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

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 21 May 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]
nc6 - Your Question:
My ex and I divorced when my son was 2. He is now 10. He has had regular access for the past 8 years. My ex always drank a lot, and we had a difficult relationship which was at times abusive. About 3 months ago, my son was staying at his Dads and after his Dad returned from the pub with his girlfriend there was an incident between them which at the time his girlfriend told my son that she was pushed, which she has since retracted. The police were called and he was arrested, though the charges were later dropped because she changed her story. I collected my son and he remained with me. Later that week, Child Services contacted as the girlfriend had been admitted to hospital with injuries including broken ribs and a punctured lung. The hospital didn't believe her story, so got Child Services involved and they contacted me as the protector. They advised me to not let my son go to his Dads as if something happened again, I would also be culpable. My son has also said that he doesn't want to see his father. His father is now looking into the legal side and taking action about the situation. I need to know what my position is, and if there is anything I need to do? Also, what his stand point is given the situation? Thanks

Our Response:
We cannot anticipate what a court may decide. However, if you have been advised by Child Services, then Cafcass will get involved if the matter goes to court. A Cafcass will compile a report on the basis of the situation. It is their job to interview both parents in the case, as well as the children, and any others who might be needed, such as 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. We cannot predict what a court may decide - but its fundamental aim is to decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your child.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-May-17 @ 12:25 PM
My ex and I divorced when my son was 2. He is now 10. He has had regular access for the past 8 years. My ex always drank a lot, and we had a difficult relationship which was at times abusive. About 3 months ago, my son was staying at his Dads and after his Dad returned from the pub with his girlfriend there was an incident between them which at the time his girlfriend told my son that she was pushed, which she has since retracted. The police were called and he was arrested, though the charges were later dropped because she changed her story. I collected my son and he remained with me. Later that week, Child Services contacted as the girlfriend had been admitted to hospital with injuries including broken ribs and a punctured lung. The hospital didn't believe her story, so got Child Services involved and they contacted me as the protector. They advised me to not let my son go to his Dads as if something happened again, I would also be culpable. My son has also said that he doesn't want to see his father. His father is now looking into the legal side and taking action about the situation. I need to know what my position is, and if there is anything I need to do? Also, what his stand point is given the situation? Thanks
nc6 - 21-May-17 @ 8:38 PM
I need advice... I am in a situation where I have a 1 year old baby and am currently with child. They both have the same father. I fled their father's abuse and moved to a different state and he is threatening me with court to get on our child's birth certificate. We came to a sort of agreement that he can be on the certificate but now I believe he may be doing it to just take my baby away and not treat her well or see to it that her needs are fully met. He does not send help for her and hasn't sent any form of support since I have been away other than $100. I do not believe he has good intentions or even a healthy level of concern for raising my children with care at all as he has a drinking problem, frequently smokes weed and occasionally does other drugs, and neglected financial responsibility of our daughter constantly when I lived with him. I left and I told him I would need a month to just clear my head but I changed my mind about returning for a relationship when he was just nothing but abusive to my character... I don't think staying for the kids is healthy when a partner only brings the other down and they just become a sad shell of a human being. I didnt want that and I didnt want my children watching me go through that. Before I decided leaving was necessary,he crashed his car while drunk, arguing with me while two of his children were in the back seat (one of them my 1 year old) he then said he would kick me and my daughter out with none of our things at that time and it was 11:00PM and I had nowhere to go in a totally different state from my family. He endangered us both and I just dont believe he is safe to be close to, not just for me... I dont want to give him the right to be on my child's birth certificate and I would rather have someone supervise him in his care for my children if we do work out an agreement because I dont believe he has good judgement and while I want my kids near their father, I dont want him being granted the same rights as myself as well and suddenly taking my baby away from me and keeping her for only himself just because he in his twisted ideas thinks I was wrong for leaving him when he was clearly being abusive and not willing to do things differently, drinking every single night and not seeking to be a healthy man around his child. What is the best course of action for me right now?
Zola - 20-May-17 @ 8:08 AM
lookinh for advice I split from my ex who I have my son to 5 years ago I have never stopped him having access and have always allowed him to be part of our sons life as who am I to play god with my sons life. It certainly hasn't been easy as my ex has always made my life hard as he never got over the split but I have tried my best to make things work for our son. The last 2 years have been hell he has constantly let our son down e.g. Not turning up to pick him up when he has arranged to leaving me no option but to fly home from work to pick our son up from school which in it self is a nightmare as I loose money from work that pays the bills to keep my son warm and fed he always comes up with excuses like I need another chance and I have always gave him the chance because my son loves his dad. The last couple of months have been horrible as he has let our son down loads not picking him up when he has arranged to and my son keeps asking me if his dad loves him and why his dad won't come and I honestly don't have the answers to those questions a lot of people have advised me to stop him seeing the bairn ever his own mother has told me to stop him but I don't no were I stand I never thought I would be in this situation as I always wanted to work things out but how many times do I let him let his son down and upset his son before I say enough is enough. He is not on the birth certificate as the day we went to regiester our son he forgot to turn up that was his excuse so he didn't get put on it. I have resorted to lying to my son telling him things like dads at work or dads not well just to protect his feelings because it's horrible to see his little face so upset I'm at the end of my tether and Im looking for advice if anyone else has been threw the same thing that can give me some pointers on what they might think is the best steps to take
Toni - 19-May-17 @ 2:28 PM
Advice please hi my son and his partner(not married) have two children 2-1/2 year old and 3 month baby they have come to blows over the reason why she spent a night with another man . He is going to court for 3 charges (serious charges) in October he has pleaded guilty to a 4 th charge of gbh which has been adjourned. His bail conditions don't allow contact between him and his partner. From day one his partner told us that social services had said he couldn't have contact with the children so we waited then a month later she passed a message through her father and myself that he could see his eldest with both of us (grandparents) in attendance which we did two weeks later (last weekend ) he was told he could see both children this time we went to the location and waited a short time later they arrived with both her parents in attendance they both stayed for the hole time. We now have spoken to social services and they tell us that they never put any restrictions in place and as far as they are concerned my so can see the children when he wants without supervision. We now find out that they are away on the bank hol weekend on a camping holiday followed by a trip to Poland which they haven't told us about. So looks like he won't see them again for at least 2 weekends They both have p r as my son is on both birth certificates I would like to know 1 can he stop them from going abroad 2 can the access to children be set out with set days each week 3 how would we check or know if any residence orders are in place Thanks very much
Worried grandad - 19-May-17 @ 11:11 AM
Child3 - Your Question:
Advice please Hi I split with my ex in 2007 we had 3 girls together but he only has pr for the youngest girl in 2015 there was an alergation of a sexual kind made on my eldest girl with her father he was arrested at the time but later released due to insuffient evidence after that I havent let my girls have contact with him but recently hes been trying to be included in my youngest girls life by contacting the school my daughter is autist and epilectic and due to her autism doesnt know or wouldnt understand why I rund the police and spoke to them but they cant do anything is there anything I can do to stop him at all im desperate to keep my children safe and dont want them near him please help tank you

Our Response:
If you do not agree to access, then your ex will be allowed to make an application to court, if he chooses. If so, it is likely Cafcass will get involved. 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 even 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. We cannot predict what a court may rule, as it will always opt for what it thinks is in your children's best interests. However, if contact was awarded it is unlikely it would be unsupervised if your ex has not had contact with his children for some time. In the meantime, you can request your school does not allow your ex direct contact with your child. However, if he has parental responsibility he is entitled to know certain information with regards to their schooling and general welfare.
ChildSupportLaws - 18-May-17 @ 12:44 PM
I need advice... I am in a situation where I have a 1 year old baby and am currently with child. They both have the same father. I fled their father's abuse and moved to a different state and he is threatening me with court to get on our child's birth certificate. We came to a sort of agreement that he can be on the certificate but now I believe he may be doing it to just take my baby away and not treat her well or see to it that her needs are fully met. He does not send help for her and hasn't sent any form of support since I have been away other than $100. I do not believe he has good intentions or even a healthy level of concern for raising my children with care at all as he has a drinking problem, frequently smokes weed and occasionally does other drugs, and neglected financial responsibility of our daughter constantly when I lived with him. I left and I told him I would need a month to just clear my head but I changed my mind about returning for a relationship when he was just nothing but abusive to my character... I don't think staying for the kids is healthy when a partner only brings the other down and they just become a sad shell of a human being. I didnt want that and I didnt want my children watching me go through that. Before I decided leaving was necessary,he crashed his car while drunk, arguing with me while two of his children were in the back seat (one of them my 1 year old) he then said he would kick me and my daughter out with none of our things at that time and it was 11:00PM and I had nowhere to go in a totally different state from my family. He endangered us both and I just dont believe he is safe to be close to, not just for me... I dont want to give him the right to be on my child's birth certificate and I would rather have someone supervise him in his care for my children if we do work out an agreement because I dont believe he has good judgement and while I want my kids near their father, I dont want him being granted the same rights as myself as well and suddenly taking my baby away from me and keeping her for only himself just because he in his twisted ideas thinks I was wrong for leaving him when he was clearly being abusive and not willing to do things differently, drinking every single night and not seeking to be a healthy man around his child. What is the best course of action for me right now?
Zola - 18-May-17 @ 10:51 AM
Advice please Hi i split with my ex in 2007 we had 3 girls together but he only has pr for the youngest girl in 2015 there was an alergation of a sexual kind made on my eldest girl with her father he was arrested at the time but later released due to insuffient evidence after that i havent let my girls have contact with him but recently hes been trying to be included in my youngest girls life by contacting the school my daughter is autist and epilectic and due to her autism doesnt know or wouldnt understand why i rund the police and spoke to them but they cant do anything is there anything i can do to stop him at all im desperate to keep my children safe and dont want them near him please help tank you
Child3 - 17-May-17 @ 9:16 PM
Pez - Your Question:
Ok im after some advice. My wife (seperated still married) had one child when we met I took her on as my own pay maintenence for her and my other two children (with my wife) and have access to all 3. My question is do I have any rights to the daughter that isnt mine. Her father isn't really in her kife. my findings kind of indicate that our marrige gives me some PR as we were obviously married after she was born. Secondly she is wanting to introduce a man she has known around 2 months and met approximately 5 times to our children. This man apparantly has a bad drug habbit and past. Is vilolent towards women and has a history of coming in and out of lives of partners with children the most recent was the end of febuary. What rights do I have to my step daughter and what rights do I have in regards to this man being near all 3 of my children

Our Response:
Theoretically, you have no rights as a step-parent as you do not have parental responsibility of your step-child. However, should the matter go to court there is a possibility the court will allow access if you have been consistent in the child's life and your step-child has siblings who are yours by birth. With regards to whether you have a say in who your ex decides to introduce to your children, the fact she has PR gives her the natural authority to decide upon what she thinks is in the children's best interests. If you are against your ex's partner having contact with your children and your ex does not agree, if you have good reason then you can apply for a Specific Issue Order. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the children in question. The court will always put the children’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. However, before you take this direction it is best to discuss the matter with your ex directly by voicing your concerns if you feel they are legitimate. Mediation may also be a route to consider.
ChildSupportLaws - 17-May-17 @ 1:54 PM
Hi i split with my ex in 2007 we had 3 girls together but he only has pr for the youngest girl in 2015 there was an alergation of a sexual kind made on my eldest girl with her father he was arrested at the time but later released due to insuffient evidence after that i havent let my girls have contact with him but recently hes been trying to be included in my youngest girls life by contacting the school my daughter is autist and epilectic and due to her autism doesnt know or wouldnt understand why i rund the police and spoke to them but they cant do anything is there anything i can do to stop him at all im desperate to keep my children safe and dont want them near him please help tank you
Child3 - 17-May-17 @ 10:37 AM
Liz - Your Question:
My son is 8 years old, and has not seen his biological father since he was around 9 months old though his own choice. He then took me to court for access when my son was around 13 months old, which I did not deny at the time, it was simply how much contact that was in dispute. The courts ruled that due to my sons young age, and the amount of time past, he would need to build contact up slowly, starting at a couple of hours, building up to a full weekend. The courts (at my request) out lined dates for this to happen. My ex managed to make it to the first contact session and has not ever bothered since. I have a residency order in my favor for my son. So, 7 years on, my son has no idea who he is, but he has a father figure in my partner, and grandparents in my partners parents. I would like to know if it is possible for my partner to gain PR or adopt my son without my son being dragged into the process? Does my ex even have PR still after not being in touch for so long? My partner and I are getting married next year, been living together for 5 years and expecting a child next month, I just want to know that nothing will be able to upset my sons happiness and if my ex decided to rear his ugly head I think it would be highly detrimental to my sons wellbeing. I am also thinking of writing my will and need to know that I will be able to leave my son in my partners sole care, and not have him ripped from his family home in the event of my death.

Our Response:
The natural parent has agree to the adoption in order for you to be able to go ahead, please see here link.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-May-17 @ 12:56 PM
Rach - Your Question:
Hi looking for some advise my ex left me after 7 years we have two kids together but for three years he as not bothered with them dose no pay a penny for them we did mediation but he would not agree to anything I said so where do I stand and what can I do to get is pr taken off him because my 3 year old daughter dose not even now who he is and my son says he is better off with out him as my son says he as got is new family and mummy we got you thank you

Our Response:
A court will not take PR off a parent on the basis they do not pay child maitenance. Some parents cannot afford to pay child maintenance i.e if they don't work. A court will never take away PR, unless it is absolutely necessary.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-May-17 @ 12:46 PM
My son is 8 years old, and has not seen his biological father since he was around 9 months old though his own choice. He then took me to court for access when my son was around 13 months old, which I did not deny at the time, it was simply how much contact that was in dispute. The courts ruled that due to my sons young age, and the amount of time past, he would need to build contact up slowly, starting at a couple of hours, building up to a full weekend. The courts (at my request) out lined dates for this to happen. My ex managed to make it to the first contact session and has not ever bothered since. I have a residency order in my favor for my son. So, 7 years on, my son has no idea who he is, but he has a father figure in my partner, and grandparents in my partners parents. I would like to know if it is possible for my partner to gain PR or adopt my son without my son being dragged into the process? Does my ex even have PR still after not being in touch for so long? My partner and I are getting married next year, been living together for 5 years and expecting a child next month, I just want to know that nothing will be able to upset my sons happiness and if my ex decided to rear his ugly head I think it would be highly detrimental to my sons wellbeing. I am also thinking of writing my will and need to know that I will be able to leave my son in my partners sole care, and not have him ripped from his family home in the event of my death.
Liz - 15-May-17 @ 10:30 PM
Hi looking for some advise my ex left me after 7 years we have two kids together but for three years he as not bothered with them dose no pay a penny for them we did mediation but he would not agree to anything I said so where do I stand and what can I do to get is pr taken off him because my 3 year old daughter dose not even now who he is and my son says he is better off with out him as my son says he as got is new family and mummy we got you thank you
Rach - 15-May-17 @ 9:12 PM
Rach - Your Question:
Hi looking for some advise my ex left me after 7 years we have two kids together but for three years he as not bothered with them dose no pay a penny for them we did mediation but he would not agree to anything I said so where do I stand and what can I do to get is pr taken off him because my 3 year old daughter dose not even now who he is and my son says he is better off with out him as my son says he as got is new family and mummy we got you thank you

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely a court would remove PR from a father, except in the most extreme of circumstances. If you both cannot agree in mediation and the matter has to go to court, a court will always decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your children with regards to access. Once/if a court order is put in place, you both will have to keep to it.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-May-17 @ 2:23 PM
Hi looking for some advise my ex left me after 7 years we have two kids together but for three years he as not bothered with them dose no pay a penny for them we did mediation but he would not agree to anything I said so where do I stand and what can I do to get is pr taken off him because my 3 year old daughter dose not even now who he is and my son says he is better off with out him as my son says he as got is new family and mummy we got you thank you
Rach - 15-May-17 @ 2:59 AM
Ok im after some advice. My wife (seperated still married) had one child when we met i took her on as my own pay maintenence for her and my other two children (with my wife) and have access to all 3. My question is do i have any rights to the daughter that isnt mine. Her father isn't really in her kife. my findings kind of indicate that our marrige gives me some PR as we were obviously married after she was born. Secondly she is wanting to introduce a man she has known around 2 months and met approximately 5 times to our children. This man apparantly has a bad drug habbit and past. Is vilolent towards women and has a history of coming in and out of lives of partners with children the most recent was the end of febuary. What rights do i have to my step daughter and what rights do i have in regards to this man being near all 3 of my children
Pez - 13-May-17 @ 12:34 PM
I have a 3 year old son with my ex partner. Looking back our relationship would be classed as domestic abuse as he was very controlling over all aspects of my life.We split when our so. was 7 months old. My ex moved in with our neighbour 5 days later and for the next 11 months we had a very difficult relationship. My ex partner had a serious cocaine habit (around £1500-£2000 a month) and this would mean he would regularly miss arranged visits to see his son as he was out on a bender. He also used to tell me drug dealers were coming to my house to hurt me and our son if I didn't give him money to pay them (which I did as I couldn't risk the possibility of it being true). All this came to a head in October 2015 when he came round to see his son and ended up threatening me with a knife and telling me he would kill me if I didn't give him money to buy drugs. He told me we would both have to go to pick his drugs up and that I had to leave out son at home. I ended up persuading him to let me bring out son and he took my phone (with over 1800 images of our son on) and gave it to a drug dealer in exchange for drugs. My ex has since been charged with robbery and false imprisonment and sentenced to 7 years in prison. I also have a restraining order which includes him not being able to contact me via a solicitor about access to his son. I don't feel my son will be safe around him once he is released and wanted to know what rights I have to stop him seeing his son altogether as I know he will only have a negative impact on him. He currently has parental responsibility but I am in the process of seeking full parental responsibility.
... - 12-May-17 @ 5:55 PM
I have a 3 year old son with my ex partner. Looking back our relationship would be classed as domestic abuse as he was very controlling over all aspects of my life.We split when our so. was 7 months old. My ex moved in with our neighbour 5 days later and for the next 11 months we had a very difficult relationship. My ex partner had a serious cocaine habit (around £1500-£2000 a month) and this would mean he would regularly miss arranged visits to see his son as he was out on a bender. He also used to tell me drug dealers were coming to my house to hurt me and our son if I didn't give him money to pay them (which I did as I couldn't risk the possibility of it being true). All this came to a head in October 2015 when he came round to see his son and ended up threatening me with a knife and telling me he would kill me if I didn't give him money to buy drugs. He told me we would both have to go to pick his drugs up and that I had to leave out son at home. I ended up persuading him to let me bring out son and he took my phone (with over 1800 images of our son on) and gave it to a drug dealer in exchange for drugs. My ex has since been charged with robbery and false imprisonment and sentenced to 7 years in prison. I also have a restraining order which includes him not being able to contact me via a solicitor about access to his son. I don't feel my son will be safe around him once he is released and wanted to know what rights I have to stop him seeing his son altogether as I know he will only have a negative impact on him. He currently has parental responsibility but I am in the process of seeking full parental responsibility.
... - 12-May-17 @ 5:51 PM
I have a 3 year old son with my ex partner. Looking back our relationship would be classed as domestic abuse as he was very controlling over all aspects of my life.We split when our so. was 7 months old. My ex moved in with our neighbour 5 days later and for the next 11 months we had a very difficult relationship. My ex partner had a serious cocaine habit (around £1500-£2000 a month) and this would mean he would regularly miss arranged visits to see his son as he was out on a bender. He also used to tell me drug dealers were coming to my house to hurt me and our son if I didn't give him money to pay them (which I did as I couldn't risk the possibility of it being true). All this came to a head in October 2015 when he came round to see his son and ended up threatening me with a knife and telling me he would kill me if I didn't give him money to buy drugs. He told me we would both have to go to pick his drugs up and that I had to leave out son at home. I ended up persuading him to let me bring out son and he took my phone (with over 1800 images of our son on) and gave it to a drug dealer in exchange for drugs. My ex has since been charged with robbery and false imprisonment and sentenced to 7 years in prison. I also have a restraining order which includes him not being able to contact me via a solicitor about access to his son. I don't feel my son will be safe around him once he is released and wanted to know what rights I have to stop him seeing his son altogether as I know he will only have a negative impact on him. He currently has parental responsibility but I am in the process of seeking full parental responsibility.
... - 12-May-17 @ 5:08 PM
I have a 3 year old son with my ex partner. Looking back our relationship would be classed as domestic abuse as he was very controlling over all aspects of my life.We split when our so. was 7 months old. My ex moved in with our neighbour 5 days later and for the next 11 months we had a very difficult relationship. My ex partner had a serious cocaine habit (around £1500-£2000 a month) and this would mean he would regularly miss arranged visits to see his son as he was out on a bender. He also used to tell me drug dealers were coming to my house to hurt me and our son if I didn't give him money to pay them (which I did as I couldn't risk the possibility of it being true). All this came to a head in October 2015 when he came round to see his son and ended up threatening me with a knife and telling me he would kill me if I didn't give him money to buy drugs. He told me we would both have to go to pick his drugs up and that I had to leave out son at home. I ended up persuading him to let me bring out son and he took my phone (with over 1800 images of our son on) and gave it to a drug dealer in exchange for drugs. My ex has since been charged with robbery and false imprisonment and sentenced to 7 years in prison. I also have a restraining order which includes him not being able to contact me via a solicitor about access to his son. I don't feel my son will be safe around him once he is released and wanted to know what rights I have to stop him seeing his son altogether as I know he will only have a negative impact on him. He currently has parental responsibility but I am in the process of seeking full parental responsibility.
... - 12-May-17 @ 5:08 PM
Hello I am looking for some advice as it's getting a bit out of hand and difficult to ignore my ex partner. I split from her just over 3 and a half years ago and we have 1 child together. At first when I split from my ex I used to have my son Monday to Thursday after work 1 week and then Monday to Wednesday and then pick him up on the Friday to stay over with me for the weekend and I would drop him off at 8 each time he was with me. After awhile my ex would get argumentative saying I need to take him more and would flip out at me in front of our son for not wanting to as I thought I already take him enough and even threw a calendar out beside my head while I was holding my son's hand so I had to reduce it down to every second weekend that he would stay over with me as I did not want my son to see so much arguing as we argued all the time despite the amount of times I told my ex I am not going to argue. Then eventually after all the arguments calmed down I thought I would try mediation with my ex to see if things would get better between us for our sons same and at the time I mentioned this to her she was pregnant to another man in her life at the time. She threw all her toys out of the pram when I mentioned it and stated that nobody needs to know our business and refused to go. So eventually I thought it's not my son's fault that my ex is being like this so I will pick him up every Wednesday and keep to having him every second weekend (Friday after work till 6pm on sunday) but since then my ex has been dictating to me saying that it's not enough I'm seeing my son and threatening to stop letting me see him (she has done some Wednesdays if she is annoyed enough) if I don't pick him up more and I am adamant that the days are fine as I have him every Wednesday and every second weekend plus I take him for 1 week a year as well. Now she is trying to involve her mum and dad by texting me saying my mum and dad even tell me not to let you have him and say that I don't deserve to have my name on the birth certificate so she is trying to guilt trip me in to taking him more. One day my son was refusing to go with me crying like crazy and clinging on to his mum and she was saying this is a result of you not taking him more ( he is 5 and doing this every time even on a Wednesday for half a year) I eventually got it out of him that his mum told him that if he wasn't good then he will just stay at mine and never see any of his family again or see his brothers again ( even her ex partner can confirm this) after I found this out and 'reasured my son that that wouldn't happen and that he does always go back to his mum he was fine and when I confronted his mum she of course denied this. So after awhile my ex was very quiet and nothing crept up in ages until my son told my ex that when he is with me that if he doesn't eat up his food within half an hour then he will go on time out. The main reason he goes on time out is because he messes about at the tabl
Jack - 12-May-17 @ 6:11 AM
Mary - Your Question:
I was wondering if I may ask for advice. My ex partner of three years, who isn't my childs father (my son is 5) is threatened to take me to court for access and parental responsibility, telling me has rights. We have never lived together and never been married and he has no legal rights presently. I do not want contact to continue as I feel that he will not be a good role model as he cannot show empathy and is very controlling. My ex has never paid any financial contribution either and I feel he is going to take me to court just because he feels he can.Where do I stand legally as he is now turning up to my house with gifts for my son and it is really upsetting his. This is upsetting me also and just causing hurt around. Please advise.

Our Response:
Your ex has no rights to your child. He would not be awarded any rights in court either as he does not have parental responsibility of your child. It can be upsetting for ex partners if they have developed a close link to a partner's child over several years and it can be an emotional wrench if they have been living in the same house and bringing up a step-child as their own. However, if you feel your ex is harassing you, please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-May-17 @ 12:02 PM
I was wondering if I may ask for advice.My ex partner of three years, who isn't my childs father (my son is 5) is threatened to take me to court for access and parental responsibility, telling me has rights.We have never lived together and never been married and he has no legal rights presently. I do not want contact to continue as I feel that he will not be a good role model as he cannot show empathy and is very controlling.My ex has never paid any financial contribution either and I feel he is going to take me to court just because he feels he can. Where do I stand legally as he is now turning up to my house with gifts for my son and it is really upsetting his. This is upsetting me also and just causing hurt around. Please advise.
Mary - 10-May-17 @ 5:55 PM
Mickey blue eyes - Your Question:
I was looking for some advice. My son father walked out on me when I was 7 months pregnant. My son is now 2 and a half,his dad saw him everyday for 1/2 an hour his choice! I am now wanting to change it to a Sunday for 6 hours he is now threatening me with a lawyer to get more access as I've had enough of the wee 1 only seeing him for 1/2 an hour each day. He has other children that he only sees for 6 hours a week. My son is no different from them I'm not stopping him.from seeing him I'm just trying to get it down to 1 day and to have the whole day with him.

Our Response:
You would have to try to negotiate this with your ex directly. If you cannot then mediation may help. Mediation is when two or more parties meet to resolve problems before the matter reaches court. It is most often used in family proceedings, contact orders, residence agreements and divorce. 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 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.
ChildSupportLaws - 9-May-17 @ 1:58 PM
I was looking for some advice. My son father walked out on me when I was 7 months pregnant. My son is now 2 and a half,his dad saw him everyday for 1/2 an hour his choice! I am now wanting to change it to a Sunday for 6 hours he isnow threatening me with a lawyer to get more access as I've had enough of the wee 1 only seeing him for 1/2 an hour each day. He has other children that he only sees for 6 hours a week. My son is no different from them I'm not stopping him.from seeing him i'm just trying to get it down to 1 day and to have the whole day with him.
Mickey blue eyes - 9-May-17 @ 10:44 AM
Scottishmum - Your Question:
My ex has been controlling all of the Access to my kids for 3 years. I changed some days to suit us as a family as my partner had two kids and everything is about the kids. and for the sake of my kids as they were being ditched at their grans on the second day he was meant to have them. It was very sour between everyone and I could no longer deal with anyone from the family. He never turned up for three weeks in December due to nights out and I contacted cms regarding money. Ever since then he has been like a raging bull as his money increased ( I'd rather he had contact ) he is doing everything he can to score points. He only turned up twice a month since then also. I have offered 1 day a week after school and 1 weekend every 5 weeks and one week in the year to spend with him. My health is suffering badly from stress and I have been signed off with a sick line. He has been in contact to say he refuses to have them for any weekend ever ( I feel this is the demands of his new gf who does not have kids or have much time for kids ) my relationship is suffering with my new partner as we have no more than a couple of hours after work together every week.and my kids are so upset they only get to spend one evening a week with their father then bed by half 8. I am completely broken down with the games and demands that have come since his new gf. I have ceased access and told him to get a lawyer. Which he said he won't I need to just do as he says. I am astonished a man would never ever want to spend one extra day during holidays or one single weekend with his children for the next decade. I spoke to a lawyer and they said I can't force a man to spend more time with his kids. My whole family life is being affected and I have the kids 7 days a week. Along with work , So I need to get my health back on track and be strong for my kids. he is not wanting them for more than 40 days a year ! Apparently his new relationship is suffering Because I said he should be spending 1 weekend out of 5 with his children so he refuses. If he were to go to court surely a court would suggest more access?? He has around 13 days off a month

Our Response:
The legal adviser you spoke to is correct in saying that a court will not force a reluctant parent to spend time with their kids, if and where that parent does not wish to.
ChildSupportLaws - 8-May-17 @ 11:51 AM
My ex has been controlling all of the Access to my kids for 3 years . I changed some days to suit us as a family as my partner had two kids and everything is about the kids . and for the sake of my kids as they were being ditched at their grans on the second day he was meant to have them. It was very sour between everyone and I could no longer deal with anyone from the family. He never turned up for three weeks in December due to nights out and I contacted cms regarding money. Ever since then he has been like a raging bull as his money increased ( I'd rather he had contact ) he is doing everything he can to score points. He only turned up twice a month since then also. I have offered 1 day a week after school and 1 weekend every 5 weeks and one week in the year to spend with him . My health is suffering badly from stress and I have been signed off with a sick line. He has been in contact to say he refuses to have them for any weekend ever ( I feel this is the demands of his new gf who does not have kids or have much time for kids ) my relationship is suffering with my new partner as we have no more than a couple of hours after work together every week.and my kids are so upset they only get to spend one evening a week with their father then bed by half 8 .I am completely broken down with the games and demands that have come since his new gf. I have ceased access and told him to get a lawyer . Which he said he won't I need to just do as he says. I am astonished a man would never ever want to spend one extra day during holidays or one single weekend with his children for the next decade.I spoke to a lawyer and they said I can't force a man to spend more time with his kids.My whole family life is being affected and I have the kids 7 days a week. Along with work , So I need to get my health back on track and be strong for my kids. he is not wanting them for more than 40 days a year ! Apparently his new relationship is suffering Because I said he should be spending 1 weekend out of 5 with his children so he refuses.If he were to go to court surely a court would suggest more access?? He has around 13 days off a month
Scottishmum - 7-May-17 @ 10:27 AM
Sarah- Your Question:
My husband gave his ex wife two weeks written notice advising her that due to high child maintenance payments we were not in a financial position to bring the children home after our contact time. she refused to drive and collect them and left them in our care for 5 days not bothering to make contact except for once where she told the children that she would not come and get them and that their daddy was going to get into lots of trouble and the courts wouldn't let them see him again.they are both daddy girls and were distraught by this.the children didn't worry their mother wasn't collecting them they want to live with us not their mum however on the 5th day she turned up the children were shaking and crying as they were frightened of her and her boyfriend. Eventually my husband let the girls go with their mum and she has said she has an emergency court case which will be heard within 2 weeks (how can that happen unless she has lied?) We have always paid maintenance and when she was single we paid her 2000k extra and my husband did all the driving she was also given 80k in the divorce and we were left 40k in debts from her.now we are struggling she has gone to csa saying we don't have the children and lied that my two children do not live with us we have had to prove otherwise. As part of the divorce in October she agreed to share the driving and her and the boyfriend bring them and we take them back however I'm out of work so money is very tight we asked if she could take a fifty pound per month reduction to help us with fuel or she would have to do all the driving as we couldn't afford the fuel to drive the 80 mile round trip. we also have the children every other weekend and half the school holidays she had wanted my husband to take all of his leave including his days off. (he works 12 days on 2 off so he can have his girls every other weekend) but she wants him to then have all of his 5 weeks holidays with them too.when is he meant to have a break on his own? She is like I say now taking us to court and we would like to know what can she ask for we understand she wants residency does this mean my hubby looses his pr? If that happens do we still pay maintenance? Can she insist about the driving although we are on the verge of bankruptcy? And can she say we have to have the children all of our holidays but she doesn't have to use hers? I'm also worried about how the children reacted to her and the boyfriend and have logged my concerns with ss and the school but she works at the school and the reply we got seems like they are not that interested in our complaint as she is still working there and no steps are in place going forward should we take our concerns higher? Any advice on this would help we are at our wits end

Our Response:
It is impossible to predict what a court may decide, as it will always decide upon what it thinks is in the children's best interests. It is not interested in the parents' wranglings, it assumes the parents can sort these out between themselves. If there was an agreement in place, then it will look into why that agreement has been breached. However, the court does not condone is child maintenance payments being used as a weapon/bargaining tool. Child maintenance payments are for the children, not for fuel. If child maintenance is paid through CMS, then your husband should have applied for a special expenses variation, here. Or he should have taken the official routes and suggested mediation to his ex as a way of trying to resolve the situation. He should not have acted unilaterally. Your husband will not lose his PR, but whatever the court decides will have to be adhered to by both parents and is non-negotiable.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-May-17 @ 10:49 AM
Hi my ex has my daughter and have moved to Cornwall and I just moved to London but he wnt let me see her unless I go to Cornwall witch is not cheap I have to other children with another ex. I have contacted with her by face timewitch is one 2 days a weekis there any way round this can I go and take her even tho there no court papers or any thing on paper
Kerrie - 5-May-17 @ 8:33 AM
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