Concerned parent - 27-Sep-16 @ 11:01 AM
Hi I have a four year old daughter and her mother is "seeing", going out with a guy, this guy is very insucure and paranoid, and became violent towards her mother and my daughter seen this and he also done few other things as well. Recently they split up but I've heard they getting bk together, when they spilt I had loads of texts of her mother saying what he done and what he said and what he would do. Would all these texts help me to gain full custody of her she is at mine 4-5 night a week most weeks. So this means she will be living in the house with him and her mother I need help quick thank u
Adz - 16-Sep-16 @ 5:54 PM
I would just like to say this website has been most helpful at just a glance in a really urgent situation where my partners children were in a very bad situation at there mums it has given us a direction to turn when we thought there was nowhere to go to seek help. My partner has now been shown your website and has somewhere to turn for advice and help . Thank you all so much . Ps not all mothers are bad but I have had my eyes opened to the worst type of them
Nics - 9-Sep-16 @ 6:35 PM
We've been having lots of problems with my partners ex, and he is really concerned with his daughter staying living with the mother. We spent a long 6 year battle for access, which was awarded last year along with PR. We found out his child was involved with social services and was put into a child protection plan while we were at court due to neglect and concerns with the mothers abilities to care for the daughter. The contact arrangements were broken a number of times, and only recently got sorted after he applied for a enforcement order when the mother finally decided to allow contact. She is diagnosed with anxiety and depression and has taken herself off her medication. At the end of last year his daughter was moved to a child in need as the mother had made improvements- these have now significantly deteriorated- in particular her school attendance and the fact she is always apparently ill. Mum doesn't recognise my partners ability to parent although he lives with me and his step daughter and we have a daughter together as well. The school, this term just gone, has put in a complaint to socials saying that they believe she was removed from the CP plan too quick and that they believe her to be at harm (neglect) and that the positive changes are no longer sustained. He daughter also has eating and appetite difficulties which the mum refuses to address, despite being told to by the socials, and my partner is now waiting for the dr to confirm an appointment with him to discuss this as the mother won't. He found out today that there is a new social worker allocated as the mum didn't like the last one as she believed he was biased into liking my partner more- he was not informed of this change and is trying to get in contact with the new one. The concerns are so ongoing he doesn't feel his daughter is safe from neglect and wants to look into a residency order- is there any advice on this especially as social services are already involved with the mum?
Timeout - 25-Aug-16 @ 8:25 PM
Concerned parent - Your Question:
Recently I have watched my partner go through the worst time of his life because his ex partner is refusing access to see his 5 year old daughter, from the minute she was born he done everything for her. when they split up the mother was enabling access but only on her terms, she introduced her new partner after a couple of weeks however stated I was not aloud to meet her until a 6 month period, once meeting the daughter everything changed, she has completed stopped access, claiming her daughter wants a new daddy and wont even allow phone calls or text messages to be passed on. she is a very volatile individual with a violent passed, which included punching my partner in the face while he was holding his daughter (we have evidence of this). we have contacted several mediation services and they have been pretty useless, he doesn't feel his daughter is safe with her mother as she likes to go out drinking and when they used to be together she would be violent once drink was involved. he really needs to know whether he will have a chance of full custody? I need to know what is the next step as its been nearly 2 months and its killing him.thank you in advance.

Our Response:
I'm afraid full custody is unlikely, as it is rare that a court will move a child from one parent to another unless absolutely necessary. However, applying for access through the courts will be more beneficial if mediation has failed. If you have evidence of his ex's violence, this can be brought up in the Cafcass meeting, but what the courts are not interested in is a tit-for-tat slanging match between parents. The courts main objective is always what is in the best interests of the child and what impacts on her. If for any reason, your ex has put off taking the matter stright to court once mediation has failed because of lack of court fees or the inability to afford a legal representative, he can self-litigate, please see link here. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 11-Aug-16 @ 12:13 PM
recently I have watched my partner go through the worst time of his life because his ex partner is refusing access to see his 5 year old daughter, from the minute she was born he done everything for her. when they split up the mother was enabling access but only on her terms, she introduced her new partner after a couple of weeks however stated I was not aloud to meet her until a 6 month period, once meeting the daughter everything changed, she has completed stopped access, claiming her daughter wants a new daddy and wont even allow phone calls or text messages to be passed on. she is a very volatile individual with a violent passed, which included punching my partner in the face while he was holding his daughter (we have evidence of this). we have contacted several mediation services and they have been pretty useless, he doesn't feel his daughter is safe with her mother as she likes to go out drinking and when they used to be together she would be violent once drink was involved. he really needs to know whether he will have a chance of full custody? I need to know what is the next step as its been nearly 2 months and its killing him. thank you in advance.
Concerned parent - 10-Aug-16 @ 2:45 PM
My question is that i have a child of age four year. i meet him in a month one time in my ex-wife house. I want to know of what age i can take my child out for having fun alos my parents want to meet him how can i stay him at my home.
chunni - 29-Jul-16 @ 1:00 PM
Simo - Your Question:
I'm in the army and I've just found out that my ex is most likely 4 months pregnant, apparently I'm one of four possible fathers, she has no job/income, likes to gamble, her home is excessively open to alcohol and various drugs.so what could I do with legal action? How far could I take things, such as full custody of the child. I could provide for the child, give it a home and I have easy access to nurseries etc. I'm only 21 so I've got no Idea what actions I could really take and no idea what I can do but all I know is that If this child is mine I need to do what ever I can do in the best interest of the child.

Our Response:
I think the first issue you need to find out is whether you are the father or not. I assume you slept with her at the time she conceived for you to think you may be the possible father. But if there are other men involved, then she may need to do a DNA test once the child is born in order to establish this (if she chooses). However, even if you are named as the father, it is highly unlikely a court would award you care of the child. As a rule, the mother is considered the primary carer of the child and your rights to your child are dependent upon whether you are named as the father on the birth certificate and therefore have Parental Responsibility. Also, if you are named as the father, but are unsure whether the child is yours, then you may in turn have to request a DNA test (through the court if your ex refuses), as if named you will be financially responsible for the child from the time of birth, to the time the child finishes school. Therefore, I would research as much as you can regarding your position and establish in the first instance whether the child is yours.
SeparatedDads - 25-Jul-16 @ 10:50 AM
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