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Do You Know Your Rights as a Father?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 11 Dec 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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@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
@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 @ 10:49 PM
Me and my ex broke up 2 months ago.. she has stoped me seeing my kids now for 3 weeks and won’t let me talk to them.. Iv asked her if I can see them this weekend but she replied that she’s got to ask her solicitor if I can see them.. but I’m sure if she had a solicitor can’t tell her wether I can see them or not as Iv done nothing wrong and as far as I know she’s not aloud to stop me from eeeing them if she hasn’t got a good enough reason.. I’m stuck with what to do I could do with some really good advise please on what to do...
Paulwickes - 11-Dec-19 @ 8:33 PM
Me and my girlfriend had our daughter about a year ago.(now I will admit I may have not been as supportive as I possibly can but I was trying) we agreed that my parents wouldn’t be a part of her life after certain incidents which happened whilst my daughter was unborn which stressed my girlfriend out a lot during her pregnancy. Anyways since then she’s been using my daughter to stop me from doing stuff and even seeing my family which has been eating away at me from the inside since my daughters been born. Now I’ve tried talking to her about this and all she turned around and said was if you go back there then you can stay there and stay away from me and my daughter. I don’t know what to do because I miss my family and Ik it’s slowly eating away at me what should I do?
Ak99 - 5-Dec-19 @ 9:27 AM
@adam86.bro get a solicitor do it (legally) if you are the bio father and on the birth certificate you have (rights) and take it to (court )you will get visitation if there is no (dv offences or police trouble )it be (pretty easy) .with me I had everything locked up lucky to get (bail )the (police sergeant)said to the (magistrate) I was threat and a reoffender ).d v offences a lot off police trouble probation anger management courses and when I finished all that back then. I only would have got supervised visits in a contact centre .yeah I wasn’t going to a (contact centre) and have someone looking over my shoulder .but it’s a modern time now and blogs like these help
Willy81. - 29-Nov-19 @ 12:33 AM
@adam86.two year stage ,I remember that mate it does get (better) trust me I know from experience I am in the( 10 year range) so you two will hit this point and then you do you will feel better.then it’s up to your child when they are a grown up to make up there own mind if they want to see you .i dont think mine will want to see me but it’s her loss in reality she Wants to stick with her mother and father that’s is fine with me .
Willy81. - 29-Nov-19 @ 12:05 AM
Its a hearth breaking that its been 2 years now since i didn't see my own child . she'll be 3 next month . I knock all the door for help but no one does respond . its an everyday struggle . Words can't describe even 1% how i feel everyday
Adam86 - 28-Nov-19 @ 10:20 PM
my daughter came to live with me she 11? social services brourt her heat 5 months ago and she has not had much contaXT with mum who still claim childsupport? ?I asked for social servicesto write a letter stateing she live hear and was told they cant
mdy32a - 28-Nov-19 @ 1:45 PM
@chip.i was robbed off (my rights) with (orders gods truth) .she puts orders on all the (guys and women )she has relationships with .I have spoken to them and the (police are aware off her doing this they told me ).that’s why I was never charged( gods truth ).i really regret meeting her she is in my (personal view) a troubled soul her behaviour is shameful and disgraceful like she must have a (different view off herself) because in all honesty if she new what people really think off her she would (top herself ).because in reality people don’t think kindly off her and (class her )as a promiscuous loser and that’s putting it kindly (gods truth ).
C.laurie - 27-Nov-19 @ 10:54 PM
Does my son's mother have to tell me where he is living when she move in uk law
Chip - 26-Nov-19 @ 6:15 PM
Me and my ex got kid took of use by socile works because Nana said I hit her infront my kid told lies about me to socile works i went to court got 7 week remand and got out now Nana has my kid wot right as a dad have I got to see my kid if it wasn't court decishion only socile worker right to give him to Nana wot right as a father have I got to get my kid back auldy
auldy - 14-Nov-19 @ 12:33 AM
Docile work took my kid of my ex and told me I haven,t to see my kid im his dad but this hasn,t went to court wot rights have i to see my kid as a father as socile work mad their own minds up
Auldy - 14-Nov-19 @ 12:21 AM
I have two boys aged 15,13 they live with their mum but they want to come and live with me, can they just move out and come and live with me also can their mum stop them from doing so?
Dave - 12-Nov-19 @ 9:46 PM
@jamie.(gods truth)i am sorry to mother and grandmother I am sorry to my daughter .for not going to court for visitation .i am sorry my mother never got to see her only granddaughter grow up and spoil her she always wanted a daughter .i am sorry to myself for not seeing my daughter grow Up been there for her .but this is how it is life is not perfect.but I forgive myself now .(I tried years later )they don’t no how hard it was for me just to do that .
Chriso - 29-Oct-19 @ 11:05 PM
@jamie.yes I do no my rights as a father (now).and if I Did go to court years ago I most likely maybe would have got (every second weekend) .but I didn’t go to (court and it’s been 10 years .time to forgive myself and move on
Chriso - 29-Oct-19 @ 10:45 PM
@jamie.i was young when my daughter was born (22) and I didn’t know much about life or been a father back then .and was (overwhelmed )the mother was a lot older then me and she already had a child .so I went from been a young men clubbing with mates and my biggest worry back then was hopefully not spending all my pay on the weekend .to like been pressured into been this (great provider )and everyone pressuring me to buy ahouse and get married.where in reality my mind set back then was buying new set off mags for my car maybe go overseas for holiday .on top off that now I been told I have to get family car .plus this women (cheats )with no remorse .so I ask my family I have to deal with a cheating women sell my pride and joy and buy a family car and a house and get married to a cheater .and pay for her horses because she doesn’t work it’s the men’s job to work .they said yes son it’s called been a men .in the back off my head i was like I hope she does take up my uncles offer because I sure as hell don’t want this lifestyle.
Chriso - 29-Oct-19 @ 9:12 PM
@jamie.i was young when my daughter was born (22) and I didn’t know much about life or been a father back then .and was (overwhelmed )the mother was a lot older then me and she already had a child .so I went from been a young men clubbing with mates and my biggest worry back then was hopefully not spending all my pay on the weekend .to like been pressured into been this (great provider )and everyone pressuring me to buy ahouse and get married.where in reality my mind set back then was buying new set off mags for my car maybe go overseas for holiday .on top off that now I been told I have to get family car .plus this women (cheats )with no remorse .so I ask my family I have to deal with a cheating women sell my pride and joy and buy a family car and a house and get married to a cheater .and pay for her horses because she doesn’t work it’s the men’s job to work .they said yes son it’s called been a men .in the back off my head i was like I hope she does take up my uncles offer because I sure as hell don’t want this lifestyle.
Chriso - 29-Oct-19 @ 9:08 PM
@jamie.if your name is on the birth certificate or she has name you as the father even though you don’t get to see her you still will have to pay .if you have doubts about been the father you can get a DNA test .as you said she has cut all ties so it will have to be done though the courts .get a solicitor ASAP .getting a solicitor is something I never done where was so much (cheating and arguments and dislike and d v orders )sounds bad but I was done this women broke me down and I nearly went to jail .where I had to stay away forever .
Chriso - 29-Oct-19 @ 8:25 PM
Me and my ex were together for 6 months, after 2 months she was pregnant I paid for a scans and then she broke up with me and went back to her ex. They have a 5 year old daughter. She's cut ties and doesn't return my calls or messages. The baby has now been born so I believe I have a daughter she never said she wasn't mine. How can I one get involved and also what rights does she have as in csa fees if I don't get to see her. We never argued or anything
Jamie - 29-Oct-19 @ 7:03 PM
I have been illegally in the UK since 1999. In 2001 I met this girl from this wealthy family. She did fall in love and we got engaged wich her family didn't want to happen. In 2003 we got blessed with a daughter. Her family tried everything for us not being together because of who I am. In 2005 I got court by the police and I got deported. Since than I never heard from them again. In 2010 I came in the UK illegally again and I went to her grandmothers maison to drop loads of toys and books for my daughter. With their powers I got threatened to go away and never be near my daughter and they were going to call the police and deport me again. Since than till now I've been hidden. I haven't seen my daughter for 16 years. In September 2019 i saw her in some magazines, she is very well known talent. Through there I found where she lives and everything else. I been waiting for her to be 18 so I can do something to contact her. At the moment I'm still illegally and if I approach them I'm sure this royalties with their powers will do everything to keep me away from her. I don't know what shall i do
J.K - 17-Oct-19 @ 1:08 AM
My wife and I are seperated. After a row about her having various men around my old house when my son is there,we had a arguement about it and now she has said I can only see my son through a visitation center. I have always been a devoted loving dad. Can she do this?
Wicky - 16-Sep-19 @ 2:43 PM
I need help, I haven’t seen my two children aged 13 and 15for 5 months. I used to see them regularly and take them away every other weekend. Suddenly I have been stopped from seeing them, my ex is brainwashing them and saying awful things about me. I saw my son last week to give him his birthday present, we met at the school gates. He was cold towards me. He said they were not being stopped from seeing me, it was their choice, my son also said my daughter was scared to see me! What’s going on? I have always been an amazing dad, I love my kids and have done everything for them. It wasn’t me that took the decision to split the family up, it was my ex, she went off with someone else. I don’t know how this is happening and it has turned my world upside down. What is the best action for me to take now?
Andy - 16-Sep-19 @ 9:23 AM
When my daughter was 6,my ex with the help of the social services stopped all my visitations,and my ex's family had done nothing but drum lies into my girl's head. Is there any way I can get hold of the social services's records so I can see for myself what lies have been said bout me?
Taidcric - 31-Aug-19 @ 12:32 AM
@rez.i will( never change )I don’t class myself as a horrible father if I’m completely honest I don’t (remember) been a father for the (few short years )there was children in my life I can honestly say I didn’t (enjoy it ).i never (ill treated) them if I remember correctly I wasn’t around much I was always doing my (own thing) .(i don’t wanthelp) .(i don’t want to reconcile with there mother)( I don’t want any rights to her daughter ).if they say I suffer from (mental illness) because off my choice well good for them not everybody is going to like you in this world .(truth is I am violent and can be very dangerous ).i have (always )been this way so I don’t see it as (mental health issues gods truth ).i have people in my life that except me for me .as the old saying goes stick with your kind and there is (no issues )I am actually the( good one )in my circle and what a circle it is .
C.laurie - 27-Aug-19 @ 1:17 AM
My wife has left me with 4 children saying she can’t cope and she has gone into a rehab home to help with her mental wellness what do I do? Do I apply for sole custody or wait until she is better
Roku - 26-Aug-19 @ 2:37 PM
I haven't seen my daughter over for years!! I was horrible dad but I have been changedmyself over two years but my wife doesn't trust me anymore I don't know what to do? Help Me please
Rez - 25-Aug-19 @ 3:18 PM
Hi. I have an eight year old son. His mother is using small incidents and half truths to make out that I am a terrible father, I am not perfect and I make mistakes however I have been a strong and steady presence in his life and I want that to continue very much. She is very good at manipulating people to make me out to be far worse than I am. I pay maintenance regularly and am never late to pick him up or drop him off. I’m sure that if we end up in court I can defend my position but I CANNOT afford seven thousand plus, to go through that route. Can any one offer me advice as to how I could resolve this without such ruinous expense? Many thanks.
MC - 24-Aug-19 @ 9:30 PM
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
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