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

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 28 Jul 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]
pearl - Your Question:
I currently am pregnant with my 3rd child but ex partners 1st child. We have had an on off relationship for 3years as it goes hes been cheating stealing and lieing to me for years I wonder as ive allow him to pick me up and drop me for all them years I will not allow that for my child. What action can I enforce where I can protect my child from pain in the future. He has no fixed abode no job flits from woman to woman and has an on off cocaine problem aswell as money issues. I cant and wont allow my daughter when shes born to have her life in this turmoil legally what can I do to stop him attempting to gain access. In all honesty I doubt he will try but I want to do whats best for my baby and want it to backed up legally. Seeking advice please

Our Response:
As the father of your child, he within his rights to apply for access to see his child through the courts if you refuse. We cannot specify what the court may decide. The court will always decide upon what it thinks is in the child's best interests when making a decision about a child arrangement order.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Jul-17 @ 4:00 PM
Soozy - Your Question:
I have a 6yr old little boy who's absent father will only see him when he's not busy with his new partner My son is so bad behaved for me and just wants to see his dad more. He breaks things and kicks holes in walls and doors when at home. He's brilliant at school or at his dads so can't understand why he is the way he is with me. I have literally begged my ex to share the care of our son but he's refused How can I make him see it's what our little boy needs and wants?He's refusing to go to mediation and will never agree to having him on days that I require help/care etc He's had 4 holidays this year so far with his new partner and says he can only see our son 3 times during the 7 weeks school summer holidays due to working all his days off. Why do I feel like I have to beg him to have a relationship with his son?He has 2 other children he fought through the courts to see to no avail yet he's refusing to be amicable with me who's doing everything in my power to instigate a relationship between them both. I need some guidance Please help

Our Response:
I'm afraid there is little you can do to force a non-resident parent to see their child. Neither would a court of law. A court will always decide upon what it thinks is in your child's best interests and handing a child over to an unwilling parent isn't. The likes of Family Lives may help you further with regards to your child's behavioural issues and if you feel you need to speak to someone, please see link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Jul-17 @ 3:29 PM
I currently am pregnant with my 3rd child but ex partners 1st child. We have had an on off relationship for 3years as it goes hes been cheating stealing and lieing to me for years i wonder as ive allow him to pick me up and drop me for all them years i will not allow that for my child. What action can i enforce where i can protect my child from pain in the future. He has no fixed abode no job flits from woman to woman and has an on off cocaine problem aswell as money issues. I cant and wont allow my daughter when shes born to have her life in this turmoil legally what can i do to stop him attempting to gain access. In all honesty i doubt he will try but i want to do whats best for my baby and want it to backed up legally. Seeking advice please
pearl - 28-Jul-17 @ 12:28 AM
I have a 6yr old little boy who's absent father will only see him when he's not busy with his new partner My son is so bad behaved for me and just wants to see his dad more. He breaks things and kicks holes in walls and doors when at home. He's brilliant at school or at his dads so can't understand why he is the way he is with me. I have literally begged my ex to share the care of our son but he's refused How can I make him see it's what our little boy needs and wants? He's refusing to go to mediation and will never agree to having him on days that I require help/care etc He's had 4 holidays this year so far with his new partner and says he can only see our son 3 times during the 7 weeks school summer holidays due to working all his days off. Why do I feel like I have to beg him to have a relationship with his son? He has 2 other children he fought through the courts to see to no avail yet he's refusing to be amicable with me who's doing everything in my power to instigate a relationship between them both. I need some guidance Please help
Soozy - 27-Jul-17 @ 9:28 PM
me - Your Question:
My ex has not seen my daughter since she was 4, has made no attempt to contact her in all this time. He is/was a full blown alcoholic had to stop him from seeing her due to the damage it was causing.my daughter is now 17, 18 soon and hes suddenly made contact demanding to see her. saying her is her dad etc.I have been married for 11 years now and my daughters name has been changed legally to my married name, we are in the process of adoption this is what my daughter wants.I have told her he has been in contact and she isnt interested as far as she is concerned my husband is her dad and has called him dad for a long time.I have received no financial support from the ex and he has no PR as we were not married and she was born before 2003.Can he actually do anything?

Our Response:
Once your daughter is 18, it is up to your daughter whether she wishes to see him or not as she is an adult and can make her own decision. The father has little recourse. Even if he applied to court, if your daughter does not wish to see him, her opinion would be taken into consideration by the courts.
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Jul-17 @ 3:10 PM
my ex has not seen my daughter since she was 4, has made no attempt to contact her in all this time. He is/was a full blown alcoholic had to stop him from seeing her due to the damage it was causing. my daughter is now 17, 18 soon and hes suddenly made contact demanding to see her. saying her is her dad etc. I have been married for 11 years now and my daughters name has been changed legally to my married name, we are in the process of adoption this is what my daughter wants. I have told her he has been in contact and she isnt interested as far as she is concerned my husband is her dad and has called him dad for a long time. I have received no financial support from the ex and he has no PR as we were not married and she was born before 2003. Can he actually do anything?
me - 26-Jul-17 @ 1:42 PM
nj1234 - Your Question:
My wife and I are concerned about her son's visits to her ex husband. My wife's ex husband left when his son was 2 years old, but has maintained contact a small amount each month, about 4 days on average all done by voluntary arrangement. My step son is autistic and now 13 years, but high functioning. My wife and her ex husband have tried to maintain communication, but at various stages it has broken down. To the point where 4 years ago they had mediation and things settled down for a time.Just recently my step son's father has been asking for more contact and threatening court. He has stopped all meetings that we had to discuss my step son's progress and upbringing - his reason being 'I am not getting what I want so there is no point.'. The only contact we seem to get is when he wants something. Recently he asked for his son's passport information to take him abroad, my wife and I were concerned and asked that he met us to discuss his plans, this was refused. He wants to see him more and has told his son that we are stopping him from seeing him and denying him opportunites for holidays, which upsets my step son enormously. We have tried to explain this sort of conversation should be had with us in mediation, but the response we get is that his son needs to know this. It has gotten to the point where my step son is returning to us visibly upset and has been lectured for an hour on all the things my wife and I have done wrong and the reasons why his father is now forced into taking us to court. We have been threatened with court 5 or 6 times in the last 8 months. We are not sure the best way forward, we have had an initial mediation appointment and invited my wife's ex husband, but he declined attending. He has also told us we are not allowed to go to his door to drop his son off or pick up, even when his son was ill.It almost seems like emotional abuse of his son. We are unsure of the next steps to take. We sought legal advice recently and the solicitor said wait until you get a letter from his solicitor, which never came.But we are now getting more concerned about my wife's son is becoming quite withdrawn and has said he is depressed and would like to talk to a counsellor. Are we within our rights to withdraw access from his father if we feel his input is harmful or what are our other options?

Our Response:
You wife has the right to withdraw access if she thinks it is in your stepson's best interests. However, this will give her ex the right to apply to court. Once a court order is in place then both parties will have to stick to the arrangements. Of course, there are two sides to every story and two parents in any relationship who in essence should have equal say and rights regarding the welfare and decision making of the child. In situations such as this, Cafcass may get involved, please see link here . Mediation helps where both parents wish to come to a compromise. If one parent feels they have no say in particular matters and no compromise is being made, or there is a breakdown in communication, then the other parent has the option to apply to court in order to let the court decide. There is no right and wrong in matters such as this. It's simply a matter of one parent feeling frustrated where the other parent attempts to hold all the control, against another parent trying to keep control in situations they feel are not in the best interests of their child. It is then up to the court to listen to the evidence from both sides and make a decision based on what it thinks is in the best interests of the child.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Jul-17 @ 12:03 PM
My wife and I are concerned about her son's visits to her ex husband.My wife's ex husband left when his son was 2 years old, but has maintained contact a small amount each month, about 4 days on average all done by voluntary arrangement. My step son is autistic and now 13 years, but high functioning.My wife and her ex husband have tried to maintain communication, but at various stages it has broken down.To the point where 4 years ago they had mediation and things settled down for a time. Just recently my step son's father has been asking for more contact and threatening court.He has stopped all meetings that we had to discuss my step son's progress and upbringing - his reason being 'I am not getting what I want so there is no point.'. The only contact we seem to get is when he wants something.Recently he asked for his son's passport information to take him abroad, my wife and I were concerned and asked that he met us to discuss his plans, this was refused. He wants to see him more and has told his son that we are stopping him from seeing him and denying him opportunites for holidays, which upsets my step son enormously.We have tried to explain this sort of conversation should be had with us in mediation, but the response we get is that his son needs to know this.It has gotten to the point where my step son is returning to us visibly upset and has been lectured for an hour on all the things my wife and I have done wrong and the reasons why his father is now forced into taking us to court. We have been threatened with court 5 or 6 times in the last 8 months. We are not sure the best way forward, we have had an initial mediation appointment and invited my wife's ex husband, but he declined attending.He has also told us we are not allowed to go to his door to drop his son off or pick up, even when his son was ill. It almost seems like emotional abuse of his son. We are unsure of the next steps to take. We sought legal advice recently and the solicitor said wait until you get a letter from his solicitor, which never came. But we are now getting more concerned about my wife's son is becoming quite withdrawn and has said he is depressed and would like to talk to a counsellor. Are we within our rights to withdraw access from his father if we feel his input is harmful or what are our other options?
nj1234 - 19-Jul-17 @ 9:29 AM
MOS - Your Question:
I have an arrangement where I share joint exactly equal custody of my children. My ex classes themselves as alcohol dependent and has been with current partner for 2 years who is also a drinker. In this time there has been several domestic assaults on my ex by this partner. I only discover this through my children. The children have mentioned this to school and the ex has been told by the school to stop seeing this partner. Ex keeps going back and recently police were called and their partner was arrested for assault and this was seen by my children. Ex stated children will never see her partner again. Within a week this partner is seen with the children. My children should not be seeing the violence, drinking and extremely poor role modelling. How can I prevent this violent partner having contact with my children?

Our Response:
You can either attempt to resolve the issue via mediation, or if your ex refuses, then apply to court for a Specific Issue Order. Specific Issue Orders, much like the name suggests, are orders sought from the family court to determine a particular matter in connection with the exercise of Parental Responsibility. These orders can cover a wide range of issues that you and your ex-partner cannot agree on, such as preventing someone from having contact with your child. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child/children 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.
ChildSupportLaws - 18-Jul-17 @ 2:14 PM
I have an arrangement where I share joint exactly equal custody of my children. My ex classes themselves as alcohol dependent and has been with current partner for 2 years who is also a drinker. In this time there has been several domestic assaults on my ex by this partner. I only discover this through my children. The children have mentioned this to school and the ex has been told by the school to stop seeing this partner. Ex keeps going back and recently police were called and their partner was arrested for assault and this was seen by my children. Ex stated children will never see her partner again. Within a week this partner is seen with the children. My children should not be seeing the violence, drinking and extremely poor role modelling. How can I prevent this violent partner having contact with my children?
MOS - 18-Jul-17 @ 10:40 AM
Kk - Your Question:
I've recently split from my child's father, and he doesn't show any effort with my child no more. as he thinks if he as him I can go out. when we was together he didn't help as much and always left everything down to me. also doesn't show much attention too him. he as a drinking and drug problem on his medical records and also been in prison twice. but he is on the birth certificate as I was with him for 3 and a half years and my son is 2. in my best interest I feel as if it is better that my son doesn't see him as he's no role model to my child. I don't want him growing up around drink and being let down just because his dad his drinking.

Our Response:
As a parent with parental responsibility, you can restrict access if you think it is in your child's best interests not to see his father. However, if your ex wishes to challenge your decision and you refuse to negotiate either between you or through mediation, he would have the recourse to take the matter to court.
ChildSupportLaws - 18-Jul-17 @ 10:27 AM
I've recently split from my child's father, and he doesn't show any effort with my child no more.. as he thinks if he as him I can go out.. when we was together he didn't help as much and always left everything down to me.. also doesn't show much attention too him.. he as a drinking and drug problem on his medical records and also been in prison twice.. but he is on the birth certificate as I was with him for 3 and a half years and my son is 2.. in my best interest I feel as if it is better that my son doesn't see him as he's no role model to my child.. I don't want him growing up around drink and being let down just because his dad his drinking..
Kk - 17-Jul-17 @ 7:46 AM
Vikki - Your Question:
My son is nearly 7 and has Autism. He has just moved to a spec school and all of a sudden his biological father has popped up wanting information on him. He was physically abusive when we were together and I have endured domeatic abuse in dribs and drabs since we split. He has a harrassment order against him and is not allowed near me , my son or my fiance. He has not seen my son since he was 1.5 yr old. My fiance has taken on my son as his own and raised him with me. My son called him Dad off his own back and thats who he knows as dad. I do not feel that my ex needs any information on my son and his disability as hes never taken an interest in him at all all he has done is harrass me and my fiance. He refused access when I arranged him 2 days a week to see him , he returned him 1 hr later saying he was "playing up" at which time we did not know he was autistic. My ex has since married had 3 more children and knows he cannot come near us. Is there anything I can do to prevent him getting information. He has PR as he is on the birth cert. Please help

Our Response:
If your ex has PR, then he is allowed to access information about his child with regards to the child's health and general well-being. The school has to also treat each parent equally. If the school does not refuse to give your ex the information on your request, then your only recourse would be to take the matter to court.
ChildSupportLaws - 13-Jul-17 @ 11:00 AM
My son is nearly 7 and has Autism. He has just moved to a spec school and all of a sudden his biological father has popped up wanting information on him. He was physically abusive when we were together and I have endured domeatic abuse in dribs and drabs since we split. He has a harrassment order against him and is not allowed near me , my son or my fiance. He has not seen my son since he was 1.5 yr old. My fiance has taken on my son as his own and raised him with me. My son called him Dad off his own back and thats who he knows as dad. I do not feel that my ex needs any information on my son and his disability as hes never taken an interest in him at all all he has done is harrass me and my fiance. He refused access when i arranged him 2 days a week to see him , he returned him 1 hr later saying he was "playing up" at which time we did not know he was autistic. My ex has since married had 3 more children and knows he cannot come near us. Is there anything i can do to prevent him getting information. He has PR as he is on the birth cert. Please help
Vikki - 11-Jul-17 @ 4:47 PM
@Antony - if your ex stops you taking your son there isn't much you can do apart from try to sort out the problem through mediation or apply to court. You can apply for a special expenses variation on your child maintenance if you are doing a lot of travelling. Women have all the control when it comes to having the kids. You either put up and shut-up or try to fight it through the courts - but go through hell while you're doing it because you don't get to see your kids and you don't know what your ex is going to say in court in retaliation or revenge. It's a tricky position to be in. Dan.
Reds - 7-Jul-17 @ 1:48 PM
Dcp - Your Question:
Advise needed please: Me and my youngest daughters dad aren't together he was emotionally abusive. Since I've had the my baby (she's 4 weeks old) he's constantly name calling me wishing me dead, he's threatened to take the baby and assaulted me in front of my oldest child. The police arrested him and I received a phone call from social services. I've been allowing him to come to my house for small amounts of times when my oldest is at school but he's being came aggressive and threatening me because I will not allow his children from his previous relationship to come to my house taking into concideration the two times his children have came his 12 year old daughter refused to give me the baby back and had to be psysically removed from her and the second time my ex partner has told me I'm not allowed to breastfed in front of his kids and his son refused to leave the room so I was made to feed her in the kitchen! He's not on the birth certificate because of his threats, I've stopped him from coming to my house because of this and his drug use. Where do I stand legally if he takes me to court? I really don't feel like me and my kids are safe around him ?? Thank you.

Our Response:
You have no obligation to allow your ex to come into your house if you feel unsafe. You can relay this to the courts and the court will respect your view regarding this. If a judge thinks your ex should have access or contact to your children, it will make sure other arrangements are organised. The courts will always decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your children when determining how contact or access takes place.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Jul-17 @ 2:22 PM
Advise needed please: Me and my youngest daughters dad aren't together he was emotionally abusive. Since I've had the my baby (she's 4 weeks old) he's constantly name calling me wishing me dead, he's threatened to take the baby and assaulted me in front of my oldest child. The police arrested him and I received a phone call from social services. I've been allowing him to come to my house for small amounts of times when my oldest is at school but he's being came aggressive and threatening me because I will not allow his children from his previous relationship to come to my house taking into concideration the two times his children have came his 12 year old daughter refused to give me the baby back and had to be psysically removed from her and the second time my ex partner has told me I'm not allowed to breastfed in front of his kids and his son refused to leave the room so I was made to feed her in the kitchen! He's not on the birth certificate because of his threats, I've stopped him from coming to my house because of this and his drug use. Where do I stand legally if he takes me to court? I really don't feel like me and my kids are safe around him ??. Thank you.
Dcp - 5-Jul-17 @ 10:39 AM
Red - Your Question:
My ex and I have a daughter who is 3years old, we haven't been together for a couple of years now and I live with a new partner.My ex has a history of alcohol and drug abuse which ultimately led to the demise of our relationship as I did not want this around my daughter and regardless of how many times I begged him to get help for her sake he never did.He's got himself together a lot more and has regular contact with our daughter having her every other weekend but under the agreement that as he lives with him mother than she is also there to supervise although this has got lapse recently as he seems to be a lot more responsible. He's been constantly verbally abusive towards me even now and I've had to get police involved and stopped contact with him completely with all communication going through our mothers. He has still been telling my daughter things that she has repeated that are not appropriate such as comments about my new partner however I have no proof of his drug use but am very concerned as his mother is going away for 2weeks so he will be having our daughter unsupervised for a weekend and I do not feel comfortable that our daughter will be safe. He has agreed that he won't drink when he is taking care of her and I've stressed this as a condition of contact (through a solicitors letter) but I'm unsure where I stand and if I can rearrange/stop him from seeing her when his mother isn't there to supervise.

Our Response:
If you do not feel your child is safe in her father's care then you can prevent access. Or try to resolve your issues via mediation if you cannot resolve them between you.
ChildSupportLaws - 4-Jul-17 @ 2:41 PM
Antony - Your Question:
My ex wife and I have been seperated for two years, we've recently divorced. When we split up she moved 200 miles away so getting to see my son is limited to trains as I don't drive and my holidays from work a week here and a week there. I habe never missed a maintenance payment we have a private arrangement. I work two jobs one is a zero hours contact so I get no holiday pay and the other is only a 20 hours contract but usually get more. Recently she has been threatening to stop contact until a court order is in place. This all came from me asking of we could share travel arrangements I.e. Take turns. She offered to reduce the maintenance payment prior to having him but then quickly changed her mind when it came down to it. This issue got sorted and I just fronted the travel costs as normal and paid my normal payment to her. She's now saying my parents cannot have him my son over the summer holidays due to their dog who she feels is an issue but really isn't. He's been there numerous times before. She has said if she finds out he has gone to my parents she will stop all contact. As I also have parental responsibility as we were married at the the of birth, can she over rule me if I say my parents can have him?

Our Response:
Your only recourse I'm afraid is to suggest mediation in order to sort out your issues and if you cannot sort them out this way, then you would have to apply for court. With regards to travel expenses, you may be able to apply for a special expenses variation, please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 4-Jul-17 @ 2:22 PM
My ex and I have a daughter who is 3years old, we haven't been together for a couple of years now and I live with a new partner. My ex has a history of alcohol and drug abuse which ultimately led to the demise of our relationship as I did not want this around my daughter and regardless of how many times I begged him to get help for her sake he never did. He's got himself together a lot more and has regular contact with our daughter having her every other weekend but under the agreement that as he lives with him mother than she is also there to supervise although this has got lapse recently as he seems to be a lot more responsible. He's been constantly verbally abusive towards me even now and I've had to get police involved and stopped contact with him completely with all communication going through our mothers. He has still been telling my daughter things that she has repeated that are not appropriate such as comments about my new partner however I have no proof of his drug use but am very concerned as his mother is going away for 2weeks so he will be having our daughter unsupervised for a weekend and I do not feel comfortable that our daughter will be safe. He has agreed that he won't drink when he is taking care of her and I've stressed this as a condition of contact (through a solicitors letter) but I'm unsure where I stand and if I can rearrange/stop him from seeing her when his mother isn't there to supervise.
Red - 4-Jul-17 @ 9:59 AM
LPN - Your Question:
I am in 2 month pregrant but I don't see my boyfriend and I can be in a lasting relationship. Beside saying he is excited that we are going to have a child together, he has done nothing, say nothing, and having zero plan how we going to be together or how we will raise the child. I'm planing not to have his name in my child's birth certificate, is there impossible he can still take me to cout demanding for a PR? I read your chart but couldn't understand. Please help me with an advice.

Our Response:
Regardless of whether you are together or not, if you refuse to put the father's name on the birth certificate he is well within his rights to apply for PR. This does not guarantee he will be given it (but it is likely). The court will always opt for what it thinks in the best interests of your child.
ChildSupportLaws - 3-Jul-17 @ 3:50 PM
I am in 2 month pregrant but i don't see my boyfriend and i can be in a lasting relationship.Beside saying he is excited that we are going to have a child together, he has done nothing, say nothing, and having zero plan how we going to be together or how we will raise the child. I'm planing not to have his name in my child'sbirth certificate,is there impossible he can still take me to cout demanding for a PR? I read your chart but couldn't understand.Please help me with an advice.
LPN - 30-Jun-17 @ 10:05 PM
My ex wife and I have been seperated for two years, we've recently divorced. When we split up she moved 200 miles away so getting to see my son is limited to trains as I don't drive and my holidays from work a week here and a week there. I habe never missed a maintenance payment we have a private arrangement. I work two jobs one is a zero hours contact so I get no holiday pay and the other is only a 20 hours contract but usually get more. Recently she has been threatening to stop contact until a court order is in place. This all came from me asking of we could share travel arrangements I.e. Take turns. She offered to reduce the maintenance payment prior to having him but then quickly changed her mind when it came down to it. This issue got sorted and I just fronted the travel costs as normal and paid my normal payment to her. She's now saying my parents cannot have him my son over the summer holidays due to their dog who she feels is an issue but really isn't. He's been there numerous times before. She has said if she finds out he has gone to my parents she will stop all contact. As I also have parental responsibility as we were married at the the of birth, can she over rule me if I say my parents can have him?
Antony - 30-Jun-17 @ 1:22 PM
My ex wife and I have been seperated for two years, we've recently divorced. When we split up she moved 200 miles away so getting to see my son is limited to trains as I don't drive and my holidays from work a week here and a week there. I habe never missed a maintenance payment we have a private arrangement. I work two jobs one is a zero hours contact so I get no holiday pay and the other is only a 20 hours contract but usually get more. Recently she has been threatening to stop contact until a court order is in place. This all came from me asking of we could share travel arrangements I.e. Take turns. She offered to reduce the maintenance payment prior to having him but then quickly changed her mind when it came down to it. This issue got sorted and I just fronted the travel costs as normal and paid my normal payment to her. She's now saying my parents cannot have him my son over the summer holidays due to their dog who she feels is an issue but really isn't. He's been there numerous times before. She has said if she finds out he has gone to my parents she will stop all contact. As I also have parental responsibility as we were married at the the of birth, can she over rule me if I say my parents can have him?
Antony - 30-Jun-17 @ 1:18 PM
Lmm83 - Your Question:
Hoping someone can give me some advice. My ex and I have 2 boys together, 7 and almost 3 years. He walked out when I was pregnant with youngest and has flitted in and out of our lives. We last saw him 2.5 years ago. He has now told people he is taking me to court for access to our eldest son, he wants nothing to do with our youngest. Can he do this? I'm at my wits end. Surely he can't pick and choose which of his children he wants?

Our Response:
Before your ex is allowed to apply to court, the court will wish both you and he to have attempted to come to a resolution via mediation. Only if you cannot come to a resolution will the father of your children be allowed to apply to court. I cannot comment upon the reasons why he does not wish to see both of your children. However, mediation and/or court would get to the bottom of this and a court will always decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your child/children and take both into consideration.
ChildSupportLaws - 30-Jun-17 @ 10:53 AM
Hoping someone can give me some advice. My ex and I have 2 boys together, 7 and almost 3 years. He walked out when I was pregnant with youngest and has flitted in and out of our lives. We last saw him 2.5 years ago. He has now told people he is taking me to court for access to our eldest son, he wants nothing to do with our youngest. Can he do this? I'm at my wits end. Surely he can't pick and choose which of his children he wants?
Lmm83 - 29-Jun-17 @ 2:39 PM
Geebies85 - Your Question:
Advice needed really. My son is 10 in October and he hates going to his dads. I make him go every other weekend which us agreed through the courts. What age can I stop forcing my son going to his dads.

Our Response:
If your son really does not wish to go to his dads, then you should really talk to his father and/or mediation should be considered to see if you can come to a resolution. Surely, his dad must wish to try to resolve this situation too? Your only other option would be to take the matter back to court to request a variation. If your son is aged 12, a judge will often let the child give an opinion. However, there is no guarantee this opinion will be taken into consideration as the judge will still always decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your child. If you go against the court order and stop access you will be in breach and your son's father would be able to take the matter back to court to have the order enforced.
ChildSupportLaws - 29-Jun-17 @ 11:07 AM
Mac123 - Your Question:
I separated from my husband in sept last year. We are both serving soldiers and have 2 children together, 1&3; I also have a 9yo son from a previous relationship. My ex husband is extremely controlling, aggressive and emotionally abusive and has been since shortly after we were married in 2013; my eldest son has been witness to this the entire time we lived together. I never reported any of the incidents because at the time I guess I just normalised it and it would always be 'the last time' Army welfare suggested domestic abuse charges and also that I attend women's aid group, I haven't done either yet. My ex very rarely makes time to see his children, instead wants only to FaceTime everyday. If I don't answer (regardless of any legitimate reason) I get Instant abuse. When he has seen them (11 nights in almost a year) it's been as a result of me begging him to help me and I have to take the children the 60miles on the pretence he will bring them home afterwards. This is when I get I get told if I don't drop everything and collect them then he will send them to his mothers, along with the disgusting abusive texts/threats/phone calls. On this last occasion he was screaming abuse at me over the phone from a busy train station where he was along with both the children. It's gotten to the stage where I no longer trust that he can keep his temper around them. Legally (and it's taken a long time to reach this stage) I want him to have nothing to do with either me or the children as I fear for not only safety but the mental state of this relationship continues. Where do I stand!?

Our Response:
You can refuse your ex access to your children. However, your ex will have the option to take the matter to court if you refuse to sort the issues out mutually, or via mediation. If you wish to prove your ex is bullying you or your kids etc, then you would have to keep any correspondence as evidence. However, please remember that any court is not really interested in the relationship between you and your children's father unless it impacts upon your children. A court will always take the viewpoint from the angle of what it thinks is best for your kids. If you wish to stop your ex having contact, then you might wish to seek some legal advice in order to fully explore your options and or the Women's Aid group who can offer you guidance and support.
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Jun-17 @ 12:47 PM
Advice needed really. My son is 10 in October and he hates going to his dads. I make him go every other weekend which us agreed through the courts. What age can i stop forcing my son going to his dads.
Geebies85 - 27-Jun-17 @ 12:23 PM
@Broken - you don't have to sign anything you don't wish to and he has no rights to do this - or to force you to abide by this. Neither will this have any legal standing in court apart from being used in court as evidence if you sign it, that you were in agreement. Say no.
Blue - 27-Jun-17 @ 9:51 AM
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