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Child Custody Rights

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 28 Sep 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Custody Residency Disputes Courts

In the UK child custody law determines who should be responsible for the care and charge of a child, after divorce or separation. The term custody is now more commonly referred to as residency - indicating where the children's main residence is, following a parental break up.

In the many cases, parents preference is for joint custody (or residency), which enables the child to spend an equal amount of time with each parent. This option also allows both parents to participate in any decision making which may affect the child. However, if parents are unable to decide amicably on what living arrangement is best for their child, the courts will decide on their behalf.

Parent Vs Parent

Most bitter disputes between married couples end up in the family courts. Whilst the separation and ensuing bitterness will undoubtedly affect the children it's important to remember that:
  • Most child residency court cases end amicably with either agreed residency or joint residency as the outcome
  • Access and maintenance payments from the non resident parent are also taken into consideration
  • In disputed cases each parent is individually assessed before a decision on which parent is given custody of the child, or children, is made

The best interests of the child is the general standard at the heart of all residency cases.

Joint Residency

Joint residency is considered to be the preferred solution as being in the best interests of most children.

BUT...there are no laws or 'rights' that state that a child should live specifically with either the mother or father.

Assuming you both have parental responsibility it is up to you to negotiate residency on the basis of what is best for the children. Many couples neglect to consider this fact and err on the side of what they themselves would prefer (or what suits them).

If you cannot come to an agreement, you should try mediation first. If that is unsuccessful, the courts will become involved and will issue a court order based on what it sees as appropriate.

Joint Residency Reflect Modern Society

The choice of joint residency, reflects the changes in society and takes into consideration work that mothers do outside of the home and a more hands-on approach of child care by fathers. By allowing both parents to have an equal share in the physical care of their child, or children, all legal rights connected to responsibilities and obligations to children are divided.

Custody Disputes

Most custody disputes involve the child’s mother and father. However, in some cases a third party – a grandparent, for instance – may seek custody at the time of a parent’s death or incapacity. If a couple has never married - making provisions for the care of their child may also develop into a dispute. Generally though a court will accept that a parent is in the best position to maintain the welfare of their child.

Unusual Circumstances

In some rare circumstances one parent may be permanently excluded from having any access to their child. However, the court has the right to change the decision at any point in time, should the parent’s circumstances change. The parent is able to re-apply for access at any time, and once an application is made the court may reconsider arrangements after examining evidence.

The Court Decides

The courts will generally accept custody arrangements that parents submit as part of their separation agreement. To ensure these arrangements serve the child’s interests the courts will review the plan. The role that grandparents, step-parents and other influential adults play in the child’s life may also be taken into consideration by the courts.

Changing Or Regaining Custody

Changing a child’s residency arrangements is possible. In order to support the change, substantial evidence of the stability the child will need to be submitted. There are many other factors to consider, which may include relocation of a parent, stability of employment, integration of the child into the new environment etc.

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@Debs - Would you consult your ex and ask for his consent if you let your present partner (i.e if you have one) help your son with his homework? The fact your ex is taking a responsible and caring role regarding your son's schoolwork should be supported and applauded not remonstrated against. It's not like she's handing him cigarettes, or alcohol. She's 'helping' him! I wish my ex's g/f would help my kids with their homework, it would certainly take the pressure off me! Iz.
GetaLife - 29-Sep-16 @ 2:46 PM
Debs - Your Question:
I have just discovered that my ex husbands girlfriend has been tutoring my son with his school work. Now I have nothing against her seeing my son, that was never an issue but when it comes to my sons educational needs & extra tuition, I as a Mother has a right to know what is going on & why I was never consulted in the first place. We both have joint custody but its also joint decision, so I should have been consulted in this practice. Also, I had mentioned a year ago about getting a tutor in to help my son with my ex husband but he is denying any knowledge of it. I'm really peeved about it, maybe I'm being petty but in my opinion his girlfriend shouldn't be getting involved & I should have been informed. Anyone out there think I have a case?

Our Response:
A case for what? Your ex has parental responsibility for your child on an equal basis, therefore he has the right to make the same decisions as you regarding what he thinks is in the best interests of your child.
ChildSupportLaws - 29-Sep-16 @ 2:42 PM
I have just discovered that my ex husbands girlfriend has been tutoring my son with his school work. Now i have nothing against her seeing my son, that was never an issue but when it comes to my sons educational needs & extra tuition, I as a Mother has a right to know what is going on & why I was never consulted in the first place. We both have joint custody but its also joint decision, so I should have been consulted in this practice. Also, I had mentioned a year ago about getting a tutor in to help my son with my ex husband but he is denying any knowledge of it. I'm really peeved about it, maybe I'm being petty but in my opinion his girlfriend shouldn't be getting involved & I should have been informed. Anyone out there think I have a case?
Debs - 28-Sep-16 @ 7:48 PM
Kells - Your Question:
My daughter has a 15 month old child, she has recently split with the father of her child. They have only ever lived together for a few weeks and because of the volatile relationship it never worked out. The child has always lived with my daughter and myself and grandfather. The child has his own room here and my daughter has lots of support with the child's care as she has a medical illness that can be debilititating. A team of carers are with her myself and my husband are on hand at all times. There are no concerns for the child's health or development. He's a happy bright child. The father never really took any interest in the child until my daughter split up with him. The father is now saying he's applying for custody of the child because of my daughters illness. He has been emotionally abusive since they met and my daughter did suffer depression for sometime although this has now improved since the relationship ended. The ex has a criminal record ( drug dealing and Violence and other petty crime) he lives with his parents full time and there is not even a room for the child at the house. We are willing to offer him contact 8-12 hours a week but he insist he will win custody due to my daughters medical condition. Will a court really grant custody to him?

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely a court would rule to take a child from one parent and hand him to another parent unless absolutely necessary i.e serious neglect. If your grandson is cared for and has all the support he needs, regardless of the health of your daughter, a court would not see fit to move the child. The court will always decide upon what is in the child's best interests and stability and consistency count high.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Sep-16 @ 12:57 PM
My daughter has a 15 month old child, she has recently split with the father of her child. They have only ever lived together for a few weeks and because of the volatile relationship it never worked out. The child has always lived with my daughter and myself and grandfather. The child has his own room here and my daughter has lots of support with the child's care as she has a medical illness that can be debilititating. A team of carers are with her myself and my husband are on hand at all times. There are no concerns for the child's health or development. He's a happy bright child. The father never really took any interest in the child until my daughter split up with him. The father is now saying he's applying for custody of the child because of my daughters illness. He has been emotionally abusive since they met and my daughter did suffer depression for sometime although this has now improved since the relationship ended. The ex has a criminal record ( drug dealing and Violence and other petty crime) he lives with his parents full time and there is not even a room for the child at the house. We are willing to offer him contact 8-12 hours a week but he insist he will win custody due to my daughters medical condition. Will a court really grant custody to him?
Kells - 27-Sep-16 @ 2:37 PM
Lucy - Your Question:
My ex is living in another country and he has not helped financially towards our daughters' upbringing for a year. I have recently started the paperwork in order to get a reinforcement of child maintenance, which has been sent to the USA where he now resides for consideration. He has not seen her in 2 years and only calls every so often - not consistent in her life whatsoever. We were never married however he is on both UK & US birth certificates, and my daughter holds dual nationality. My concern is that he will request for shared custody (out of spite) if he gets served the documents for child support. How can I get a written/legally binding document to make sure that I am my daughters only guardian? Or that can prove that I am her only and main caregiver and that I have full custody of my child? Will I need to hire a lawyer? Can I file for the necessary paperwork without a lawyer? Please help, any advice on this is important.

Our Response:
You could apply for a child arrangement order through the courts, please see link here which would legally determine where your child should live. However, there is very little chance your ex would ever get shared custody of your child. However, you may decide to look at appointing a legal guardian (should anything ever happen to you). Obviously, we would hope this would never be the case, but it is always something to keep in mind. If you do wish to appoint a guardian then your last will and testament should reflect this. You must include, in as much detail as you can, the reasons why you wish your designated guardian/s to take on the role of caring for your child. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 26-Sep-16 @ 11:57 AM
i split with the father of my 8 year old boy over 4 years ago . Everything is an argument and i can no longer speak to him , I literally need to close the door as soon as he drops him off. I try to keep to routine and boundaries to give my son the stability that he needs. I have been with my new partner for 3 years and are due to get married 2018 . We have also just bought a house together which is 20 mins away from were we live now which is also where my sons father lives . His dad is supposed to see him on a Monday , Thursday and every other weekend . I think this is quite reasonable but lately he keeps bringing him back later and later and on Sunday's is brining him back nearly 7pm , the I have to deal with him tired (full of sugar) get him showered and sort out any homework . I think this is too late and he is just doing it to push me. He works all summer leaving our son with his mother then come the quieter months he wants to act father of the year . Am I able to stipulate what time he brings my son home ? Soon we will be moving and I have decided to move my sons school (which he is super excited about) . When I tell his father he is going to hit the roof . What I am confused about is my rights without going through courts ? He does not pay child maintenance and hasn't done so for the last 3 years and I need to know what decisions I can make legally before telling him . Do I have the right to say he can only see him every other weekend so that he keeps into a routine on a school night and doesn't keep coming home late ? Especially when it comes closer to his 11+ in a couple of years . Many thanks
Confused - 25-Sep-16 @ 7:31 PM
My ex is living in another country and he has not helped financially towards our daughters' upbringing for a year. I have recently started the paperwork in order to get a reinforcement of child maintenance, which has been sent to the USA where he now resides for consideration. He has not seen her in 2 years and only calls every so often - not consistent in her life whatsoever. We were never married however he is on both UK & US birth certificates, and my daughter holds dual nationality. My concern is that he will request for shared custody (out of spite) if he gets served the documents for child support. How can I get a written/legally binding document to make sure that I am my daughters only guardian? Or that can prove that I am her only and main caregiver and that I have full custody of my child? Will I need to hire a lawyer? Can I file for the necessary paperwork without a lawyer? Please help, any advice on this is important.
Lucy - 25-Sep-16 @ 3:30 PM
Scouseanon - Your Question:
I have recently split (8 months ago) with my wife of 8 years. We have 2 young children aged 11 and 7. I see the children 2 nights a week at the moment and pay regular maintenance payments. I have recently began dating a new woman. Things are progressing well and hopefully we move in together in 6 -12 months. However my ex wife is saying that this woman is not allowed to meet or be anywhere near my children. If I do she will stop me seeing them and have to take her to court to see them. This girl has done nothing wrong and is already a fantastic mother to her 4 children. She has a highly respected job and no convictions or has ever been in trouble. Where do I stand with this matter please.

Our Response:
This is always a tricky situation, and if your ex continues to have the same opinion, your only option would be to take the matter to court via a Specific Issue Order. Specific Issue Orders, much like the name suggests, are orders sought from the family court to determine a particular matter in connection with the exercise of Parental Responsibility. These orders can cover a wide range of issues that you and your ex-partner cannot agree on. 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. Applications for a Specific Issue Order are heard before a judge and a representative from Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Services Officer), who is a qualified social worker. Your ex would have to give a good reason why she doesn't want your children to be in the company of your ex (i.e the reason of disliking her wont do). Therefore, if your ex has no particular/good reason for your children not to see your partner, then the court are likely to grant the order to you.
ChildSupportLaws - 21-Sep-16 @ 2:46 PM
I have recently split (8 months ago) with my wife of 8 years. We have 2 young children aged 11 and 7.I see the children 2 nights a week at the moment and pay regular maintenance payments. I have recently began dating a new woman. Things are progressing well and hopefully we move in together in 6 -12 months. However my ex wife is saying that this woman is not allowed to meet or be anywhere near my children. If I do she will stop me seeing them and have to take her to court to see them. This girl has done nothing wrong and is already a fantastic mother to her 4 children. She has a highly respected job and no convictions or has ever been in trouble. Where do I stand with this matter please.
Scouseanon - 20-Sep-16 @ 11:02 PM
tammyj - Your Question:
My daughter had been separated for 2 1/2 years before she divorced from her 7 year old daughters father around 3 years ago and was given primary residency of the child. The fathers contact order is for every other fri-Sun and the alternate Friday for 2 hours. My daughter has neer hindered gis visitation. She also has another little boy who is 4 from another relationship and due to this relationship breaking down 12 week's ago she moved with the children back home to us as she could not cope and needed out help. We live 63 miles from my granddaughters father and we have been amicable with him even setting up and additional evening for him to see her as he worked near us on that day. The contact has been regular since my daughter moved back. Her ex collected their daughter in Friday evening and the arrangement was that he bring her home Sunday evening. Anyway, tonight he refused to vrin her back and said my daughter could.meet him 40miles away for hand over or he would bring her back Tuesday when he is working this way. My daughter said Tuesday would be fine to bring her back especially as he hasn't seen her in almost 3 week's because he has been away. Tonight the messages started from him say in that the arrangement is for him to collect their daughter at such and such a place on a Friday and drop off at same said place in a Sunday. He said he would not being her back tonight and that on Tuesday my daughter has to meet him to hand her over as he is refusing to bring her back here. He said this is all my daughter's fault because she has moved away and he shouldn't have to travel. At present my daughter is on sick leave from work the to severe anxiety depression and possible ptsd all brought on because of the bad relationships she has been in. She has very little.money to afford fuel running costs. My question is: Is she obliged to travel to drop off/collect her daughter or should it be his responsibility to do so? Thank you in advance

Our Response:
In situations such as this there is no right or wrong answer and it really is down to the parents to try to sort it out between themselves regarding who drops off and picks up, and were possible this should be shared equally. However, if there is a contact order in place and your daughter has full residency, then her ex should abide by the order otherwise he is in breach. On the other hand, your daughter should have requested permission from her ex to move away (if he has parental responsibility) and a variation of the order should have been made before your daughter moved. Therefore, if they can't agree, then mediation may be the next option and if they still can't agree, I'm afraid it's back to court.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Sep-16 @ 9:58 AM
super dad - Your Question:
So my wife said she wants to separate because she doesn't love me. She also said I had to move out the house (jointly owned, but pay everything from mortgage, water bills including her mobile phone). I moved because she threatened to take the children away from me and stop me from seeing them. I am now at family home crashing in the guess bedroom living out my bag. I asked if there was anyone else and told no on several occasions. I see the children a lot. When she goes to work or her week holiday. I didn't say I couldn't because I love my kids. Anyway a month later my eldest (under ten) tell me a man been around. From research I found out who it was. At first my wife denied everything. Then she admitted a friend came round who in a bad state. Two days afterwards I got information she had been seeing him two days before wanting to be separated. I have information she has kissed him and getting appointment for the pill. (I think to have safe sex - something when I asked she said no). Till my son told me this I thought I had a chance in getting her back. Now I feel like she us causing blackmail in order to say when how I see the kids. She has never bought the kids school clothes or shoes or even got their hair cuts I do that. She only recently started workWhat rights do I have as a dad. I have been working full time for years. I can provide for them more than she can she can't even afford a roof over their heads.

Our Response:
You need to slow down a bit here. I can completely empathise with your situation and it is understandable your emotions are running high. But now is the best time to make sure you do not make the situation more difficult through knee-jerk reactions. Firstly, as hard as it is, the fact you are separated means both you and your wife are free to have other people in your life. It is unlikely you would be awarded custody of your children as your wife is currently the primary carer and as long as your children are well cared for, then a court would not change this because you have a higher income. The best option you have is to try and remain on amicable terms with your ex. It is only natural that you have some very raw emotions, but because you have children together, it is important that you find a way to communicate. The situation is not only about the two of you but also about the wellbeing of your children and THAT is what you need to focus on. If you cannot come to agreements over the welfare of your children then it is a very good idea for you and your wife to seek some mediation. You may find our partner 'Separated Dads' useful for the emotional as well as the practical side of your issues. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 19-Sep-16 @ 2:11 PM
My daughter had been separated for 2 1/2 years before she divorced from her 7 year old daughters father around 3 years ago and was given primary residency of the child. The fathers contact order is for every other fri-Sun and the alternate Friday for 2 hours. My daughter has neer hindered gis visitation. She also has another little boy who is 4 from another relationship and due to this relationship breaking down 12 week's ago she moved with the children back home to us as she could not cope and needed out help. We live 63 miles from my granddaughters father and we have been amicable with him even setting up and additional evening for him to see her as he worked near us on that day. The contact has been regular since my daughter moved back. Her ex collected their daughter in Friday evening and the arrangement was that he bring her home Sunday evening. Anyway, tonight he refused to vrin her back and said my daughter could.meet him 40miles away for hand over or he would bring her back Tuesday when he is working this way. My daughter said Tuesday would be fine to bring her back especially as he hasn't seen her in almost 3 week's because he has been away. Tonight the messages started from him say in that the arrangement is for him to collect their daughter at such and such a place on a Friday and drop off at same said place in a Sunday. He said he would not being her back tonight and that on Tuesday my daughter has to meet him to hand her over as he is refusing to bring her back here. He said this is all my daughter's fault because she has moved away and he shouldn't have to travel. At present my daughter is on sick leave from work the to severe anxiety depression and possible ptsd all brought on because of the bad relationships she has been in. She has very little.money to afford fuel running costs. My question is: Is she obliged to travel to drop off/collect her daughter or should it be his responsibility to do so? Thank you in advance
tammyj - 19-Sep-16 @ 12:43 AM
So my wifesaid she wants to separate because she doesn't love me. She also said I had to move out the house (jointly owned, but pay everything from mortgage, water bills including her mobile phone). I moved because she threatened to take the children away from me and stop me from seeing them.I am now at family home crashing in the guess bedroom living out my bag. I asked if there was anyone else and told no on several occasions. I see the children a lot. When she goes to work or her week holiday. I didn't say I couldn't because I love my kids. Anyway a month later my eldest (under ten) tell me a man been around. From research I found out who it was . At first my wife denied everything. Then she admitted a friend came round who in a bad state. Two days afterwards I got information she had been seeing him two days before wanting to be separated. I have information she has kissed him and getting appointment for the pill. (I think to have safe sex - something when I asked she said no). Till my son told me this I thought I had a chance in getting her back. Now I feel like she us causing blackmail in order to say when how I see the kids. She has never bought the kids school clothes or shoes or even got their hair cuts I do that. She only recently started work What rights do I have as a dad. I have been working full time for years. I can provide for them more than she can she can't even afford a roof over their heads.
super dad - 18-Sep-16 @ 9:26 PM
I've been seperated from my ex wife for over 3 years, during this time I have tried to have my son 50% of the time via a 4 on 4 off rota. My circumstances changed recently and I had to take a new job, monday to Friday. I approached my sons mother to ask for 3 weekends out of 4 with me seeing him every Thursday evening so try keep it as close to 50% of the time as possible. As she works 16hrs a week ( school times ) and 2 weekends I thought she would appreciate having one weekend with her partner, one with her son and the others not worrying about child care but she seems to want me to only see my son for 2 weekends a month and funnily enough the 2 she needs to work, like I'm a free child minder. I hate being without my son and intend on being on a 4 on 4 off work rota ASAP but she has no flexibility in the fact this has changed out of my control and would only be temporary. Would a court award me 3 weekends, is she being unreasonable.
A loving father - 16-Sep-16 @ 12:23 AM
soo - Your Question:
My wife left me and my children and now wants children ,can I get custery order for them. as they are in school and we just bought new house to move into

Our Response:
You would have to seek legal advice regarding this in order to explore your options, which would be to apply to court for a child arrangement order that will determine where your kids should live. If the children are living with you currently, then it is likely the courts would rule to allow them to remain where they are. The only issue you have to watch out for is if your ex decides to keep them without your consent, as the police cannot intevene in any case where a parent has parental responsibility.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Sep-16 @ 2:30 PM
Jade - Your Question:
For the last four years since splitting with my two children's biological father I have had the children live with me permanatly with a civil agreement for the father to have them over night on a Saturday with fizzled out quickly as he always had an excuse, he is now supposed to see them on a Saturday through the day and bring them home in the evening which again happens as and when it suits him! I have been with my new partner now for three years and we have a very stable home life after the very disruptive past of their biological father, they call my partner daddy and idolise him, he has provided them stability of a secure home and all the emotional love and support they could hope for. Due to the inconsistency of my children's biological father I have advised him that he can have the children on an evening through the week for tea etc as we can not live our weekend around when he decides he can be bothered to turn up. My partner works away through the week so weekend family time is precious and my children count down sleeps to it every week. The children's biological father is now saying after Christmas he will be having the kids all weekend every weekend. Do I have a case to object this given the fact that the children have consistency with myself and my partner who is effectively their father in the children's eyes seeing as that is also our family time due to work commitments.

Our Response:
You certainly can object. In an ideal world, child access should be negotiated between both parents through mutual agreement. If you can't resolve the situation between you, then I suggest mediation as the best way forward here.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Sep-16 @ 1:49 PM
my wife left me and my children and now wants children ,can i get custeryorder for them . as they are in school and we just bought new house to move into
soo - 14-Sep-16 @ 8:55 AM
For the last four years since splitting with my two children's biological father I have had the children live with me permanatly with a civil agreement for the father to have them over night on a Saturday with fizzled out quickly as he always had an excuse, he is now supposed to see them on a Saturday through the day and bring them home in the evening which again happens as and when it suits him! I have been with my new partner now for three years and we have a very stable home life after the very disruptive past of their biological father, they call my partner daddy and idolise him, he has provided them stability of a secure home and all the emotional love and support they could hope for. Due to the inconsistency of my children's biological father I have advised him that he can have the children on an evening through the week for tea etc as we can not live our weekend around when he decides he can be bothered to turn up. My partner works away through the week so weekend family time is precious and my children count down sleeps to it every week. The children's biological father is now saying after Christmas he will be having the kids all weekend every weekend. Do I have a case to object this given the fact that the children have consistency with myself and my partner who is effectively their father in the children's eyes seeing as that is also our family time due to work commitments.
Jade - 13-Sep-16 @ 9:11 PM
Nicknack - Your Question:
Hi. My partner and I were travelling when I fell pregnant, I came back home but he stayed travelling he did not help me financially, physically nor mentally through out my pregnancy and sent me threats about taking my unborn child and also domestic abuse (confirmed by the police) MARAC taken place to safeguard me and baby,he's now taking me to court for parent respinsibility, if I know he's a drug user and a domestic abuser can he gain PR? I don't want this man alone with my son.

Our Response:
Much depends on what the Cafcass report advises. I'm afraid we cannot predict what a court will decide.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Sep-16 @ 2:40 PM
Sanni - Your Question:
Hay I wanna ask a couple of questions I'm fighting child custody for my autistic son last year I was in a abusive relationship and I ask my ex to look after r son for bit so I can get out of that relationship without my son being around it but my ex to took me to court and I signed the papers I wasn't well at all under so much depression I couldn't think right as well but now I'm all better stronger then ever I wanna put my family back together for my two children to grow up together to give my son all the help he needs I wanna no if I've got a chance to win him back please

Our Response:
Due to the circumstances in which your ex obtained residency of your son, you would have to seek legal advice in order to explore your options.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Sep-16 @ 2:01 PM
Me and my husband have been separated for over 2 years now .our 7 yr old son is in my care for the whole time of the separation . I have ongoing custody , divorce and maintenance cases against my husband in addition to criminal cases for unnatural sex and marital rape ongoing in India .i will be moving to UK with my son soon . My husband is also working in uk. I wanted to know how I can ensure that my son and me are not bothered by my husband in uk till we have a final court order in India . PS there is an arrest warrant against my husband in India .
Mitali - 11-Sep-16 @ 5:10 PM
Hay I wanna ask a couple of questions I'm fighting child custody for myautistic son last year I was in aabusiverelationship and I ask my ex to look after r son for bit so I can get out of that relationship without my son being around it but my ex to took me to court and Isigned the papers I wasn't well at all under so muchdepressionI couldn't think right as well but now I'm all better stronger then ever I wanna put my family back together for my two children to grow up together to give my son all the help he needs I wanna no if I've got a chance to win him back please
Sanni - 10-Sep-16 @ 12:51 PM
Hi. My partner and I were travelling when I fell pregnant, I came back home but he stayed travelling he did not help me financially, physically nor mentally through out my pregnancy and sent me threats about taking my unborn child and also domestic abuse (confirmed by the police) MARAC taken place to safeguard me and baby,he's now taking me to court for parent respinsibility, if I know he's a drug user and a domestic abuser can he gain PR? I don't want this man alone with my son.
Nicknack - 9-Sep-16 @ 11:48 PM
I have been separated fro my childrens father for nearly 4 years and divorced for over a year. We have a child arrangements order in place that states he has contact every other Friday after school until sunday at 6pm. He constantly arranges his social life on his contact weekends with the children (8 & 11) and tells me that he is unavailable on the Friday and will pick them up from me on a Saturday. I only have 4 days a month to myself as it is, but he is still trying to control me, telling me what I should be doing with regards to the children. He has also said on occasions that his girlfriend (the one he had an affair with ) will collect the boys when he is not available to do so. The children do not get on with her. He has Parental Responsibility and he said can delegate care of the children to whomever he choses. When he does have the children they stay around his parents house (grandparents) so his mother will look after the children, as neither myself or the children are allowed to know where he lives and we only have his work mobile number. He never texts, emails or phones the children (the eldest has his own mobile) at anytime, the only rare contact he has is on his contact weekend.
mum1976 - 9-Sep-16 @ 11:29 AM
Myself and the father of my child split up. Our daughter is 2 years of age. We have only been together since I fell pregant. Throughout the 2 years of her life her dad never had her alone or looked after her from his own will, I had also found out that he was drug dealer and he sells drugs everyday, I had encouraged him to work more and kept pestering him to stop or that I would be leaving the relationship and also informing the police but he wasn't bothered and carried on drug dealing. Since then he has taken up a full time job but is still drug dealing. Now that were officialy over he wants to take me to court to get joined custody overour daughter mainly for his family to see her not for himself even though he will not admit it. Can a drug dealer with of proof of being one get joined custody? Hes also a serious gambler, hes lost about £30-£40k in the past year. But obviosuly he still keeps going because of his full time job and drug dealing. (I work full time and always have)
Mar16 - 8-Sep-16 @ 6:45 AM
Smithage- Your Question:
My wife and I are separating and have tentatively agreed to shared custody, one week on one week off. We have agreed I will received the child benefit which will be spent on the childrens' costs. My question - my wife believes that because we are entering a 50:50 shared custody arrangement it is not necessary for one of us to be appointed Resident Parent. thanks

Our Response:
In theory if you are the person in receipt of child benefit then you will have an edge when it comes to being considered the primary carer. You may wish to consider mediation if you wish to draw up a shared-care agreement.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Sep-16 @ 2:40 PM
Sorry - Missed off question - is it true that in 50:50 shared residency cases neither parent is assigned the resident parent status? Thanks
smithage - 6-Sep-16 @ 9:35 AM
My wife and I are separating and have tentatively agreed to shared custody, one week on one week off. We have agreed I will received the child benefit which will be spent on the childrens' costs. My question - my wife believes that because we are entering a 50:50 shared custody arrangement it is not necessary for one of us to be appointed Resident Parent. thanks
Smithage - 6-Sep-16 @ 9:33 AM
DomesticViolenceVict - Your Question:
My ex who has threatened to kill me n attempted,he has threatened to kill his baby then himself or kidnap my baby n disappear with him is now asking for access after me ending it may 15.now sept 16.he has breached both yearly non mols n has another crown,court this month.The access court case is October 20th.am petrified as can't afford a solicitor n not entitled to legal aid.He has hurt my baby physically infront of me.he lies n denies.history of dv with police records since 2007.am scared the court shall allow him to see baby and will say supervised supervision for a couple of months then unsupervised whereby my ex will hurt my baby n also will disappear.Tomorrow am quickly applying for an emergency residency court order so if he disappears its kidnapping as stupidly I put him on the birth certificate n his surname as said he would change.Help with legal advice.I have witnesses.pics of abuse and voice recordings which the police have ignored.The police keep saying they are short staffed.in Essex area.i am having nightmares.my baby is so happy,safe,thriving in life and having any contact with my violent ex is a horrific thought.He has hurt every gf and cries saying he knows he has mental problems.he family lie for,him n his boss too to keep out of prison.Am scared.Safeguarding team have made my house safe n been on high risk since I ended it but many incidents since n many breaches.The court must know he is a huge danger to my baby is his son!!!!!!!

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. But I'm afraid there is little we can do to help here above and beyond what any safeguarding team can do.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-Sep-16 @ 2:27 PM
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