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Child Custody Rights

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 25 May 2017 | 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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@Omgthissucks - it's normal with any baby, but more so with twins. Don't act rashly and give it time. Can you imagine managing on your own? Plus, even if you do get custody of your twins you will still have to let your hubby have access including overnight access. Having twins is terribly stressful- particularly if they are still very young. Good look - things will improve and get better. Your hubby obviously loves his kids too and he is just wanting to give them love after a hard days' work. Early parenthood is full of emotional ups and downs for all of us as we try to adjust. If you are pushing him out of your relationship with the kids - then he is bound to feel jealous! Look at it from his perspective too.
Gran56 - 26-May-17 @ 11:24 AM
My husband and i have been married for 3 years and have recently had twins during the pregnancy and since the twins were born we have been constantly arguing and whilst hes back to work i am with the twins 24/7 and he would come home and loom after the twins his own way and not take into account i have been getting into a routine with the twins. He always gets very jealous when the twins cry when he picks them up and i have to soothe them we are constantly arguing and i am thinking this isnt working out but i do not want him to have full custody of the boys as i am the one with them 24/7 and doing the day and night feeds. Please help.
Omgthissucks - 25-May-17 @ 4:58 PM
Mumof2 - Your Question:
Hi. My ex has gone for access to both my kids.to which one he is the biological father and has a court order in place to see him.there is no order for my ither child as he is not his. However I was allowing access with him just not his fanily.through fears he would be mistreated by his fanily due to the bitter circumstances.now my ex is carrying on for me to let him take my son to his familys house. I said no.now hes threatening to take ne back to court.can he do this? Also.i feel it may be better for all involved and less stressful if I gave him custody of his own son and I was the none resident parent.then maybe we could all live a happier life because he will not stop this unless he gets everything 100% his own way.im at a loss now. Ive tried to be amicable and give him extra but its never good enough.

Our Response:
Your comment is rather contradictory, in that you say you do not wish for your ex to take his son to see his family, but you are also contemplating allowing him to have residency which would give him the right to involve his family in your son's life as much as he wishes. As the father of your child, if you refuse access to his family he is within his rights to take the matter to court via a Specific Issue Order. 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. Both parents (who have parental responsibility) have an equal right to make decisions regarding the welfare and the care of their child. When one parent attempts to control the situation, then the other parent has a right to take the matter further. This can either be via mediation or court. Meeting the other parent halfway is the best way to deal with this issue. However, if you refuse to try to resolve the issue via mediation, your ex will be able to take the matter to court. We cannot anticipate what a court may decide, but it will always consider what it thinks is beneficial for your child.
ChildSupportLaws - 24-May-17 @ 11:03 AM
Hi. My ex has gone for access to both my kids..to which one he is the biological father and has a court order in place to see him..there is no order for my ither child as he is not his. However i was allowing access with him just not his fanily..through fears he would be mistreated by his fanily due to the bitter circumstances..now my ex is carrying on for me to let him take my son to his familys house. I said no..now hes threatening to take ne back to court..can he do this? Also..i feel it may be better for all involved and less stressful if i gave him custody of his own son and i was the none resident parent..then maybe we could all live a happier life because he will not stop this unless he gets everything 100% his own way..im at a loss now. Ive tried to be amicable and give him extra but its never good enough.
Mumof2 - 23-May-17 @ 2:20 PM
StressedLife - Your Question:
My partner has depression and epilepsy. She is on a ton of meds and is told not to drink. She does sometimes drink and more often that not will take an overdose. She now lies to cover up drinking. Over the past 10 years means she's been hospitalised dozens of times. We now have an autistic child of nearly 4, and she is STILL doing this. At Xmas she overdosed twice deliberately. Apart from it destroying me, it's not what my son needs in a mother. She had had counselling for as long as I have known her, but she won't change it seems. What are my chances of getting my son full-time? Thanks for any info.

Our Response:
Much depends upon who is the day-to-day primary carer of your son and your level of input into the care of your son. It is very difficult to speculate what a court may decide and an agreement directly with your ex regarding who will be the primary carer is always more beneficial. If your partner does not wish to discuss the matter, then you would have to suggest mediation before any court application would be allowed. You may wish to seek legal advice here.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-May-17 @ 12:46 PM
Jeanne - Your Question:
Hi there,My husband left me when I was 3 months pregnant to embark on a mid life crisis of drink drugs and a stripper. When our daughter was 9 months old he started having her 1 night a week and by the time we finally divorced he had a good relationship with her and was looking after her 2 days and 1 night a week and so we agreed joint custody. However June last year he was arrested for possession with intent to supply drugs. I was called by child protection services to discuss his access with his daughter and it was agreed he could see her for a couple of hours on a Sunday with either me or his mother as a mediator to ensure he was never alone with our daughter. Now he is finally going to trial and could well be looking at a prison sentence. I just want to protect my daughter as much as possible because I fundamentally disagree with his life style choices and his decision making and so I want to go for full custody. Is this achievable? How can I go about doing this and what happens if he goes to prison during this process?

Our Response:
You would have to apply for a child arrangement order through the court if you wish to officially determine who your child should live with. You may also wish to seek legal advice in order to explore your best options fully. A court case can still be heard if your ex is in prison.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-May-17 @ 11:46 AM
JB780 - Your Question:
My ex wife and I separated about 11 years ago. I was working in London at the time as the main bread winner and my ex lived in the north of England with our three boys. After about 2 years of separation we got divorced due to irreconcilable differences. I continued to live in London and have driven to the north of England every two weeks for 11 years and had my boys with me at my mum's house, who lives near my ex-wife. I have always paid my ex-wife a monthly amount in line with the legal guidelines and never missed a payment. My sons are older now and in the last couple of years I have observed some very worrying signs in the boys' behaviour. Their school reports have been appalling and there are regular disciple problems which have been reported by their teachers. Their mother is rarely at home as she seems to have a job that has some very unusual hours. Two of my boys have also had problems with under-age drinking and on one recent occasion my son had to be taken to hospital as a safety precaution. My ex wife has also just been give a court summons for dealing with counterfeit goods and will likely get a criminal record. I am considering seeking custody of the boys so that they will come and live with me in London. However, I do not feel my changes are particularly good and so would appreciate your thoughts.

Our Response:
You don't say how old your boys are now and whether they wish to change locations. In the first instance, if you are on reasonably amicable terms with your ex the discussion should be directly with her in order to try to come to a mutual agreement. If you cannot discuss the matter with your ex and you wish to pursue it then mediation would have to be the next proposal to your ex. You can push for custody in mediation if you think it would be in the best interests of your children. However, it does not mean their mother has to agree. If their mother either refuses to attend mediation, or the mediation process fails you will then be allowed to apply to court. The court will always decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your children. However, it is rare the court will remove children from their primary carer unless absolutely necessary. Whilst your ex may be given a criminal record and your children currently have behavioural issues, it doesn't mean changing locations, school and parenting would improve the situation. The courts generally opt for stability and consistency even though it may not be a perfect set-up for your kids. In addition, if your sons are over the age of 11 they will also be allowed their opinions regarding where they wish to live. If they would prefer to live with you, it doesn't mean Cafcass and the court would agree, but it will listen. In all such situations we can only advise you to seek legal advice. You say your changes are not 'particularly good' - you will have to weigh up what you objectively think will be best for your boys. Sometimes, there is no easy or conclusive answer, we have to work with the situations we are given as best we can.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-May-17 @ 10:13 AM
My partner has depression and epilepsy. She is on a ton of meds and is told not to drink. She does sometimes drink and more often that not will take an overdose. She now lies to cover up drinking. Over the past 10 years means she's been hospitalised dozens of times. We now have an autistic child of nearly 4, and she is STILL doing this. At Xmas she overdosed twice deliberately. Apart from it destroying me, it's not what my son needs in a mother. She had had counselling for as long as I have known her, but she won't change it seems. What are my chances of getting my son full-time? Thanks for any info.
StressedLife - 21-May-17 @ 11:04 PM
Hi there, My husband left me when I was 3 months pregnant to embark on a mid life crisis of drink drugs and a stripper. When our daughter was 9 months old he started having her 1 night a week and by the time we finally divorced he had a good relationship with her and was looking after her 2 days and 1 night a week and so we agreed joint custody. However June last year he was arrested for possession with intent to supply drugs. I was called by child protection services to discuss his access with his daughter and it was agreed he could see her for a couple of hours on a Sunday with either me or his mother as a mediator to ensure he was never alone with our daughter. Now he is finally going to trial and could well be looking at a prison sentence. I just want to protect my daughter as much as possible because I fundamentally disagree with his life style choices and his decision making and so I want to go for full custody. Is this achievable? How can I go about doing this and what happens if he goes to prison during this process?
Jeanne - 21-May-17 @ 5:06 PM
My ex wife and I separated about 11 years ago. I was working in London at the time as the main bread winner and my ex lived in the north of England with our three boys. After about 2 years of separation we got divorced due to irreconcilable differences. I continued to live in London and have driven to the north of England every two weeks for 11 years and had my boys with me at my mum's house, who lives near my ex-wife. I have always paid my ex-wife a monthly amount in line with the legal guidelines and never missed a payment. My sons are older now and in the last couple of years I have observed some very worrying signs in the boys' behaviour. Their school reports have been appalling and there are regular disciple problems which have been reported by their teachers. Their mother is rarely at home as she seems to have a job that has some very unusual hours. Two of my boys have also had problems with under-age drinking and on one recent occasion my son had to be taken to hospital as a safety precaution. My ex wife has also just been give a court summons for dealing with counterfeit goods and will likely get a criminal record. I am considering seeking custody of the boys so that they will come and live with me in London. However, I do not feel my changes are particularly good and so would appreciate your thoughts.
JB780 - 21-May-17 @ 12:39 AM
To cut along story short my ex and i had a daughter together she is now 5 we seperated when she was 15 months due to domestic violence and him using drugs and alcohol.He hasd access to see our daughter up until last year when he decided he wanted a court order in place so he had more rights.Unfortunately Cafcass ordered a section 51 and drugs and alcohlol testing before he could be considered to have any contact with our daughter.He made the decision and didnt attend his final hearing and informed the court he would never do these tests and he will see his daughter when she is 18. Can anyone advise whether and how i can get a custody order inplace just incase anything happens to me and i would like her to have my name not his?
moo - 17-May-17 @ 10:55 AM
Hi.. I had separate from my ex wife 1p months ago and got divorced few months back. We have 2 kids. She is full-time working and i was taking care of my kids before seperation. Now i live in rented room few blocks away and see my kids 2 days a week. Now she wants to move away to live witb her patner. Her afaire led our divorce. Can i get my kuds back? I love my kids and i cannot imagine living without them.
Sam - 16-May-17 @ 10:22 PM
Vee - Your Question:
Hello, My grandson is 11 years old and has lived with my daughter for the last 11 years. He has special needs and is in a special school and has transport to and from. His dad has seen him regularly for the last 11 years on his terms but has never paid for his upkeep. Dad is bitter about the break up and has recently been contacted by child maintenance.My grandson went for the weekend apparently they was going to Skegness for the weekend only for my daughter to receive a call Sunday night to say he wasn't bringing him back as she is a bad mother and my grandson doesn't want to live with her anymore.Obviously my daughter is distraught, she called the police whom said there is nothing she can do as his name is on the birth certificate.It would seem this has been planned by dad as he spoke to transport the Friday before to rearrange transport for school which cannot be put into place overnight.He kept him out of school today stating he would be in school tomorrow.The school are backing my daughter and have concerns over emotional abuse and minipulation of ad a vulnerable young boy.His brothers and sister are all over the place and I'd hate to think what must be running through his mind.Surely there is something that can be done this is ridiculous, he has never been denied access.Please help anything would be better than nothing. Regards

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this, it must be a very emotional and stressful time. Many people turn to the police for help, but how much the police can help is very dependent upon the personal situation of the parents involved. If both parents have Parental Responsibility and one parent is keeping the child against the other's wishes, the police CANNOT help, even if the child does not normally live with them. Unfortunately, the police cannot choose between parents, that is the remit of the courts. In this situation, if the father does not return the child, your daughter would have to apply for a Child Arrangement Order. Ordinarily, the court will give notice of the hearing to both parties so that they can attend and give their side of the story. However, if your daughter thinks that her son may be in danger, then she may be able to apply for an emergency without notice hearing which will be much quicker than a full "with notice hearing". However ,be aware that this will only be a temporary solution and that any without notice hearing will be followed shortly after by a full "with notice" hearing in which the court order may be changed. Alternatively, if your daughter can show the father is not able to care for the child properly, or if there is a real risk to life then your daughter should speak to the local police force and social services. This is a situation that happens rarely, but when it does it can be extremely upsetting and it can take time to resolve. I hope the situation is resolved without having to wait to take the matter to court.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-May-17 @ 12:14 PM
Hello, My grandson is 11 years old and has lived with my daughter for the last 11 years. He has special needs and is in a special school and has transport to and from. His dad has seen him regularly for the last 11 years on his terms but has never paid for his upkeep. Dad is bitter about the break up and has recently been contacted by child maintenance. My grandson went for the weekend apparently they was going to Skegness for the weekend only for my daughter to receive a call Sunday night to say he wasn't bringing him back as she is a bad mother and my grandson doesn't want to live with her anymore. Obviously my daughter is distraught, she called the police whom said there is nothing she can do as his name is on the birth certificate. It would seem this has been planned by dad as he spoke to transport the Friday before to rearrange transport for school which cannot be put into place overnight. He kept him out of school today stating he would be in school tomorrow . The school are backing my daughter and have concerns over emotional abuse and minipulation of ad a vulnerable young boy. His brothers and sister are all over the place and I'd hate to think what must be running through his mind... Surely there is something that can be done this is ridiculous, he has never been denied access. Please help anything would be better than nothing. Regards
Vee - 15-May-17 @ 6:16 PM
nan - Your Question:
My daughter has a 2 and a half year old little girl with cystic fibrosis (a life limiting, life threatening condition with a reduced life expectancy) Her treatment plan keeps her alive. Until very recent years, this condition claimed the lives of most sufferers in childhood.It affects many systems in the body but particulary the lungs and digestive systems.Her ex partner does not, and has never succesfully completed her treatment plan. (administering medications, physiotherapy etc) He also smokes heavily.He refuses to give up smoking even though his daughter has a life threatening lung condition.My daughter is desperate to have his contact with the little girl maintained as supervised (as currently) but is terrified that the courts will allow him unsupervised contact. Without supervision his smoking and the fact that he does not follow the treatment plan or follow hospital guidance, will mean that the little girls health will deteriorate irreversibly and will eventually lead to her death. The ex partner always makes very convincing promises to the right thing, but has never done so, and will probably convince the court that he will.There was also domestic abuse, (emotional and physical) but as my daughter has no evidence (who keeps a camera recording in their own house?) she is also scared that this very real concern will be brushed away as he will once again lie and claim that it never happened.If anyone can help please please let us know what to do.How can we convince the court that his contact needs to remain supervised?The court system does not seem to put the childs wellfare above the wants of a parent who is very adept at lying.

Our Response:
In a case such as this, if your child has physical, emotional and educational needs, I'm sure Cafcass will be involved and this will give your daughter and other healthcare professionals who are involved in the treatment plan the chance to put their views forward. A court will always decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of the child first and foremost.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-May-17 @ 12:29 PM
My daughter has a 2 and a half year old little girl with cystic fibrosis (a life limiting, life threatening condition with a reduced life expectancy) Her treatment plan keeps her alive. Until very recent years, this condition claimed the lives of most sufferers in childhood.It affects many systems in the body but particulary the lungs and digestive systems. Her ex partner does not, and has never succesfully completed her treatment plan. (administering medications, physiotherapy etc) He also smokes heavily. He refuses to give up smoking even though his daughter has a life threatening lung condition. My daughter is desperate to have his contact with the little girl maintained as supervised (as currently) but is terrified that the courts will allow him unsupervised contact. Without supervision his smoking and the fact that he does not follow the treatment plan or follow hospital guidance, will mean that the little girls health will deteriorate irreversibly and will eventually lead to her death. The ex partner always makes very convincing promises tothe right thing, but has never done so, and will probably convince the court that he will. There was also domestic abuse, (emotional and physical)but as my daughter has no evidence (who keeps a camera recording in their own house?) she is also scared that this very real concern will be brushed away as he will once again lie and claim that it never happened. If anyone can help please please let us know what to do...... How can we convince the court that his contact needs to remain supervised? The court system does not seem to put the childswellfare above the wants of a parent who is very adept at lying.
nan - 14-May-17 @ 3:59 PM
Hi my child's mother walked out in us when she was 4 months old and even though she only lived 3 doors down didn't have anything to do why my daughter until she was 6. She's still very much in and out of her life and constantly playing games it wasn't so bad when my daughter was younger but now she's nearly ten it's affecting her. She constantly feeds her lies about what happened when she was younger and manipulates her. I choose not to discuss when my daughter was little or why she's in my care because I've always believed her to be too young but now it's making her against me. We already have a court order in place where she gets her 2 nights a week but she keeps refusing to hand her back over and police aren't interested. I just don't know what I'm meant to do I feel as a dad I don't have as much rights as a woman.
Tom - 13-May-17 @ 10:32 PM
@Sj - you don't have to have a court to oversee this, you can allow it on an informal basis. Or you could come to an agreement through mediation.
Nan46 - 10-May-17 @ 11:15 AM
My 13 almost 14 yr old in 2months daughter has become out of my control to look after due to my child getting into "the wrong crowd of peers" social services are more than happy for her to go to live with her paternal grandparents as am I. Being so the nan of my daughter has helped me raise her since her father walked out of her life 8years ago and doesn't want anymore contact. My daughter nan (my ex mother in law) is very close to us as a family and wishes to help me with taking my daughter through these next two years of school in her borough which is different to mine so different high school. Can anyone guild us on the grandparent taking over residency order from me with my full consent without the huge court fees as no one is objecting to this move happening my daughter also wants to live with her grandparent.
Sj - 9-May-17 @ 6:48 PM
Hamster - Your Question:
I'm father to one adorable young man who is 3 and a half years old me and his mother split beginning of December 2016, we agreed to stay away from the courts to trial a set month on days I could have my son. The days she gave me was not working out but for her the days worked perfect weekends are not 50/50 she has him 3 weekends out the month I get him 1 weekend she thinks this is fare. bank holiday monday has just gone and she said originally she would pick dylan up at 16:30pm then she calls me at 2pm to say she picking him up at 3 as she has finished work early how is this my problem we are in the middle of having a daddy son day and she wants him sooner, I refused as I said I have had enough of her telling me what she wants as in our relationship she was 30% abusive to me I'm not afraid to admit that as now I'm free of that relationship but now she has denied me access for 2 weeks at a time so in a month I see my son 4 times, she thinks this is more then fair for a couple who have split. baring in mind she is 4 months pregnant with her new partners baby. yep she fell pregnant a month after we split. just goes to show what type of women she is.

Our Response:
If you cannot resolve this issue between yoruselves or through a mediation agreement, then the only other option you would have is to apply to court. Alternatively, you may wish to see a solicitor who can send a letter outlining your rights and the course of action you will take if she continues to refuse access.
ChildSupportLaws - 9-May-17 @ 11:56 AM
Zizie - Your Question:
Hello. I'm posting behalf of my friend. She a mother of 2 young kids. She left her husband a year ago, as he wouldn't pay for the heating and hot water, and was trying to keep warm using the oven. He always had the car or no car at all so she can't get out. She now lives with one of her parents. She was trying to get him to sort himself financially and stop his drug addiction. 10 months later of her trying to help him sort himself out (in which he had already moved 4 times). She couldn't cope. He had stolen money from her leaving her in £12.000 dept and has in the past screw their own friends, family members and even stole money from a charity. She has asked for a divorce which he refuses to sign. A contact centre was then enforce by the mother as he couldn't be trusted and hearing more drug abuse by others telling her. He did the contact centre for 3 months and now refuses to go there as he said it's not a good environment for him and the kids. This contact centre is lovely place and the kids loved going there. He keeps telling her she should take him to court and sort out custody and refuses to pay maintenance for his children. He keeps saying he is desperate to see his children yet he can't be bothered to turn up at The Contact Centre to see his own kids. She has sacrificed so much so that her children can have the best life possible. He has bullied and domestically abused her for the past 8 years. He is a controlling convincing liar. She Only wants the best for him for the sake of their children. She said that he could have the children at his home once he can be stable. She has proof that he is unstable person specially by his messages that he sends her constantly harassing her. She is worried that he could get joint custody as he is so unstable and worries about her children safety and welfare. Do you think with her situation that she would get full custody of the children, call only get joint custody as he would make up some sort of lie to make himself look good. Thank you for anyone who can advise x

Our Response:
The father will not be awarded shared care of the children through the courts, especially if his contact has been sporadic.
ChildSupportLaws - 9-May-17 @ 11:48 AM
Rollo - Your Question:
Hi I recently split up with my girlfriend after almost 3 years and are in a bit of an awkward situation. We have a 2 year old girl who is not my biological child but I have been there since the pregnancy and I do consider her my daughter. Unfortunately due to this I am not on the birth certificate or am I a legal guardian and her mother is refusing to let me see her. Is there any way I could fight for shared custody

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Theoretically, you do not have any rights. However, you may wish to seek professional legal advice as sometimes the courts will allow visitation rights for non-biological fathers. However, it would not allow shared-care of the child.
ChildSupportLaws - 9-May-17 @ 11:39 AM
I'm father to one adorable young man who is 3 and a half years old me and his mother split beginning of December 2016, we agreed to stay away from the courts to trial a set month on days i could have my son. The days she gave me was not working out but for her the days worked perfect weekends are not 50/50 she has him 3 weekends out the month i get him 1 weekend she thinks this is fare. bank holiday monday has just gone and she said originally she would pick dylan up at 16:30pm then she calls me at 2pm to say she picking him up at 3 as she has finished work early how is this my problem we are in the middle of having a daddy son day and she wants him sooner, i refused as i said i have had enough of her telling me what she wants as in our relationship she was 30% abusive to me i'm not afraid to admit that as now i'm free of that relationship but now she has denied me access for 2 weeks at a time so in a month i see my son 4 times, she thinks this is more then fair for a couple who have split. baring in mind she is 4 months pregnant with her new partners baby. yep she fell pregnant a month after we split. just goes to show what type of women she is.
Hamster - 8-May-17 @ 12:46 PM
Hello. I'm posting behalf of my friend. She a mother of 2 young kids. She left her husband a year ago, as he wouldn't pay for the heating and hot water, and was trying to keep warm using the oven. He always had the car or no car at all so she can't get out.She now lives with one of her parents. She was trying to get him to sort himself financially and stop his drug addiction. 10 months later of her trying to help him sort himself out (in which he had already moved4 times). She couldn't cope. He had stolen money from her leaving her in £12.000 dept and has in the past screw their own friends, family members and even stole money from a charity. She has asked for a divorce which he refuses to sign. A contact centre was then enforce by the mother as he couldn't be trusted and hearing more drug abuse by others telling her. He did the contact centre for 3 months and now refuses to go there as he said it's not a good environment for him and the kids. This contact centre is lovely place and the kids loved going there. He keeps telling her she should take him to court and sort out custody and refuses to pay maintenance for his children. He keeps saying he is desperate to see his children yet he can't be bothered to turn up at The Contact Centre to see his own kids. She has sacrificed so much so that her children can have the best life possible. He has bullied and domestically abused her for the past 8 years. He is a controlling convincing liar. She Only wants the best for him for the sake of their children. She said that he could have the children at his home once he can be stable. She has proof that he is unstable person specially by his messages that he sends her constantly harassing her. She is worried that he could get joint custody as he is so unstable and worries about her children safety and welfare. Do you think with her situation that she would get full custody of the children, call only get joint custody as he would make up some sort of lie to make himself look good.Thank you for anyone who can advise x
Zizie - 8-May-17 @ 12:00 PM
Hi i recently split up with my girlfriend after almost 3 years and are in a bit of an awkward situation. We have a 2 year old girl who is not my biological child but i have been there since the pregnancy and i do consider her my daughter. Unfortunatelydue to this i am not on the birth certificate or am i a legal guardian and her mother is refusing to let me see her. Is there any way i could fight for shared custody
Rollo - 8-May-17 @ 11:41 AM
Kell - Your Question:
Hi I am a mother of a little girl and little boy ages six and four I was with my ex partner for ten years I went out to a friends one evening for a drink as she knew how low and stressed I was due to how unhappy I was in my relationship an he called me demanding I get my f ing arse home or he'd lock me out well ihad a key knew I'd get back in so didn't worry then he told me to stay at my friends he didn't want to see me so I did as didn't want argue in front of kids again I went back next day he'd blocked all doors off with wood so I couldn't push them open and three out all my things and for the past year refuses to let me see my children I am so depressed an stressed since my children were born no one vet looked after them but me he was beer there he was controlling and still is I'm allowed to c my children ten minutes for birthdays and Christmas I cry and breakdown everyday I have nightmares I think about them every second and jus cry I feel like j can't breath when I think about loosing them forever I've tried mediation he has said know he wants me to make an arrangement with him between jus me and him where I sign over kids to him full time and trust hel allow me to see them I have refused obviously and now I'm only left with the option of taking him to court my self and represent my self people have asked me why I haven't stole my children back my answer I should ever have to steal my children there mine there part of me id never harm them I love them more than anything I this world they're dad has stole them from me because he knows the should be with me I will fight to get them back but I have anxiety quite bad and I can't help but keep worrying the court will let him keep them any advice sorry about the length of this lol but this is the short version believe it or not thanks if you take time to read this or comment thankyou

Our Response:
A year is a long time to have let this situation drift before taking action (if you have). As soon as your ex kept the children without authority, you should have followed this up immediately and applied for an interim court order to see your children. I say this because the longer your ex has the children, the more they become settled and therefore the more reluctant the court is to remove children from a settled environment. The court will always decide what it thinks is in the best interests of your children and stability and consistency are considered most important. I don't wish to be the bearer of bad news, but the court will take on both sides of yours and the father's story and make a decision based upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your children. Much will depend upon your own circumstances, your own set-up, where you are living etc. However, much will also depend on whether the court think it is in your children's best interests to uproot them from their present residence. Therefore, I can only suggest you take as much free/professional legal advice as you can get. I'm afraid I cannot speak for your anxiety, you should let the court know you are affected by this. On the plus side, regardless of whether you are self-litigating and if your ex is not, you have to be treated fairly by the courts. You will certainly not be put at a unfair disadvantage if you cannot afford a solicitor and your ex can.
ChildSupportLaws - 8-May-17 @ 11:06 AM
Hi I am a mother of a little girl and little boy ages six and four I was with my ex partner for ten years I went out to a friends one evening for a drink as she knew how low and stressed I was due to how unhappy I was in my relationship an he called me demanding I get my f ing arse home or he'd lock me out well ihad a key knew I'd get back in so didn't worry then he told me to stay at my friends he didn't want to see me so I did as didn't want argue in front of kids again I went back next day he'd blocked all doors off with wood so I couldn't push them open and three out all my things and for the past year refuses to let me see my children I am so depressed an stressed since my children were born no one vet looked after them but me he was beer there he was controlling and still is I'm allowed to c my children ten minutes for birthdays and Christmas I cry and breakdown everyday I have nightmares I think about them every second and jus cry I feel like j can't breath when I think about loosing them forever I've tried mediation he has said know he wants me to make an arrangement with him between jus me and him where I sign over kids to him full time and trust hel allow me to see them I have refused obviously and now I'm only left with the option of taking him to court my self and represent my self people have asked me why I haven't stole my children back my answer I should ever have to steal my children there mine there part of me id never harm them I love them more than anything I this world they're dad has stole them from me because he knows the should be with me I will fight to get them back but I have anxiety quite bad and I can't help but keep worrying the court will let him keep them any advice sorry about the length of this lol but this is the short version believe it or not thanks if you take time to read this or comment thankyou
Kell - 7-May-17 @ 3:38 AM
Laura - Your Question:
Hiya, my step daughter is currently living with her mother but me and my husband (her dad) want to fight for custody of her as we feel she is not in a safe environment and not in the best situation either. The reason is because her mother is now in a relationship with a woman which I understand is fine but the woman as now decided that she wants to become a man and me and my husband believe that this will affect my step daughter in many ways and we also do believe that her mother is not putting her first because of other things that's happening such as sending her round the shop on her own and she's only 7 years old. She's letting her make cups of teas by herself. she's not giving her any disapline that she needs and she is also going to work at night times and then staying in bed all day and leaving her to fend for herself. What chance would we have if we took her to court for custody of my step daughter

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely a court would rule to take a child from one parent and hand her to another unless it was absolutely necessary and seen as in her best interests. Neither would the court discriminate against a transgender person as being unsuitable to parent on the basis of their change in gender. Therefore, in such a instance I would suggest you seek professional legal advice to see whether you may have a case.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-May-17 @ 2:38 PM
Hiya, my step daughter is currently living with her mother but me and my husband (her dad) want to fight for custody of her as we feel she is not in a safe environment and not in the best situation either. The reason is because her mother is now in a relationship with a woman which I understand is fine but the woman as now decided that she wants to become a man and me and my husband believe that this will affect my step daughter in many ways and we also do believe that her mother is not putting her first because of other things that's happening such as sending her round the shop on her own and she's only 7 years old. She's letting her make cups of teas by herself.. she's not giving her any disapline that she needs and she is also going to work at night times and then staying in bed all day and leaving her to fend for herself. What chance would we have if we took her to court for custody of my step daughter
Laura - 5-May-17 @ 10:02 AM
Hi I'm in a little of a dilemmaneed help asap Well,to begin with,I have been through domestic violence during my pregnancy and after my daughter was born year 2008 before I was granted indefinite leave to remain.social services were involved at the time but it got worst and to protect my daughter and myself,I had to move out of the area.in 2012.For the sake of my daughter,when she was 5,I approach him to find out if he wanted contact with her and he accepted.so I arranged a mutual place of contact in a public place every other weekend. For the first weekend things went well and there after he started to bring up pass conversations,ill treated me verbally and usingprofanities. This situation started to stress me again,asmy second child was still a baby. So I decided to stop all contacts again and seek advice as to how could he be in contact with his daughter without me being around,I even proposed mediation to him,but he refused. Now,that my daughter is 8 and my son is 5 and we are well settled,I would like to take them on holidays to Mauritius where I'm originally from so that they can get to know my family. Now while I was applying for her passport,they realised that she has a double-barrelled surname and on her dad's birth certificate he only got the first surname. Now the passport office is requesting that I get a section 10: confirmation of identity to prove that he is the same person in my daughter's Bc. Because of the relationship with my ex partner I don't think he will want to help me in any way.i would like to know how can i get a passport for my daughter withouthim been involvedor please would it easier for me to seek sole custody and there after removed the second surname so that it's similar to his bc and apply again for her passport.Please need advice as soon as thank you
Mary - 3-May-17 @ 11:30 PM
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