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Do You Know Your Rights as a Father?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 20 Aug 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Rights Father Child Ex Child Support

Having never planned to be in this position before, you are probably unsure of exactly what your rights as a father are. You want to do your best as a father but what are your legal responsibilities? Here are some questions that you may ask to find out exactly where you stand.

Do You Have Parental Responsibility for Your Kids?

If you were married to your partner when your child was born, you have automatic Parental Responsibility. If you are not married and your child was born after 1st December 2003 and your name is on the birth certificate, you automatically have parental responsibility. If you are the biological father, you can still file for parental responsibility which gives you legal rights and responsibilities for your child.

Can You Make Decisions Concerning Their Upbringing?

With parental responsibility you have the right to be involved in all major decisions in your child life. This can be anything that significantly affects their upbringing such as education, medical treatment or religion. (For more information, see our article Making Joint Decisions About Your Child's Future on this site.)

Who Decides on Everyday Things?

Everyday decisions are left up to the parent who has residence of the children. Generally, the mother is given residence unless you or the courts decide differently. This means that she does not have to consult you about any day-to-day decisions.

Do You Have to Pay Child Support?

As a parent you are legally bound to Pay Child Support. The amount that you pay is worked out by the Child Support Agency (CSA) and will depend on a number of things including how much you earn and how you have split custody.

What Visitation Rights do You Have?

You may decide to organise your visitation independently with your ex, and this is fine as long as you are both happy with the arrangement. If not, you will need to apply for a contact order and be assessed to determine what visitation you are given.

Can Your Ex Take Your Children Out of the Country?

If your ex has residence of your children, she can take them out of the country for up to one month without your permission. If she wants to take them for longer or move abroad permanently, she will need your consent. If you have serious concerns about her taking them out of the country, then you can apply for an order to stop it.

When Does Parental Responsibility End?

Your parental responsibility and child support continues until your child leaves school or further education, which can be as young as 16 or finish when they are 19 and at university.

Finding out about your rights and responsibilities as a father is important so that you know what you are entitled to and what you need to do. If you can keep relations civil and handle the details with your ex then this can be better but, if not, you will have to go through the legal system to clarify things. Your ex has no right to stop you seeing your children and with a little bit of compromise and willingness you can both come to an agreement that is best for your children.

Making Things Easier

When you first split up it's easy for battles to ensue and for the children to take the brunt of it, even though this is never your intention. One way to make things easier is to draw up some kind of agreement at the outset - see our sample separation agreement.

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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Hi can somebody Advice on something please Me and my ex has been split up for about seven years now and she has been with her new boyfriend for some time she has got a baby off him and to offer me my son don’t want to stay with his mumno more he is eight years old he hates being there he wants to move in with me I have parental responsibility over my son and he is in my name as well if I take my son and she phones the policeon me would they take my son off me and take him home to her if they ask my son who do you want to be with he will say my dad I live quite a long way from my son and when I can’t get down to him whenhe has had a argument with his mum he will run off and try to get to me I fear for my son Safetyhe could run away and something could happen She has never stopped me from seeing them before it’s like now her chap thinks he can play stepdaddyso could I keep my son please let me know thank you
Carlo - 20-Aug-19 @ 12:38 AM
my ex partner was violent and harmed my daugther and now he wants contact,but has gone to assesment with social service,plus he drinks and is on drugs and i feel that he wil do drugs before contact,and i am the one who has ful custdy of her and he hasnt paid anything and he has harmed her twice please help email me bck thanks
amber - 19-Aug-19 @ 7:03 PM
Need advice on were I stand if my daughter who is nearly 14 years old wants to come live with me and my partner. And the ex is saying no,though she did agree at first then changed her mind
John - 19-Aug-19 @ 3:58 PM
My partners of nine years didn’t come home from work one day and took my two little boys with that was 12 weeks ago I have seen my kids 15 hr in 12 weeks she has taken all contact off me not even phone calls until mediation what’s the quickest way for mediation and cheapest money not problem but I need to see my boys this is destroying our relationship as farther and sons
Jay - 16-Aug-19 @ 12:30 PM
Hi need some advice on getting acsess to my daughter everthing was fine up to 3 days ago i didnt spk to her mother for 2 days an all of a sudden shes cut my phone of blocked me over every social media site and changed her ph number shes not responding to my emails and its making me ill ive not slept as i dont have an understanding why shes done this the thought of losing my daughter is bringing my world crashing down and i dont know what ill do
Kenny - 11-Aug-19 @ 11:06 AM
Hi guys looking for advicemy self and my girlfriend have split for 9 months or more . But when I am working away she will not let me speek to my daughter and has blocked my number. She never used to be like that with meI have just found out that she may have a new man on the go but all I want is to speek to my girl . It’s making me ill
Marti Boy - 9-Aug-19 @ 2:34 PM
Do I have any rights to my ex girlfriends kids after bringing them up for 3 years and they dnt see there real dads either just need advice miss them so much
Rhys - 8-Aug-19 @ 6:03 PM
HI I have a 7year old boy I have been I his life since the day he was born,my ex an I split when my boy turned 1 ,it's been a bumpy road since then but it's getting worse as time goes on as she is now starting to give my son the option to stay with her instead of coming to me on my nights to have him (my boy suffers from separation anxiety for his mum)so 9 times out of 10 he will choose to stay with her and she knows this so manipulates the situation to best suit her and her plans without giving a second thought about the time my son is missing out on time with his dad .Has anyone got any advice or going through similar ? Thanks in advance
Mick - 6-Aug-19 @ 11:33 AM
I have been stopped from seeing my son as my baby’s mum is is horrible and evil.
Jew - 4-Aug-19 @ 10:07 PM
Hi my ex is refusing for me to take my child outthere is nothing in place saying I’m not aloud to What can I doand can she stop me
Nathan - 31-Jul-19 @ 11:25 AM
Hi I've been divorced for more than 10 years.and I have a daughter which is 17 and I do pay child support, and I can't see her at all and I don't know where she lives. Please advice me what to do.
Fez - 31-Jul-19 @ 10:46 AM
I've a young 4 month old baby girl, I love her to pieces, but her mother only lets me see her for an hour every week. She says that's more than enough!My ex dumped me via text messagewhilst she was pregnant3 months in and I neverseen her till the day my daughter was born, it nearly killed me not seeing that little bump grow in her, now we are friendly and she allows me to see her once a week for an hour, she even registered herwithout me and didn't even put me down as father. Knowingno rights. I feel torn because I want like every father out there what's best for their child. But I'm scaredif I do bring up conversationabout Tim I get she will stop me from seeing her altogether, and if I go to court to they will back her up not me, any advice would be helpful as this is destroying me
stu - 28-Jul-19 @ 2:59 PM
I have a 6month daughter she was born January 6 2019 the mother never allow me to sign as a father we are not married together,I try and she refuse me seeing my daughter after a month still my daughter is 6month and I took a family lawyer to fight for my right,I want to know what decision can be made from the court are they going to support the mother or me or will I be giving the right as a father and to see my baby
Tobias - 27-Jul-19 @ 7:06 AM
Hi I been with my partner over 8 years she had a daughter from previous relationship she was 6 months old I brought her up as my own daughter it's daddy daddy from day 1 do everything for her 7 never treated her as my step daughter her real dad drops money 2 my partner every week and she told her daughter 2 call him father now she asking who is y am I calling father been tell the mom she needs 2 tell her wot the situation is but the never happened we now have a 2 year old boy and i still put my daughter first never made her feel left out all of a sudden the starting trouble tht I'm treating the daughter differently like a step daughter i was in shock and she still accussing and all cuz my daughter wants 2 do cart wheels hands stands dance around and accidentally hitting the baby who is almost 2 there been so many near misses when the could of got injured and when say no dancing or aerobics in living room and then the mom makes my life hell how I'm treating the as a step daughter I'm telling it's not the she can't b civil and talk she starts the shouting and screaming in front of the kids and telling me 2 go bk 2 own flat andrefuse 2 let me c my son and daughter its getting so so bad im feeling depressed EVERY 2 days she start some sort of argument over nothing at all I'm stuck in a bad bad bad situation she won't let me take the 2 my family but it's ok 4 her 2 take them 2 her mom's feel really really uncomfortable about noin her brother just come out jail 4 fire arm offences I just don't no Wot 2 do anymore
Doc - 22-Jul-19 @ 8:13 AM
Hi I been with my partner over 8 years she had a daughter from previous relationship she was 6 months old I brought her up as my own daughter it's daddy daddy from day 1 do everything for her 7 never treated her as my step daughter her real dad drops money 2 my partner every week and she told her daughter 2 call him father now she asking who is y am I calling father been tell the mom she needs 2 tell her wot the situation is but the never happened we now have a 2 year old boy and i still put my daughter first never made her feel left out all of a sudden the starting trouble tht I'm treating the daughter differently like a step daughter i was in shock and she still accussing and all cuz my daughter wants 2 do cart wheels hands stands dance around and accidentally hitting the baby who is almost 2 there been so many near misses when the could of got injured and when say no dancing or aerobics in living room and then the mom makes my life hell how I'm treating the as a step daughter I'm telling it's not the she can't b civil and talk she starts the shouting and screaming in front of the kids and telling me 2 go bk 2 own flat andrefuse 2 let me c my son and daughter its getting so so bad im feeling depressed EVERY 2 days she start some sort of argument over nothing at all I'm stuck in a bad bad bad situation she won't let me take the 2 my family but it's ok 4 her 2 take them 2 her mom's feel really really uncomfortable about noin her brother just come out jail 4 fire arm offences I just don't no Wot 2 do anymore
Doc - 22-Jul-19 @ 8:11 AM
After yet another row, can I put in place something that I don't have to see my daughter's mum when I pick her up and drop her off?
Geeza - 21-Jul-19 @ 11:24 PM
hi i am wondering if anyone can help ,i have split with the ex girlfrienddue to her cheating on me for 12 month now i have brought her son up since the age of 1 and now he is 5 ,he calls me dad his real dad has not bothered with his son since being 7 week old ..... i love him to pieces and see him as my son and don`t want to lose the bundle of joy out my life...i am just wanting to know where i would stand with this in court
kyzer - 15-Jul-19 @ 5:47 PM
I live with my partner and she keeps taken my 2 year old daughter to the club all day and night the latest time upto now was 5 to 11 at night were drunken men and woman are I dont know were to turn for help as her dad can anyone help
Davy - 13-Jul-19 @ 8:41 PM
@andy.after reading your post .i myself have been though the same thing .i hope you find peace brother .i myself have finally found peace i think [deserve it] in my older life .hate and bitterness will destroy you why they laugh at you and make you out to be violent men .for me i drop the lot and meet new people that showed me nothing but love now i would never go back i finally realised there is better out there .has for your child when they are grown up they will make up there own mind if want to see you .its really not worth the stress fighting vindictive women over seeing the child .
c.laurie - 12-Jul-19 @ 9:31 PM
My son is 8 ive been there ever since day he was born . Me and his mother split up when he was 4 and she stopped me seein him till i went to lawyers and csa . For about 3 years i take him every weekend regardless if im obliged to work every second sat my family help out . I know longer pay csa but from my acount to hers every month as easier . But any little arguments we have she threatens me that i wont see my son . Its been 2 weeks since seeing him dosent seem long but my boy part my life . Looking for advice cheers
D - 11-Jul-19 @ 6:48 PM
Hello What do I do if my ex has moved out the address I had for her and my children and she refuses to tell me where she is? Due to her stopping me having contact for 3 years with them I haven't seen them but have kept in touch with the schools etc but now I don't even know where they are! Isn't this illegal? Thanks :-)
SEL_35 - 9-Jul-19 @ 3:57 PM
I had a son with a woman and shes stopped me his entire life from seeing him. Child support wants 8,735 in arrears went to court twice about it nothing changed they did not care. She could just simply stop me seeing my son and of course now has turned him against me and lied about everything made me out to be dead for 3 years until I went back on facebook he saw me. Bottom line is woman have the power over any man they have a kid with because the laws protect them not men
Andy - 9-Jul-19 @ 12:25 PM
When I have access to see my son can my ex tell me what and where I can go when he is in my care. I believe not . If so what law is it breaking
Tony1989 - 5-Jul-19 @ 2:43 PM
Hi I have a visation order in place and has been for a number of yrs now but the last few months my ex has been very awkward in relation to my son..can someone answer a question please obviously my name and my ex name is on the visitation order. My question is because my ex name is on visitation order is it her that I can only return my son to or can he be returned to any person that she said he can be returned to
Super - 1-Jul-19 @ 5:10 PM
Hello, me and my ex girlfriend split up 6 years ago and we have a 10yr old boy, all has been going ok with me having him half the week and we share parental responsibility. The issue I have now is my ex is sending him to a friend of hers when she goes to work, I've discussed letting him come to mine if she's working as I work different hours, but she forces him to go to this friend of hers. This friend of hers is emotionally abusing him by saying things like 'your dad is a nasty person' 'Your dad is a liar and I don't care if you tell your dad what I'm saying he's horrible' Our son really gets upset when she does this. He knows I'm not a nasty person and I have never lied to him or broken any promises, I don't talk nasty about his mum or her boyfriend. I'm generally a good father figure and our bond is so strong. My question is, is there any way I can stop this person looking after my son when his mum is at work? I've told his mum what her friends been saying to him but she says he's lying,even though she wasn't there when the emotional abuse happened, I see and feel the upset in him when he tells me so, I know if he's lying. My son hates it at his mum's friends which is also her boyfriend's sister. But he's still forced to go. What can I do as talking to my ex about it gets nowhere.
WorriedDad - 29-Jun-19 @ 8:49 PM
I need help/advice I have a 9yo son lives with my ex wife (has residency) separated 5yrs, I have just found out she is an escort for the past two years (which she denied) I caught her with a client. I spoke to the client and he admitted it had been going on for two years, her partner she lives with I have know idea if he is aware of it and permit it(if he does he is just as bad) the client has also admitted that he has visited her home a few times while my son was in bed asleep, I have informed my son's social worker three days ago and have heard nothing back when I went to social today to ask how investigation was going and how my son is I got turned away because I didn't have an appointment. (I have one now for next Tuesday 7 days after first contact) I have no idea as to my son's welfare as ex has cut all contact told me never to contact her again, so avoid anything like harassment order I've made no direct contact. Is there any legal way I can ban the client/clients from the home or anyone from being around my son? Family courts seem to be going on a go slow over the summer months.
Focuslx - 28-Jun-19 @ 9:03 PM
@Han t .the mother off my[ maybe] child has stopped all access for years .and i don't know if i am the father[ gods truth] .its[very high conflict] between the mother and myself .i have decided with the [time frame and the troubled past ].to walk away and live a[ peace full life ].i know what people say about [my choice] sum say its fraud some say its the drugs .truth is i don't care what people think or say .i just want to be left alone and get on with my life its that simple .
c.laurie - 24-Jun-19 @ 8:25 PM
Hello, so my other half has a child with his ex partner. When she found out she was pregnant they were not together, she did not tell him she was pregnant. When he was born at 6 weeks she decided to tell him he was the dad. He wasn't put on the birth certificate. He then has raised this little boy, he stays all the time, we see him frequently, pay a lot of maintenance, absolutely loves staying at ours, grandparents. Now all of a sudden she has stopped access and blocked numbers social media, he's five...we do not know what we've done and he still isn't on the birth certificate. Can we do a DNA test without the mothers permission and then take her to court? All we want is access to see him and his name on the birth certificate. She's never done this before so we do not know what to do?
HanT - 24-Jun-19 @ 2:38 PM
My granddaughter will be 17years & 11months when here dad gets married she wants to come to the wedding desperatly can her mother prevent her they live in Ireland and the wedding is UK CAN ANYBODY HELP A LOVING NANNA
Nanna - 21-Jun-19 @ 7:02 PM
I think it's more clarity. If he's my biological father I need to know to put my kind at rest. Where he has confirmed this in text could I take to court for a DNA or social services or what?
Danny Boy - 21-Jun-19 @ 5:51 PM
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