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Do You Know Your Rights as a Father?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 12 Dec 2018 | 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 I split up with my ex of 5years we have a 3yr old daughter, I brought my daughter up from birth as she wasn't Intrested we had been splitting up and getting back together because her behaviour etc, she's got a domestic against her for smashing my house up etc, we have been going through court I'm fighting for my daughter as I want her full time and social work have writing a report saying my daughter should be going back to me, so the 2 lawyers and my ex agreed to hand my daughter back to me then we went back in front of the judge and she said no to it she wants the grandparents involved because the mats who's watching my daughter they have had her 40days, the judge said she wants to hear from the grandparents if there happy enough to give me my own daughter back because they have a bond with them but I brought her up since birth I had the biggest bond with my daughter but they took her off me so is this right what the Judge is doing to me.
Steven - 12-Dec-18 @ 1:41 PM
I recently split up with my girlfriend an since found out she is pregnant with my child at first she said I could be in the child's life as I wanted to step u have contact an provide for my child yesterday she rang me up an told me I can't have anything to do with it as I am heart broken would just like to know if there is any rights I have and if so what could i do to change that decision
Will - 6-Dec-18 @ 11:12 AM
My wife left me and now she expects me to watch our son while she works is this my proplm
Jd - 26-Nov-18 @ 4:19 AM
My sons wife left him with there 3yr old son. And she wants him to babysit him while she works ..is this hair for him
Sallyd - 26-Nov-18 @ 4:16 AM
My son s wife left him with there 3 yr old son.and my son cant go to work or look for work. Because he watches him while she works is that fair.What can he do??
Sal - 26-Nov-18 @ 4:14 AM
You advise will be highly appreciated. I have 8&11 year old. Separated with their mother a year ago. We have been on and off for the last five years, this was because I found it hard to detach with my children. To call the story short. My ex thinks she calls the short every time I have to succumb to her demands. I have tried to be civil but I feel there is some alienation of some sorts that I don’t want to go into details of it. Now, there have been so many occasions where she wouldn’t be at home when I drop children off. She tells the children to lie to me that she is inside the house. Three occasions I have text her over the phone that I will not drop children off without an adult present at home. She will then say to me that they are older enough to stay at home until she comes home. I never did but I will wait until I’m sure she at home. The last time I dropped them off she told the kids to pick up keys outside of the house and go inside. She said she was in the bath and that was why she left keys for them to get inside the house. I waited two hours and drove them back to my house which take an hour. I refused to pick them from their house now. I told my ex that I will only pick them up and drop them off at the designated area because I can’t drop them off without an adult present. She said to me that I should either pick them up from home or forget seeing my kids. What do I do?
Sonya - 22-Nov-18 @ 6:49 AM
You advise will be highly appreciated. I have 8&11 year old. Separated with their mother a year ago. We have been on and off for the last five years, this was because I found it hard to detach with my children. To call the story short. My ex thinks she calls the short every time I have to succumb to her demands. I have tried to be civil but I feel there is some alienation of some sorts that I don’t want to go into details of it. Now, there have been so many occasions where she wouldn’t be at home when I drop children off. She tells the children to lie to me that she is inside the house. Three occasions I have text her over the phone that I will not drop children off without an adult present at home. She will then say to me that they are older enough to stay at home until she comes home. I never did but I will wait until I’m sure she at home. The last time I dropped them off she told the kids to pick up keys outside of the house and go inside. She said she was in the bath and that was why she left keys for them to get inside the house. I waited two hours and drove them back to my house which take an hour. I refused to pick them from their house now. I told my ex that I will only pick them up and drop them off at the designated area because I can’t drop them off without an adult present. She said to me that I should either pick them up from home or forget seeing my kids. What do I do?
Sonya - 21-Nov-18 @ 11:49 PM
You advise will be highly appreciated. I have 8&11 year old. Separated with their mother a year ago. We have been on and off for the last five years, this was because I found it hard to detach with my children. To call the story short. My ex thinks she calls the short every time I have to succumb to her demands. I have tried to be civil but I feel there is some alienation of some sorts that I don’t want to go into details of it. Now, there have been so many occasions where she wouldn’t be at home when I drop children off. She tells the children to lie to me that she is inside the house. Three occasions I have text her over the phone that I will not drop children off without an adult present at home. She will then say to me that they are older enough to stay at home until she comes home. I never did but I will wait until I’m sure she at home. The last time I dropped them off she told the kids to pick up keys outside of the house and go inside. She said she was in the bath and that was why she left keys for them to get inside the house. I waited two hours and drove them back to my house which take an hour. I refused to pick them from their house now. I told my ex that I will only pick them up and drop them off at the designated area because I can’t drop them off without an adult present. She said to me that I should either pick them up from home or forget seeing my kids. What do I do?
Sonya - 21-Nov-18 @ 3:28 PM
My ex is being really unreasonable I have an 11 year old boy who's my world I love him to bits but my ex's for some reason keeps dictating when I can see him one week am allowed access the next week am not it's confusing me and obviously my kid it's out of order all I want is to be a dad I aren't asking for the world just the right to be able to see my child and be a dad what I know am very capable of it's really unfair actions speak louder than words in my eyes and am going to fight this all the way believe me dad's have rights
Gazlee - 21-Nov-18 @ 8:02 AM
Can the mother give the kids to the father? Is there a legal solution so that the mother cannot return to take them away if she changes her mind?
James - 18-Nov-18 @ 8:17 PM
Seven years ago, I found out accidentally that he was texting this same old girlfriend, and I told him that if it happened again, it was a deal breaker. At that time, our children were still living at home so I decided to remain in the marriage. Now we are empty nesters.. last month i came in contact with an old friend who introduced me to this site almondhackings@gmailcom they helped me realize that my husband been having an affair with several other ladies through his phone text and fb.. i cannot thank them enough than to introduce their service to people out there in such dysfunctional relationship.. i now know where i stand in the relationship and we've resolved things thanks to almonds. you can also contact them directly through whatspp +16282043675 spp
elizabethremy - 12-Nov-18 @ 1:45 PM
We only split up 2 weeks ago but this isn't the first time tho it is whilst we have had the kids . She always told me she would never stop me from seeing them yet in 2 weeks she has now told me I'm never having them again all because I'm not jumping through hoops doing what she wants me to do . I mean I walk on egg shells as it is trying to do the right thing but ATM I have no where to live so today I picked kids up and took them to a friends (no where else to go) for some dinner but cos she doesn't approve of this friend I'm not allowed to see them again . Is this just absolutely wrong or what? Why is it us dads tht actually want to see our kids have to fight to do so ? And tht fighting costs US money. Money tht I dnt have . My kids adore me and I them and there mother knows this yet, after all the saying she would never stop me from seeing them etc. Etc. She does do knowing full well it ain't what the kids would want so not being in there best interest . I really need some advice on how to go about legally being able to see them cos they mean the world to me and I just can't not see them it will ruin me .
Jase - 11-Nov-18 @ 8:14 PM
My ex is being awkward and I would like to no how I can see my kids legally cos 1 min she allows me then , like today I'm not allowed to see them again cos I had them and took them to a friends for dinner who she doesn't approve of. I mean how can she dictate to me where I go with my children there with me all the time so how can she do this? She is just being controlling cos I know for a fact if I said tht to her she would tell me where to go. Problem is fathers seem to have no say and like me walk on egg shells just trying to do the right thing . So I've had enough and want to legally be told I can see them how do I do this bearing in mind I dnt have the money for legal fees . I do work but again why is it the fathers have to shell out money to see there own kids?
Jase - 11-Nov-18 @ 7:54 PM
What a load of crap. This is a legal dream list. Reality it never happens how its listed above. What really happens is not do pi k and fluffy. Court orders or flounce, mother continues to play difficult allowing you to see child one week and stopping the next. As the child gets older, mum decreases contact In order to get dad to spend more money in court.The court do not warn mum off they resume previous court order. Mum then alienates the child from dad. At the point of the child reaching 14 years old complete alienation takes place. This puts dad into a corner wee more costly court fees takes place. Breaking him financially. Only to result in child's wishes being the overall ruling that she doesn't want to see dad. Parental alienation completed. Court rules reduced contact and thus is supported by social services as they do not consider parental alienation as a harming strategy that occurs over a long period by mum against the child and father. The benefits in favour of mum for following this process is that the dad becomes financially stretched through court processes. Emotionally pressured by not seeing the child as visitation is decreased. Upon the court ruling child Maintanence is increased as the no contact rule awards mum full benefit. The law is an ass. Social see ices harm more children then they help. Dad's are treated like 17 century slaves to the system. Appalling indeed.
Saddened Dad - 11-Nov-18 @ 7:07 AM
Hey my uncle was going to build my ex a big house I think you should have taking the offer .because the way myself and big Tyson and Jacob think is wow old Gordy must not be that bright old man (different generation )that bloke from us not in touch with how women really are .yeah please remove my surname ex from your child .You would happy and I would be happier gods truth .its just great to get everything out in the open and no where( we all stand without fighting or going psycho).ps I went psycho on you to sabotage it gods truth and to see how disparate you where to take all those messages for nearly a year makes me pity you gods truth .
Chris laurie - 8-Nov-18 @ 1:27 AM
Now I will be moving in January for a fresh start and new job in different city new beginnings i have let go now my subconscious mind is clear if that makes since .and thehurt my ex inflicted onto me and breaking my( family bond )and is now gonefor life thanks ex (I realise now much you really (hated me )and wanted to hurt me ).but (brighter note hey I don’t have deal with you anymore) and the only pain I feel now is the (shame on myself for ever been with someone like you )but I was a child then and as a man nowyou don’t want to no what I think off you gods truth .Please remove my surname I mean that on the holy bible you disgust me .
Chris laurie - 8-Nov-18 @ 1:01 AM
@mr t.i don’t want( my daughter )And it’s best my ex keeps (her distance from me ).i have come out stronger then ever from this .now I will wipe the slate clean on two conditions my ex (NEVER )for the rest of her life( contact or confront me )because it will (be on ).and for her to change my daughters surname to hers or whoever because I (never want to see that child in my life I am ashamed to be tried to the mother she is a disgusting toad ).ps thanks x for the last( 9 years off peace) besides the last court I had to attend 2015 that will be the (last time) I ever step in a court room over them I (swear that on the bible ).now (look forward to living the rest of my life in peace and away from this stuff to (draining and upsetting )of (somethingthat never should have happened in the first place).now I am in (good head space and truly believe I am blessed with now things turn out )I am glad her step father took her on all the best to them happy days .i am done with the past never will I ever look back again I made the right choice I feel it in my heart and gut .goodbye.
Chris laurie - 7-Nov-18 @ 10:15 PM
Will be long email. My ex wife and me have 3 children. 6 and 5 yo boys and 2 yo girl. 3 months ago she stabbed me 2 times and police got involved. I managed to not get her locked up couldn't have kids with her. And social got involved. Then after that was another argument and I'm not allowed to go anywhere near house or her. I only can see kids Saturdays 1 till 6. I think this is unfair. Wanted to ask is it possible to have 1 child with me full time and she have the other 2. And we see the all the kids once twice a week? What are the chances of that. That I keep 1 boy she has other 2 kids?
MrT - 7-Nov-18 @ 1:20 AM
By law do I have the right 2 know a new boyfriends past and name ??
Darren - 5-Nov-18 @ 9:35 PM
Like to add that she wants to live in North America which he was planning to do at the time when they were together.It was a difficult separation but she hasn't got into any issues with him. He also has older child that he hasn't seen that lives in Europe.
Sal - 15-Oct-18 @ 3:14 AM
I should have explained this properly.The father hasn't seen his child since the separation. He pays child support but hasn't asked to see the baby.The mother would like to leave the country to be with family in North America which the father knows about.Can he stop her taking the child out of the country even though he hasn't made an effort to see the child. She hasn't stopped him from seeing his baby which he hasn't seen for over 6 months and he lives only 15 minutes away from his ex
Sal - 15-Oct-18 @ 3:10 AM
@sal.from a legal point of view there is nothing you can do .all you could do is get child support .there is not a court in the country that will make a father see he's child if it is against he wishes .best thing in situations like this is both walk away and get on with your own life and start another family or do whatever makes you happy life is to short to be fighting with a x .EVERYBODY NEEDS TO MOVE THE F ON .
chris laurie - 13-Oct-18 @ 8:56 PM
What if the father doesn't want to see his child. It's all about the fathers that wants to be involved yet there's fathers who doesn't want to see their kid.What's the conditions with that?
Sal - 13-Oct-18 @ 8:59 AM
Yeah I no my rights as a father never wanted to waste my money on solicitor to busy living my life .as for my x I will never talk to (her again )and don’t appreciate her (stalking me )I catch her again it will (be on )I have a lot of (past aggression) for her so she better( start to think )this no game .i will live my life the way I want if I want to live in a share house for the rest of my life I will if I want to move to Darwin For a good job at Christmas I will I answer to nobody .she has to realise she has (no control) what so ever over me I have zero interest in her family I am (not going legal) .she wants to make threats about making calm do it don’t threaten it clown .she needs a guy like my uncle (go stalk him )he would love it and most likely build her a big house .she needs to realise something because I wasn’t the most articulate guy back then the day she left she that was it .there is no going back I didn’t and still don’t want my daughter she has no cards in her deck I laugh at the clown .it feels like she thinks she has something I want ha ha ha .
Sam - 1-Oct-18 @ 12:53 AM
my son parted from the mother of his child when his daughter was 9mths old. he is 25 now has adhdand she is 33. they had problems in the past but he has always paid for his daughter although as he worked for agencies he always seemed to be on catch up with payments due to the unstability of work. he was having her every other weekend and a wednesday overnight....they rowed one night as his ex went to child maintenance so she could get money every week....he was annoyed and regretably said he wouldnt see his daughter.....they rowed again when she came to pick their daughter up. he apologised the next day but she refused to let him see her from that day. i as her grandmother have been allowed to see her but nit allowed to have her at my house oe overnight whoch i have previously. how do we resolve this. shes has said shes going to solicitors. surely she cannot stop access over this.....she is bringing up past issues but that is nearly two years since they spilt and shes never stopped him access so how can she now say hes not fit / worthy to be her dad over a row where he commented in the heat of the moment. whete do we stand
Philly - 30-Sep-18 @ 11:08 PM
My ex wife as all of sudden asstopped me from talkingto our kids we had a mutual agreement that I rang Tuesday Thursday and Sunday night's and now all contact has stopped I do not even know if they are ok what is my legal rights on this issue
Marco - 27-Sep-18 @ 5:50 PM
My partner's ex wife is suddenly refusing him overnight stays with his daughters (5 and 10). They don't have a court order but have had an agreement in place for the past two years that he has them every other weekend. He suffers from depression and she is quoting concern over this as a reason for denying overnight stays. In reality, she has control issues and has been looking for any reason to gain control over his time with his daughters. Firstly, can she use depression as a legitimate reason? There is no evidence of neglect or abuse... Secondly, he has concerns that when he goes to collect them for the weekend stay, she will have placed them with a friend and won't let him take them at all. Would he be able to call the police in this situation? What could he do?
Rebrief - 26-Sep-18 @ 3:44 PM
Me and my ex have shared custody of the 2 children. In a 8 day cycle i have them 4 days and 4 nights and she has them 4 days and 4 nights. She has booked to go away without the children on her 4 days, not the first time, she planning for her parents to have them. I want them but she's insisting they go to her parents. Surely if I want them to come to me they should. Where do I stand?
Masmouth - 23-Sep-18 @ 8:14 PM
Hi my ex and I hsve no legal contractregardscosting our children. I have them twice in the week and all weekend every other weekend. I want to spend more time with them and take them away but she says no ,witho reasons. Where do i stand if I just take them and go againsther commands
Si1 - 23-Sep-18 @ 11:14 AM
Mac - Your Question:
I have been separated over five years and now because of an argument my boys aged 12 & 10 have decided to stay with there mum and don’t want to come home ? What can I do ? They refuse to talk text or answer my calls

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. The link here , should help answer your question.
SeparatedDads - 21-Sep-18 @ 3:08 PM
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