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Do You Know Your Rights as a Father?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 25 Feb 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.

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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
@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
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