Home > Legal > Do You Know Your Rights as a Father?

Do You Know Your Rights as a Father?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 5 Aug 2020 | 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hi, im seperated from my wife since last year and having difficulty getting access to see my twin girls. The last time i saw them was before lockdown. We had an agreement then when i got the girls every week. Just before lockdown i was asked to take them to enable my ex wife to attend an appointment but was unuble to do it as i didnt have time to make arrangements, i was using a family member to act as 3rd party when i picked up the kids. This led to some disagreement. I have been asking to see my girls for some time but my ex wont agree and says i must go through the authorities. Having made some enquiries im told that im not entitled to legal aid to engage a lawyer. I havent been able to get back to work since lockdown. I am missing the girls very much and i know they are missing me too, she has forwarded a video of them asking about me. Please can anyone offer some advice to help. David
Chips - 5-Aug-20 @ 5:47 PM
hi my partner left 29hours ago in the morning with my 12week old baby. I'm in the birth certificate do i have custody rights
fatherof1 - 5-Aug-20 @ 12:16 AM
I agree the law in England needs to change. Fathers are important. Woman should not have all rights.... it's not fair on children or fathers
Shona - 29-Jul-20 @ 9:22 PM
Hi I'm wondering if anyone can help me out please. My husband has a child with his ex. He pays maintenance every week but isnt allowed to see his child. His child doesnt know he exists or that they have more siblings which I think is unfair as she doesnt mind taking his money each week. We recently found out that the ex doesnt have the child living with her but is living with her ex husband. Does anyone know how we can go about finding out for sure if the child isnt living with the mother ? Thank you
Sue - 23-Jul-20 @ 4:23 PM
My son is not married he stay together with a girlfriend. He got 1 child together she left the house and go back to her mother house. The child got hissurnamecan she stop him to see his child
Cassie - 7-Jul-20 @ 9:13 PM
I gave up house to move into a fourth floor flat to be with my ex and my daughter whom she left me a dear john letter so I never saw her til she was 4 years old,my ex stopped her pill and fell pregnant with our son,when he was 6 years old she had told me to leave so i phoned the council and was told what i signed was for just living there i wasnt down as being a joint tenant She had to pull away my son when he saw me as he was screaming daddy......next thing i no she put him into care without telling me,i drove down to Dundee every week for review meetings got told I couldn't be in touch with him so hes 14 years old this September I cry every night thinking that hes never going to get in touch with me because hes probably been told I didn't want him.....any advice on what I can do Thanks
Jacko - 13-Jun-20 @ 8:13 AM
I am paying half the mortgage on the joint house me and my ex have. We have twins, so my maintenance is double and I’m paying half the mortgage and my own bills. I have managed to rent a room (literally my only option, I think) and now my ex is demanding that she sees where I live and what the set up is so that she can decide if she feels comfortable about letting the twins come here. Surely as the dad, I am grown up enough and responsible enough to ensure my children are comfortable etc? Am I completely wrong? Any suggestions please?
Scott Kenneth Johnso - 12-Jun-20 @ 8:43 PM
@pan.thats the best way stay calm don’t lose your cool over silly things .i can only imagine how frustrating that would be .i don’t see my daughter and I don’t like it .but for the reason you just stated I am glad I don’t see her .because I have settled down myself last thing I want is to deal with that pathetic stuff .i hope one day my daughter realises and doesn’t hold a grudge against me .
Chris - 6-Jun-20 @ 3:38 PM
My ex after 18 months. Has figured out her new partner has left. Now I am settled with my fiancee. My ex is taking her jealousy out towards myself.By ringing me 1/2 way through weekend and demand the children back @ all hours.And uses excuses well the last one was she didn,'t know where covid19 was. So they need to be with me she screamed. I try to keep this ridiculous situation as calm as for our kid's.Now they are realising? Please help.
"PAN" - 6-Jun-20 @ 1:40 PM
Hi myself and my husband had to go to court regarding grandparents rights we have now had access to our granddaughter since last November 2019. The mother would not let my son see his daughter until he had a risk assessment done and the court also agreed with that. In December last year the mother decided to all ow my son to see his daughter without any risk assessment she also became very friendly with my son again I.e staying over at his place and he staying at her home. They have now fell out and she seems to be playing God again with the child and has told him he now needs a risk assessment. Any advise would be appreciated thanks
Tb - 27-Apr-20 @ 9:31 AM
Hello I am looking for some help. My partner has a 3 year old and the mum doesn't give him any money what so ever to help him to look after him
Mandy - 16-Apr-20 @ 8:42 PM
Agree...there has to be some deterrent for arrogant woman who stop there ex seeing the kids or reduce visitation without good reason. Like Child maintenance to visitation should have a link - if mother intentionally stops the visits, then father should have right to take something from her. In this age where government pushes for equal rights to women, what about fathers rights?
Fatherof4 - 30-Mar-20 @ 10:39 PM
Hi guys this is getting very bad British law and fathers right is corrupted. We need to create petition to sort out this rubbish because no body seem to support father right..in uk Spread the message
Mizou - 18-Mar-20 @ 5:15 PM
@stevo.i have [settled down now ]and would make a [great dad] now to my daughter if her[ god damn mother would just allow me to see her] .i have [changed] i would love to have my daughter in [my life] and there is room at my house for her yes i am a [poor dad but can look after her] .this women always loved to[ hurt me] she knows i am not dad to not see my daughter she knows i am[ family orientated ].this is her way off getting at me because i have[ zero interest] in her .rant over i just need to suck it up i can switch off i want my daughter in my f ing life i don't care what those old men think like gordon senior citizen .i want my daughter in my life i don't care what her [boyfriend thinks ]get my way from seeing daughter i will break hisjaw .
chris - 26-Feb-20 @ 8:24 PM
@stevo.the truth is I will never get to no (my daughter) and she will never get to no me .this is my reality I have( exhausted all my options) tried everything from solicitors to citizens advise myself .even( begging the mother) to tell us meet .now I must let go in reality dads don’t have rights not in my world anyway.
C.laurie - 26-Feb-20 @ 3:10 AM
My ex won't let me see my daughter. I've seen her once when she was 2. She's now 7. Do I have any rights? She won't listen to reason. She's denying me any photos or anything. She comes across as aggressive, I've made contact now due to giving her space. All she tells me is that I have no rights. I'm not on the birth certificate. She will try her hardest to erase me from my daughters life even if my daughter has a right to know her biological father. I really don't know what to do. I've tried citizens advice and solicitors but both were unhelpful. I'm facing the real possibility she will deny our daughter knowing who her biological father is.
Stevo - 25-Feb-20 @ 11:06 PM
Please can anyone anawer? If ive only just been told im a dad after 11 years, do i have to pay back pay?
Rens - 21-Feb-20 @ 2:18 PM
Hi can anyone help my ex won’t let me see my kids kept them away from me years now it’s doing my head in blocked me on everything can’t even contact her I pay for my kids every week threw Csa can’t afford to take her to court been citizen advice they did nothing went to a solicitor they wasn’t really any help ask for mediation she refused it now she moved my kids across the country where her boyfriends from just need to know where to turn if anyone can help me be much appreciated
Gaz - 18-Feb-20 @ 6:21 PM
My ex and I are on the edge of a break up as his drug taking is getting out of hand when he leaves family home can I stop contact with our 3 year old in till he is clean as I know it is almost every day he is taking drugs and that is not what I want for my son just looking to see were I stand with that my son has his second name and my ex is on the birth certificate
Zoe - 17-Feb-20 @ 9:24 AM
My daughter's mum and I split up my daughter has a protection order on her due to her being left alone and getting out of the family home at midnight then getting out 3more times once in her knickers in the middle of the night I had custody due to her being removed from her mum's care but her grandparents live four doors down and they basically have covered over everything I've been made out to be an abusive control freak and I've fought tooth and nail for my daughter all I wanted was to change her school so I wasn't taking her on an hour and a half school trip every morning and now I'm the worst dad ever I offered weekend and holiday contact and a activity during the week they have spent nine months punishing me for leaving a empty relationship
Gav - 5-Feb-20 @ 11:23 PM
@sam.i don’t f ing care if I have (orders on me )and I won’t be paying zero money for a solicitor for( visitation gods truth nothing is killing me ).but she and her men come any where near my (house or near me ).a peace off paper is not going to stop me from serously hurting them .they think I am (playing) just come to my house and find out .
C w laurie - 24-Jan-20 @ 3:33 AM
Can anybody help me please this is not easy. I gave me ex everything we started with nothing and it takes two to tango in argument but there’s more to it but I was out and she stripped (our) house and left me with nothing and took me son and over the months let me see him twice just to find out info about my life I am sure. Now she has got non molestation order on me for no reason because she is ill. It’s just been Christmas I’ve got a 2 bed empty house to pay for self employed after Christmas I am skint can’t afford solicitor so I will swallow the order against me I have no choice. I just want to see my beautiful boy. Has anyone been through court and how much does it truthfully cost? Easiest way possible? So much to it but I have no idea how to go about it. Killing me so much. I hear it cost 10n’s of thousands. Is there any other route? I’ve tried everything now I’ve got this order I can’t even see how he is. Somebody must be able to help. Please ????
Sam - 22-Jan-20 @ 10:41 PM
Me and my ex split up about a year ago av got my 3 boys all sighted over to me all she wanted was have school holidays. We had an agreement that she has 3 visits up here cos she stays in Newcastle she cancel all 3 visits and my son was up set then she was ment to have them for a week at new year she cancel it. Now I think she is going to take me to court for the youngest son. Were do I stand with this
Mark - 16-Jan-20 @ 10:35 AM
Hi, Currently in court trying to get access to see my son, name on birth certificate among other things. The ex has stopped contact for what is now the third time since my son was born in September 2018. He is not n Firstly, once the court is over and if my name is on the birth certificate if the ex denies contact again can I force her to let me see my son? Could I get the police to come to her house and get her to hand the child over if I have a copy court order and what would be my assigned visitation days? Secondly, if this pattern continues can I take the matter back to court? If the matter goes back to court what ramifications could she face? Could there be sanctions or possible jail time?
Chos11 - 15-Jan-20 @ 9:57 AM
Can someone help my nephew has become a dad and his son was early him and his ex are not in a good place and she is restricting his access to his son while his son is in hospital the nurses are not helping they are not allowing skin to skin or for him to see him for more than an hour a day and my nephew is very frustrated and feels like he has no rights to his son any advice would be welcome thanks
Tracy - 2-Jan-20 @ 8:19 PM
Need advice re: daughters mum not allowing my daughter to stay with me at my partner house where I have other kids with
Mervin Chong - 18-Dec-19 @ 4:05 PM
My friend and his crazy ex are having a baby together but she’s decided she wants him out the picture (mind changes everyday) I’m worried for my friend as his ex is mentally ill and already threatened abortion ect m to move country everytime they argue sonim wondering what rights my friend has I’m worried she will screw him over n not put his name on the birth certificate n if she doesn’t then what’s the next step this guy will make a fantastic dad just a shame he chose the wrong woman to procreate with. Any advice at all would be brilliant thank you
Prawn - 18-Dec-19 @ 12:11 PM
@paul.this is (sincerely from my heart) .before reading a lot off (blogs) about fathers rights and about the emotional stress ,court battles some fathers and some mothers go through when they don’t see there children made me think that there is something( wrong with me).because gods truth from the bottom off my heartI never thought about it this stuff it never entered my head about going to court for visitation and sincerely from the bottom off my heart I don’t think I very had a emotional attachment to this child I was only in her life a (few short years) but honestly I did my own think back then and I thought off the child as burden I know it’s sounds terrible but at least I am honest .sum might say I’am committing fraud hiding something but the gods truth is I just didn’t think about her I had new found freedom and I loved it .i would brag how I got away with everything and I did gods truth .every court appointed order I was put on I never finished and was signed off on (first session )because I dress like a lawyer and was polite and I am not a bad looking guy .
C.laurie - 11-Dec-19 @ 11:19 PM
@paul.this is (sincerely from my heart) .before reading a lot off (blogs) about fathers rights and about the emotional stress ,court battles some fathers and some mothers go through when they don’t see there children made me think that there is something( wrong with me).because gods truth from the bottom off my heartI never thought about it this stuff it never entered my head about going to court for visitation and sincerely from the bottom off my heart I don’t think I very had a emotional attachment to this child I was only in her life a (few short years) but honestly I did my own think back then and I thought off the child as burden I know it’s sounds terrible but at least I am honest .sum might say I’am committing fraud hiding something but the gods truth is I just didn’t think about her I had new found freedom and I loved it .i would brag how I got away with everything and I did gods truth .every court appointed order I was put on I never finished and was signed off on (first session )because I dress like a lawyer and was polite and I am not a bad looking guy .
C.laurie - 11-Dec-19 @ 11:02 PM
@paul.this is (sincerely from my heart) .before reading a lot off (blogs) about fathers rights and about the emotional stress ,court battles some fathers and some mothers go through when they don’t see there children made me think that there is something( wrong with me).because gods truth from the bottom off my heartI never thought about it this stuff it never entered my head about going to court for visitation and sincerely from the bottom off my heart I don’t think I very had a emotional attachment to this child I was only in her life a (few short years) but honestly I did my own think back then and I thought off the child as burden I know it’s sounds terrible but at least I am honest .sum might say I’am committing fraud hiding something but the gods truth is I just didn’t think about her I had new found freedom and I loved it .i would brag how I got away with everything and I did gods truth .every court appointed order I was put on I never finished and was signed off on (first session )because I dress like a lawyer and was polite and I am not a bad looking guy .
C.laurie - 11-Dec-19 @ 10:58 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments