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Child Custody Rights

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 24 Mar 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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My partner is currently going through court as he feels the children's mother is unable to manage taking care of the children's basic needs. The girls are 3 and 6. She has never taken them to the dentist but has told us that she has we have given the evidance to court. One of the children has health concerns and the mother has never taken them for medical treatment/advice. My partner has been physically and verbally assaulted by her family members. She is claiming domestic violence but has never contacted the police as my partner is not violent. School health are involved and are not listening to my partners concerns. Whenhe got a bit angry in one of the meetings they asked him if he got angry at his children. I can confirm he does not. He was angry because the mother sat in the meeting telling bare face lies which we can prove to the court that she has lied about most things. She has also breached the court order that is in place and we can also prove that. Does her persistent lies help my partner when it comes to being heard by the judge. Neither of them have legal representation so we don't know if what we are doing and how we are going about ithe is correct. PLEASE HELP SHED SOME LIGHT. thank you
Lea - 24-Mar-17 @ 4:10 PM
Kols - Your Question:
Hello, I'm in a spouse visa as a dependant from my husband, for many reasons including abuse of prescription drugs, I want to leave him, I want to go back to my home country but I dont know how to proceed as I know as soon as I leave my husband I will be in breach of my visa, is there any chance I can have the custody of our 2 years old or relocation order to be obtained!? Thank you

Our Response:
The Hague Abduction Convention is a treaty that many countries, including the UK, have joined. The purposes of the Convention are to protect children from the harmful effects of international abduction by a parent by encouraging the prompt return of abducted children to their country of 'habitual residence'. This means you will have to gain authorisation from your husband to leave the country with your child. If your husband refuses, you would have to apply to the court for a Specific Issue Order. Specific Issue Orders, much like the name suggests, are orders sought from the family court to determine a particular matter in connection with the exercise of PR. These orders can cover a wide range of issues that you and your ex cannot agree on, such as taking the child to live abroad on a permanent basis. Under these circumstances, if you take the child abroad without authorisation, you can be charged with abduction. 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. So, some legal advice is advised here.
ChildSupportLaws - 24-Mar-17 @ 11:26 AM
Hello, I'm in a spouse visa as a dependant from my husband, for many reasons including abuse of prescription drugs, I want to leave him, I want to go back to my home country but I dont know how to proceed as I know as soon as I leave my husband I will be in breach of my visa, is there any chance I can have the custody of our 2 years old or relocation order to be obtained!? Thank you
Kols - 23-Mar-17 @ 7:21 PM
Brian - Your Question:
My ex partner mother of our children has taken our son off roll as school.This is against the wishes of both schools he attended.This has been done as she was not getting him to school and faced fines and to avoid the action plan put in place by county hall.I want my son to attend school and wrote a letter to school saying do not take off role, along with a letter from mum saying take him off roll.The school contacted County hall for advice.County hall said mother was resident parent and her decision if final.We are both on the birth certificate and I believe we both have dual custody after mother was sectioned a few years back.There is no court order in place.I believe residency takes over the term custordy, is this correct and who has custody/residency.I thought a parental dispute had to be settled in court and not by county hall.ThanksBrian.

Our Response:
In this case you may wish to seek some legal advice about taking this matter to court.
ChildSupportLaws - 21-Mar-17 @ 12:21 PM
My ex partner mother of our children has taken our son off roll as school. This is against the wishes of both schools he attended. This has been done as she was not getting him to school and faced fines and to avoid the action plan put in place by county hall. I want my son to attend school and wrote a letter to school saying do not take off role, along with a letter from mum saying take him off roll. The school contacted County hall for advice. County hall said mother was resident parent and her decision if final. We are both on the birth certificate and I believe we both have dual custody after mother was sectioned a few years back. There is no court order in place. I believe residency takes over the term custordy, is this correct and who has custody/residency. I thought a parental dispute had to be settled in court and not by county hall. Thanks Brian.
Brian - 20-Mar-17 @ 5:35 PM
Unsure- Your Question:
Hi I'm in an unhappy relationship and don't want to be with the father of my child anymore. We live in an expensive city and can't afford to buy. I'd like to move to another city and buy a house and for my son to be settled before school. The father of my child, says he'd want joint custody (which is understandable) but is it possible to do this? I can't afford to live in this city anymore but not sure how we'd we able to do joint custody. Is there any law stopping me? Thanks

Our Response:
If the father of your child is registered on the birth certificate, then you would have to ask his permission to move out of the area. If he refuses, you would have to apply through court to request permission. Obviously, if you can both agree to try to resolve these issues between you it is better all round. Mediation may also be an option if you cannot agree and do not wish to apply to the courts. Some parents do take a chance and move away without their ex's permission. If you did and your ex decided to take the matter to court, you could possibly be forced to move back. However, if your financial circumstances show that you couldn't possibly continue to live in the area, and i.e, you have a network of family or friends in the area you wish to re-locate to, then the court are likely to grant the order, as long as your ex has decent access to your kids.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Mar-17 @ 1:57 PM
Paula - Your Question:
Hi,My daughter (age 11) lives with me full time and sees her dad every other weekend, however last weekend she is refusing to come home saying that she has more "fun" at his house. I haven't made a fuss as I thought she'd of come home by now but shes still adamant that she wants to live with him. My ex is more than happy for her to live with him but as there are no issues at home or school I don't think and don't want this to happen. He cut the maintenance payments from December 2016 and since New Year he's made no payments. Please can you advise me where I stand legally on this ?

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this - it must be very upsetting for you. As your daughter is now aged-11, her opinions will be taken into consideration if the matter has to go to court. However, the court will always decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your child and that does not mean it will agree with your daughter's preference. If the father has parental responsibility of your child and refuses to hand her back, your only options really are to either suggest mediation in order to try to resolve the matter out of court, or seek legal advice about taking the matter to court. With regards to child maintenance payments if you have a family-based arrangement, there is not much you can do. If the matter is orgainised through CMS, then you will be able to claim back pay. Please also note, that if you are working and paying tax via HMRC and your child remains with your ex, he will be allowed to claim from you.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Mar-17 @ 12:27 PM
Hi, My daughter (age 11) lives with me full time and sees her dad every other weekend, however last weekend she is refusing to come home saying that she has more "fun" at his house.I haven't made a fuss as I thought she'd of come home by now but shes still adamant that she wants to live with him. My ex is more than happy for her to live with him but as there are no issues at home or school i don't think and don't want this to happen.He cut the maintenance payments from December 2016 and since New Year he's made no payments. Please can you advise me where i stand legally on this ?
Paula - 19-Mar-17 @ 1:31 PM
Hi I'm in an unhappy relationship and don't want to be with the father of my child anymore. We live in an expensive city and can't afford to buy. I'd like to move to another city and buy a house and for my son to be settled before school. The father of my child, says he'd want joint custody (which is understandable) but is it possible to do this? I can't afford to live in this city anymore but not sure how we'd we able to do joint custody. Is there any law stopping me? Thanks
Unsure - 18-Mar-17 @ 11:52 AM
granddadmark - Your Question:
My son has shared residency and parental responsibility for his son who resides with ex partner and husband (step father). My grandson has raised a concern with his school about abuse from step father. The school has contacted social services. For this reason as a family my grandchild is staying with his dad and us. My Grandson is saying he doesn't want to return to his mum & step father. Social services implied for us to keep him until investigation is carried out and the school is behind us with this decision. First mum agreed for grandson to stay with us until sorted out but less than 24 hours later she is kicking off and is not happy at all. We do not know what to do. My grandson was scared to go home in the first place and now social services are involved along with mum kicking off, he definitely doesn't want to go back. My grandson is 13yrs old. Can someone tell us what our options are, Please! Many ThanksDesperate Grandparents!!!

Our Response:
You can refuse to send your grandson home and if his mother wishes to protest then she can apply for a court order. The fact your grandson is 13 means in court his opinion will be taken into consideration. A special guardianship order is also an option which can be applied for via the courts. This is an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child's 'special guardian'. It is a private law order made under the Children Act 1989 and is intended for those children who cannot live with their birth parents and who would benefit from a legally secure placement, please see link here. If social services are backing you up, and you feel your grandson needs safeguarding, then you may wish to seek legal advice.
ChildSupportLaws - 17-Mar-17 @ 2:09 PM
Bigcol - Your Question:
My ex fiancé and I split several years ago due to infidelity (hers not mine), We have been sharing custody of our 2 kids since 2007. The CSA are involved and I pay maintenance to them from my wages directly. My children have been speaking to me in confidence about various things about their Mum and it has upset me and angered me, when I brought their concerns to their grandparents so they can approach their daughter as we do not talk, my kids were pressured into changing their thoughts and I was made to look like a troublemaker. Now my kids have said they want to live with me permanently, I explained and was trying to paint their mum in as best light as possible but they are adamant they want to live with me which I am happy to have them. How can I sort out the legal and financial side of this mess, they are 14 and 13 and are mature enough to express their wishes and desires, I am on their birth certificates and they have my surname that she reluctantly agreed to change this year. I as my kids are both deaf and receive DLA / family allowance as it is their money and never see any of it, I want to secure their money as it is theirs to do as they need with it and my ex seems to think it's all about money.

Our Response:
If your ex does not agree to your children changing residence - then you would have to apply through court. Even though your children, (as teenagers) are allowed to state a preference where they wish to live through the court - the court will still make a decision based upon what it thinks is in your children's best interests.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-Mar-17 @ 2:52 PM
Bex- Your Question:
Hello, my daughters dad makes up excuse after excuse not seeing her, if he changes the day I used to always offer another time and day to which he would always decline, If I changed the time or day it was always because my daughter had a birthday party to go to or a christening and I've offered another time but he has always declined. now my daughter doesn't want to go out with him alone, she always says about mummy coming, and will scream the place down if he tries to take her. I've just taken him through csa because he doesn't pay all the time and my daughter needs that consistency. I've tried telling him she needs to be in bed at 7 after her bedtime routine (she doesn't handle no sleep very well) but he doesn't understand and thinks it's me stopping him seeing her. and during the day I've said to him he needs go build a bond with her before she is willing to go out with him. he just doesn't understand. now he's taking me to court to keep her. down on paper he is living at his nans address but I know he's living at his gf house who is not working and on benefits, I don't think she puts him down as living with her. on Sunday I even went swimming with them both and sat in the seating area because she would go without me. please tell me where I would stand with this in court.

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot advise on this as much depends upon the court's consideration and what it thinks is in the best interests of your daughter. Really, in cases such as this, mediation should be explored in order to try to come to an understanding between you both as parents regarding the needs of your child, as court is always seen as the last resort. Much will also depend on whether Cafcass gets involved. If the court requests it, then Cafcass will compile a report upon the basis of what it thinks is in the best interests of your child, and the court will usually adhere to it.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Mar-17 @ 10:33 AM
Hello, my daughters dad makes up excuse after excuse not seeing her, if he changes the day I used to always offer another time and day to which he would always decline, If I changed the time or day it was always because my daughter had a birthday party to go to or a christening and I've offered another time but he has always declined. now my daughter doesn't want to go out with him alone, she always says about mummy coming, and will scream the place down if he tries to take her. I've just taken him through csa because he doesn't pay all the time and my daughter needs that consistency. I've tried telling him she needs to be in bed at 7 after her bedtime routine (she doesn't handle no sleep very well) but he doesn't understand and thinks it's me stopping him seeing her. and during the day I've said to him he needs go build a bond with her before she is willing to go out with him. he just doesn't understand.now he's taking me to court to keep her. down on paper he is living at his nans address but I know he's living at his gf house who is not working and on benefits, I don't think she puts him down as living with her. on Sunday I even went swimming with them both and sat in the seating area because she would go without me. please tell me where I would stand with this in court.
Bex - 14-Mar-17 @ 8:21 AM
Hello I have not been married to my kids father I have a son that's 9 and a daughter that's 7 they haven't seen there father for over 5 years my ex is analcoholic he verbally abuse me and my son and he attacked me in front of my son when he was 3 and a half I have to get in the way 2times was I got hit instead of my son as well.Social services Got involved because my health visitor sawhe was being controllingAnd he told her to f*** off. My kids can never say they have been anywhere with there dad aka park shops etc cause my ex's routine was wake up computer Nick my money go to shops then pub get drunk then home to shout etc then sleep.he is on there birth certificates. I have police Reportsocial services letters .letters from his family saying they don't see him and my kids are better of with out him.my son had problemsproblems at school so we had to change his surname to mine surname (by depol)cause if anyone called his that surname he was like a bull in a china shop I have to call there dad his real name because the d.a.d word is not aloud to be said my son has seen a lot of thing for his age and has a thing about people drinking (beer etc) my son is in something in school so he can speak to people about thing.my daughter don't even remember him the health visitor put 4 photos out and she pointed toGeorge Clooney to be him and she heard story from her brother about him and she was asking questions so I had to change her surname too but i have always said to her I will tell you when your older about him but both of my kids not want to know there dad my son has so muchanger towards him. No one can find him and I want to take my kids away on holiday but can't cause he needs to sign to say he's OK to there surnames and it ok to go.but he hasn't seen them for over 5 years. Now I would like help to get information on fullcustody or help on what to do about get my kids on holiday
Debs - 14-Mar-17 @ 1:13 AM
My husband as a daughter from a previous relationship we live in coleford glos and she lives in cardiff wales we nor she drives so rely on a 30min bus journey 4 mile walk then 30 minute train which we do she does a ten minute bus journey and we meet in newport even when my husband had cancer and was 7 stone in weight from being ill we still went down we have started asking if we can meet in chepstow which 30 minute bus journey 4 mile walk and 15 minutes on train for us and 15 minute trainer for her and theres a indoor play center 2min walk where we can go and play as we have a 1 yr old and his daughter is 2 but she said its to much but wen we go to newport we can only sit in town and my husband as on set of copd i know i shouldnt complain but its a trek for us we would love to see her more but we cant travel we are on low income but still take toys clothes and buy her and her mum dinner when we out and new trainers and shoes for her ect but my husband not on birth certificate he couldnt get to the appointment was in hospital have open heart surgery to remove 13cm tumour all we want is for her to meet us in the middle and she wont what can we do please help
Lucyloo116 - 13-Mar-17 @ 5:48 PM
Skyline - Your Question:
My 6 year marriage sadly is at the point of no return after several years of turmoil. I am currently pregnant and have a 15 month old. My husband's job has meant we are not near family or in an area we would settle so I would be moving 5 hours from where he is originally from and will no doubt return once his job ceases, to be close to my family. Due to his health, anxiety and work commitments, and myself as a healthy, professional part time working mother I am assuming I would get custody (hoping I am correct), however split custody would not work in this case due to the distance I feel it would have a negative impact on my children's social, educational and extra curriculum activities when they are older to travel this distance every weekend. In this case would it be acceptable to propose 2-3 week weekend visit then every 6-8 weeks my children go to him for 5-7 days (fitting in with school holidays?). To ensure my children have a healthy upbringing? Obviously if possible I would like them to see there father more however want them to lead a normal childhood with their interests not being hindered by our choice to end our marriage.

Our Response:
I think in this instance if you can sit down with your husband and try to sort out the finer detail of access, this will be for the best all round. However, if your seperation is less amicable, then mediation may be the way forward as it will give you both a more structured arrangement you can work to. It is never easy when distance separates parents, as the non-resident parent is inclined to feel the pain of the separation all the more which can lead to some knee-jerk emotional reactions. If you are pregnant then residency for both children will automatically follow i.e, a court would never order you to hand a newborn over to the NRP and it will be considered that your children are better off together (should your husband dispute you having residency). Therefore, a structured agreement will ensure your husband maintains a strong relationship with his children and the best way you can arrive at this is to negotiate this fairly between you.
ChildSupportLaws - 13-Mar-17 @ 10:34 AM
My 6 year marriage sadly is at the point of no return after several years of turmoil. I am currently pregnant and have a 15 month old. My husband's job has meant we are not near family or in an area we would settle so I would be moving 5 hours from where he is originally from and will no doubt return once his job ceases, to be close to my family. Due to his health, anxiety and work commitments, and myself as a healthy,professional part time working mother I am assuming I would get custody (hoping I am correct), however split custody would not work in this case due to the distance I feel it would have a negative impact on my children's social, educational and extra curriculum activities when they are older to travel this distance every weekend. In this case would it be acceptable to propose 2-3 week weekend visit then every 6-8 weeks my children go to him for 5-7 days (fitting in with school holidays?) . To ensure my children have a healthy upbringing? Obviously if possible I would like them to see there father more however want them to lead a normal childhood with their interests not being hindered by our choice to end our marriage.
Skyline - 12-Mar-17 @ 8:27 AM
My ex fiancé and I split several years ago due to infidelity (hers not mine), We have been sharing custody of our 2 kids since 2007. The CSA are involved and I pay maintenance to them from my wages directly. My children have been speaking to me in confidence about various things about their Mum and it has upset me and angered me, when I brought their concerns to their grandparents so they can approach their daughter as we do not talk, my kids were pressured into changing their thoughts and I was made to look like a troublemaker. Now my kids have said they want to live with me permanently, I explained and was trying to paint their mum in as best light as possible but they are adamant they want to live with me which I am happy to have them. How can I sort out the legal and financial side of this mess, they are 14 and 13 and are mature enough to express their wishes and desires, I am on their birth certificates and they have my surname that she reluctantly agreed to change this year. I as my kids are both deaf and receive DLA / family allowance as it is their money and never see any of it, I want to secure their money as it is theirs to do as they need with it and my ex seems to think it's all about money.
Bigcol - 11-Mar-17 @ 5:52 PM
My son has shared residency and parental responsibility for his son who resides with ex partner and husband (step father). My grandson has raised a concern with his school about abuse from step father. The school has contacted social services. For this reason as a family my grandchild is staying with his dad and us. My Grandson is saying he doesn't want to return to his mum & step father. Social services implied for us to keep him until investigation is carried out and the school is behind us with this decision. First mum agreed for grandson to stay with us until sorted out but less than 24 hours later she is kicking off and is not happy at all. We do not know what to do. My grandson was scared to go home in the first place and now social services are involved along with mum kicking off, he definitely doesn't want to go back. My grandson is 13yrs old. Can someone tell us what our options are, Please! Many Thanks Desperate Grandparents!!!
granddadmark - 10-Mar-17 @ 7:46 AM
Hi I have 2 children and each of their fathers have joint custody. One father is reasonable and the other is quite the opposite. My daughter is due to start pre school this year and her father is disputing this. He wants her to attend pre school where he lives which is approximately 10 miles from my home. I would like my daughter to attend school with her brother. His school is situated very close to My home. My son is very happy at his school. He has special needs but is in mainstream with a classroom assistant. He needs to have a solid routine or he will become very distressed. My daughter's father is aware of my son's problems but he dosnt care. He does not have any other children.My daughter's fathers contact is most of the school week but as he works full time his family look after her. I'm worried that his contact being most of the school week will go in his favour and that I will have to take my children to different schools. This is impossible for me to do. My son's classroom assistant is employed from 9am so I can't leave him into school early. His needs are so high she is employed full time for him. The other option is taking my daughter to school early but that means sitting in rush hour traffic and my son being late and his day would then be disrupted as routine is so important. The only way I can see around this issue is to change the days so I have them most of the school week but he won't agree to anything so we are going to have to take it further. Do you think my son will be taken into consideration? I am not asking to take any contact away from him, in fact he would be getting more contact with her as he would be off work. What are your thoughts on this?
Lj20 - 9-Mar-17 @ 11:53 AM
I left my ex 4 years ago and remarried 3 years go. My Ex has done everything he can to emotionally and financially abuse me. We have been in and out of court costing me over £7K and now have a CAO for 50/50 shared care but following a minor argument my son has stayed with his dad for almost a year therefore his dad is in breach of the order as he has not returned him home. I had a Local resolution order in place due to harassment, Police game me a crime reference number as his constant harassment was considered to be Domestic violence. He has been told by my solicitor I would apply for a non-molestation order if he did not stop contacting me for matters that were not relevant to the health and welfare of the children. He has tried to claim maintenance from me via CMS but they have said no due to the CAO in place. It is written in the CAO he can only contact me via email due to previous harassment. He contacts me constantly and tries to bring the children into the emails just to say he has cause to contact me. (12 emails in 2 days most recently!) This man does not work, and is financially relatively well off. My son who has not returned home is having health issues conveyed to me by school (Not his dad), he is not sleeping, his attendance at school has dropped to 91% (It was 100% all YEAR when he was living with me and my husband 100%) My ex refuses that my son has any health issues despite him having headaches, falling asleep in class etc.. My worry is that he is that fixated on contacting me and I am worried that as he has too much time and money on his hands he will apply for a change in the CAO so he gets full custody of my eldest son so that he can then claim maintenance payments from me. My question is would a court ever grant full custody as we both have PR? I have reported my concerns of Emotional abuse towards my children to social services. They will not get involved as it is a civil matter... I am at the end of my tether as he is a narcissist and nobody can see beneath his façade... It took me 12 years to realise before I got out of the relationship. He is dangerous and has turned my eldest 2 kids against me and It has been evidenced in CAFCASS reports that conversations he has had with my children are inappropriate, and they agreed that my safeguarding concerns whilst in their fathers care are "significant"
123 - 9-Mar-17 @ 11:31 AM
Kynzei999 - Your Question:
Hi my eldest daughter's father hasn't had any contact with her for 5 years now he hasn't helped financially or emotionally last time he saw her he abandoned her with a stranger and after bringing her back home never attempted contact I've tried three times through mediation but he has moved and I don't know where he is. My current partner and myself have been together three years but due to the economy don't live together my eldest daughter who is 10 has asked to be adopted by my partner but her absent father has parental responsibility is there anyway he can adopt her without her absent father having to be contacted?

Our Response:
Please see Family Lives link here which will help answer your question.
ChildSupportLaws - 8-Mar-17 @ 2:44 PM
Hi my eldest daughter's father hasn't had any contact with her for 5 years now he hasn't helped financially or emotionally last time he saw her he abandoned her with a stranger and after bringing her back home never attempted contact I've tried three times through mediation but he has moved and I don't know where he is ..... My current partner and myself have been together three years but due to the economy don't live together my eldest daughter who is 10 has asked to be adopted by my partner but her absent father has parental responsibility is there anyway he can adopt her without her absent father having to be contacted?
Kynzei999 - 7-Mar-17 @ 11:54 PM
Annonymous - Your Question:
Hi, me and my partner have been together for almost three years we have a son together and she has two daughters from a previous relationship of which the younger of the two knows only me as her dad. We have recently separated, still currently living together and supporting each other but I'm currently looking for somewhere of my own so I can help her with the children, today I contacted some services about my own place and its come the the point where we are on the verge of making separate claims of which I'm willing to cooperate and obviously the children will live with their mother but as of that phone call today. She has turned things sour and made threats with the police and full custody etc because of my explanation of my phone call to the bond board and the jobcentre. I'm just really concerned that I could lose my only son and never see him again and would like to have a better understanding of the law surrounding children and residency. He has my surname and I am on his birth certificate, it doesn't take much to realise I'm a good father not only to my own son but also my step daughters which I want to be very much involved with also. Just looking for advice or guidance of some sort

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Quite often when parents split up there are teething problems with regards to access until both parents find away of negotiating their new roles and circumstances. Due to the fact you have a child together, it is important that you both find a way to communicate. The situation is not only about the two of you but also about the wellbeing of your children and that is what you need to focus on. If you cannot agree on a matter, suggesting mediation in order to come to a resolution via a third party may help. Also, our Separated Dads sites will give you all the information you need to help answer your questions, please see link here and here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 7-Mar-17 @ 11:52 AM
Hi, me and my partner have been together for almost three years we have a son together and she has two daughters from a previous relationship of which the younger of the two knows only me as her dad. We have recently separated, still currently living together and supporting each other but I'm currently looking for somewhere of my own so I can help her with the children, today I contacted some services about my own place and its come the the point where we are on the verge of making separate claims of which I'm willing to cooperate and obviously the children will live with their mother but as of that phone call today. She has turned things sour and made threats with the police and full custody etc because of my explanation of my phone call to the bond board and the jobcentre. I'm just really concerned that I could lose my only son and never see him again and would like to have a better understanding of the law surrounding children and residency. He has my surname and I am on his birth certificate, it doesn't take much to realise I'm a good father not only to my own son but also my step daughters which I want to be very much involved with also. Just looking for advice or guidance of some sort
Annonymous - 6-Mar-17 @ 3:31 PM
Jcs - Your Question:
My partner and me have joint residency of his son from previous relationship. His soname age 5 gets ever so upset when he has to go back to his mother and wants to live with us full time at what age can he choose ?

Our Response:
Your partner's son cannot make his opinion properly known to the court regarding where he wishes to live until he is a teenager. Even then a court will still act upon what it thinks is in the best interests of the child. However, if you think there is a specific or justifiable reason why your partner's child does not wish to return home, then you may wish to seek legal advice regarding this matter.
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Feb-17 @ 12:55 PM
My partner and me have joint residency of his son from previous relationship. His soname age 5 gets ever so upset when he has to go back to his mother and wants to live with us full time at what age can he choose ?
Jcs - 26-Feb-17 @ 8:30 PM
I have a son who is with his aunt and has special guardianship of him. I've tried mediation, everything apart from going to court because of no legal aid. She refuses to let me see him. The hole case is very corrupt. Where do I go and what do I do??
Grey - 25-Feb-17 @ 8:56 PM
I have two younger siblings (15 and 11) still under my mother's custody. My mother has been neglecting and emotionally abusing both of my sisters for a long time - it's a pattern that has continued on from my own childhood (I'm 30 now) and for which I am still getting psychological help to overcome the effects of. Things like point-blank refusing to seek mental health care for the 15 year old, who has been threatening suicide and has been self-harming since she was 12 and only after she ended up hospitalized from an attempt last winter and the hospital required her to attend a psychiatrist did my sister get any help, despite my best attempts to get her counseling for years. And her counseling has already stopped again despite the fact that she's still self-harming. Things like leaving my 11 year old sister home alone for hours on end. Or threatening to throw her out when she turns 16 because she doesn't keep her room clean. Things like not sending them to school for lengthy periods of time (until the school sends letters etc demanding their attendance and threatening fines) because she can't get them up or ready in the mornings. I'm concerned for their welfare, and think I might be able to provide them with a more stable - certainly with a safer and more loving - home. Neither of them have a father in the picture who wants access or custody. How would I go about trying to gain custody of them? I'm concerned my mother will fight me on it as the money she gets from the government for the girls is important to her.
EF - 25-Feb-17 @ 11:12 AM
HI MY NAME IS MATT AND BASICALLY IVE BEEN LIVING WITH MY GRANDPARENTS FOR NEARLY 2 MONTHS BECAUSE MY PARENTS WOULD GO OUT AND DRINK LEAVING ME AND MY SISTER TO LOOK AFTER MY BABY BROTHER BUT ONCE MY PARENTS WOULD COME BACK THEY WOULD BE TOTALLY DRUNK AND ABUSIVE TOWARDS ME AND MY SISTER AND ABUSE US SO I TOLD SOCIAL SERVICES AND THEY SAID IM OLD ENOUGH TO STAY AT MY GRANDPARENTS HOUSE BECAUSE IM OLD ENOUGH TO SAY WHOM IM SAFE WITH AND WHERE I WANT TO STAY. BUT MY DAD GOT A COURTCASE WHICH SAYS I MUST GO BACK TO MY PARENTS HOUSE BUT SOCIAL SERVICES SAID NO ONE CAN FORCE YOU NOT EVEN THE POLICE. BUT WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT THE COURT ORDER?
Matt - 25-Feb-17 @ 1:46 AM
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