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What Rights do I have if I'm not on the Birth Certificate

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 20 Apr 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Separation Parental Responsibility

Q.

I'm not on my son's birth certificate and his mother and I are separated. I'm now in a new relationship and have another child and one on the way.

The thing is my son is only five and no longer wants to live with his mother. My ex contacted me and told me to collect my son as she didn't want him anymore. She said all this in front of him and he was very upset and says he wants to live with me forever.

I'd just like to know how I stand as I'm not on his birth certificate.

(A.W, 14 September 2008)

A.

Essentially, the fact that your name isn’t on your birth certificate means you have no legal rights over your son, unless his mother allows it. If it were there, you’d have exactly the same rights as his mother and be able to make decisions about him.

So, as things stand, she could have him live with you, but she’d also have the right to demand that you return him at any time, and there’d be nothing you could really do about it, which isn’t good for either you or your son.

However, there is some good news. If both you and your ex sign a Parental Responsibility Agreement and file it with the courts, you will have full parental rights over your son. If you can get your ex to agree to this, you should do it as soon as possible. That way, if your son does come to live with you and you ex demands his return, you have legal grounds for Contesting The Custody.

If she won’t sign, you could take the matter to court and apply for a Parental Responsibility Order (see our article on Your Separated Father's Rights), but it will generally only be given if the court believes it’s better than not granting an order.

You’d also be very well advised to have her put in writing that’s she giving you custody of your son. If not, she could feasibly turn around and say you snatched him. It might also be advisable to seek a Residence Order if your son comes to live with you. Seek legal advice first, as it may not be possible to get one.

If there is a problem further down the line, and your ex wants your son back, the court will try to take into account his wishes, too. Certainly a big rejection by his mother is a terrible thing, especially if she did it in front of him – so it’s understandable.

You didn’t mention if you’ve had contact with your son since you and your ex broke up. Nor do you mention how your current partner feels about the situation – which is important. Would she welcome your son into your new home? It’s important do discuss things fully with her and make sure you have her 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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Jill - Your Question:
I have a 5 year old girl with a guy who’s names not on birth certificate my hubby has parental responsibility for my daughter. What happens if the guy wants name on birth certificate and does he or his Mrs have any rights to see my daughter. She doesn’t know he’s her biological dad as she’s so little and first met him at 2. My hubby has been around since Just after she was born x

Our Response:
The father of your child has every right to pursue the matter and take it to court regardless of whether he is on the birth certificate or not.
SeparatedDads - 20-Apr-18 @ 3:12 PM
I have a 5 year old girl with a guy who’s names not on birth certificate my hubby has parental responsibility for my daughter. What happens if the guy wants name on birth certificate and does he or his Mrs have any rights to see my daughter. She doesn’t know he’s her biological dad as she’s so little and first met him at 2. My hubby has been around since Just after she was born x
Jill - 20-Apr-18 @ 12:10 PM
Maz - Your Question:
Hi I’ve got 8 yr old daughter her dad never been in her life from day one now she’s bit older he’s wanting to step in has he got any right over access hes not on her birth lines can he get any access at all thanks

Our Response:
Your daughter's father has the right to apply to court if you refuse to grant access or attend mediation. However, this does not mean access will be automatically granted. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
SeparatedDads - 16-Apr-18 @ 1:50 PM
Hi I’ve got 8 yr old daughter her dad never been in her life from day one now she’s bit older he’s wanting to step in has he got any right over access hes not on her birth lines can he get any access at all thanks
Maz - 14-Apr-18 @ 6:21 PM
Rs - Your Question:
Hi,If I can prove through DNA that my son is mine and his mum ain’t put my name on the birth certificate will I be allowed to add my name on the birth certificate without her consent? Or will it be up to the courts to decide?

Our Response:
It would be up to the courts to decide. However, in the majority of cases the courts will allow the confirmed father to have their name registered on the birth certificate. This in turn would give you PR, please see link here .
SeparatedDads - 10-Apr-18 @ 3:41 PM
Hi, If I can prove through DNA that my son is mine and his mum ain’t put my name on the birth certificate will I be allowed to add my name on the birth certificate without her consent? Or will it be up to the courts to decide?
Rs - 10-Apr-18 @ 10:03 AM
Hi. I have a friend who has been told he is a potential father to a near 12yr old. Another man has raised said child and paid. It turns out it could be him or his brother who is the father. The women has now split from BF who was paying for child and believed to still be doing so. Now no one is on the birth certificate Mother has now called CSA demanding that he is to pay for the child. She wants additional 500£ for DNA. It's been planned for one to be done found via the GOV website at a fraction of the cost. However this isn't suited. She is allowing contact via web and phone but not in person. Just keeps asking for money. Now payments will be starting with immediate affect. The friend isn't sure if he or his brother is the father. Also he has a wife and 2 kids who had to find this out via social media So possible marriage breakdown as the financial strain will be too much. Does he have to pay? He's away with his work till may and has basic contact so don't know if they will just start taking money.
Friend - 23-Mar-18 @ 4:21 PM
Friend- Your Question:
Hi. I have a friend who has been told he is a potential father to a near 12yr old. Another man has raised said child and paid. It turns out it could be him or his brother who is the father. The women has now split from BF who was paying for child and believed to still be doing so. Now no one is on the birth certificate Mother has now called CSA demanding that he is to pay for the child. She wants additional 500£ for DNA. It's been planned for one to be done found via the GOV website at a fraction of the cost. However this isn't suited. She is allowing contact via web and phone but not in person. Just keeps asking for money. Now payments will be starting with immediate affect. The friend isn't sure if he or his brother is the father. Also he has a wife and 2 kids who had to find this out via social media So possible marriage breakdown as the financial strain will be too much. Does he have to pay?

Our Response:
If your friend has been named as the father and CMS have been in touch to assess him, then he would have to pay child maintenance until such time as he can prove he is not the father. The link here is the official link to get a DNA test. Your friend can pay for this and if he is found not to be the father, he will be reimbursed. I do not advise your friend to give the mother any money that is not authorised and it is advisable to get the DNA test done himself. The quicker he gets it done, the quicker he will get the results. If the results prove he is the father he can look towards officially having contact of his child through mediation or court (if the mother will not allow him directly). If he is not the father, then CMS will no longer chase him for child maintenance.
SeparatedDads - 23-Mar-18 @ 12:51 PM
Hi. I have a friend who has been told he is a potential father to a near 12yr old. Another man has raised said child and paid. It turns out it could be him or his brother who is the father. The women has now split from BF who was paying for child and believed to still be doing so. Now no one is on the birth certificate Mother has now called CSA demanding that he is to pay for the child. She wants additional 500£ for DNA. It's been planned for one to be done found via the GOV website at a fraction of the cost. However this isn't suited. She is allowing contact via web and phone but not in person. Just keeps asking for money. Now payments will be starting with immediate affect. The friend isn't sure if he or his brother is the father. Also he has a wife and 2 kids who had to find this out via social media So possible marriage breakdown as the financial strain will be too much. Does he have to pay?
Friend - 22-Mar-18 @ 11:50 PM
ant - Your Question:
My son is 3 years old im not on the birth and lives about 150 miles away from me. I did live with his mum until she was 3 months pregnant and was looking forward to being a first time dad anyway I was seeing my son as Much as I could and sending money (before I even saved the money to get my stuff back to mine). Since she has a new dude on the seen she making up lies about me to do with my son even told me the reason she didn't put me on the birth certificate is because I will have rights (i know nice person) my son is missing out what can I do? Any help would be greatful thanks.

Our Response:
You would have to either suggest mediation to your ex, as a way of trying to come to a resolution if you cannot agree between you. The last resort is court, please see link here . You can also apply for parental responsibility of your child, if you are not registered on the birth certificate, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 2-Mar-18 @ 2:31 PM
Daz - Your Question:
Hi , I’m having issues with an ex she was with both me and her husband for a period of time then when back to her husband , fell pregnant. When baby was born her husbands name was put on birth certificate. I never knew about this till recent. I have been paying child maintenance since. Since I have found out someone else is on it I wanted this changing to my name and now have dowts. I am liable to pay maintenance if Someone else is on the birth cert and mother. I need advice on what I’m able to do.

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether you think you are the father or not. In the first instance, you would have to get a DNA test, please see link here . If you are certain your child is yours, then you would have to take the matter to court. It is fraudulent to put another person's name on a birth certificate who is knowingly not the birth father. The court can order a change in the parent who has parental responsibility. As far as child maintenance is concerned, then you would have to seek advice from CMS. If you are the birth father, then you would continue to pay, if you are not then payments would stop. Much depends upon whether you want to take the matter further, if you feel your ex has fraudulently attempted to claim child maintenance knowing her husband is the biological father. You would be advised to take some legal advice, as much also depends upon the surrounding circumstances.
SeparatedDads - 2-Mar-18 @ 11:48 AM
Hi , I’m having issues with an ex she was with both me and her husband for a period of time then when back to her husband , fell pregnant . When baby was born her husbands name was put on birth certificate . I never knew about this till recent . I have been paying child maintenance since . Since I have found out someone else is on it I wanted this changing to my name and now have dowts . I am liable to pay maintenance if Someone else is on the birth cert and mother . I need advice on what I’m able to do .
Daz - 1-Mar-18 @ 8:16 PM
My son is 3 years old im not on the birth and lives about 150 miles away from me. I did live with his mum until she was 3 months pregnant and was looking forward to being a first time dad anyway I was seeing my son as Much as I could and sending money (before I even saved the money to get my stuff back to mine). Since she has a new dude on the seen she making up lies about me to do with my son even told me the reason she didn't put me on the birth certificate is because I will have rights (i know nice person) my son is missing out what can i do?Any help would be greatful thanks.
ant - 1-Mar-18 @ 2:40 PM
Benjybenn - Your Question:
Hi I've been paying child maintenance and I'm curious to know since I'm not on the birth certificate do I have to pay child maintenance even tho been proven that the son is mine. I have nothing to do with him by joint decision. Thanks in advance

Our Response:
Regardless of whether you are registered on the birth certificate or not, if you are the child's biological father then by law you are responsible for paying child maintenance.
SeparatedDads - 26-Feb-18 @ 2:25 PM
Hi I've been paying child maintenance and I'm curious to know since I'm not on the birth certificate do I have to pay child maintenance even tho been proven that the son is mine. I have nothing to do with him by joint decision. Thanks in advance
Benjybenn - 24-Feb-18 @ 8:53 AM
Tom - Your Question:
Hi, my ex has stopped me seeing my daughter because she says im not consistant. I only see her 1 a week and pay £30weekly. So I told her I wasnt going to pay her anymore until she starts letting me see her again (didnt no what else I could do) now she has rang the CSA again. She has started claims and canceled them 6 or 7 times with CSA now. Im not on the birth certificate and get no say in anything regarding my daughter. I know I have to pay but what else can I do to see her. I dont have the money for legal advise and doubt I would get anywhere due to not being on birth certificate.

Our Response:
Child maintenance and child access are two different issues. By law, every non-resident parent has to pay towards the day-to-day upkeep of their child, regardless of whether they see their child or not. Access should be dealt with separately. As outlined in the article, if you are not on the birth certificate you would have to either suggest mediation to your ex, and if she refuses apply to court for parental responsibility and access. The court does want children to have a relationship with their fathers, so you stand a good chance of getting both PR, see link here and access. Our Separated Dads forum will help you more with advice. If you cannot afford legal fees to go to court, then you can self-litigate, please see link here . You may also get a reduction in court fees if you are on a low income. However, mediation is the best option to consider first in order to try to come to a mutual arrangement, if you cannot agree between you both, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 20-Feb-18 @ 9:59 AM
Hi, my ex has stopped me seeing my daughter because she says im not consistant. I only see her 1 a week and pay £30weekly. So i told her i wasnt going to pay her anymore until she starts letting me see her again (didnt no what else i could do) now she has rang the CSA again. She has started claims and canceled them 6 or 7 times with CSA now. Im not on the birth certificate and get no say in anything regarding my daughter. I know i have to pay but what else can i do to see her. I dont have the money for legal advise and doubt i would get anywhere due to not being on birth certificate.
Tom - 19-Feb-18 @ 4:49 PM
Smitty - Your Question:
My little girl was born on boxing day I was living with my partner and just after new year we split up, I kept asking her when is she going to register our girl and she never told me, now she has had the baby registered and I'm not on the birth certificate. Now I understand without being on the birth certificate I have no parental rights however she is using my girl as a tool blackmails me for money in return to see my daughter, is there anyway without being on the birth certificate and paying CSA for my child. I work 6days a week earn good money, she is on benifits as she is mentally I'll her family are violent they all ready have my ex's sisters child who was taking I'm worried sick and I feel there is nothing I can do is there any advice I can be giving as in not on the birth certificate

Our Response:
I am not quite sure what your question is here, but I will try to answer it the best I can. If your ex has not registered you on the birth certificate you can apply for Parental Responsibility through the courts, please see link here . You can also apply for access to your child through the courts (if your ex will not agree to giving you PR and access via mediation, please see link here ). You can see how to apply for a child arrangement order here. With regards to child maintenance payments, every non-resident, biological parent of a child (regardless of whether they are registered on the birth certificate or not) has to pay to help support their child on a day-to-day basis. This can be done either through a family-based child maintenance arrangement (where you agree between you), or via CMS. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 13-Feb-18 @ 11:28 AM
My little girl was born on boxing day I was living with my partner and just after new year we split up, I kept asking her when is she going to register our girl and she never told me, now she has had the baby registered and I'm not on the birth certificate. Now I understand without being on the birth certificate I have no parental rights however she is using my girl as a tool blackmails me for money in return to see my daughter, is there anyway without being on the birth certificate and paying CSA for my child. I work 6days a week earn good money, she is on benifits as she is mentally I'll her family are violent they all ready have my ex's sisters child who was taking I'm worried sick and I feel there is nothing I can do is there any advice I can be giving as in not on the birth certificate
Smitty - 12-Feb-18 @ 9:01 PM
astounded - Your Question:
The mother didn't know who the father was, she put the other man on the birth certificate. The baby was taken off mother 2 days old and fostered. Dna test was carried out. Real father is fighting for custody but looks likely baby will be adopted. Is there anything father can do to put his surname on his birth certificate

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. The only way the father can challenge this matter, is through the courts and by applying for parental responsibility and residency of his child. However, he would really need to seek legal advice regarding this matter to see whether he has a case to answer.
SeparatedDads - 5-Feb-18 @ 3:19 PM
My ex and I spilt up when my son was 2/3, she has the strings on me like puppet, I was 22 when I met her and she is 12 years older than me, and she had the coil fitted, when she said she was pregnant, I was shocked yet over the moon, the few years we spent together where really on and off, everything on her terms, constantly kicking me out and throwing my clothes out in bin bags. She got a new boyfriend. Moving on I met my wife, we have 2 children together. For the last 7 years has been hell of hundreds of nasty messages sent to my wife, I pay her csa, yet she will not let me see my son. All of a sudden she turns up at my work, unannounced with my son shouting and demanding to see me and make (now 11 year old) son tell me what he thinks of me. Luckily it was my day off and she was asked to leave. She is now sending my wife messages saying has taken a video of our some telling me what he thinks. And then says all his emotional problems are my fault. He has stopped contant between us 7 years. I'm now extremely concerned about what type of mother she really is, using him as a weapon. Surly she should be protecting him if she wants me to have involvement, yet has spent 7 years sending me messages how awful i am etc, I'm not on the birth certificate, I can't afford court as i pay csa. I'm thinking of calling social services because making him feel like this at the age of 11 years old, and I'm not able to have a word in edge ways, is the only way i think of making sure is emotional well being is being protected.
Jay - 5-Feb-18 @ 1:42 PM
The mother didn't know who the father was, she put the other man on the birth certificate. The baby was taken off mother 2 days old and fostered. Dna test was carried out. Real father is fighting for custody but looks likely baby will be adopted. Is there anything father can do to put his surname on his birth certificate
astounded - 2-Feb-18 @ 5:17 PM
My boy is 5 weeks old his dad wanted me to get an abortion and all the way through my pregnancy was horrible and shouted aloud of abuse to me and threaten me, I was wondering does anyone know if I was to claim child support would he get any rights to see him at all? He’s not on the birth certificate, also he says if I don’t let him see him he’ll take me to court, if he took me court do you think he’ll end up with any rights? Thanks
Leah - 28-Jan-18 @ 3:35 PM
A low life got my daughter pregnant when she was 14 years old. He doesn’t give her money for her son because he’s not on the birth certificate and she doesn’t let him see him because he wanted her to have an abortion. Can he get away without paying for him?
Jack - 28-Jan-18 @ 2:05 PM
Jack - Your Question:
Hi, I've stumbled across this section by chance and I'm after some advice. My partner is 14 weeks pregnant and our relationship is breaking down. She has already said if we split up I won't be on the birth certificate and I'll see our child if she wants me to. Is there anything I can do before the baby is born to get things in place so I'm not months without seeing my baby before a court decides? I have a 7 year old from a previous relationship and she stays every weekend and always has done. Will this evidence of active parenting help my case? Thanks in advance

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do until your child is born. If your partner still disagrees to register your name or attempts to prevent access, then you would have to either suggest mediation and if she refuses, apply to court. It is important to put this in place as soon as you can so that you can get access contact underway asap.
SeparatedDads - 26-Jan-18 @ 1:42 PM
Zak - Your Question:
Hi I was married an gt seperated he ran away.i moved on years later forgetting that life an my partner an I have been together 9 years we have a 6year old daughter an am currently preg with our 2nd we are know as husb an wife.when my daughter was born I did put my partners name bt they registered her on my ex an said I need to find him to get divorced an then register my partner an my kids.where do I find the jerk as he was an overseas guy.how can I give my kids an my partner they rightful name please help me.

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here , which should tell you all you need to know.
SeparatedDads - 26-Jan-18 @ 9:10 AM
Hi i was married an gt seperated he ran away.i moved on years later forgetting that life an my partner an i have been together 9 years we have a 6year old daughter an am currently preg with our 2ndwe are know as husb an wife.when my daughter was born i did put my partners name bt they registered her on my ex an said i need to find him to get divorced an then register my partner an my kids.where do i find the jerk as he was an overseas guy.how can i give my kids an my partner they rightful name please help me.
Zak - 25-Jan-18 @ 4:43 PM
Hi, I've stumbled across this section by chance and I'm after some advice. My partner is 14 weeks pregnant and our relationship is breaking down. She has already said if we split up i won't be on the birth certificate and I'll see our child if she wants me to. Is there anything I can do before the baby is born to get things in place so I'm not months without seeing my baby before a court decides? I have a 7 year old from a previous relationship and she stays every weekend and always has done. Will this evidence of active parenting help my case? Thanks in advance
Jack - 23-Jan-18 @ 11:11 PM
Ron - Your Question:
My daughters mother died and I'm not on the birth certificate but I want to raise her. The family is passing her around and don't want to take care of her but they don't want me to have her because they don't like me. Her mom never kept her away from me and I was active in my daughter's life. What can I do to get my daughter

Our Response:
As difficult as this situation may be, unless you are on the birth certificate, and as explained in the article you have no immediate rights. If the family do not agree to you having residency of your child, your only recourse if to take the matter to court, to apply for both parental responsibility and a child arrangement order, please see link here ,so the court can make the decision. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put your child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 23-Jan-18 @ 9:19 AM
My daughters mother died and I'm not on the birth certificate but I want to raise her.The family is passing her around and don't want to take care of her but they don't want me to have her because they don't like me. Her mom never kept her away from me and I was active in my daughter's life.What can I do to get my daughter
Ron - 22-Jan-18 @ 4:21 PM
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