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Child Custody Rights

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 24 May 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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3 years ago I separated from my husband, and are now divorced: he was physically and mentally abusive towards me and can be violent natured and unpredictable behaviour!!! we share a beautiful 9yr old boy together. In the divorce agreement it was agreed for himto have access of every Friday night to sleep over... Returning him on the Saturday, alternate football games and him visiting on a Tuesday night, to take him to football training. Over the years he has never been to a football game, collecting him on the Tuesday night, and the Friday night overnight stay has been sporadic, he does not ever arrive on time and leaves our boy waiting for him for hours and he never returns him at the agreed time! This became impractical to live with and completely mentally draining on my son, as a result I now drop him off and collect him so elevate the problem ( making the "dads" life somewhat easier than it already is)! He does not provide a home for our son as he lives with his mum and step dad, he doesn't aid with child care in the holiday periods, he has never showed up to any parents evenings, school plays, assembly's etc so I don't even waist my breath in telling him before hand.... I do however inform him on the parents evening out come and show him copies of the school reports! My main concern is I have little faith and confidence in his parenting skills and worry when my child is in his care: when he does sleep over, my son come back exhausted and in many occasions has gone back to bed and slept for 6 hours!!!!! I believe they sit up on computer games most of the night, my son and step son had told me in separate occasions! He has returned home at 6pm on a state today evening starving as he has been given only breakfast ( bacon roll normally). My sons nana, farther and a majority of the other family member smoke around him, my sons clothes are so pungent with the stench he washes as soon as he returns home! More worryingly, I know he (the "dad") has attempted to drink drive with my son in the car, and before we sold the family home ( the "dad" was living in while we separated as I had to go to my mums for security) I gained access and found to bags of Cocaine easily accessible to my son whom was 7 at the time..... I don't not wish to stop access, however, I need to know my son is going to a safe, and stable environment, and feel that is not being provided. He ( the dad) does unfortunately have parental responsibility as he is named on the birth certificate! I have raised my concerns with the "dad" but just get laughed at! How can I protect my son? I'm worried if anything happened to me, the "dad" will have rights he just doesn't deserve! How do I ensure my son is safe, is secure, is well looked after, is thought correct lessons in life???? My son lives with me permanently and my partner of 2 years ( he is a role model, and more of a farther figure. He provides moral, financial and emotional support to both me and my son). I fear
Woruedmum - 24-May-16 @ 5:54 AM
Is there a draft agreement I can download online for my ex an myself to sign. She is letting my son come an live with me after a few months of saying no. She went to court an got a order to take him. Just so she can't do that again is there anything we can both sign then shown it to court?
Dad2002 - 21-May-16 @ 7:35 AM
Kev - Your Question:
If I get full custory of my two children and the mother has parental rights still do I have the right to change there current school which will be much easier for everybody?? Or will the mother get a say in this and dissagree to make it hard and awkward for mr

Our Response:
As the mother has PR then yes she will have a say regarding whether you change your children's school.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-May-16 @ 1:42 PM
If i get full custory of my two children and the mother has parental rights still do i have the right to change there current school which will be much easier for everybody?? Or will the mother get a say in this and dissagree to make it hard and awkward for mr
Kev - 19-May-16 @ 9:10 PM
Daloma - Your Question:
My ex girlfriend rold me that she had an abortion for no reason, I have recently found out (from my own investigation) that she did not and have given birth to a beautiful baby girl, my ex does not know that I know yet, but I wish to fight for full custody after 1,the deception 2, her past issues leading to her daughter from a previous relationship being taken from her, im looking for advice as I am a new parent

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. I advise that in the first instance you should seek legal advice regarding your options. It is unlikely you would be given full custody because of your ex's deception as a court will always rule for what is in the best interests of your child, and taking a child from a parent who is bringing her up and giving her to a parent who she has no bond with currently would not happen. However, you will be encouraged to apply for access if the child is yours. If your ex denies the child is yours, then you would have to apply for a paternity test. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 19-May-16 @ 3:02 PM
Paddy - Your Question:
My wife was having an affair for 6 months while I was at work, I had to give up work and take care of my 2 children as she decided to leave the family home. I have now found out that she is taking drugs at the weekends but she has also been a heavy drinker and still is. What would I have to do to keep my family safe.

Our Response:
If you wish your children to live with you formally you would have to apply for a child arrangement order which will determine who your children should live with, see link here . It would mean your children would be legally placed with you and not your ex and your ex will have to abide by this. As far as keeping them safe from this point, you would have to try and negotiate contact or access between you and your ex, or otherwise your ex will have the option to apply through the courts.
ChildSupportLaws - 19-May-16 @ 2:44 PM
My ex girlfriend rold me that she had an abortion for no reason, I have recently found out (from my own investigation) that she did not and have given birth to a beautiful baby girl, my ex does not know that I know yet, but I wish to fight for full custody after 1,the deception 2, her past issues leading to her daughter from a previous relationship being taken from her, im looking for advice as I am a new parent
Daloma - 19-May-16 @ 9:54 AM
My wife was having an affair for 6 months while I was at work, I had to give up work and take care of my 2 children as she decided to leave the family home. I have now found out that she is taking drugs at the weekends but she has also been a heavy drinker and still is . What would I have to do to keep my family safe.
Paddy - 18-May-16 @ 9:33 PM
Rich - Your Question:
I've joint parental response ablity do I have to return him to his mum if his in danager or can I keep him.

Our Response:
This is always a tricky question to answer and unless there is a safeguarding issue it is not to be recommended that you take your child from his primary carer. Firstly because of the stress it can cause to the resident-parent and child, and secondly because the court does not endorse non-resident parents taking such steps unless necessary. Also, there is the law to consider; if you have Parental Responsibility then you can keep your child and your ex will have to apply for a contact order which would let the court decide whether the child should be returned to her. While it may seem like the right idea at the time, by keeping him without her consent it could actually backfire on you when it goes to court. If you think your child is in danger then you may wish to speak to the NSPCC, as it has powers to contact Social Services and as his father advise on your best course of action.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-May-16 @ 2:16 PM
I've joint parental response ablity do I have to return him to his mum if his in danager or can I keep him.
Rich - 16-May-16 @ 1:31 AM
I split up with my husband last July after two years of emotional abuse and bullying.He was arrested for assaulting me and removed from the family home by the police, although the charges were dropped by the cps. I decided to removed myself and my four children (only two are his children) from the 'family home' because he refused to allow us to live there without him and i was unable to stop him from moving back in.Despite his behaviour towards me i have allowed him what i believe is fair access, he has them Tuesdays for tea and a full day at the weekend one week and the next week Tuesday overnight and saturday 10am-sunday 7pm.During school holidays he has them 50% of the time, sometimes more but usually leaves them with his parents rather than taking a day off work. He works full time and is often away over night or out early and back late.I work part time and have adjusted my working hours so the children spend a minimal amount of time in school clubs/nursery, i have always been the main carer. We are currently going through a divorce and his solicitor has written to me saying he wants 50/50 access, he has suggested a four week rota splitting the weeks but each of the 4 weeks has different days which would make it impossible for me to arrange childcare and my four children would rarely be together.How likely is it that he would get 50/50 access and if he did would that mean i would be unable to force the sale of the house we own but he lives in?
susan - 14-May-16 @ 8:28 PM
Hi, I split from my ex nearly 2 years ago we have a three year old son, since then we worked out that he would stay with his father every Friday night as father didn't want to have him any longer. He never picks him up sending his own mother to do it, also every week I have issues of my son screaming that he wants to stay with me and doesn't want to see his dad. this has been going on for the last year and a half and the outbursts have been steadily getting worse since he moved in with his fiancé, the outbursts are starting earlier in the week. I don't know what to do anymore as when I bring it up with either his grandmother or his father they more or less laugh or blame me even though I have never attempted to sway my sons perception of his dad. My son takes it out on me for forcing him to go and will either not talk to me or will smack me when he comes in out of anger. any advice would be much appreciated
Jane - 13-May-16 @ 4:47 PM
fran - Your Question:
Hello I split with my husband in 2009. I have 5 children, but only 2 belong to ex ,in 2012 my son was nearly 8 he wanted to live with his dad. so after two months I said ok but this is always your home.ive had nothing but abuse from my ex he likes to play mind games.in 2014 my daughter who belongs to ex will not visit ive had support workers saying I'm not aloud to force her but to incourage her to visit. ive also been to mediation and because the ex would not correspond I could not go any further. my son wants to come home and dad agreed that In july when school finishes he can come home his school knows that he is coming home ive tried to get him enroled to a school for September 2016 only to find out dad has sent for a different school my concern is that my son hasn't been told off whats happing and because off the violent background from dad I'm scared that if I say anything things are going to kick off what I my son runs away. ive loads off threatening messages that I have saved so that I can take to court. I have tried everything I think my next option is custody I hope you can give me any extra advice please desperate mum. thank you

Our Response:
Apologies if this is a short reply, but I think in this case legal advice is your best option, in order to see whether this may be more beneficial to go to court.
ChildSupportLaws - 13-May-16 @ 2:50 PM
hello I split with my husband in 2009. I have 5 children, but only 2 belong to ex ,in 2012 my son was nearly 8 he wanted to live with his dad. so after two months I said ok but this is always your home.ive had nothing but abuse from my ex he likes to play mind games.in 2014 my daughter who belongs to ex will not visit ive had support workers saying I'm not aloud to force her but to incourage her to visit. ive also been to mediation and because the ex would not correspond I could not go any further. my son wants to come home and dad agreed that In july when school finishes he can come home his school knows that he is coming home ive tried to get him enroled to a school for September 2016 only to find out dad has sent for a different school my concern is that my son hasn't been told off whats happing and because off the violent background from dad I'm scared that if I say anything things are going to kick off what I my son runs away. ive loads off threatening messages that I have saved so that I can take to court. I have tried everything I think my next option is custody I hope you can give me any extra advice please desperate mum. thank you
fran - 12-May-16 @ 11:07 PM
susan - Your Question:
I split up with my husband last July after two years of emotional abuse and bullying. He was arrested for assaulting me and removed from the family home by the police, although the charges were dropped by the cps. I decided to removed myself and my four children (only two are his children) from the 'family home' because he refused to allow us to live there without him and I was unable to stop him from moving back in. Despite his behaviour towards me I have allowed him what I believe is fair access, he has them Tuesdays for tea and a full day at the weekend one week and the next week Tuesday overnight and saturday 10am-sunday 7pm. During school holidays he has them 50% of the time, sometimes more but usually leaves them with his parents rather than taking a day off work. He works full time and is often away over night or out early and back late. I work part time and have adjusted my working hours so the children spend a minimal amount of time in school clubs/nursery, I have always been the main carer.We are currently going through a divorce and his solicitor has written to me saying he wants 50/50 access, he has suggested a four week rota splitting the weeks but each of the 4 weeks has different days which would make it impossible for me to arrange childcare and my four children would rarely be together. How likely is it that he would get 50/50 access and if he did would that mean I would be unable to force the sale of the house we own but he lives in?

Our Response:
If you don't wish to accept this level of access then you have every right to ignore his solicitor's demands, as his solicitor is obviously trying to get the best deal for his client, your ex. It does not mean to say a court will agree to this. A court will only agree to what it thinks is in the best interests of your children and if it is untenable due to the logistics, then the court is not likely to agree. If your ex was granted 50/50 care then you would be less likely to be able to force the sale of the house through the courts. I advise you seek legal advice about whether you can force the sale of the property and what your own best options are.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-May-16 @ 1:50 PM
I split up with my husband last July after two years of emotional abuse and bullying.He was arrested for assaulting me and removed from the family home by the police, although the charges were dropped by the cps. I decided to removed myself and my four children (only two are his children) from the 'family home' because he refused to allow us to live there without him and i was unable to stop him from moving back in.Despite his behaviour towards me i have allowed him what i believe is fair access, he has them Tuesdays for tea and a full day at the weekend one week and the next week Tuesday overnight and saturday 10am-sunday 7pm.During school holidays he has them 50% of the time, sometimes more but usually leaves them with his parents rather than taking a day off work. He works full time and is often away over night or out early and back late.I work part time and have adjusted my working hours so the children spend a minimal amount of time in school clubs/nursery, i have always been the main carer. We are currently going through a divorce and his solicitor has written to me saying he wants 50/50 access, he has suggested a four week rota splitting the weeks but each of the 4 weeks has different days which would make it impossible for me to arrange childcare and my four children would rarely be together.How likely is it that he would get 50/50 access and if he did would that mean i would be unable to force the sale of the house we own but he lives in?
susan - 11-May-16 @ 10:42 PM
Cw2015 - Your Question:
Hi there, Was looking for a bit of advise, my son's father and I recently broke up after a reconciliation. While we where separated for 7 months he withheld my son 3 times which ended in social work involvement, where he was bamed as the only concern. my son spent as little time as possible with his father due to his lack of interest, my son is only 16 months old and now I am getting threatened with court for full custody or residency. My sons father has never contributed in any of his life whether it be life decisions or providing for him. He also has an addiction to cannabis which is a real cause of concern as he puts it before everything. As of now he's not seen my son since the 2nd of April and there has been no contact from him. I was wondering if I am wrong on thinking to take it to court as no matter what arrangements we agree on he never sticks to it or he doesn't stand up to his parental rights or responsibilities would I be better off applying for sole custody to my son as I don't receive any help or support in his upbringing? Thanks in advance

Our Response:
You can apply for a child arrangement order, see link here which will determine who your child should live with. It would then mean your ex could not take your child. On another note, it is highly unlikely your ex will be awarded custody anyway as it is very rare a court will order a child to be taken from the primary carer and be handed over to live with the non-resident parent unless absolutely necessary.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-May-16 @ 12:59 PM
Hi there, Was looking for a bit of advise, my son's father and I recently broke up after a reconciliation. While we where separated for 7 months he withheld my son 3 times which ended in social work involvement, where he was bamed as the only concern. my son spent as little time as possible with his father due to his lack of interest, my son is only 16 months old and now I am getting threatened with court for full custody or residency. My sons father has never contributed in any of his life whether it be life decisions or providing for him. He also has an addiction to cannabis which is a real cause of concern as he puts it before everything. As of now he's not seen my son since the 2nd of April and there has been no contact from him. I was wondering if I am wrong on thinking to take it to court as no matter what arrangements we agree on he never sticks to it or he doesn't stand up to his parental rights or responsibilities would I be better off applying for sole custody to my son as I don't receive any help or support in his upbringing? Thanks in advance
Cw2015 - 10-May-16 @ 4:23 PM
Tk - Your Question:
I have a daughter who is 3 months old with my current girlfriend, however she is suffering from depression and blames me for it. I brought a flat for us all to move to which should be ready in the next 2 weeks however she is now saying she does not want to move there because the flat will be in my name and she doesn't want to be close to my mum or sister as it is her baby and she doesn't want them to see her. This bothers me so much as they have helped out very much with my daughter and love her to pieces. My girlfriend never wanted to keep the baby at first but I conviced her. I'm worried that if we do split up I won't get to see much of my daughter and neither will my family. My girlfriend constantly refers her as HER baby and no one else's and I feel she will do anything to keep me away from her. Is it a possibility that I could get custody?

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear you are having a difficult time currently. It is very difficult to predict what your girlfriend will do. But if you are registered as the father on the birth certificate, you do have some rights as you have parental responsibility. If you split up - then you would have to agree between you on access, if you can't agree between you then Mediation would be the next step, please see link here, and then if access can't be agreed through Mediation or your ex refuses to attend (it is voluntary) then the next option would be court. With regards to your question over custody, it is less likely you would be awarded custody over your girlfriend, as women are still generally awarded the status of primary carer and fathers the non-resident parent. I hope the matter does not come to this and you manage to find a way through. Post-natal depression is very common for mothers in their first few months of having a child, therefore support and understanding are what is needed at this stage.
ChildSupportLaws - 10-May-16 @ 12:56 PM
I have a daughter who is 3 months old with my current girlfriend, however she is suffering from depression and blames me for it. I brought a flat for us all to move to which should be ready in the next 2 weeks however she is now saying she does not want to move there because the flat will be in my name and she doesn't want to be close to my mum or sister as it is her baby and she doesn't want them to see her. This bothers me so much as they have helped out very much with my daughter and love her to pieces. My girlfriend never wanted to keep the baby at first but I conviced her. I'm worried that if we do split up I won't get to see much of my daughter and neither will my family. My girlfriend constantly refers her as HER baby and no one else's and I feel she will do anything to keep me away from her. Is it a possibility that I could get custody?
Tk - 9-May-16 @ 5:14 PM
My son and ex girlfriend who are both 19 are expecting the birth of their child this year, unfortunately it is already turning abit nasty where the ex girlfriend is saying she doesn't want the baby and is threatening to give the baby up for adoption. My son certainly doesn't want this to happen and I certainly don't want to loose my grandchild either, The ex girlfriend is not the brightest bulb and maybe only saying these things to hurt my son. She already suffers from depression, Is there anything we can do like fight for custody before the baby is even born.
Sandal - 6-May-16 @ 9:46 PM
graced - Your Question:
Hello I and my partner separated when I was 7weeks pregnant. He denied being responsible for my pregnancy it was a nasty period for me. He was also very violent towards me during our time together. Now I have put to bed and he wants access to the baby. I registered the birth without him as the father. I don't want him anywhere near me or my baby what do I do

Our Response:
Your ex is entitled to apply for access through the courts, if he is the biological father of your child. Whether the court will grant him access depends much upon many factors. If the matter goes to court Cafcass will get involved and write up a report which will be presented to the court, please see link: What Goes into the Cafcass Family Report? here. Court is always seen as the last resort and Mediation will be suggested first. However, if you refuse to attend Mediation, then court will be the next stage, if he wishes to take it this far.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-May-16 @ 11:56 AM
hello I and my partner separated when I was 7weeks pregnant. He denied being responsible for my pregnancy it was a nasty period for me. He was also very violent towards me during our time together.Now I have put to bed and he wants access to the baby. I registered the birth without him as the father. I don't want him anywhere near me or my baby what do I do
graced - 5-May-16 @ 4:25 PM
Hamster - Your Question:
I left my partner nearly 5 yrs ago because of alcohol problems. I have always tried to ensure contact with our child remained. He calls our daughter every night and got to see her as regularly as was possible given his circumstances, with his parents helping to facilitate. He had to move back to the city where his family live for support so contact is limited. He hasn't paid any money towards her since we split.I never got a court order for residency because I could not afford to go through the process but he was in no fit state to look after our daughter so never contested her living with me. Now that he's starting to get better he's becoming very demanding about when he sees our daughter, gives me very limited notice at times and is completely unreasonable when she has things on that she wants to attend in our area. He has recently threatened court action because he's now working and can afford it. He still doesn't pay regularly for his daughter though. I have no problems with her seeing her dad and I welcome regular contact so we can plan around it, but he's unwilling to be flexible around her commitments in our city (school gala days, club commitments etc) and refuses to compromise. I would never stand in the way of their relationship but I'm worried about what it will do to our 9 year old to drag this through a court case and about the money it will cost to do so.

Our Response:
Have you thought of attending Mediation in order to sort out the issues? Mediation is when two or more parties meet to resolve problems before the matter reaches court. It is most often used in family proceedings, Contact Orders, residence agreements and divorce. It is a formal negotiation and courts can accept the agreement of the mediation instead of having to go through the court process, although it is subject to final court approval. Mediation takes place in front of a neutral third party. The mediator has no pre-conceptions and will not force you to make an agreement. They will assist the two parties in taking turns in the conversation, and helping you reach a decision that you are ready to agree with. Mediators do not pass judgment or offer guidance; they are there, in effect, to facilitate conversation between the two sides. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-May-16 @ 2:46 PM
Sid - Your Question:
I have described my situation below but please feel free to scroll down if you feel its too much I have bullet pointed the key issues.What are the orders I may apply for (and the relevant considerations taken into account by the court) to secure:1) my relationship with Anne(my daughter) 2)prevent her first and maiden name being change3)prevent her being taken abroad.kind regards,Sid

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear of your situation. Firstly, your wife has no right to stop access to your daughter regardless of whether she thinks you are 'gay'. Secondly, as you have parental responsibility over your daughter, if your wife is planning to leave the country and does without your consent, then this will be classed as child abduction. If you wish to stop you wife from doing this, you can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order. A PSO is an order granted by the court in family cases which prevents either parent from carrying out certain events or making specific trips with their children without the express permission of the other parent. This is more common in cases where there is suspicion that one parent may leave the area with their children We have all heard the stories of a parent taking their child for the weekend and not returning them or going abroad with them and it becoming extremely difficult for the other parent to get their child back. Thankfully, this is one of the scenarios that a PSO seeks to prevent. Regarding residency of your daughter, the court is unlikely to take your child from the primary carer (her mother) and hand her over to the non-resident parent (you), without very good reason. The court will always opt toward what is in the best interests of your child and stability and consistency is of paramount importance. However, you can officially apply for access through the courts, via a C100 form and you can apply for the PSO alongside. Unless there is a very good reason then the courts will award you arranged access to your daughter. If you do not wish your ex to change your child's name then you can apply for a Specific Issue Order through the courts. 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. You may be able to apply for the PSO under this category too. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-May-16 @ 12:28 PM
I left my partner nearly 5 yrs ago because of alcohol problems. I have always tried to ensure contact with our child remained. He calls our daughter every night and got to see her as regularly as was possible given his circumstances, with his parents helping to facilitate. He had to move back to the city where his family live for support so contact is limited. He hasn't paid any money towards her since we split. I never got a court order for residency because I could not afford to go through the process but he was in no fit state to look after our daughter so never contested her living with me. Now that he's starting to get better he's becoming very demanding about when he sees our daughter, gives me very limited notice at times and is completely unreasonable when she has things on that she wants to attend in our area. He has recently threatened court action because he's now working and can afford it. He still doesn't pay regularly for his daughter though. I have no problems with her seeing her dad and I welcome regular contact so we can plan around it, but he's unwilling to be flexible around her commitments in our city (school gala days, club commitments etc) and refuses to compromise. I would never stand in the way of their relationship but I'm worried about what it will do to our 9 year old to drag this through a court case and about the money it will cost to do so.
Hamster - 5-May-16 @ 6:52 AM
I have described my situation below but please feel free to scroll down if you feel its too much i have bullet pointed the key issues. Me and my wife have been separated for a few months. My profession is extremely demanding and i work long and erratic hours. However, the success of my company has allowed the family to enjoy a high standard of living. my wife left private practice when my daughter was born and now works 3 mornings a week. She undertakes the most of the household duties and child care, although she is assisted in this by a live in nanny whose salary is paid by me. In the past 3 months I left the house i continued to maintain contact with my daughter (spend time with her when she has dinner, pick her up on Mondays when school finishes and take her to her swimming lessons) this is an activity we both enjoy. However, in the last 2 months my wife banned me from coming to the house and picking my daughter up from school and taking her to her swimming lessons. I have tried to calling the via the house phone but everytime i call my wife verbally abuses me and hangs up i have tried sneaking in a few calls via the nanny but this is very upsetting to the both of us as my daughter starts crying asking me when i will come see her. Last week, my wife petitioned for a divorce last week and stated because Iam gay she has decided that it would be best that I have no contact with my daugher. she feels that it would be extremely damaging for her to realise that her father is “living in sin” with another man and be exposed to his “immoral” lifestyle. She has told me that my daughter is young enough to get used to not having me in her life. When I protested she said she would take legal action, she told me that she will defy any court order i get and would even take my daughter abroad if necessary to keep her away from me. Just before leaving, she told me that she is thinking of changing my daughters name as she no longer wants her to have any link with me. My daughter was named in honour of my late sister and my wife wants to rename her Amy (after her grandmother) and to change her last name to that of he maiden name I want to maintain a full relationship with my daughter. While I was initially happy to allow her to live with her mother due to my work schedule, I feel that I may have to fight for custody. I also want to ensure that there will be no chance of her changing my daughters name or to carry out her threat of taking her abroad. What are the orders i may apply for (and the relevant considerations taken into account by the court) to secure: 1) my relationship with Anne(my daughter) 2)prevent her first and maiden name being change 3)prevent her being taken abroad. kind regards, Sid
Sid - 4-May-16 @ 6:37 PM
Rosie - Your Question:
My husband and I have recently split. I am more than happy for him to see his children but don't trust him. To put an extremely long story short his mother has been banned from contact with our children and now that we aren't together I know he'll try and change that. Is there any way I can make it so it's illegal for her to see them

Our Response:
You would have to apply to the courts for a Specific Issue Order. A 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, such as preventing someone from having contact with your child.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. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 4-May-16 @ 11:53 AM
My husband and I have recently split. I am more than happy for him to see his children but don't trust him. To put an extremely long story short his mother has been banned from contact with our children and now that we aren't together I know he'll try and change that. Is there any way I can make it so it's illegal for her to see them
Rosie - 3-May-16 @ 5:26 PM
My ex requests that our 8yr old son stays with him on his 3 days off which I am totally fine about. The day before his days off he works 2-10 shift and requests that our son gets dropped off that evening around 7pm with his partner so it's convenient for him the next morning. Our son doesn't see his dad that evening. My ex's partner is having (another) child so my child maintenance will go down again. He currently pays me an agreed amount. We have both been on the csa calculator to work out how much I will lose. Surprise surprise he has worked out that I will lose a lot more than I worked out! He has worked it out as having our son for the 4 nights which I do not agree with. I am quite happy with the 3 nights but the 4th night he has put down is a night when he is not even there, it's just for his convenience the next morning. The whole idea of our son going to his dads is to spend time with him and not his partner. Him putting the 4th night down lowers my payment considerably. When I put the situation to him he just throws it back at me saying I'm being selfish and just thinking about the money! I don't think it's fair even expecting our son to go the night before his days off, he doesn't even want to go when it's just his dads partner there. I'm quite happy for him to just go the next morning. Could someone please advise me on this. He is being so unreasonable and making out it's me being the bad person!
Nicky - 30-Apr-16 @ 10:45 AM
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