Home > Legal > Your Rights if You Win Custody of Your Children

Your Rights if You Win Custody of Your Children

Author: Chris Nickson - Updated: 31 August 2015 | commentsComment
 
Separated Dads Custody Residence Order

The important fact to remember is that, in the majority of cases, the father will not be granted custody of the child by the courts. Individuals and groups have complained about this bias of the courts for several years, but it’s simply a fact that unless the circumstances are exceptional, the child or children will stay with their mother under a residence order, and you will be able to see them with a Contact Order.

Conditions For Father’s Custody

However, there are times when a judge will look very favourably on a father’s application for custody. Where the mother has a history of addiction to drink or drugs or an extensive history of binge drinking, which you can prove, there’s a good chance you’ll be given custody. There are solid reasons for this, since addicts often turn to crime to feed their habits, which can put the child in situations that aren’t good as he or she grows.

The courts take a similar attitude where the mother has a criminal record, at least if it’s a reasonably extensive one showing her to be a repeat offender. That applies whether she’s in jail or not (there are instances where mothers in jail can keep very young children with them, but those are few and far between).

The mother might be considered physically or emotionally incapable of raising a child. That might be due to a physical handicap, or it could be emotional instability. In those cases, the father would be given custody.

Similarly, where there’s been emotional or physical abuse of the child by the mother, and it can be proven, then the father will definitely receive custody. Sadly, abuse rates by mothers have been on the increase.

Finally, if the mother is deemed to have abandoned her children, the father will receive custody. Abandoned is classed as not being in communication with a child for a set period, whether by mail, phone, physical contact or email. Also, if she leaves with a new partner and has no contact with the children, or if she neglects the children when they’re in her care, then custody will devolve to the father.

Your Rights

When you have custody, you have the same rights as a mother with custody, and the mother would have Visitation Rights with the children (of course, there might be circumstances when she might be denied access). Be sure you obey the contact order fully.

Something to be aware of is that the mother can later petition the court to have the residence order changed, if she’s cleaned up her act and can prove herself to be upstanding and likely to be a good parent. Sadly, there’s a fair chance she might win, although the courts will take the wishes of the children into account.

You’d do right to feel that everything is more fragile than if you were female, since it probably is. She can always come back with her lawyer.

You might also like...
Leave a Comment, Ask for Advice or Share Your Story...
[Add a Comment]
Hi, please can you help. 10 years ago my sister in law had her children removed from her and they went to live with my in-laws, with an idea that they would go back to her. 3 years later the strain on my in-laws was too much and the children had to go and live with their dad's. In the last 10 years, my sister in law has been into rehab and turned her life around. She has been diagnosed with bi-polar and is taking her medication. The children have different dads, where my niece has settled with hers, my nephew hasn't. They come for regular visits and he has been down for the entire summer and didn't want to go back. He is very scared of his dad, the dad has a record of violence. Due to my sister in laws past, what are the chances of her regaining custody of her son. He is 14 years old and has expressed a great interest in wanting to move back. Where would we even begin to start with this? What if he came down, and then never went back? What would happen? The children were under a custody care order but they no longer are. any help on this would be greatly received.
Halifax 31 - 31-Aug-15 @ 7:29 PM
I have an 11 year old child who been taken out of family home by her mother with out my knowledge under threat of be hit if she did not leave the home quietly not wake me,they are on other side of England. We are not married and the child surname is as mine and I am on her birth certificate as the father, the mother has lied though her teeth to get a place in a women refuge. what right do have if my child is begging me to live with me in the family home where her school and friends are and does not want to be with the mother. My partner suffer with depression.
epsonboy - 29-Aug-15 @ 6:51 PM
My 7 and 10 year olds have stated a desire to live with me as apposed to their mother. We were married at their time of birth and divorced 4 years ago. Would a court take in to account their wishes?
Dad - 23-Aug-15 @ 10:37 PM
HI.I am married with a 2 year baby,I love my daughter. To bits but me and my wife ate not getting.on at all, she is a very verbally. Abusive lady and has alot of anger management. Issues,she is always abusive to.meinfront of my daughter and now it's getting to a point that if I want to take my daughter. To the park she won't me allow me to take her,I have only stayed in.this marriage due to my lovely. Daughter. But want to cone out now, my daughter. Is 2 years,n 4 months,what is the chance I've gt to apply for custody. For weekends etc Thanks
kas - 22-Aug-15 @ 7:45 AM
Hello, my brother and his partner had a child and not long after she stopped him seeing the child and they split up her mother also played a part in this. My brothers partner neglected the child and her mother reported her to social services since then her mother has been looking after the child and now wants to apply to look after him full time I would like to know what rights she has as if the mother of the child is unfit surely the child would go to my brother over her mother? I just need some advice aswe are all attending a mediation next week and need to know what the rights are? Thanks
daura2731 - 22-Aug-15 @ 7:23 AM
My daughter has just separated from her partner after 10 years. They have 2 young children but have his surname. Does my daughter have full parental control of her children. As we have booked to go to Florida in December but he is saying the kids can't go. My granddaughter does not have a passport but does my daughter need his authority for them to go out the country. Your help would be most greatful.
marshanamar - 20-Aug-15 @ 7:27 PM
K - Your Question:
Me and my husband and 2 young kids live in Hawaii. My husband is in the military. He recently sent me and my youngest (2 years old) back home where our families live because I have a drinking problem. My 5 year old had to stay in Hawaii since he's in school. So about my drinking problem.I go weeks to months without having a drink the problem is that if I end up having a drink I can't stop and I go on a 3-4 day binge of non stop drinking. My husband says that he has pictures and videos of me being drunk around the kids. Obviously I know how wrong I am to do that and I am now going to AA and vow to never drink again. He says he is going to get custody of them. My question is what are the chances of that happening? If they were with me I would be in Ohio with both of our families. If they were with him they would be away from everyone and would have to be in school and daycare all day. I am not a bad mother, me and alcohol just don't go together and I know I can go without drinking. I do everything for the kids.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this, but I'm afraid I can't advise as this is a UK-based site dealing with UK family law, so I have no idea of US-based family law and how it operates. I can only suggest you continue to get the help you need for your drinking. At least you are aware that you need it, which I'm sure you know goes part way with helping with the cure. Good luck, I hope you manage to keep on top of the issue.
SeparatedDads - 17-Aug-15 @ 2:05 PM
Me and my husband and 2 young kids live in Hawaii. My husband is in the military. He recently sent me and my youngest (2 years old) back home where our families live because I have a drinking problem. My 5 year old had to stay in Hawaii since he's in school. So about my drinking problem...I go weeks to months without having a drink the problem is that if I end up having a drink I can't stop and I go on a 3-4 day binge of non stop drinking. My husband says that he has pictures and videos of me being drunk around the kids. Obviously I know how wrong I am to do that and I am now going to AA and vow to never drink again. He says he is going to get custody of them. My question is what are the chances of that happening? If they were with me I would be in Ohio with both of our families. If they were with him they would be away from everyone and would have to be in school and daycare all day. I am not a bad mother, me and alcohol just don't go together and I know I can go without drinking. I do everything for the kids.
K - 14-Aug-15 @ 9:52 PM
I have 6 and 4 year old with my wife of 11 years. Just found out she's been having an affair for the last 2. In fact more than an affair, I've seen texts and emails where they have talked about their future together and some other very long term plans, none of which mention our kids. During this time I have done the majority of bringing up the kids as she is the main bread winner and had been a lot more active socially (now I know what she was doing). My question is what are my chances of getting custody and also how do you bring this up with the wife.
EddiePatel - 12-Aug-15 @ 8:08 PM
mum of two - Your Question:
Hi, Could someone pls advise me? I have two children and although we are not in a relationship I am still living with their dad. Its been like this for almost 5 years.! He will not move out. Clearly we are all unhappy and I don't want my children to be unhappy anymore. Also I need to move to cheaper accommodation due to the rise in rental cost but their dad is saying we can't move out., he is staying., I can go but I have to leave the children with him. Have I any rights that will allow me to give my children and myself a chance of a better future.? I would not stop my children from seeing their dad., they love him as much as they love me. Its just a horrible situation.thank you in advance

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You have every right to move out and take your children with you. However, much depends upon your situation, i.e whether you are working and whether you can afford to pay rent and take care of your children etc when living alone. You may be eligible for a council property, please see link here. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 10-Aug-15 @ 1:55 PM
Hi, Could someone pls advise me? I have two children and although we are not in a relationship I am still living with their dad. Its been like this for almost 5 years.! He will not move out. Clearly we are all unhappy and I don't want my children to be unhappy anymore. Also I need to move to cheaper accommodation due to the rise in rental cost but their dad is saying we can't move out., he is staying., I can go but I have to leave the children with him. Have I any rights that will allow me to give my children and myself a chance of a better future.? I would not stop my children from seeing their dad., they love him as much as they love me. Its just a horrible situation.thank you in advance
mum of two - 8-Aug-15 @ 9:32 AM
My girlfriend and her two children are looking to move from Surrey to Bedfordshire to live with me... The father, who as it is struggles to find the time in his schedule to see his children, is going crazy he may have to drive an hour to see his children on the weekends he is meant to have them, and saying he will pay whatever it takes to get full custody... Will he have a chance? My girlfriend is an amazing mother, and person, he could find no past history of criminal, drug or abuse activity so I don't understand if he could? Generally he isn't a very nice guy, and he takes steroids etc.. I'm like 98% certain he would have 0 chance but wasn't sure?
Stepdad - 3-Aug-15 @ 5:05 PM
@Peanut - I'm afraid not, you can't really force someone to see their child. If you think it is damaging to your child's psychological welfare then you could either try mediation or take her to court for breach of contact order and perhaps see if contact can be stopped altogether. It depends on whether you want your daughter to have contact with her mother or not.
Pete - 30-Jul-15 @ 11:30 AM
I've had residence of my 5 year old since my girlfriend left 3 years ago . The court gave her visitation last year but she keeps canceling ,sometimes weeks at a time . Is there anything I can do ?
Peanut - 28-Jul-15 @ 6:47 AM
If my children's mothet gave me custody in court can she still petetion to get them back if so will it go more in her favour that she gave them up?
DaddySteve - 27-Jul-15 @ 7:41 PM
@Vince - I'm afraid we can't advise on this because it is a complex set of issues. However, if you continue to be able to look after your son, and give him the stability he needs, in Social Services' and the court's eyes it may remain in your son's best interest for him to stay with you. They will not wish to uproot him unnecessarily. I have included a Family Lives link here which may help you further. You could also give them a call should you need any further advice.
SeparatedDads - 10-Jul-15 @ 2:49 PM
Hi all, I recently got custody of my son through social services not the courts because they saw it was in his best interest to live with me as his mother was in a deranged relationship and couldn't look after him.. But at the time my relationship with my partner was good and the social worker said he had stability here with me and my family and signed him over to us.. But as time takes its toll and my partner is struggling to accept my son so we are breaking up.. My question is will the social workers take him from me if we do split up or would they still see me stability if I found somewhere for us too live? Thanks
Vince - 9-Jul-15 @ 3:44 PM
@Don't-know-what to - Please see the article; Can I Get a Background Check On Ex's New Partner? here which might help you, if you are worried about your son being in that environment. You can apply via the courts, for more access, or residency, if you are really concerned.
SeparatedDads - 19-Jun-15 @ 2:51 PM
@Brian - You can apply for custody, if that is what you feel is in the best interests of your children, which is what the courts are concerned about. Whether you will be granted it, is a matter for the courts to decide. A Cafcass report will have to be compiled which will take both yours and your ex's views into consideration. Please see link: What Goes into the Cafcass Family Report? here. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 19-Jun-15 @ 12:22 PM
My x is a good mum always looked after my son n goes to work part time but she has met a guy fresh out of prison from a manslaughter charge and has also been remanded b4 on a murder charge he is well known to the police for Al this and also beating his ex to the point she was in hospital he's also smashed up his x house cars n her parents cars n house I don't know why she has gone with someone like this maybe to get at me but I don't think she knows what she is doing I'm concerned for my son n don't know what to do. He's already threatened to come to my house because me n her argued
Don't-know-what to - 17-Jun-15 @ 5:07 PM
Split with gf 3 weeks ago. I was drinking a lot. 3 weeks sober on antabuse and getting all counciling I need. She has a false brain tumor and I was her carer,I cooked cleaned washed dried ironed looked after son and step sons and she was in bed asleep till 2pm at times. None of them helped with housework even though I asked and they'd just watch me struggle. She said she couldn't help due to disability which would be fine. But two days after being kicked out she's on hands and knees cleaning and so are others. MUG She can't walk to shops she sends 11 year old shopping she's partially sighted and is on so many tablets they knock her out. Do I have a case to apply for custody
Brian - 17-Jun-15 @ 10:39 AM
@dd - not if you admit to having a couple of drinks in moderation. It will only have an impact if you have a problem with alcohol.
Rich - 17-Jun-15 @ 10:00 AM
I have a question,When you go to mediation and you are asked if you drink or do drugs and you admit to :Example) Drinking 2 times per week,or so, will that have a negative impact in giving that parent custody?
dd - 14-Jun-15 @ 6:14 AM
@egnaro - the fact that he is living at his mothers shouldn't have an impact on access. It may on his child staying over in the future, if there is not enough space.
Jan - 10-Jun-15 @ 12:26 PM
This is on behalf of my brother. His ex is pregnant and completely shut him out and got back to her ex. DNA tests will happen but... if he is the father... will he lose more rights to shared custody if he happens to still live with my mum? Its a good stable home. but he cant afford to move out on his own as he lives in London. He did live with this woman but she kicked him out. Please help
egnaro - 8-Jun-15 @ 8:12 PM
Hi there, i was with my partner for four years with 2 children with my eldest not being his. After my second daughter i was suffering with post natal depression.i was hospitalized for my partner at the time was granted special parental guardianship over my eldest and guardianship for are youngest as he falsly lead me to believe while i was being treated he would care for our children and once i made full recovery we would all be together again so i signed and agreed to all. But what i didnt no he was secretly in another relationship through everything. I signed the papers and he has full control over my children. He refuses i see them as often as id wish. I have a date with a solicitor but im worried he will now have my girls forever! Iv recovered tremendously now and have my proof. I also made an appointment with him to attend mediation to sort contact in which hes refused. Is he doing write by this? I just want my children back!
woody - 4-Jun-15 @ 6:14 PM
My partner has 2 young children with his ex who suffers with borderline personality disorders and has a compulsion to lie as well as having had drug addiction in the past. 18 months ago, they agreed on 50/50 care of the children, resident with my partner for the above reasons. In the last couple of months she has lied about nursery fees being far more than they were (which my partner pays to her account), been sacked, split up from her partner a number of times, been in and out of jobs, made drastic changes to the children's childcare arrangements, and the latest is what we believe to be a huge story of 'ill health' concocted by her to be catastrophically worse than it actually is. She is claiming to have advanced ovarian cancer (aged 24) and had a hysterectomy but was seen out in town less than 72 hrs after her 24 he hospital stay. It doesn't add up. We just don't believe her, and sadly if there is something wrong we think it's a case of the girl who cried wolf. I am currently encouraging myv partner to have another mediation session with her to try and coax the truth about her healthout into the open,with a view to challenging her for full custody of the two children. What I really want to know is how she can justify her position as a responsible parent and what chance we have of proving the complete opposite which is the case.What I really want to know is how she can justify her position as a responsible parent and what chance we have of proving the complete Opposite.What evidence do we need to provide? My partner is very worried about rocking the boat and the effect that will have on his relationship with the children. Advice needed please! Many thanks
Primrose - 1-Jun-15 @ 6:57 PM
@bigman44 - the fact that you have the residency order in place will stand you in good stead. Yes, she may be able to take you to court, but that does not mean she will be given custody of your son. If you can show your son is settled and has a happy and consistent daily life the courts will be unwilling to disrupt this arrangement of him living with you, especially due to her past record of neglect. The courts will always decide what is in the best interests of your son and it seems like you have proved to be a good father who has his son's best interests at heart. I hope all works in your favour.
SeparatedDads - 22-May-15 @ 12:36 PM
hi, can somebody put my mind to rest. I have a residence order for my 15month old son to live with me full time with contact to his mother, which was made jan2015 after a 10month private court proceedings. my son was on child protection for neglect before he was born due to his mothers other children are on it for a few years before, until recently 4years in total. and he was on pre proceedings along with the other children before he was born until week before the final hearing for my private court proceedings.there is drugs and a lot of other things involved, and my son ended up with a numberof infections while in her care which she never took him to doctors. social services did there report and recommended that my son lives with me. now after 5 months since the final hearing and decision made by the courts the mother is saying she is taking me back to court for my son. child protection has recently been drop but a very robust child in need plan is in place on her other children. can she take me to court ? im worried as my son has settled, medicals are all up to date, the routine and me goneback to work part time to accommodate him with proper child care.
bigman44 - 18-May-15 @ 9:26 PM
My son just got sole custody of my grandson. His mother after fighting him for the last 5 years just up and abandoned him and his younger sister to go with a man just out of jail. She left her house and when the council went in to clear it there was fog poo everywhere. Even in the kids bedrooms. The kids are now doing brilliantly. They have put in weight and my grandson is catching up in school as he now goes every day. They are happy and smile all the time. They talk about their mum hitting them and so on. But they will get over it in time. Long and the short of it not every child is better off with its mother. Some people just shouldn't be a lowed to look after children.
anne - 29-Apr-15 @ 11:05 AM
Leave a Comment, Ask for Advice or Share Your Story...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SeparatedDads website. Please read our Disclaimer.