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The Law and Single Mothers

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 21 Sep 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Mother Father Parent Child Shared

A mother has parental responsibility for her child and is generally expected to become the parent with care, in the event of a separation or divorce. Whilst providing care for her child allows her to receive maintenance support from the child’s father, to cover the cost of the child’s expenses, a mother’s rights are very much conditioned by her marital status. A married woman will be more financially secure, than a woman who remains unmarried, if she has children and her relationship breaks down.

Mother’s Pride

If the mother’s name is the only name listed on the child’s birth certificate she has sole Parental Responsibility for the child’s welfare. Adding a father’s name to the certificate can only happen if he attends registration. Once the father’s name is registered he will automatically share parental responsibility for the child, assuming that the child is born after 2003. A Parental Responsibility Agreement can be drawn up at a later date if a mother is prepared to share responsibilities with the child’s father, if he was not named on the birth registration form. Our page on What rights does my ex have discusses Parental Responsibility and how to determine it in some detail.

Paternity Confirmation

Most fathers confirm paternity, when asked, which enables the mother – regardless of the brevity of the couple’s relationship - to apply for child support with relative ease. Establishing fatherhood acknowledges shared responsibility and liability for the child, or children. Those non resident fathers who are less willing to provide maintenance assistance for their child however, can be traced by the Child Support Agency (CSA) and have payment enforced.

Mothers’ Rights

A single mother is entitled to claim maintenance from her child’s father, on behalf of the child. She does not have to have shared parental responsibilities with him in order to ask for Child Support payments to be calculated and collected from him. Maintenance agreements can be made privately or can be arranged through the Child Support Agency.

Without shared Parental Responsibility a father cannot have access to his child without the mother agreeing. He may apply for a Contact Order, if communication between the parents has broken down, and should the father want the child to live with him he will have to apply for a Residence Order. However, the court is unlikely to grant a Residence Order to a father for a baby, as this would give him shared Parental Responsibility.

Maintenance Rights

Simply because a father pays maintenance support to the child’s mother periodically it does not mean that he is entitled to see the child. This form of support provides funds to be used towards the cost of raising the child, and should be used to pay for educational and extracurricular activities, shelter, clothing and food.

If the mother and the father have been able to agree a figure for maintenance, it is worth getting the agreement agreed by the court, in case payment enforcement is required at a later date.

Special Circumstances

In cases where the mother became pregnant through artificial insemination, or by third party donor, the partner at the time of birth is accountable for the child’s welfare and is expected to contribute financially.

To find out how child support is assessed take a look at our page How child support is calculated.

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charlie - Your Question:
Hi there, I recently found out I was 5 months pregnant with someone that I haven't been in a relationship with for even a year yet, I'm currently living with him most of the time and I'm home maybe 2 days a week if even. I was in a bad way with this pregnancy because I didn't want to keep it in fear I would turn out angry and bitter like my parents, they are living a lie to each other and everyone else, they sleep in separate rooms, fight all the time and it has effected me more than my brothers. I'm scared of turning out like them emotionally abusing my child, then there is the financial stress of raising a child. My boyfriend has his own place,its a lovely home but I want to get back out and work and there is nothing for me in that place and its really far from home if I need help with the child. He works three days I don't think he realises how serious it is to bring up a baby and financially support it without the strain. Then there is being so far away from home with a baby, no family around I think I will get depressed because despite what my parents have emotionally put me through I am very very close with my brother, auntie and uncle and I want them to be part of my childs life and I want to raise my baby differently showing that family is important and show the positive impact on that to my child. My heads a mess right now, moving back home to raise my baby in that stressed, negative, bitter environment is not an option for me. Me and my father haven't talked in years without an angry word and my mother is disappointed that I'm pregnant and not in college like my "golden child" cousin (no joke she does compare me to her). I have also been declined my college placement which given the circumstances is probably best this year but I feel like such a failure and my life is going nowhere but down right now. I have no permanent income to support my baby bar whatever my boyfriend makes which isn't a lot considering everything a child needs and I just don't think he'll want to keep paying out while I'm in the house, I need to know what I'm entitled to if I want to move out on my own and be an independent mother to my baby. Thanks for taking time to read this and hopefully answering my questions.

Our Response:
I am very sorry to hear you are in a predicament. Abortion is legal in Great Britain at any time up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. The majority of abortions are carried out before 13 weeks, and most of the rest before 20 weeks. If you have decided to keep your child, then this does not mean you will turn out like your parents; we often wish to bring our children up different to our parents, and choose not to make the mistakes we think our parents have made. You can obtain some advice on housing via the Gingerbread link here which will help if you need to house yourself (you don't say how the father feels about your pregnancy). Dependent upon your financial situation, if you are not working you will receive some benefits, please see link hereand you may be able to still get this and attend college in the future if this is what you wish. The Family Lives link here may also help, and it gives you the option to talk to someone if you need. Wishing you the best of luck.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-Sep-16 @ 12:57 PM
Hi there, I recently found out I was 5 months pregnant with someone that I haven't been in a relationship with for even a year yet, I'm currently living with him most of the time and i'm home maybe 2 days a week if even. I was in a bad way with this pregnancy because I didn't want to keep it in fear I would turn out angry and bitter like my parents, they are living a lie to each other and everyone else, they sleep in separate rooms, fight all the time and it has effected me more than my brothers. I'm scared of turning out like them emotionally abusing my child, then there is the financial stress of raising a child. My boyfriend has his own place,its a lovely home but I want to get back out and work and there is nothing for me in that place and its really far from home if I need help with the child. He works three days I don't think he realises how serious it is to bring up a baby and financially support it without the strain. Then there is being so far away from home with a baby, no family around I think I will get depressed because despite what my parents have emotionally put me through I am very very close with my brother, auntie and uncle and I want them to be part of my childs life and I want to raise my baby differently showing that family is important and show the positive impact on that to my child. My heads a mess right now, moving back home to raise my baby in that stressed, negative, bitter environment is not an option for me. Me and my father haven't talked in years without an angry word and my mother is disappointed that I'm pregnant and not in college like my "golden child" cousin (no joke she does compare me to her). I have also been declined my college placement which given the circumstances is probably best this year but I feel like such a failure and my life is going nowhere but down right now. I have no permanent income to support my baby bar whatever my boyfriend makes which isn't a lot considering everything a child needs and I just don't think he'll want to keep paying out while I'm in the house, I need to know what I'm entitled to if I want to move out on my own and be an independent mother to my baby. Thanks for taking time to read this and hopefully answering my questions.
charlie - 21-Sep-16 @ 1:22 PM
Alian - Your Question:
After a short but extremely violant marriege I finaly found the courage to leave my husband taking our 2 children with me.a few mths after leaving I became ill with a severe gastric disease (barrats) and went from 12st down to 6 st 7lb very rapidly and in and out of hospital.but it never stopped me looking after my children.but my husband started to accuse me of being a drug addict and started this rumour saying this was the reason for my weight loss.i had no idea what he was trying to do but 2 yrs ago he picked our children up from skl as agreed and I have not seen them since he has denied me all contact with my babies.i am alone and have no family to turn to as he turned what family I had against me with his false accusations.im so lost without them but dont know what to do

Our Response:
I am very sorry to hear this and I hope you are on the road to recovery after your illness. If you can, in the first instance, some legal advice would be helpful in order to explore your options. You don't say whether you have tried in the previous two years to regain contact, or how old your children are. So, having limited information to go on, your first option would be to suggest mediation to your ex and if your ex refuses you would have to apply to take the matter to court. If you cannot afford legal fees you can self-litigate, please see Bar Council link: here. In order to begin proceedings you would have to apply for a contact order (C100), please see link here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Sep-16 @ 1:59 PM
After a short but extremely violant marriege I finaly found the courage to leave my husband taking our 2 children with me .a few mths after leaving I became ill with a severe gastric disease (barrats) and went from 12st down to 6 st 7lb very rapidly and in and out of hospital.but it never stopped me looking after my children.but my husband started to accuse me of being a drug addict and started this rumour saying this was the reason for my weight loss .i had no idea what he was trying to do but 2 yrs ago he picked our children up from skl as agreed and I have not seen them since he has denied me all contact with my babies.i am alone and have no family to turn to as he turned what family I had against me with his false accusations.im so lost without them but dont know what to do
Alian - 19-Sep-16 @ 5:58 PM
Father of my child refusing to pay maintenance. He is not on BC and he was violent. He own £500000 house, his son is in private school, travelling abroad 3-4 times at least, taking his gf to 5* hotel where night is £300 per night per person, wearing designer clothes and owning expensive car and watches (4-5, each at least £20000). Last two years he had 4 jobs which on 3 of them he was director and last senior manager in dubai. CSA cant give him pay anything because he had £0 earnings last year. I contacted REMO, i have many evidence about his good lifestyle, but apparently I can not do anything! They told me to contact HMRC, for tax envision, but how this help to my child??? Can not believe that this man going around and making children and no responsibility for him, no rights for my baby??? I can not effort to take a solicitor,is really nothing what can i do? Please help...
Erika - 16-Sep-16 @ 10:09 PM
Kezi16 - Your Question:
Me and my ex have 3 children im starting college 3 days a week but he wants to have them fo 4 nights per week im not sure where I stand he usually has them at weekends or I have them at weekends. If he has my children for 4 ninghts per week is he entiled to half of the benifits I get for my children help please.

Our Response:
Your ex would have to apply through court if he wanted to be considered as the primary carer, if you do not agree. Some parents choose to half the benefits if they are sharing the care of the children, some parents do not. If your ex is having the children the majority of the time, then he may have a case. But if you are sharing the care, then you will still be considered the primary carer and the person awarded child benefit.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-Sep-16 @ 2:18 PM
Kerry - Your Question:
Can someone please advise me?My husband left me last year after 15 years of marriage. We have three children. He left me after I found out he was having his fourth affair. When he left he promised to pay their mortgage and maintenance for the children. Our mortgage is very small. Since leaving he has paid a decreasing amount each month. The last two months he hasn't paid enough to cover the mortgage and I have had to pay the extra which is leaving in a very difficult position as I can't afford to pay the mortgage, other bills as well as groceries and clothing for the children. He say a he has no money but frequently goes away for weekends and is out every weekend. He phones the children once a week and hardly sees them, he says he's working but then puts pictures on social media of him out at a pub or club. The children miss him and want to see him, and I think they have the right to see him, but he makes very little effort. He has phoned me several times in the year and demanded that I have the children ready for him to lift in ten minutes, but at those times I have been out with the children and he has accused me of stopping him from seeing them. I have asked him to make an arrangement with me with set times and days to see the children but he refuses to do so as he says he doesn't know what his plans are every week. He has now said he won't pay any money towards the mortgage at all and he doesn't pay any child maintenance either. What are my rights?

Our Response:
I think in this instance you need to simply contact the CMS, please see link here as your ex is legally financially responsible for your kids and if he won't pay voluntarily, then this is the alternative option. With regards to access, you may need to put your foot down here too and attempt to arrange set days he sees the kids. It seems to me he is taking quite a few liberties here.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Sep-16 @ 12:23 PM
Can someone please advise me? My husband left me last year after 15 years of marriage. We have three children. He left me after I found out he was having his fourth affair. When he left he promised to pay their mortgage and maintenance for the children. Our mortgage is very small. Since leaving he has paid a decreasing amount each month. The last two months he hasn't paid enough to cover the mortgage and I have had to pay the extra which is leaving in a very difficult position as I can't afford to pay the mortgage, other bills as well as groceries and clothing for the children. He say a he has no money but frequently goes away for weekends and is out every weekend. He phones the children once a week and hardly sees them, he says he's working but then puts pictures on social media of him out at a pub or club. The children miss him and want to see him, and I think they have the right to see him, but he makes very little effort. He has phoned me several times in the year and demanded that I have the children ready for him to lift in ten minutes, but at those times I have been out with the children and he has accused me of stopping him from seeing them. I have asked him to make an arrangement with me with set times and days to see the children but he refuses to do so as he says he doesn't know what his plans are every week. He has now said he won't pay any money towards the mortgage at all and he doesn't pay any child maintenance either. What are my rights?
Kerry - 14-Sep-16 @ 5:33 PM
Me and my ex have 3 children im starting college 3 days a week but he wants to have them fo 4 nights per week im not sure where i stand he usually has them at weekends or i have them at weekends. If he has my children for 4 ninghts per week is he entiled to half of the benifits i get for my children help please .
Kezi16 - 9-Sep-16 @ 10:53 AM
Coops - Your Question:
I have 2 children 5 and 10, in a 16 year relationship unmarried, living together. We bought a house 2 years ago and I'm not on the mortgage although I have put in thousands. I do not work because I have my job up to look after the children. I have another very small house, not big enough for me and the children stood empty. He works away all week and gave just found out he lives a double life and has a house with his ex who isn't his ex. He lies and lies even to his children. What can I do, I am full of anxiety about financial things, where I'm going to live and him cutting my money off when I confront him. I am sure my children will be ok emotionally but its pulling them out if a life they live.

Our Response:
You would have to seek legal advice regarding this as you may be able to declare an interest on the property, especially as a) you have children with your ex and b) if you can prove you contributed 'thousands' to the house. Much also depends on where you are currently living. If you are currently living in the house, then a court 'may' allow you to remain. However, this is merely conjecture and a solicitor will be able to advise further whether you have a case.
ChildSupportLaws - 8-Sep-16 @ 2:16 PM
I have 2 children 5 and 10, in a 16 year relationship unmarried, living together. We bought a house 2 years ago and I'm not on the mortgage although I have put in thousands. I do not work because I have my job up to look after the children. I have another very small house, not big enough for me and the children stood empty. He works away all week and gave just found out he lives a double life and has a house with his ex who isn't his ex. He lies and lies even to his children. What can I do, I am full of anxiety about financial things, where I'm going to live and him cutting my money off when I confront him. I am sure my children will be ok emotionally but its pulling them out if a life they live.
Coops - 7-Sep-16 @ 9:51 PM
Siwa - Your Question:
My husband just left me we have son from the day ours son was born he never was involve in his life like a father should be always at work and when was weekend he was always out for a drink with his friends. So never had a time for him.He have a drink problem a botel of wesky every night. Now when he left us he want our son to sleap over in his new place but I dont wont this I dont mind day time but not sleaping over because he dont know what to do what he is eating what to do when he is ill nothing at all. So im just wonder if he will go to the court wich chances he will have to get my son over night? Im just scared because he have drink problem

Our Response:
We cannot predict what a court may decide, should your ex decide to take the matter further. But before it goes to court Cafcass will get involved and write a report which will be presented to the judge. The court will be able to make a decision based upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your child. It means that you will be able to voice your worries and/or concerns regarding any possible overnight stays.
ChildSupportLaws - 1-Sep-16 @ 12:58 PM
My husband just left me we have son from the day ours son was born he never was involvein his life like a father should be always at work and when was weekend he was always out for a drink with his friends. So never had a time for him.He have a drink problem a botel of wesky every night. Now when he left us he want our son to sleap over in his new place but i dont wont this i dont mind day time but not sleaping over because he dont know what to do what he is eating what to do when he is ill nothing at all. So im just wonder if he will go to the court wich chances he will have to get my son over night? Im just scared because he have drink problem
Siwa - 28-Aug-16 @ 10:08 PM
Hi, I have a 13 year old who has resided with me since she was born, Me and his dad separated when she was 3months old. I now have been with my partner for nearly thirteen years and have two more children with him and we all live together very happily.It started out ok, but then he did get nasty a few times over certain things, he travelled for 1 year when she was 6yrs and then again when she was 11yrs he travelled for 18months. He hasn't got parental responsibility, only I do. He didn't always pay maintanance, in fact he went nearly 2 years without paying anything and every month I have to ask him to pay it (£100) per month. I do not want to ask for anymore as I know he will argue etc. He meant to see her every 4 weeks but this fluctuates between every 2 weeks to every 6 weeks. Recently he asked if he can have her for Xmas (I have always had her) and he has never asked before. Obviously I didn't like her going but I left the descision up to her, she was getting very upset as she didn't know what to, then she said to me that she didn't want to go but didn't want to tell her dad that and asked if I could. So I did, he obviously was angry with me and we argued and I tried to explain what she had said to me but he wasn't having it. He spoke to her and started saying to her that he hasn't had her once for Xmas and I was being unfair and it's not fair etc. I have never said to her she couldn't go or made her feel guilty into staying with me for the reason I didn't want him to use this in an argument etc so I made sure if anything I was swaying her to go with him, but she didn't want to. I'm scared he will try to take her off me now as I haven't heard from him at all and my daughter says she hasn't heard from him either. What should I do? And where do I stand with all of this?
Myworld - 27-Aug-16 @ 9:07 PM
Me and my partner have been together for over 20 years. We have two sons aged 16 and 10. We're not married. There are many problems: his womanising he doesn't get on with my family, he argues with me in front of my children etc. I want to leave him. But I'm not financially secure and I'm so much in debt thanks to him I don't think I could manage on my own. Every time I think it's going to be ok he proves me wrong. He's always right. I can't take anymore of his behaviour and I want full custody of my boys as his behaviour is damaging for my youngest especially but with me not being married what rights do I have?
Carly - 26-Aug-16 @ 7:28 PM
Was married to a guy and still married to him we have been separatedoing for to year due to domestic violence he has not look for his kids for a whilehe only talks to the kids when I csll him cos he is engaged to another woman.if I ask him to see his kids he tell me he is bringing the girl and I don't think is the right thing to do for now.he never made attempt to see them any way so .I don't bother any more he texted me saying he will get the kids of me and throw me back to africa .what I do
Abilolo - 25-Aug-16 @ 9:53 PM
Emily- Your Question:
I have 3 children and their father lives 10 mins away. We were never married and separated 3 years ago. We both work.He is named on the birth certificate and pays CSA payments albeit basic.He sees the children every other weekend. Total 4 nights per month.My question. Do I have any rights to enforce more contact between father and children as requested by the eldest two? Equally it's almost impossible for me to work over the summer holidays (7 weeks) and he has only had them one week therefore I'm struggling financially. I would like a court agreement where we share summer holidays equally thus allowing me to work? Pls help?

Our Response:
You would have to seek legal advice. It is rare the courts would impose contact on the non-resident parent if the NRP was against it.
ChildSupportLaws - 23-Aug-16 @ 2:36 PM
Bo - Your Question:
My children's father and I have recently gone our separate ways my question is he generally doesn't care he works nights and sleeps when he is ment to have them he told my five year old the other day that mummy should just jump off the balcony my question is where do I stand as he screams and shouts and generally kicks off because he wants to be in control of visitation when we had an arrangement in place he changes it as and when it suits him and makes out like its my fault

Our Response:
Where you stand, is a tricky question to answer. Unfortunately, you stand where many separated parents stand and that is trying to muddle through difficult negotiations regarding what you think is in the best interests of your children. However, there are no right or wrong answers here as every family unit comes with its own trials. If you are not happy with the arrangements and you feel your ex is taking liberties, you can either sit down and talk it through with him and hopefully come to a resolution. Or, if you feel you need a more structured arrangement in place then you could suggest mediation as a way of trying to resolve the issue. Restricting access will give your ex the option to apply through court for access, which can be very stressful, but once an order is in place it leaves little room for arrangement changes, if that is what you'd prefer. Trying to work together for the benefit of your kids is the easiest option - the tough bit is maintaining any equilibrium when you are both fighting each other too.
ChildSupportLaws - 23-Aug-16 @ 1:55 PM
I have 3 children and their father lives 10 mins away. We were never married and separated 3 years ago. We both work. He is named on the birth certificate and pays CSA payments albeit basic. He sees the children every other weekend ... Total 4 nights per month. My question.... Do I have any rights to enforce more contact between father and children as requested by the eldest two? Equally it's almost impossible for me to work over the summer holidays (7 weeks) and he has only had them one week therefore I'm struggling financially... I would like a court agreement where we share summer holidays equally thus allowing me to work? Pls help?
Emily - 23-Aug-16 @ 8:21 AM
My children's father and I have recently gone our separate ways my question is he generally doesn't care he works nights and sleeps when he is ment to have them he told my five year old the other day that mummy should just jump off the balcony my question is where do I stand as he screams and shouts and generally kicks off because he wants to be in control of visitation when we had an arrangement in place he changes it as and when it suits him and makes out like its my fault
Bo - 22-Aug-16 @ 10:02 PM
Boo - Your Question:
I have 2 girls whom see there father one morning a week. Generally he turns up hungover or late And upsets my kids. He has a gf who seemed OK until my dirks started repeating things she says which I am not happy with. The kids have no contact with any other member of his family now. I want to emigrate where do I stand? Do I need his permission

Our Response:
If the father has parental responsibility then you would have to request permission from him to move away, otherwise you could be charged with abduction. If your ex refuses, you would have the opportunity to take the matter to court and a court will decide what it thinks is in your children's best interests.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-Aug-16 @ 9:51 AM
I have 2 girls whom see there father one morning a week.Generally he turns up hungover or late And upsets my kids.He has a gf who seemed OK until my dirks started repeating things she says which I am not happy with.The kids have no contact with any other member of his family now.I want to emigrate where do I stand? Do I need his permission
Boo - 21-Aug-16 @ 12:10 AM
Zo - Your Question:
I have a 6 month old baby he has seen his father twice since his birth, we use to contact over messenger but he would get very nasty and manipulative so had to stop contact that way but he new my address so he could come when ever to see the baby but choose not to. He got in contact with me a couple of weeks ago and I met him to see if he had changed and was ready to be a dad, he wasn't !! He made everything out to be my fault and that I was keeping the baby from him. He threatened me with court when I had already agreed to meet him again with the baby but he isn't a nice person and he doesn't help with anything for the baby. I feel like the baby would benefit from him not being around as he just comes and goes as he pleases. So I was wondering if he did take me to court what could he get ?? Also he's not on the birth certificate.

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot predict what the court may decide. If your ex takes the matter to court Cafcass will get involved. Whenever parents can’t agree over an application for a Contact Order, they become involved, compiling a report on the family, both parents and children. The document they produce carries a great deal of weight with the family court and a decision will be based upon this.
ChildSupportLaws - 19-Aug-16 @ 10:28 AM
I have a 6 month old baby he has seen his father twice since his birth, we use to contact over messenger but he would get very nasty and manipulative so had to stop contact that way but he new my address so he could come when ever to see the baby but choose not to... He got in contact with me a couple of weeks ago and I met him to see if he had changed and was ready to be a dad, he wasn't !! He made everything out to be my fault and that I was keeping the baby from him ... He threatened me with court when I had already agreed to meet him again with the baby but he isn't a nice person and he doesn't help with anything for the baby. I feel like the baby would benefit from him not being around as he just comes and goes as he pleases. So I was wondering if he did take me to court what could he get ?? Also he's not on the birth certificate.
Zo - 18-Aug-16 @ 12:03 PM
Mel - Your Question:
Hello I've had problems with my parents for the past few years now and we fall out and get back together cause there my parents but recently me and my other half have got married and I'm wanting to get back in touch with my parents and take my daughter but I'm scared cause he works and I'm still looking I'm scared that if I go see my parents that they might go take her off me what can I do to prevent them taking her off me I don't neglect her I'm with her 24/7

Our Response:
Your parents have no rights to take your child from you. Your child is yours, as you have parental responsibility, which means you have the legal right to look after your child.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-Aug-16 @ 11:22 AM
Hello I've had problems with my parents for the past few years now and we fall out and get back together cause there my parents but recently me and my other half have got married and I'm wanting to get back in touch with my parents and take my daughter but I'm scared cause he works and I'm still looking I'm scared that if I go see my parents that they might go take her off me what can I do to prevent them taking her off me I don't neglect her I'm with her 24/7
Mel - 15-Aug-16 @ 3:55 PM
Mia - Your Question:
Hi. I have a 6 month old daughter to my partner who I've been with for over 2 years. I don't want to be in the relationship anymore due to ongoing trust related problems. It is not a healthy relationship and hasn't been since I had my daughter - he is aggressive and impatient and has been violent in the relationship. He is on the birth certificate - but I want to know what his rights are on separation regarding how often he sees our daughter and is he intitled to have to her over night with her being so young and if so how many nights. He has threatened he can have her whenever he wants for however long he wants and says I have no way of stopping this from happening. My concern is with her being so young am I able to limit the time he spends with her and can I prevent him having her over night. I don't trust she'll be well looked after at all and this worries me deeply.

Our Response:
Even though your partner has parental responsibility, there are no rules regarding when you should and should not allow your partner to see your child, and it should be negotiated between you. If you do not trust your partner with your child then you can make a decision based upon what you think is in her best interests. If you refuse your partner access after you separate then he will have the option to apply through mediation to try and resolve the issue and/or take the matter to court. However, if your partner is making threats, as the father has PR, he can actually keep your child without your consent should he choose. Many parents are not aware of this and may turn to the police for help to return their children, but if both parents have PR and one parent is keeping the child against the other's wishes, the police CANNOT help, even if the children do not normally live with them. The other parent then has to take the matter to court, if the child is not returned. This is a very rare situation and not advisable for a non-resident parent to take such action as it is not looked upon favourably in the court (unless the situation is absolutely necessary). The ideal situation is if you can have a mutual trusting agreement between you which can be built upon with time. If you are in any doubt about the situation, please seek legal advice.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Aug-16 @ 10:26 AM
Hi. I have a 6 month old daughter to my partner who I've been with for over 2 years. I don't want to be in the relationship anymore due to ongoing trust related problems. It is not a healthy relationship and hasn't been since I had my daughter - he is aggressive and impatient and has been violent in the relationship. He is on the birth certificate - but I want to know what his rights are on separation regarding how often he sees our daughter and is he intitled to have to her over night with her being so young and if so how many nights. He has threatened he can have her whenever he wants for however long he wants and says I have no way of stopping this from happening. My concern is with her being so young am I able to limit the time he spends with her and can I prevent him having her over night. I don't trust she'll be well looked after at all and this worries me deeply.
Mia - 14-Aug-16 @ 5:00 AM
Poppy - Your Question:
Hi,I'm 5months pregnant. Me and the baby's father have been separated since I was 2months pregnant. He's playing the game big time already and is vile to me and I basically want to know what are my rights. I'm really scared he might get nasty and try and try for full custody just to spite me. Does him not being on the birth certificate protect me and my baby from this. I want the baby to share my surname, him not to be on the certificate but I'm willing for supervised visits with the baby and also would like us to come to some arrangement of maintenance. Does this all seem above board on my part. I'm not the smartest when it comes it comes to the law and my rights. Even though he's been vile to me, I want to be fair. He's a very controlling and manipulative person and I just think by me not putting him on the birth certificate it could help me and my baby, so he's unable to bully us and dictate to us, even if we are separated.

Our Response:
If you name the father on the birth certificate, then he is automatically granted parental responsibility, which gives him more rights than if he was not on the birth certificate. You can see more via the gov.uk site here. If you cannot resolve arrangements between you, then I advise thinking about going through mediation. This means you can sort access and maintenance arrangements togther, if preferred. Mediation takes place in front of a neutral third party. The mediator has no pre-conceptions and will not force you to make an agreement. They will assist the two parties in taking turns in the conversation, and helping you reach a decision that you are ready to agree with. Mediators do not pass judgment or offer guidance; they are there, in effect, to facilitate conversation between the two sides. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 8-Aug-16 @ 1:47 PM
Hi, I'm 5months pregnant. Me and the baby's father have been separated since I was 2months pregnant. He's playing the game big time already and is vile to me and I basically want to know what are my rights. I'm really scared he might get nasty and try and try for full custody just to spite me. Does him not being on the birth certificate protect me and my baby from this. I want the baby to share my surname, him not to be on the certificate but I'm willing for supervised visits with the baby and also would like us to come to some arrangement of maintenance. Does this all seem above board on my part. I'm not the smartest when it comes it comes to the law and my rights. Even though he's been vile to me, I want to be fair. He's a very controlling and manipulative person and I just think by me not putting him on the birth certificate it could help me and my baby, so he's unable to bully us and dictate to us, even if we are separated.
Poppy - 7-Aug-16 @ 10:48 PM
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