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Child Custody Rights

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 5 Nov 2018 | 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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Never married the father of my disabled child, bent over backwards to cultivate and maintain his and my child's relationship for the last 7 years. For the first 6 I allowed him to stick to his controllingway of inconveniencingme with weekly visits he was rarely if ever on time for. This year I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and allow him to have her over some days and weekends.2 of which I am convinced he was not on top of her care (did not give her rescue epilepsy medication on time and shut me out when I tried to intervene on a video call). Before that I noticed my child flinching each time she had been out with him after he had given her personal care (over leaning nether regions).Recently he sprayed his new alcohol and pheremone based spray on her skin and new jacket he had bought her.Dumped her with me, she nearly went into anaphylactic shock and seizures on that night. Even after telling him he did not follow up on her recovery. He has never initiated intervention or been involved in her basic care or appointments.Off late he has contacted involved professionals such as the school to insist on direct contact with him creating the impression I don't keep him updated.Over the years I have kept h updated and he has not shown up or prioritised the appointments etc. He seems to think that his payments of maintainance warrants his control of the co-parenting even though he has never pulled his weight. I want sole custody with supervised visits.I don't care about losing out on maintainance. I actually believe he is indifferent about the survival of my child as if she is an inconvenience to his life.I want my child to survive and have made practical sacrifices to ensure this happens.I am scared of her safety with him. HELP
Desperate SM - 5-Nov-18 @ 3:53 PM
Hi...me and my girlfriend have a baby boy of 3 months old, we were getting on so well but then all of a sudden we ended up breaking up. . As a father i want to have my son half the week because me my son and my girlfriend and her other son have been living in my house.....I am worried everyday going to work leaving my child at home as my girlfriend's son use to kick our dogs and trap them with his trike bike .We had to get rid of the dogs and then we tried have a little kitten but court him cutting the kittens fur off with scissors..(my girlfriend's son is 9 he should know better) when my girlfriend let her son hold our baby boy he got bored and kind of dropped him into her arms it was quite scary....the last one is the mother and her son and our baby boy went out in the car on a hot day and my girlfriend's son put a blanket on our baby boy and didnt say anything to the mother and by time she pulled over my baby boy was dripping with sweat..as she didnt know her son had done that so I'm scared of going to work.everyday not knowing whats going to happen.....my girlfriend and her son live in my house dont pay any money towards bills i pay for the whole house and I tried treating her son as my own....I even had to start banning her son from the xbox as he doesnt brush his teeth so I said if you dont brush your teeth you dont get treated.....where do i stand and what can i do because my girlfriend is saying she's leaving me and taking my baby boy and I'm scared because I dont trust her son ....thanks
Davey4 - 25-Oct-18 @ 7:50 AM
Hi...me and my girlfriend have a baby boy of 3 months old, we were getting on so well but then all of a sudden we ended up breaking up. . As a father i want to have my son half the week because me my son and my girlfriend and her other son have been living in my house.....I am worried everyday going to work leaving my child at home as my girlfriend's son use to kick our dogs and trap them with his trike bike .We had to get rid of the dogs and then we tried have a little kitten but court him cutting the kittens fur off with scissors..(my girlfriend's son is 9 he should know better) when my girlfriend let her son hold our baby boy he got bored and kind of dropped him into her arms it was quite scary....the last one is the mother and her son and our baby boy went out in the car on a hot day and my girlfriend's son put a blanket on our baby boy and didnt say anything to the mother and by time she pulled over my baby boy was dripping with sweat..as she didnt know her son had done that so I'm scared of going to work.everyday not knowing whats going to happen.....my girlfriend and her son live in my house dont pay any money towards bills i pay for the whole house and I tried treating her son as my own....I even had to start banning her son from the xbox as he doesnt brush his teeth so I said if you dont brush your teeth you dont get treated.....where do i stand and what can i do because my girlfriend is saying she's leaving me and taking my baby boy and I'm scared because I dont trust her son ....thanks
Davey4 - 24-Oct-18 @ 10:14 PM
My ex wife will not let me pick my children up from school or drop them off however is happy for her parents and sister to do this.. I am not allowed to have my 3 Children over night during my rest days from work during the week because of school ? We did not get anything stated in our divorce reference who has the children at what times. I feel like she is being very difficult. I just turned down a promotion at work because my ex wife will not cooperate and build in a new routine with me and the kids. The kids love coming to my house. This is really upsetting i am being stopped from progressing upwards at work. I have the potential to go 4 on 4 off at work and share the children 50/50 ... I feel like the ex wife is scared of loosing benifits.. She takes me for full CSA money as if i am a dad who doesn’t want to see my children... I have offered to have them morw and she says NO ! I am in the process of buying a house and after that i am hoping to go to the familt courts and get shared custody.. There is not valid reason i can not do this alart from a bitter ex wife who is living the dream saying NO !
cc - 19-Oct-18 @ 9:13 AM
I was with my ex partner for 11 year she had two kids to two different dads which i took them on as my own specially my daughter who i have raised from birth at the begining of the relationship things got bad i had anger issues and one point i attacked her as she attacked me but i didnt press chargers in case the kids got took off us by social services I was charged with abh went to crown court sarah written a letter to the judge to spare me going to prison and it worked i went to angermangement/counciling we got back together and while getting back together we had my youngest carter joe things where great yeah we had our arguments but who dosent then we split up in last year we try to sort our differences out still going round to see the kids and taking round our dads where I am living but we didnt work out and I finished it completely she gave me 2 days a week for tea monday and thursday Id mind them for her while she was working on a wednesday aftertoon and saturday afternoon then week after it be the same twice for tea sleep over the weekend friday 6pm til sunday 6pm also inbertween taking them to school on a monday morning also picking them up for tea. inbertween all this id pick my daughter up from dancing make her tea and drop her off home i also use to have them ramdomly sleep over rather it was just to spend time with them or say the friday when it wasnt my weekend they sleep over so then sarah didnt have to be rushing about to get to work also if she had things planned id help out by minding them which i didnt mind because they my kids llove spending time with them i also use to ring them almost everyday like how are you how school been what you been up to so now that iv met someone else which i have told her she didnt want the kids meeting her which they have met her but as a friend passing through the street as now i am not seeing the kids.I am happy and has never stop me putting the effort into my kids iv knew this woman for nearly all my life because iv met someone new she saying she scared if my past history repeat itself thats why she safe guarding the kids from us fighting that she cant protect the kids she has told me that she has sorted a contact visit which is a lie can only be rule by a judge so that hasnt worked she has stop all contact with me and my kids. she let me talk to the boys on the 4th july and now she stop me completely talking to them i have tried and ask if i can have them for tea and the answer is no she has told me to go through the courts and that i wont get no access because of my past history i have never hurt or indanger my kids but because iv told them off for being naughty im some kind of monster which im not but before all this she told me i was a good dad and couldnt of hand pick a better one she has done something like this with the other kids dad and they havent put up a fight and walked away which i am not willing to do i want to be a part of my kids lives i love them and do all i can for those kids
Joeims - 11-Oct-18 @ 9:07 PM
I was with my ex partner for 11 year she had two kids to two different dads which i took them on as my own specially my daughter who i have raised from birth at the begining of the relationship things got bad i had anger issues and one point i attacked her as she attacked me but i didnt press chargers in case the kids got took off us by social services I was charged with abh went to crown court sarah written a letter to the judge to spare me going to prison and it worked i went to angermangement/counciling we got back together and while getting back together we had my youngest carter joe things where great yeah we had our arguments but who dosent then we split up in last year we try to sort our differences out still going round to see the kids and taking round our dads where I am living but we didnt work out and I finished it completely she gave me 2 days a week for tea monday and thursday Id mind them for her while she was working on a wednesday aftertoon and saturday afternoon then week after it be the same twice for tea sleep over the weekend friday 6pm til sunday 6pm also inbertween taking them to school on a monday morning also picking them up for tea. inbertween all this id pick my daughter up from dancing make her tea and drop her off home i also use to have them ramdomly sleep over rather it was just to spend time with them or say the friday when it wasnt my weekend they sleep over so then sarah didnt have to be rushing about to get to work also if she had things planned id help out by minding them which i didnt mind because they my kids llove spending time with them i also use to ring them almost everyday like how are you how school been what you been up to so now that iv met someone else which i have told her she didnt want the kids meeting her which they have met her but as a friend passing through the street as now i am not seeing the kids.I am happy and has never stop me putting the effort into my kids iv knew this woman for nearly all my life because iv met someone new she saying she scared if my past history repeat itself thats why she safe guarding the kids from us fighting that she cant protect the kids she has told me that she has sorted a contact visit which is a lie can only be rule by a judge so that hasnt worked she has stop all contact with me and my kids. she let me talk to the boys on the 4th july and now she stop me completely talking to them i have tried and ask if i can have them for tea and the answer is no she has told me to go through the courts and that i wont get no access because of my past history i have never hurt or indanger my kids but because iv told them off for being naughty im some kind of monster which im not but before all this she told me i was a good dad and couldnt of hand pick a better one she has done something like this with the other kids dad and they havent put up a fight and walked away which i am not willing to do i want to be a part of my kids lives i love them and do all i can for those kids
Joeims - 11-Oct-18 @ 8:37 PM
I am pregnant with twins. I’m not with the father he wants to not see them during the week but has them all weekend since he will be off. I don’t think I would be ready for that until they are 6 months. Would a four agree to this?
. - 7-Oct-18 @ 7:02 PM
Hi can you advise, I split from my partner 2 years ago. Since then we have split custody of out two boys. Verbal agreement only between the two of us. Even though we have equal time with the kids I have still been paying child maintenance of £425 a month to help her with bills etc. This week she has demanded more money and said I can no longer see the boys unless I pay £625 a month. This amount is impossible for me. She has been collecting the kids from after school club before I get there and refusing to answer the phone to discuss. I don't know what to do. All I get is abusive texts with demands. My kids must think I've abandoned them. I just want to stick to the routine that we have had for the last 2 years. What can I do. Im trying to stay calm but I feel like she has all the power. If I did what she has the police would be round within no time. Help me. Please.
mps - 2-Oct-18 @ 6:11 PM
Me and my ex separated 5 years ago, she live with my 2 kids in uk and i live in united states, before she would let me have contact with my kids and i use to send money, but 2017 when she stop having let me talk to my kids and i couldnt send anymore money because she block me from all the communications i can reach her. Now i want to filed for shared custody so i can see my kids since she filed child support. I dont mind paying child support but i want time with my kids as well.
Bob - 26-Sep-18 @ 4:49 PM
Hi, please help!! My daughter's dad took her to spain, got drunk, deficated on himself and walked away without my daughter, she's 11. He left her at a venue and no2 knew for over an hour where he went, the police finally located him, he wasn't arrested but She got taken into police custody and then social services and stayed in a group home until I could get a flight over to get her ... Where do I legally stand on contact?
1fundiver - 23-Sep-18 @ 9:38 PM
Hi! My ex husband and i have been divorced for a few yrs now. I didn't hired a lawyer when we divorce, only he did. I remember on a form that he asked me to sign stating that i can have full custody of our children, i had to go through my paperwork today and i realise that i actual don't have any written proof of this. My question is how do i obtain this written proof from his solicitors or the court. I do not want to have to face him as he is abusive. Pls advice me as i urgently need this paper. Many thanks
Stress out - 21-Sep-18 @ 7:39 AM
Hi there, my.ex and split in June 2017. We agreed 50 50 custody as we live close. My ex is the leisure guy and because I had an affair my family have chosen him over me. I am in a secure and happy relationship, and whilst my parents cut me off, I have provided an enriched and loving home for the boys. Slowly my.youngest has voiced he doesnt want to go to his dad. My eldest is scared of disappointing his dad and tells us different things. The lifestyle and routine for the kids has caused me concern for sometime and I asled my ex to do mediation. He's refused stating kids Re fine andits in my head. I had want to suggest a term time arrangement to offer rhen more stability. During this time I lost my job and sadly I can't attain work locally and need to relocate 3 hours away. I want to still pursue the term time arrangement and kids be with me in that time. I am worried my ex will argue hes kept the status quo and use my family against me or out an order against me. What,can.you suggest to help me best navigate this situation?
Bluebell lass - 20-Sep-18 @ 10:38 PM
Lunaa - Your Question:
I separated from my partner almost a year ago. He has our son once a week or once a fortnight but refuses to have him more than one night and tells me that's what my family is for. I'm looking at moving somewhere else with my son for a new start but my ex is threatening me saying I can't without his say. What can I do? He hardly sees his son so will it be worth getting full custody?

Our Response:
Regardless of how often your ex has your son overnight, if you wish to move from the area by law you have to ask for his consent. If he refuses, then you would have to refer the matter to court. If the father does not have your son often, then it is likely the courts would allow your move. 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.
ChildSupportLaws - 18-Sep-18 @ 12:50 PM
I separated from my partner almost a year ago. He has our son once a week or once a fortnight but refuses to have him more than one night and tells me that's what my family is for. I'm looking at moving somewhere else with my son for a new start but my ex is threatening me saying I can't without his say. What can I do? He hardly sees his son so will it be worth getting full custody?
Lunaa - 17-Sep-18 @ 6:20 PM
Hi I am about to go through a divorce I separated from my husband in 2017 he met someone new within a few month which am not bothered about am glad he has moved on but my daughter doesn't like her when she was four her dad left my daughter on my door step and drove off before I got to the door my daughter was crying so I asked what was wrong his new girlfriend had said she didn't want my daughter and she was making them unhappy so I stopped her seeing the women I never said she couldn't see her dad just his girlfriend however even tho my daughter said she didn't want to see her he told my child he was having a party so she would have to go to their house I didn't no this till she got back when she got back she was really quiet and I new he had took her their without my daughter wanting to go. They now have a new baby and live in a 2 bedroom house she has a child already and my child and hers shared a room which she didn't want to do as her child is male and I think it's wrong. he doesn't let his parents see his new child and my child loves seeing her grandparents they see her whenever they can and I would never stop them seeing her he hasn't seen my child since May he doesn't call or text to make sure she is OK he never has and he has stopped paying for her over the past 2 month I want to go for full custody cos I don't trust them and I don't Want them turning up and taking her one day am just scared if I go to court I may lose her does anyone have any advice
Worried parent - 11-Sep-18 @ 10:35 PM
My partner has a child from a previous relationship who is 7, we have a court order in place for contact but recently social service are involved in her behalf for drug use,neglecting the kids (she has another child)- has has failed a drug test with them which shows she is still using- she also drinks a lot.. do you think my partner could get 50/50 custody? She currently has him a few days more then him. We are so worried about his welfare. We just wants what’s for him. Thanks
Dmb12 - 10-Sep-18 @ 10:11 AM
Shelly - Your Question:
My husband and myself separated 11 yrs ago for nearly three years in that time he met someone else and they had a child. When the child was 2.5 yrs old my husband and I reconciled he moved back to our marital home, he had been back a matter of months when she announced she was six months pregnant. When the eldest child was three yrs old she had just given birth to the second child the three yr old came to live with my husband,me and our two children this has been on going he is nine now so has lived with us for six years in that time the youngest child has also come to live with us he has been with us 18 months. She has never provided financially,contacted them regarding there welfare they have both been under speech and language experts for there speech and vocabulary she never allowed her parents contact when she did have them this is now a regular arrangement which grandparents and kids love we have done so much and sacrificed even more for the well-being of those boys, but my husband thinks she can just come along and up root the boys and have them back in her custody after all this time is he right? Please help

Our Response:
It is a tricky question to answer as all parents who have parental responsibility can care for the children (unless a court order says otherwise). If your husband is on the birth certificate (so has PR) then he can legally care for the children. If he is not registered on the birth certificate, then his ex would have the authority to come and take the children without his consent. In order to make living arrangements official, then your husband would have to apply through the courts, please see the link here. Or an arrangement can be made via mediation. If your husband's ex wife does come and take the children, then your husband would have to apply to court to have them returned. As he has been the primary carer for a good while, then it is likely the courts would return the children to him (unless there was a very good reason otherwise).
ChildSupportLaws - 7-Sep-18 @ 2:34 PM
My husband and myself separated 11 yrs ago for nearly three years in that time he met someone else and they had a child. When the child was 2.5 yrs old my husband and I reconciled he moved back to our marital home, he had been back a matter of months when she announced she was six months pregnant. When the eldest child was three yrs old she had just given birth to the second child the three yr old came to live with my husband,me and our two children this has been on going he is nine now so has lived with us for six years in that time the youngest child has also come to live with us he has been with us 18 months. She has never provided financially,contacted them regarding there welfare they have both been under speech and language experts for there speech and vocabulary she never allowed her parents contact when she did have them this is now a regular arrangement which grandparents and kids love we have done so much and sacrificed even more for the well-being of those boys, but my husband thinks she can just come along and up root the boys and have them back in her custody after all this time is he right? Please help
Shelly - 4-Sep-18 @ 4:25 PM
@Ella - do you really want your ex to have contact with your son after what you say he has done? There is a good reason why the refuge doesn't want you to have contact. You would have residency of your child if you have always been the primary carer. You might want to ask the refuge what the process should be - but I'd be pretty hesitant to allow anything other than supervised contact.
JuN - 3-Sep-18 @ 2:07 PM
Me and my 4 year old son staying at a refuge accommodation for almost 2 weeks now due to domestic abuse. I was married for more than 8 years and i can't bear the physical, emotional and financial abuse no more, and plus seeing my son suffer is too much. Now, I just want the separtion to be easy for my son as he is asking for his dad but as a refuge rules we're not allowed to have an open communication with him. I want to talk to him and ask what he want's from this separation and maybe we can just have an agreement on when he can spend time with our son as i still want him to be part of my son's life. Im worried about who's gonna have the custody is it me or him? I am the primary carer of my son, even before my son was born he was in a child's protection due to his dad'sprevious history of domestic abuse from his previous marriage and he served 5 yrs in prison because of arson. Please i need some advice Many thanks
Ella - 2-Sep-18 @ 11:21 PM
Hi there, me and my partner (ex now) had a wee boy I'm September 2011 and we split a few month later. Now for a full year after the split we had shared custody of our son 3.5 days a week each chopping and changing days to suit each other with work and training etc. Now after a year of this with no lawyers being involved (after me repeatedly asking to have something done in writing) she decided she didn't want me being part of our sons life because she had a new partner and was moving on. So for a year and a half I went through court to get my son back eventually after all that time without seeing my son or his mum I was granted 3.5 days a week with my son by court order. I managed I get a message to her saying so and within half an hour she was at my door reading the court order and said that she will not adhere to it and she will not let me see our son. So I went back to the lawyers and he said "we will just get her put in jail" which instantly put fear in to me the idea of taking his mother away from him even tho she done it to me I couldn't do that so I left it at that believing that if I pursued it he'd have his mother taken away and she is the only consistent being he has ever had. Now its 4 years later and I've really been trying to research this and I'm now going to go back to court and try and get him back. My question is where do I stand after being out his life for so long in the eyes of court? And what rights do I have?
34skyline - 22-Aug-18 @ 8:19 AM
Hi there, me and my partner (ex now) had a wee boy I'm September 2011 and we split a few month later. Now for a full year after the split we had shared custody of our son 3.5 days a week each chopping and changing days to suit each other with work and training etc. Now after a year of this with no lawyers being involved (after me repeatedly asking to have something done in writing) she decided she didn't want me being part of our sons life because she had a new partner and was moving on. So for a year and a half I went through court to get my son back eventually after all that time without seeing my son or his mum I was granted 3.5 days a week with my son by court order. I managed I get a message to her saying so and within half an hour she was at my door reading the court order and said that she will not adhere to it and she will not let me see our son. So I went back to the lawyers and he said "we will just get her put in jail" which instantly put fear in to me the idea of taking his mother away from him even tho she done it to me I couldn't do that so I left it at that believing that if I pursued it he'd have his mother taken away and she is the only consistent being he has ever had. Now its 4 years later and I've really been trying to research this and I'm now going to go back to court and try and get him back. My question is where do I stand after being out his life for so long in the eyes of court? And what rights do I have?
34skyline - 20-Aug-18 @ 7:13 PM
I am in the process of divorcing my husband after finding out our 7 year marriage was a sham to get onto a spouse visa.I found out that he had been stealing from his boss all along, and when finally caught after 8 years of lying to everyone he’s stolen over £150,000.The man is a dangerous sociopath, so devoid of remorse for his theft that he even posted a further £350,000 of fraudulent transactions to the company’s books purely to cover his tracks.He has lied about every single aspect of our married life, even forging documents when I’ve challenged him.He is likely to go to prison for his crimes, and as a foreign national will most likely face deportation.His parents are illegal immigrants who regularly break the law, and his father is a volatile and aggressive man.I don’t feel that it’s in the best interests of my children for any of these people to be in their lives and I’m terrified that he’ll find a way to manipulate his boss into not pressing charges and then get away with everything he’s done.Is there anything I can do?I’m terrified that he’ll take my children and do something stupid.
FooledAgain - 17-Aug-18 @ 11:59 PM
SVivien - Your Question:
Hi. I’m very unhappy with my marriage and decisions my husband is making for me and my child. I’m scared because he wants to move to England from Scotland and I don’t want to go. I’ve got family here and no one there. If I filed for divorce, could I lose my child to England? Would I be forced to move there to be with my child? Would he have to stay here to see our child? I’m so unhappy and scared.

Our Response:
If you are the day-to-day primary carer of your child, then you can choose to stay in Scotland with your child, if you wish. You would not be forced to move.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-Aug-18 @ 12:23 PM
Hi. I’m very unhappy with my marriage and decisions my husband is making for me and my child. I’m scared because he wants to move to England from Scotland and I don’t want to go. I’ve got family here and no one there. If I filed for divorce, could I lose my child to England? Would I be forced to move there to be with my child? Would he have to stay here to see our child? I’m so unhappy and scared.
SVivien - 15-Aug-18 @ 9:39 PM
Eivy201 - Your Question:
Hi, I have a baby with my ex partner. He repeatedly drank alcohol excessively while looking after our daughter and after discovering cocaine in our home I chucked him out (March 2018). I tried to come to an agreement and he was seeing his daughter successfully. I agreed for him to look after our daughter while I went out with friends for my birthday. I came home early as he sent me messages that implied he was drunk. I came back after only 3 hours out to find he had drunk 2 bottles of vodka, smashed the bedroom up and passed out on our bed with my daughter on it. I chucked him out again, (I have 3 witnesses to this evening). I was advised by social services that I couldn't stop access so agreed for him to see her under supervision. He has repeatedly ruined this as is clearly still drinking and bombards me with accusations and threats. I no longer want him in my home to visit our daughter. We tried arranging mediation, I asked him to pay for me instead of paying money into my account for my daughter which he agreed and on the saying mediation he refused to pay for me! I have proof of all of his drinking and the situations where he out my daughter in danger. I now want to apply for full custody but I am so scared of him having any access. He is so good at manipulating people and playing the victim and he is now denying the drugs and alcohol. Would you recommend full custody? I am so scared of him not looking after her or taking her off me. She is too young to even say what happens while in his care and I am also scared of what the court would grant to him.

Our Response:
Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer here. If you have evidence of his drinking and drug taking, then this can be used in court. As with any child access arrangements it has to go through the process laid out via the link here first. If you feel your ex has given reason to take his child, then court may be the option. However, you will have to put it into the hands of the court to decide what it thinks is in your child's best interests.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Aug-18 @ 2:02 PM
Hi,I have a baby with my ex partner. He repeatedly drank alcohol excessively while looking after our daughter and after discovering cocaine in our home I chucked him out (March 2018). I tried to come to an agreement and he was seeing his daughter successfully. I agreed for him to look after our daughter while I went out with friends for my birthday. I came home early as he sent me messages that implied he was drunk. I came back after only 3 hours out to find he had drunk 2 bottles of vodka, smashed the bedroom up and passed out on our bed with my daughter on it. I chucked him out again, (I have 3 witnesses to this evening). I was advised by social services that I couldn't stop access so agreed for him to see her under supervision. He has repeatedly ruined this as is clearly still drinking and bombards me with accusations and threats. I no longer want him in my home to visit our daughter. We tried arranging mediation, I asked him to pay for me instead of paying money into my account for my daughter which he agreed and on the saying mediation he refused to pay for me! I have proof of all of his drinking and the situations where he out my daughter in danger. I now want to apply for full custody but I am so scared of him having any access. He is so good at manipulating people and playing the victim and he is now denying the drugs and alcohol. Would you recommend full custody? I am so scared of him not looking after her or taking her off me. She is too young to even say what happens while in his care and I am also scared of what the court would grant to him.
Eivy201 - 13-Aug-18 @ 8:07 PM
Nails - Your Question:
Nearly a year from our separation things have started to get ugly and triggered by jealousy. Neither one of us want to talk to one another so can I draw up a contract that he picks our child up at certain times and drops her off at certain times to come to an agreement? Or does this only because valid if it’s done by a lawyer?

Our Response:
You can make and arrangement via a solicitor or through mediation. However, while it is a legal agreement and with mediation it is overseen and approved by the courts - only a court order is actually legally binding.
ChildSupportLaws - 10-Aug-18 @ 10:54 AM
Nearly a year from our separation things have started to get ugly and triggered by jealousy. Neither one of us want to talk to one another so can I draw up a contract that he picks our child up at certain times and drops her off at certain times to come to an agreement? Or does this only because valid if it’s done by a lawyer?
Nails - 9-Aug-18 @ 5:37 PM
Ldl1986 - Your Question:
My daughters father is currently under investigation for producing and supplying a class C drug, he’s waiting to be charged and will no doubt be going to prison for quite some time. He was producing and supplying at his home where my daughter goes to stay every other weekend! Is there a way I can legally stop him seeing our daughter before he gets sent to prison?

Our Response:
Yes, it would then be up to your ex to apply to court to reinstate contact. 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.
ChildSupportLaws - 9-Aug-18 @ 12:37 PM
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