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

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 25 Mar 2017 |
 
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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]
my ex wife when we broke up allowed me to have my one and two year old over the weekend, i was concerned about the children when i didnt have them due to drug related issues with her new partner, at this point i contacted social services as the children started turning up with unexplained bruises etc.. my ex wife then stopped me seeing my children and hasnt let me see them, i applied for mediation at which point she accused me of rape to the police so that she didnt have to attend, i was arrested and placed under caution, she has now withdrawn the allegation, admitted to friends and her family she lied, however she will still not allow me to see my children, im applying for a court order to grant me the same arrangement as before or custody, but as your notes under the heading 'domestic abuse' i know she will just say about the rape again as she knows it will stop me getting this.. what rights do i have here or will i always lose because she can just keep lying??
kris - 25-Mar-17 @ 12:22 AM
Anonymous- Your Question:
Hi daughter is 10 years old. I have been involved in her life since the day she was born. I have always got her what she needs along with paying support every month. However for a long time now she has being unhappy at home she doesn't get to act like a child as she has a younger sister and brother. She has to take care of her brother while her mam is upstairs I am also aware that on the odd occasion she has left my daughter to baby sit the other 2 while she goes to what whatever. There has also been the occasion that her mother has threatened to "take her face of" if she doesn't do what her mam wants. She is left to look after her younger siblings while her mother goes up stairs to have a "joint Her attendance at school has dropped below 90% now so the local authority will be getting involved as her education is getting affected. I have her everywhere end up come the Sunday night when it's time for her to go home she breaks down and begs me not to take her and that she wants to live with myself. I would have her at mine in a heart beat if I could I work for a living and I have a great supportive family who all share the same views as me that I fear my daughter could be in some danger if this continues. I have PR and I am tempted to just not take her back on Sunday night and let it all come to a head at once and deal with it the best I can. But I know what will put my daughter in a position that I know will not be nice for her but I know that it needs doing otherwise it's going to get worse as she gets older. I know this sounds like I am all against her mam but I'm not my daughter is a amazing kind polite little girl her mam has done a great job bringing her up but now that she is older she is becoming aware of what is not right and it has gone on for to long now. She needs stability and to go back to being able to act like a little girl again

Our Response:
Have you spoken to the mother about her lack of attendence in school and other issues? Have you offered to have your daughter more, so that you can ensure she goes to school? Sometimes, face-to-face negotiation might work better if you approach it in helpful terms, i.e, you want what is best for your child. Taking a child without authorisation from the other parent is never a good idea and you may face restricted access if the move/situation backfires. Mediation is the next port of call if your ex will not agree to working towards what is in the best interests of your child. Court is always seen as a last resort when all other methods to try to resolve the issue fail. Therefore, perhaps you could try to negotiate becoming more involved with your daughter. You never know, she might value your unput and help.
ChildSupportLaws - 23-Mar-17 @ 12:42 PM
Nikki - Your Question:
Hello,My son has been in my care since he was born. I gave my sons father visitation without this being backed by a court order. After an arranged visit he has decided that my son would be better left in his care. After contact with the police, as father has PI and no issue of his safety he has not been returned. This is the longest my son has been away from me and is currently on medication also. What is the quickest way I can get my son back into my care,

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this - it really is every parent's worst nightmare. However, unfortunately, if both parents have Parental Responsibility then the police cannot intervene to take the child off one parent and give them to the other; the police cannot choose between parents, that is the remit of the courts. Therefore, you will have to apply to the courts for a child arrangement order/residency order. This court order determines where your child lives, which relatives they have contact with, and what type of contact. Ordinarily, the court will give notice of the hearing to both parties so that they can attend and give their side of the story. If you think that your son may be in danger, then you may be able to apply for an emergency without notice hearing which will be much quicker than a full "with notice hearing". However, be aware that this will only be a temporary solution and that any without notice hearing will be followed shortly after by a full "with notice" hearing in which the court order may be changed.. If you can show that your former partner is not able or appropriate to look after your child, you may be able to get a residency order quickly - but you will need to evidence this. Remember, that whilst the police cannot take a child away from a parent with Parental Responsibility, they are able to intervene and remove a child if there is a real risk to life. If you are concerned about a real and immediate threat to your child's safety, speak to your local police force and social services. If you are unsure about your rights, speak to your local Citizens Advice Bureau who will be able to provide you with free assistance. The courts may be able to help, but this can be a lengthy process and you will need to evidence any concerns. It is therefore important to know your options before seeking a court order. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 23-Mar-17 @ 12:20 PM
Hi daughter is 10 years old. I have been involved in her life since the day she was born. I have always got her what she needs along with paying support every month. However for a long time now she has being unhappy at home she doesn't get to act like a child as she has a younger sister and brother . She has to take care of her brother while her mam is upstairs I am also aware that on the odd occasionshe has left my daughter to baby sit the other 2 while she goes to what whatever. There has also been the occasion that her mother has threatenedto "take her face of" if she doesn't do what her mam wants. She is left to look after her younger siblings while her mother goes up stairs to have a "joint Her attendanceat school has dropped below 90% now so the local authoritywill be getting involved as her educationis getting affected. I have her everywhere end up come the Sunday night when it's time for her to go home she breaks down and begs me not to take her and that she wants to live with myself.I would have her at mine in a heart beat if I could I work for a living and I have a great supportive family who all share the same views as me that I fear my daughter could be in some danger if this continues. I have PR and I am tempted to just not take her back on Sunday night and let it all come to a head at once and deal with it the best I can. But I know what will put my daughter in a position that I know will not be nice for her but I know that it needs doing otherwise it's going to get worse as she gets older. I know this sounds like I am all against her mambut I'm not my daughter is a amazing kind polite little girl her mam has done a great job bringing her up but now that she is older she is becoming aware of what is not right and it has gone on for to long now. She needs stability and to go back to being able to act like a little girl again
Anonymous - 22-Mar-17 @ 10:28 PM
Hello, My son has been in my care since he was born. I gave my sons father visitation without this being backed by a court order. After an arranged visit he has decided that my son would be better left in his care. After contact with the police, as father has PI and no issue of his safety he has not been returned. This is the longest my son has been away from me and is currently on medication also. What is the quickest way I can get my son back into my care,
Nikki - 22-Mar-17 @ 9:16 PM
Kim - Your Question:
Hi I went to court when me and my ex first split as he kept our children when we first split up I got the prohibitive steps order in place for him to see the kids every other week end , we have since broken down contact so can I do anything because he's not seeing kids on his weekends?

Our Response:
A court would not force your ex to see your children where contact has broken down, as it would not be deemed in yoru children's best interests. Therefore, taking the matter back to court to have the order enforced would not be successful in this case.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-Mar-17 @ 1:43 PM
Daddy dad- Your Question:
My partner and I have split up and I as his father have our son full time, he deals with me better and my ex and I came to the agreement of me having him full time because of this, she has arranged to see him every other weekend however this has not happened due to the distance and lack of money for her to see him, my ex does not like my new partner who is also pregnant, what can I do to stop her turning up and just taking our son away from me? Please help!!. thanks

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here, which will tell you all you need to know.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-Mar-17 @ 10:26 AM
Hi I went to court when me and my ex first split as he kept our children when we first split up I got the prohibitive steps order in place for him to see the kids every other week end , we have since broken down contact so can I do anything because he's not seeing kids on his weekends?
Kim - 22-Mar-17 @ 12:55 AM
JustDad - Your Question:
My 6 year old daughter lives with her mother (my ex) who's just starting seeing another man (her cousin!) which, to me is odd and is not the reason I'm here. My daughter is left to her own devices, doesn't (not encouraged) to eat anything healthy & the worst thing is every time my daughter comes to me over the weekends agreed, she absolutely stinks of cigarettes. When I ask her about how often this new guy smokes she tells me all the time around her and always smokes in the car & the house smells of an ashtray. I've asked on several occasions not to smoke around my daughter without effect & she is constantly coughing. My ex says that her new boyfriend does pull the window down when he's driving which just is so infuriating as she doesn't seem to want to acknowledge the risks. Am I putting my daughter at risk? What else can I do?

Our Response:
I'm afraid your only other option is to suggest mediation or if mediation is refused/fails take the matter to court via a Specific Issue Order. To protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke, it’s now illegal to smoke in cars and other vehicles with someone under 18 present - please see link here. However, the tricky aspect here is that police have not yet enforced any fines and have instead issued only verbal warnings.
ChildSupportLaws - 21-Mar-17 @ 11:53 AM
My partner and I have split up and I as his father have our son full time, he deals with me better and my ex and I came to the agreement of me having him full time because of this, she has arranged to see him every other weekend however this has not happened due to the distance and lack of money for her to see him, my ex does not like my new partner who is also pregnant, what can I do to stop her turning up and just taking our son away from me? Please help!!.... thanks
Daddy dad - 21-Mar-17 @ 8:52 AM
My 6 year old daughter lives with her mother (my ex) who's just starting seeing another man (her cousin!) which, to me is odd and is not the reason I'm here. My daughter is left to her own devices, doesn't (not encouraged) to eat anything healthy & the worst thing is every time my daughter comes to me over the weekends agreed, she absolutely stinks of cigarettes. When I ask her about how often this new guy smokes she tells me all the time around her and always smokes in the car & the house smells of an ashtray. I've asked on several occasions not to smoke around my daughter without effect & she is constantly coughing. My ex says that her new boyfriend does pull the window down when he's driving which just is so infuriating as she doesn't seem to want to acknowledge the risks. Am I putting my daughter at risk? What else can I do?
JustDad - 20-Mar-17 @ 3:05 PM
Mum - Your Question:
Help my partner and I are splitting up, he says he can take my children away from me, as I have built up some debits( I have been paying them off religiously and not got any orders on myself) he says he will keep the house and have the children with him and only give me visitation rights and the courts will back him.what are my rights my youngest is only 3 and I am the main carer, I have no savings and all the equity is in the house Help

Our Response:
If you are the main carer of your children and have been to date, if you and your ex cannot agree who will care for your children, then you may be able to apply to court to remain in the house with your children and remain the main carer. However, in the first instance you would need to seek legal advice regarding this matter. The CAB or Coram may be able to help, if you cannot afford a solicitor, please see link here or here.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Mar-17 @ 2:12 PM
Help my partner and I are splitting up, he says he can take my children away from me, as I have built up some debits( I have been paying them off religiously and not got any orders on myself) he says he will keep the house and have the children with him and only give me visitation rights and the courts will back him.....what are my rights my youngest is only 3 and I am the main carer, I have no savings and all the equity is in the house Help
Mum - 18-Mar-17 @ 1:39 PM
Kay - Your Question:
Hi my sons dad has had no contact with my son for 6 years van I make him see his child? Is there anything I can do

Our Response:
I'm afraid there is nothing you can do. A court would never force a non-resident parent to see their children where they do not wish.
ChildSupportLaws - 17-Mar-17 @ 1:58 PM
Hi my sons dad has had no contact with my son for 6 years van i make him see his child? Is there anything i can do
Kay - 17-Mar-17 @ 12:18 PM
LD991 - Your Question:
My ex left me when I was 7 months pregnant 4 months ago, we already had a 2 year old daughter. My ex now lives with his new girlfriend who has 4 children of her own by a different father, one of these children has autism and is known to get aggressive although it is controlled and he has never been aggressive towards a child.My ex now wants both our children to stop over night baring in mind my youngest is only just over 5 months old and he barely knows or sees her, due to the fact he likes to take my eldest out on his weekends. I feel slightly uncomfortable allowing them to stop over night when they already have 4 children in their house as they will not have a bedroom for them. I have spent months battling with my eldest to get her into her own bed and room at night as she was always in my bed with me, I have finally succeeded and now feel any disruption could ruin her bed time routine. Can you please let me know if I have any rights or whether I have to let the children stop with him or not.

Our Response:
If you feel it is in your children's best interests not to stay, then you can negotiate an alternative (if your ex is willing), or you can exercise your parental responsibility and say no. If both of you cannot come to a suitable resolution, then after this then mediation is the next option. Mediation is when two or more parties meet to resolve problems before the matter reaches court. It is a formal negotiation and courts can accept the agreement of the mediation instead of having to go through the court process, although it is subject to final court approval. 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 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. However, you have to take part in mediation with an open mind and a willingness to compromise. If mediation fails, or if you refuse to attend, then your children's father can take the court option. If so, the court will make a decision based upon what 'it' thinks is in your children's best interests and once ordered by the court, you would have to adhere to it. Trying to negotiate between you is always the best option - but you certainly don't have to put your child in situation you feel uncomfortable with.
ChildSupportLaws - 17-Mar-17 @ 10:38 AM
My ex left me when i was 7 months pregnant 4 months ago, we already had a 2 year old daughter. My ex now lives with his new girlfriend who has 4 children of her own by a different father, one of these children has autism and is known to get aggressive although it is controlled and he has never been aggressive towards a child. My ex now wants both our children to stop over night baring in mind my youngest is only just over 5 months old and he barely knows or sees her, due to the fact he likes to take my eldest out on his weekends. I feel slightly uncomfortable allowing them to stop over night when they already have 4 children in their house as they will not have a bedroom for them. I have spent months battling with my eldest to get her into her own bed and room at night as she was always in my bed with me, i have finally succeeded and now feel any disruption could ruin her bed time routine. Can you please let me know if i have any rights or whether i have to let the children stop with him or not.
LD991 - 16-Mar-17 @ 12:47 PM
Pink - Your Question:
My brother has separated from his 14yr old daughters Mum. They was married and he has PR. He was aloud to see his daughter every wknd. Every wk he gets told something different and their daughter wants to see her Dad every wknd. She is making it very difficult for her self and my niece. My niece kicks of with her Mum every time she try's to change it. Can she do this or can a child of that age choose herself or is there an age they can. I

Our Response:
If your brother and his ex can't sort this issue out via mediation and he took the matter to court, then his daughter would be able to have her say and the court would listen to her opinion. As with all court decisions, it will decide what it thinks is in the best interests of the child. If your brother has had consistent access and played a big part in his daughter's life, then there is every reason the court would issue an access order. Once issued, his ex would have to adhere to it, or risk being in contempt of court.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Mar-17 @ 1:52 PM
Sare - Your Question:
My ex constantly misses his access days without a txt or call.when he does manage a visit he doesnt interact with our 2 sons,he spends his time txting or phoning his girlfriend.can I stop his access to prevent further hurting our children.they have stopped asking about and dont seem bothered

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether there is a court order in place. If not, you can stop access. However, your ex will have the option to take the matter to court and if a court order is put in place, then you will have to adhere to it. If you cannot resolve these issues between you, then perhaps you could consider asking your ex to attend mediation in order to come to a more structured agreement. Mediation will also give you the chance to voice your opinions and try to iron out the issues you have put forward here.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Mar-17 @ 1:38 PM
G - Your Question:
Hi, I have been separated from my wife for 11 months now and she has just filed for divorce, thats fine was our marriage has broke down. she moved into my house with her young daughter of five and rented hers out. upon separation 11 months ago she and her daughter moved back to her own house and I stayed here in mine.Our marriage only lasted 9 months unfortunately, my question is, will I have to pay support to my ex-wife and child upon divorce? the child see's her natural farther regularly and he pays some maintenance, I have no contact with my my (ex)wife's daughter any longer, as my wife doesn't think its appropriate, she is probably right.Any advice would be appreciated as I am struggling with interpreting the forms I have been sent. Thanks G

Our Response:
If you are not the biological father of the child, then you will not be asked to provide maintenance for your ex-wife or child maintenance for her child.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Mar-17 @ 12:00 PM
My brother has separated from his 14yr old daughters Mum. They was married and he has PR. He was aloud to see his daughter every wknd. Every wk he gets told something different and their daughter wants to see her Dad every wknd. She is making it very difficult for her self and my niece. My niece kicks of with her Mum every time she try's to change it. Can she do this or can a child of that age choose herself or is there an age they can. I
Pink - 14-Mar-17 @ 8:20 PM
My ex constantly misses his access days without a txt or call.when he does manage a visit he doesnt interact with our 2 sons,he spends his time txting or phoning his girlfriend.can i stop his access to prevent further hurting our children.they have stopped asking about and dont seem bothered
Sare - 14-Mar-17 @ 5:55 PM
Hi, I have been separated from my wife for 11 months now and she has just filed for divorce, thats fine was our marriage has broke down. she moved into my house with her young daughter of five and rented hers out. upon separation 11 months ago she and her daughter moved back to her own house and I stayed here in mine. Our marriage only lasted 9 months unfortunately, my question is, will I have to pay support to my ex-wife and child upon divorce? the child see's her natural farther regularly and he pays some maintenance, I have no contact with my my (ex)wife's daughter any longer, as my wife doesn't think its appropriate, she is probably right. Any advice would be appreciated as I am struggling with interpreting the forms I have been sent. Thanks G
G - 14-Mar-17 @ 3:38 PM
mother - Your Question:
I was wondering if my sons farther still has pr. my sons 7 and has not seen his dad in 6 years but is on his birth certificate this was his choice not mine he moved on got married and had other children so his not been in contact just wondered where I stand now

Our Response:
Your ex still has PR, even though he has not seen your son. However, much depends upon what issue you need to determine in connection with the exercise of parental responsibility. If your ex has not seen your son, then it makes it easier for you to make decisions based upon what you think is in his best interests. If you do, your ex would have little recourse to complain if he doesn't see his child.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Mar-17 @ 2:46 PM
JP - Your Question:
Hi there, need some advice please.I have a 5 year old daughter, her mother and myself were not married, split up when she was 18 months old. she was born in 2011. My name is on the birth certificate and my daughter has my last name. I do not pay child maintenance through CSA, when we split up we downloaded an agreement from CSA website and signed it saying that as we share custody 50% then we would split in half all costs related to little one, nursery, health and education.This has been the case since split in March 13.I have paid £600 a month in nursery till Sept 16 when she enrolled in reception year. we split all costs, school uniform, breakfast club, after school club etc.My daughter has her own bedroom at my house, her toys, her clothes, everything. I'm a very involved dad, I have regularly during the week (2 or 3 days) pick and drop from school etc, I also have her every other weekend, I take her on holidays abroad 3 weeks every year.My ex got married in 2014 and has a child who is 1 year old.Today my daughter, when I got her from school, told me her stepdad told her she would be living in a new house, where he is from, 100 miles away from me and she burst into tears.Sorry for so much info but wanted to be accurate. Can my ex take my daughter away from me? such a distance I can never be the father I want to be, I cannot keep doing what I do and be involved in her life the way I have always been. thank you in advance for reading and for any advice.

Our Response:
If you have parental responsibility, then theoretically your ex has to as for your authorisation to move out of the area. If you cannot resolve this matter out between yourselves, mediation is the first option to consider in order to try and find a compromise. However, if you think your ex may move without your authorisation you can apply through the courts for a Prohibited Steps Order. A PSO is an order granted by the court in family cases which prevents either parent from carrying out certain events or making specific trips with their children without the express permission of the other parent. This is more common in cases where there is suspicion that one parent may leave the area with their children. 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. However, this does not mean you would be granted the order. It is unlikely a court would try to prevent your ex moving on with her life and 100 miles is workable. However, on the other hand, if you have shared-care there is nothing to stop you applying to become the resident carer of your child if you think moving schools and moving your child away from family ties would disrupt your child's life. Again, there is no guarantee a court would grant this. It is always better if you can come to a compromise between you and your ex and try to work out a new solution between you as equals and in respect of what you both think is in the best interests of your daughter. You have worked at this to date - hopefully you can continue to work at this in the future.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Mar-17 @ 1:57 PM
Hi there, need some advice please. I have a 5 year old daughter, her mother and myself were not married, split up when she was 18 months old. she was born in 2011. My name is on the birth certificate and my daughter has my last name. I do not pay child maintenance through CSA, when we split up we downloaded an agreement from CSA website and signed it saying that as we share custody 50% then we would split in half all costs related to little one, nursery, health and education. This has been the case since split in March 13. I have paid £600 a month in nursery till Sept 16 when she enrolled in reception year. we split all costs, school uniform, breakfast club, after school club etc. My daughter has her own bedroom at my house, her toys, her clothes, everything. I'm a very involved dad, I have regularly during the week (2 or 3 days) pick and drop from school etc, I also have her every other weekend, i take her on holidays abroad3 weeks every year. My ex got married in 2014 and has a child who is 1 year old. Today my daughter, when I got her from school, told me her stepdad told her she would be living in a new house, where he is from, 100 miles away from me and she burst into tears. Sorry for so much info but wanted to be accurate. Can my ex take my daughter away from me? such a distance I can never be the father I want to be, I cannot keep doing what I do and be involved in her life the way I have always been. thank you in advance for reading and for any advice.
JP - 13-Mar-17 @ 10:19 PM
my partner has been taking my child into a prison to see her new partner, he is currently serving a sentence for man slaughter and has a very concerning past. I am currently going through court to be able to see my daughter because she has stopped me because I said I would not allow her to take my daughter into a prison. (I am awaiting response to my application at present ).Does anyone know what I can do about this? is there any law to say my daughter can not go into a prison without my concent as I have PR or have any contact with a dangerous offender ? thankyou
JOE - 13-Mar-17 @ 7:50 PM
Claire - Your Question:
Hello I would like to know if my ex takes responsibility for his abuse towards me like goes to authorities will that affect his rights to see his children he is a good father so I know there is no need for him to be forced out of their lives I don't want that he is refusing to take responsibility though due to simple fact he thinks if he does he will go on sex offenders register for the rape part and authorities will stop him from seeing his children despite what I say

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot advise on this question - you will need to seek legal guidance.
ChildSupportLaws - 13-Mar-17 @ 11:46 AM
M - Your Question:
My daughter is 14 and she is choosing to stay with my ex who she calls dad (no blood relation, we were never married and he has no PR) I can see my daughter is being brainwashed by this man and notice that the more time she spends with him the more she resents me and has a nasty bitterness towards me. I have tried to discipline my daughter and stay fair but I find myself in a constant battle with her. She believes lies he has told her about me and when she does come home she isolates herself. As he is not consistent in her life when she doesn't see him for a few weeks at a time our relationship seems to work, she accepts what I say and although a small amount of attitude is given from her I acknowledge that she is a teenager and her hormones are all over the place. Please give me some advice as to how I can help my daughter see that monsters sometimes come in the form of people you think you are close to.

Our Response:
This is a very difficult question to answer as in theory your ex has no rights to your daughter and you could restrict access if you think this would help, especially if you are not happy with his influence on your child. However, as you say your daughter is at an age were she is trying to forge her own personality and quite often children of this age can rebel and try to push one or both parents away. Yet, if you think your ex is trying to instill a level of parental alienation (which is a psychological term, you can do an online search) on your daughter, then you need to speak to your ex. You may wish to lay down some ground rules and warnings of restricted access if his behaviour continues. Likewise, you may wish to look into organising some counselling for your daughter regarding her relationship with you, which you can speak to the counsellor and relay your worries also about the relationship with your ex. I do understand you are between a rock and a hard place here, but as with every parent child relationship you have to make decisions based upon what you think is in the best interest of your child, regardless of her opinions.
ChildSupportLaws - 13-Mar-17 @ 11:28 AM
hello i would like to know if my ex takes responsibility for his abuse towards me like goes toauthorities will that affect his rights to see his children he is a good father so I know there is no need for him to be forced out of their lives I don't want that he is refusing to take responsibility though due to simple fact he thinks if he does he will go on sex offenders register for the rape part and authorities will stop him from seeing his children despite what I say
Claire - 12-Mar-17 @ 11:07 AM
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