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What Rights Does My Ex Have With Regards to Our Children?

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 3 Dec 2016 |
 
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We get many comments and questions from you about child support. We've taken a selection of your comments addressing the issue of keeping contact with your children and the fear of your ex taking them from you - and asked our expert to give some comprehensive information and advice.

The traditional view of the family set up has become something of a minority in 21st century society and because of this, a broken down relationship can lead to complicated legal issues. Whether you are recently divorced and wondering about the role your ex-husband has in your child's life, or you have a child from a relationship that has broken down, but were never married, you need to understand your legal position when it comes to creating an amicable situation for your child to grow up in. Here we aim to dispel some of the myths about parental access and to give you the advice you need to rebuild your life and your children's lives.

Parental Responsibility

Parental responsibility (also known as PR) creates "responsibilities" rather than "rights" regardless of whatever the state of the parents' relationship, emphasising the view that each will maintain an equal, shared and continuing responsibility towards the child.

Where both the mother and the father have PR, they have the power to act alone unless there is a circumstance where, by law, each person with PR is to give consent i.e. in the case of adoption. In reality, holding PR gives the ability to make decisions in relation to the child's name, religion, school, consent to medical treatment and marriage etc.

Who has Parental Responsibility?

Below is a flow chart to help you determine if you have Parental Responsibility:

A mother always has PR. A father who is married to the mother at the time of birth will automatically have PR.

To clarify, for unmarried fathers, the situation is different. Unmarried fathers will have PR if:

  • They marry the mother after the child is born
  • They have jointly registered the child's birth with the mother i.e. their name is on the birth certificate
  • For pre December 2003 registrations, the mother provides a formal declaration of agreement that the father's name is to be added to the birth record and the father re-registers the birth to add his details
  • The court orders a residence order in favour of the father, although this will usually terminate when the resident order ends (generally age 16)
  • A birth parent has signed a parental responsibility agreement
  • A step-parent's PR agreement can be made by consent with all those already having PR for the child
  • By obtaining an adoption order from the court

Where a father has not automatically gained PR, the mother does not have to add the father's name to the birth certificate. However, this will not stop the father from being able to apply to the court for an order, such as a parental responsibility order, which may result in him acquiring PR.

Other family members

Other family members, taking grandparents as an example, do not automatically have PR. They would only be granted PR by a court if, for example, they were appointed as Guardian or were to adopt their grandchild for any reason. If a father with PR asks his parents to take care of the child, they can do so usually without the mother's agreement. However, the child would not be able to remain resident with the grandparents unless they had been granted a residency order by the court.

Voluntary access arrangements

If more than one of you has PR, then the best thing you can do for both your children and yourselves is to voluntarily agree to contact and access etc. If you can do this, then you are more likely to maintain a more harmonious relationship for the sake of your children. Additionally, it will prevent you from having to go to court and from having to pay court and solicitor's fees if you are unable to get legal aid.

Of course, this is the ideal scenario and not always a realistic one. If you cannot agree on residence and contact etc. then you may find that your ex will end up applying to the court for an order.

My Child has Been Taken Away From Me: What Can I Do?

Unfortunately in some circumstances, a father may take your child during agreed contact time and then refuse to bring them home again. If this happens and you are unable to negotiate with the father then you should call the police. However, the police may not be able to do anything. This generally comes down to whether or not the father has PR. If they do not, then the child is the mother's sole responsibility and the police may be able to take the child back to the mother. If the father does have PR, then in usual circumstances, they have the same rights as the mother to look after the child and therefore, so long as the child is not in any harm, the police cannot usually do anything about it. This can be understandably distressing for a mother. What can be done about it?

Residence Orders

A person can make an application for a residence order, whether or not they have PR. For example, a father without PR can make an application for and be granted residency but then he will automatically acquire PR at the same time. It is unusual for a father to be granted residency as well as a mother as this would result in shared residency, which is not always in the best interests of the child. As a result, it is usually the mother who would be granted sole residency.

If a child has been taken by their father and the police cannot do anything, the mother can make an application for a residency order. If the child was snatched or she believes that her child may be in danger, then she can apply for an emergency ex parte application. This is also known as a 'without notice application' i.e. the other party is not given notice of the application. If the mother cannot make an ex parte application then an application can still be made but the father can attend and make his case. At the end of the hearing, the judge will make an order.

There are lots of other orders which the court can make, including contact orders, prohibited steps orders and specific issue orders.

What Factors Will be Taken Into Account?

When reviewing applications, the court will take a number of factors into consideration with regards to the child or children's welfare. These are:

  1. What is best for the child and the feelings and wishes of the child. This is considered according to the child's age and understanding
  2. How capable the parents (and any other relevant people) are of meeting the needs of the child or children
  3. Any harm that the child is at risk of suffering or has suffered
  4. The likely effect of a change of circumstances on the child
  5. The age, background, personality, sex and any other characteristics that the Court believes to be relevant
  6. The child's emotional, physical and educational needs

Domestic abuse

If you have been subjected to domestic abuse, this would clearly be a very important factor for the court to consider when determining what will be in the best interests of the child. If the father makes an application to the court then you can oppose it by giving evidence as to why he should not be given the order. You can oppose any application in much the same way.

Reality Check

When you find yourself fighting to look after your own child your emotions can begin to take over. It is important when you begin to plan your child's parenting and the access of the father that you understand the law and how it might impact on your child's future.

Remember that if your child's father is on the birth certificate, or you were married and are now divorced, the father has the same access to the child as you do in the eyes of the law. If they take your child or even threaten to do so, the police can often be powerless to change the situation. The best advice is to seek mediation and organise access in a written agreement, give yourself something concrete to work from. If your ex is unreasonable then apply for a residency order to ensure that you keep custody of your child.

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[Add a Comment]
Hi I have been with my partner for nearly 8 years. We are unmarried , and his name is on the birth certificate. I don't think I want to continue the relationship ship and am considering we split up. He is an amazing father and really good at being a dad my only worry is he is the type of guy that would take our child and want full custody as he really wouldn't like the idea of being a part time dad and not living with child full time. I am a non conflict type of person and would be more than happy and flexible with access as like I said he is amazing , there no need to fight or cause negative vibes as I just want it as easy possible for everyone involved. I know the police wouldn't do much as there would be no concerns for her well being, and he is on birth certificate etc if he did take her. I just want to know if the courts would ever give our child to him even though there nothing about my life or lifestyle that would prove I'm unfit as sole residency as I am a professional employed successful person i own my house and car...and money not really an issue and don't have any social services child services involvement or a chaotic negativelifestyle . Thanks
Matilda43 - 3-Dec-16 @ 8:05 PM
Hi I have been with my partner for nearly 8 years. We are unmarried , and his name is on the birth certificate. I don't think I want to continue the relationship ship and am considering we split up. He is an amazing father and really good at being a dad my only worry is he is the type of guy that would take our child and want full custody as he really wouldn't like the idea of being a part time dad and not living with child full time. I am a non conflict type of person and would be more than happy and flexible with access as like I said he is amazing , there no need to fight or cause negative vibes as I just want it as easy possible for everyone involved. I know the police wouldn't do much as there would be no concerns for her well being, and he is on birth certificate etc if he did take her. I just want to know if the courts would ever give our child to him even though there nothing about my life or lifestyle that would prove I'm unfit as sole residency as I am a professional employed successful person i own my house and car...and money not really an issue and don't have any social services child services involvement or a chaotic negativelifestyle . Thanks
Matilda43 - 3-Dec-16 @ 5:49 PM
My ex and myself split up. We lived in Scotland with our two children he was a drinker so when we split up I moved back to England to be closer to my family. Today I received a message off him saying that he had contacted the school and arranged with my 9 year olds teachers that he was now the primary contact with anything to do with my child's education. Him and the school did this with no permission from myself. My ex is on none of the paperwork for contacts for the school and I can't see how the school even verified it was even my ex that they was speaking too. I don't mind my ex speaking to the school about our child's education but I feel he has well over stepped the mark and im not sure if the school has broken any laws.
Rach - 2-Dec-16 @ 8:48 PM
Rains - Your Question:
I need advice on options of how my brother can gain access to his daughter. There is no history of abuse on his part and the mother refuses point blank to any suggestions made ie meeting in a public place (for his own safety) and with third parties.

Our Response:
The first port-of-call would be for your brother to sugegst mediation, please see link here . If his ex refuses, then your brother would need to seek legal advice regarding taking the matter to court. Our Separated Dads site will give your brother all the information he needs, please see link here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 2-Dec-16 @ 2:35 PM
I need advice on options of how my brother can gain access to his daughter. There is no history of abuse on his part and the mother refuses point blank to any suggestions made ie meeting in a public place (for his own safety) and with third parties.
Rains - 2-Dec-16 @ 10:19 AM
Can someone please help me,I have 2yr old son my ex has taken him. Well when I say taken I mean I came home one day from work and he was in bed with my best friend. I then went outside to get some air and go for a walk (my son was in bed asleep) and he wouldn't let me back in the house There is asupervision order in place that both my ex and myself have pr he is on the birthcertificate . Social services are involved and they are just being useless, they say they can't tell me where my son is as he'smoved house all they can say his in Sevenoaks.... so now we are 4 months on and I haven't seen my son in that time. I havemental health issues I was sectioned 2/12 months ago as I wanted to end it all. I have now been put on medication for my depression. Which is helping a lot. I have been to see a solicitor but no-one is really helping me :( there was dv involved but I toke back my statement As he threatened to kill me if I didn't. So here we are now there's got to be something I can do?
Burgess67 - 21-Nov-16 @ 5:41 PM
Can someone please help me,I have 2yr old son my ex has taken him. Well when I say taken I mean I came home one day from work and he was in bed with my best friend. I then went outside to get some air and go for a walk (my son was in bed asleep) and he wouldn't let me back in the house There is asupervision order in place that both my ex and myself have pr he is on the birthcertificate . Social services are involved and they are just being useless, they say they can't tell me where my son is as he'smoved house all they can say his in Sevenoaks.... so now we are 4 months on and I haven't seen my son in that time. I havemental health issues I was sectioned 2/12 months ago as I wanted to end it all. I have now been put on medication for my depression. Which is helping a lot. I have been to see a solicitor but no-one is really helping me :( there was dv involved but I toke back my statement As he threatened to kill me if I didn't. So here we are now there's got to be something I can do?
Burgess67 - 21-Nov-16 @ 5:16 PM
Can someone please help me,I have 2yr old son my ex has taken him. Well when I say taken I mean I came home one day from work and he was in bed with my best friend. I then went outside to get some air and go for a walk (my son was in bed asleep) and he wouldn't let me back in the house There is asupervision order in place that both my ex and myself have pr he is on the birthcertificate . Social services are involved and they are just being useless, they say they can't tell me where my son is as he'smoved house all they can say his in Sevenoaks.... so now we are 4 months on and I haven't seen my son in that time. I havemental health issues I was sectioned 2/12 months ago as I wanted to end it all. I have now been put on medication for my depression. Which is helping a lot. I have been to see a solicitor but no-one is really helping me :( there was dv involved but I toke back my statement As he threatened to kill me if I didn't. So here we are now there's got to be something I can do?
Burgess67 - 21-Nov-16 @ 5:06 PM
My ex left 3 months before I gave birth and only contacted me after he was born saying he wants to be a part of it where before he said he's leaving because he wants to be free And isn't ready for a child he's not on birth certificate I don't want him to be part of our lives can he do anything about it?
Aggie - 21-Nov-16 @ 1:34 PM
Rew40 - Your Question:
Hi can I have some advice pls ? My ex wants to see my son after 6yrs of not seeing him or any contact during this time. When we was together he was a bully towards my other children from a previous relationship. He made one of my sons eat his own vomit and another of my sons he held his head back and tipped hot sauce into his mouth. I have family support worker and social worker that has this on record from the boys. I can't trust my ex with my son as he in the army and in and out of relationships all the time and also my son has CysticFibrosis and my ex doesn't know his meds or even physical therapy routine. Pls I need advice thankyou

Our Response:
Your only option is to refuse access. If your ex decides to take the matter to court, you can contact your support worker. Cafcass will get involved and a report will be carried out. It’s their job to interview both parents in the case, as well as the children, and any others who might be needed, which could mean social workers, medical professionals, or relatives. From the interviews they conduct, the reporter will determine two things: whether there should be contact allowed, and, if so, how much. It’s a measure of how important the Cafcass recommendation is that the court will almost invariably adhere to it. The court will always opt for what is in the best interests of your children and if your ex has had previous investigations for physically abusing your children, the court will take this very seriously.
ChildSupportLaws - 17-Nov-16 @ 12:14 PM
Hi can I have some advice pls ? My ex wants to see my son after 6yrs of not seeing him or any contact during this time . When we was together he was a bully towards my other children from a previous relationship. He made one of my sons eat his own vomit and another of my sons he held his head back and tipped hot sauce into his mouth . I have family support worker and social worker that has this on record from the boys .I can't trust my ex with my son as he in the army and in and out of relationships all the time and also my son has CysticFibrosis and my ex doesn't know his meds or even physical therapy routine.Pls I need advice thankyou
Rew40 - 16-Nov-16 @ 8:22 PM
KIRSTY - Your Question:
Currently been separated for over 24mths now , I have 2 children with my ex husband. We are currently going through a divorce. He is an alcoholic and has bouts where he disappears for weeks on end , with no contact. Maintenance is irregular for the children. The children no longer like contact with their father , as he creates conflict between them , puts them down and they are generally upset by him and his behaviour. I have not refused contact for them at any point but now feel that I should. Does he have any right to make any demands where the children are concerned ? Or would the courts see sense as to their happiness and security at home ?

Our Response:
I'm afraid this is an impossible question to answer. If you refuse contact, your ex will have the right to take the matter to court and it will be up to Cafcass and the courts to decide what they think is in the best interests of your children. However, as a parent you will be able to have your say and your children's opinion will also be taken on board.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Nov-16 @ 11:03 AM
Currently been separated for over 24mths now , I have 2 children with my ex husband . We are currently going through a divorce . He is an alcoholic and has bouts where he disappears for weeks on end , with no contact . Maintenance is irregular for the children . The children no longer like contact with their father , as he creates conflict between them , puts them down and they are generally upset by him and his behaviour. I have not refused contact for them at any point but now feel that I should. Does he have any right to make any demands where the children are concerned ? Or would the courts see sense as to their happiness and security at home ?
KIRSTY - 14-Nov-16 @ 2:02 PM
Hi, I'd really like some advice if possible. I have a 6 month old son with my ex who I was with for 4 years before we split when I found out I was pregnant as he did not want to have anything to do with our baby at the time, although when he was born he changed his mine on and off for the first few months. The relationship was extremely abusive and I'm still with a support group now as it's still going on over my son. I've never stopped contact but he is exclusively breastfed and won't take a bottle, so he cannot physically be away from me for more than a couple of hours maximum, so he has visited him at my house or we've gone to his mums for the visit. I've had to call the police 3 times because he has been outside my house kicking the door and threatening to smash it down when my baby was just 6 days old was the first time because I said no to a visit at 11:30pm as we were in bed and I was recovering from the birth, he had spent time with him that day in the morning. He shouts around him and he has pushed me around the room while I'm holding him. When he has had us in his car he's driven recklessly and dangerously. He screamed at me in the car at the top of his voice and wouldn't let me out so my baby ended up shaking and terrified, then proceeded to throw me out the car and try to drive off with my baby still inside, I managed to get back in causing harm to myself on trying. He is part of spiritual groups like witch cults and has told me he wants to expose my child to that when he understands, he said the initiation was to be beaten and left in the woods. I could go on and on about things he's done that makes me feel terrified for my sons safety. He is on the birth certificate and I'm so scared he will take and not return my baby and the police will not be able to bring him home. I never went to my GP about the abuse so I don't know if I can get legal aid. I just don't know what to do and I need to protect my son.
Leanne - 12-Nov-16 @ 12:55 AM
My 6 yr old son is refusing to go to his dads because he swears at him. He puts him down all the time and calls him names "dick head" "prick" when he cries about it he tells him to MAN UP. He shouts at him and says "put yr f%#king seat belt on or I'll beat you" he doesn't but he uses that as a fret. Can I refuse for him to go? He refuses and it's heart breaking making him go x
Bratz - 11-Nov-16 @ 7:32 PM
Missy - Your Question:
Hi, please could someone give me some advice.When I was pregnant with my son, who is now 5. My partner left me didn't want anything to do with me or our then unborn baby. Just completely cut us off and infact told everyone that the baby wasn't his. Hes not a young man may I add, hes now 50.Anyway the day our son was born, he came back and wanted to be a happy family, I tried I really did as I wanted our son to have a "normal" life with two parents who loved and were there for him. But I couldn't do it, the emotional side of the relationship pushed me to very nearly committing suicide. So we parted (my decision).Anyway that was when our son was 6 months old, ever since then I have battled to keep a "healthy" relationship going with my ex for the sake of our son. He sees him every other weekend for the whole weekend. his choice, I dont put any restrictions in place, as far as im concerned hes as much my ex's little boy as he is mine. My problem is everytime he comes back from his dads, and this has always been the case. He screams, he cries and he hates me and everyone in our house with a vengeance, something that is beyond normal. He shakes and is physically ill, this takes hours everytime he comes home. Then he snaps out of it and goes straight back to being the happy carefree child he is. Ive tried to speak to my ex about why hes like this because it breaks my heart to see him so unhappy and he just tells me that my son hates me and wants to be with him. My ex has rang social service's and made an aligation of sexual abuse agaist me. this was quashed immediately by them. I just don't know what to do, all I want is for our son to have a happy childhood and obviously he's not.

Our Response:
I don't really know how to answer this question, as I don't quite know what your are asking. If your child is coming back traumatised, then you may wish to try to get to the root of the issue of why he is coming back in such a state. It is not uncommon for children to find the upheaval of change very difficult. Much depends upon the child and the child's personality, some children are resilient and can easily change, others are more clingy and find the changes traumatic. Therefore, talking to your child will help (you don't say how old your son is). If you wish to keep your child from your ex, then you have that authority, however, your ex can take the matter to court. Perhaps speaking to a professional or two; your doctor, child psychologist etc may help too.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Nov-16 @ 12:05 PM
Hi, please could someone give me some advice. When i was pregnant with my son, who is now 5. My partner left me didn't want anything to do with me or our then unborn baby. Just completely cut us off and infact told everyone that the baby wasn't his. Hes not a young man may i add, hes now 50. Anyway the day our son was born, he came back and wanted to be a happy family, i tried i really did as i wanted our son to have a "normal" life with two parents who loved and were there for him. But i couldn't do it, the emotional side of the relationship pushed me to very nearly committing suicide. So we parted (my decision) . Anyway that was when our son was 6 months old, ever since then i have battled to keep a "healthy" relationship going with my ex for the sake of our son. He sees him every other weekend for the whole weekend .... his choice, i dont put any restrictions in place, as far as im concerned hes as much my ex's little boy as he is mine. My problem is everytime he comes back from his dads, and this has always been the case. He screams, he cries and he hates me and everyone in our house with a vengeance, something that is beyond normal. He shakes and is physically ill, this takes hours everytime he comes home. Then he snaps out of it and goes straight back to being the happy carefree child he is. Ive tried to speak to my ex about why hes like this because it breaks my heart to see him so unhappy and he just tells me that my son hates me and wants to be with him. My ex has rang social service's and made an aligation of sexual abuse agaist me ..... this was quashed immediately by them. I just don't know what to do, all i want is for our son to have a happy childhood and obviously he's not.
Missy - 10-Nov-16 @ 2:40 PM
Chadam29 - Your Question:
HiI have recently moved to the channel island and I have ano old court order in place based on when I lived in the UK. Prior to leaving we went to mediation and agreed that we would have contact every week via Skype and then see then holidays for overnights. This had been going fine for several months but she has now stopped it without any justifiable reason other than she's busy. She has now said I can only speak to them once a fortnight on a Sunday which she says is in line with the court order. It's not as we haven't changed it since we left. Can she do this and what is our next course of action. She will only communicate via email!!

Our Response:
Your ex is in breach of the court order, as changes to a court order cannot be unilaterally changed by one of the individuals involved. Arguably, anything that does not comply with the order is a breach. For example if the order states that the non-resident parent should have contact every Friday from 5pm and contact is not provided until 5:05pm, this is technically a breach of the order. However it is important to be reasonable; the courts are unlikely to take any action if the breach is insignificant. The courts' guidance states that unless a breach is regular and intentional, they will not usually take action to enforce the order or punish the breach. However, if the breach is continual, then you can take the matter back to court to have it enforced. Before you do this, you may wish to ask a solicitor to draft your ex a letter reminding her of the obligations of the order and if she doesn't abide by it, what those repercussions might be. Hopefully, this might do the trick. Otherwise, you would have to take the matter back to court.
ChildSupportLaws - 10-Nov-16 @ 11:37 AM
Hi I have recently moved to the channel island and I have ano old court order in place based on when I lived in the UK. Prior to leaving we went to mediation and agreed that we would have contact every week via Skype and then see then holidays for overnights. This had been going fine for several months but she has now stopped it without any justifiable reason other than she's busy.She has now said I can only speak to them once a fortnight on a Sunday which she says is in line with the court order. It's not as we haven't changed it since we left. Can she do this and what is our next course of action. She will only communicate via email!!
Chadam29 - 9-Nov-16 @ 3:44 PM
Jack - Your Question:
Hi , I would like some advice me and my ex partner have a 1 And a half year old little boy and we have been split up for about 3 month over no reason , I have no contact to my son and she wont let me see my child , I worked away for the majority of hes life and quit my job to become a family , and im getting painted a bad father for trying my best to become the best dad possible and be there for my little boy we are currently going to medation but can she stop me seeing my son ?

Our Response:
If your ex attempts to stop you seeing your son and the mediation process breaks down, your next option would be to take the matter to court and the court would make a decision regarding what it thinks is in the best interests of your child. The courts do want non-resident parents to have access to their children, and while court is seen as the last resort, sometimes it is necessary. We have other Separated Dads pages, which may help you further as they contain all the information you may wish to know, please see link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 8-Nov-16 @ 11:39 AM
fancy face - Your Question:
My daughter is 12 years old I didn't see her for 2 years and my husband refuse me to see her He refuses me to have contact with her and I dnt knw wot the reason are I'm getting so frustrated because I'm staying far from her and dnt have income or car I miss her every day and I need some advice please

Our Response:
If your ex is denying you access to your child, and refuses to accept attending mediation as a way of sorting your issues out, then you would have to apply through the courts. You would need to apply for a C100 contact order. Please see gov.uk link here which will give you more information. You may also wish to seek legal advice. If you cannot afford court fees you may be able to get a reduction if you are on a low income, and if you cannot afford the hefty legal fees of being represented in court, then you can self-litigate. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 8-Nov-16 @ 11:21 AM
Hi , i would like some advice me and my ex partner have a 1 And a half year old little boy and we have been split up for about 3 month over no reason , i have no contact to my son and she wont let me see my child , i worked away for the majority of hes life and quit my job to become a family , and im getting painted a bad father for trying my best to become the best dad possible and be there for my little boy we are currently going to medation but can she stop me seeing my son ?
Jack - 7-Nov-16 @ 6:04 PM
My daughter is 12 years old I didn't see her for 2 years and my husband refuse me to see her He refuses me to have contact with her and I dnt knw wot the reason are I'm getting so frustrated because I'm staying far from her and dnt have income or car I miss her every day and I need some advice please
fancy face - 7-Nov-16 @ 4:15 PM
Sarah123 - Your Question:
Hi there, looking for some advice. My partner and I have separated due to him never being around and working 24/7. He has made no effort with his child and has never fed, bathed or really played with his child due to always being tired. Now we have separated he is demanding to see our child - just turned 1- and taking her away for days away. He has no idea how to look after her and I fear for her safety. I am happy for him to see his child whenever he wishes (we plan it week by week and currently he is staying at my house when he comes to visit as child screams for me) advice I'm looking for is can I state where he sees our child? Or can he basically take her away to anywhere he wishes, even if I feel he is incapable? Thanks in advance.

Our Response:
Child access is normaly agreed between parents. If you feel your ex will not take care of your son, then you are within your right to withhold access. However, your ex will be able to either request you attend mediation, or pursue the matter through court. If he chooses to pursue the matter through court, the court will always decide what it thinks is in your child's best interests. It is understandable that your ex wishes to see his son; parents do have a remarkable instinct for caring for children. However, perhaps you could have a chat to your ex and say day/overnight care is something you would like to work towards on a gradual basis.
ChildSupportLaws - 7-Nov-16 @ 3:09 PM
Anne - Your Question:
I have a eight year old boy, his father and I separated before his birth and he has seen him on and off since then. He usually has him over night once a fortnight, but now his current girlfriend is expecting his child, I'm worried that he'll want to take our son off me.I am self employed and we have a lovelyear home with a great school just thirty minutes away.His dad doesn't pay maintenance as he's in and out work a lot and has had drinking and problems with depression too.Am I just being worried over nothing?

Our Response:
Yes, you are worrying over nothing. If your ex wants to apply for custody of your son, then he can do. However, the likelihood he would be awarded it is very remote. Firstly, a court will not remove a child from the care of a resident-parent unless absolutely necessary i.e safeguarding issues, neglect etc. If your child is well cared for and in a stable upbringing, the court would never attempt to upset that balance. The court will always decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your child and stability and consistency are considered the most important factors. Therefore, if your ex decides to seek legal advice regarding this, then any solicitor will more than likely advise him not to press ahead.
ChildSupportLaws - 7-Nov-16 @ 1:28 PM
I have a eight year old boy, his father and I separated before his birth and he has seen him on and off since then. He usually has him over night once a fortnight, but now his current girlfriend is expecting his child, I'm worried that he'll want to take our son off me. I am self employed and we have a lovelyear home with a great school just thirty minutes away. His dad doesn't pay maintenance as he's in and out work a lot and has had drinking and problems with depression too. Am I just being worried over nothing?
Anne - 6-Nov-16 @ 9:47 PM
restored my relationship, my boyfriend came back to me, I took him back and I am now settled with himTracy....
TRACY6 - 6-Nov-16 @ 12:19 AM
Hi there, looking for some advice.My partner and I have separated due to him never being around and working 24/7. He has made no effort with his child and has never fed, bathed or really played with his child due to always being tired. Now we have separated he is demanding to see our child - just turned 1- and taking her away for days away. He has no idea how to look after her and I fear for her safety. I am happy for him to see his child whenever he wishes (we plan it week by week and currently he is staying at my house when he comes to visit as child screams for me) advice I'm looking for is can I state where he sees our child? Or can he basically take her away to anywhere he wishes, even if I feel he is incapable? Thanks in advance.
Sarah123 - 5-Nov-16 @ 12:13 PM
Hi, im after some advice please in relation to my exs access over our 3 yr old son. We split when our son was 18 months old due to my ex having drug & alcohol problems. Iv'e always tried to maintain his access to every weekend 9-3 or 4. He has always been inconsistant with this and seems to thinks its ok to see our son as and when it suits him, he misses weekends and days almost every month and when he does take him brings him back earlier than arranged etc. He met and moved in with his current girlfriend a year ago now and things are getting worse, they both have drink problems and he is kicked out of there almost every week. He has recently not had contact with our son for 2 months as he come to collect his son under te influence of alcohol and i refused his access,he seems to think that having a drink but not being drunk is acceptable to look after our son!! he refuses to go to mediation as he says he cant get funding for this and has the last 2 weeks started coming back around to see our son and take him out for a few hours at weekends. I don't really want our son at his home as his girlfriend has caused no end of problems for me and he says she doesnt want our son there but puts up with it. Im at my wits end with them both causing upset and friction for me and our sons access what can i do about this or what sort of access arrangements would be best, i want my son to have access to his dad but need to make sure he is safe.
Zmh - 5-Nov-16 @ 9:37 AM
My son has been raising his little girl on his own for the last 4 years (she is 6 ) the mother couldn't cope with her , she sees her every other weekend now , she has now said she wants her back , coincidentally my son has gone to the csa and has also asked her to have their daughter for one week over Christmaswhich she said if she did she didn't want to pay child support for the whole month ,this gorgeous little girl is very happy with daddy and is doing fantastic at school and goes to a childminder before and after schoolfor an houras he works, she has a great relationship with all her paternal family here and orally adores her daddy, would the mother win in court and get to take her from him tha ks
Kaz - 3-Nov-16 @ 10:34 PM
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