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

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 13 Feb 2016 |
 
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We get many comments and questions from you about child support. We've taken a selection of your comments addressing the issue of keeping contact with your children and the fear of your ex taking them from you - and asked our expert to give some comprehensive information and advice.

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

Parental Responsibility

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

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

Who has Parental Responsibility?

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

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

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

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

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

Other family members

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

Voluntary access arrangements

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

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

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

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

Residence Orders

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

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

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

What Factors Will be Taken Into Account?

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

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

Domestic abuse

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

Reality Check

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

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

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[Add a Comment]
My boyfriend is on my baby's birth certificate. He has cheated on me and is leaving me. He says he wants our child 3 and a half days a week. He works full time and says he's going to quit his job to have the baby. The baby stays with me 24/7 and has never been away from me. She would be extremely distressed at being away from me, he is being selfish and not thinking of her. I am also breastfeeding her still and she won't sleep without it. I would obviously let him see her all the time, I wouldn't stand in his way. But I believe that it is unfair to the baby to change what she knows to suit his desires to have her. And that she is far too young to be separated from her mother who takes care of all her needs. What can I do. Where do I stand. And does he have the right to take her regardless of whether she will be suffering because of it?
Koala - 13-Feb-16 @ 11:02 PM
becca - Your Question:
Hi my son is 17 and is being a real handful. I have enough problems of my own and really want him to leave. I dont speak to his father but can I get his father to take responsibility of him? Maybe through a court or social worker? I feel ive raised him single handedly for 17 years and his attitude causes friction in the house that is upsetting my 8 year old. My ex has always been on the birth cert and was present when registering in 1998.thanks

Our Response:
The parents of a child have certain responsibilities to care for that him or her which are covered by the legal concept of parental responsibility. A person with Parental Responsibility for a child has the legal duty to protect, house and provide for them. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the duties towards a child which come with parental responsibility continue until the child is 18. In the case of children between the age of 16 and 18, parental responsibility ends if the child marries. A person with parental responsibility for a child, who fails to look after that child, could be prosecuted for child neglect. Therefore, it is inadvisable that you throw him out. Can you speak with his father directly and ask him to take responsibility?
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Feb-16 @ 2:37 PM
Im currently pregnant from my husband and im filing for divorce. What rights will my husband have once the baby is horn if we are divorced by then? I live currently in the same country but thinking to move to where my family lives to help me with the care. I do have a full job and will be entitled to maternity leave. He has bern having an affair for the last half year. Many thanks for your help.
Jp - 11-Feb-16 @ 3:14 AM
I need urgent advice as dad threatening to have child live with him, has PR and his parents babysit every day, while he's at work and away seeing his girlfriend. And weekends and school holidays. His girlfriend maybe babysitswhile he's at work. I don't even know his girlfriends surname. Never mind personally.I have cared for my son as a lone parents over 5 months. Since he was a baby . Dad has left him unsupervised for over an hour at night. While he drank at his parents. My son was 2. His mum told me on the phone.She and her husband knew. But I never rang the police. I had no support at court recently.For my application to vary the order to no over night contact so wasn't able to express alk my concerns esp the above. His solicitor had not sent me fathers statements etc back via email or post. I got them in my solicitors bundle on the morning of court. And wasn't given time to read it. I didn't mention it in court as I was already accuse of controlling contact . Stopping it when I'm only caring . Safeguarding my son. In October dad was stopped from taking son from school for contact after school at his home, by a phone call to school via me reporting threatening text messages I received from him. Stating that he was going to take him. Nobody was going to stop him. And he'd get me arrested. I was petrified that me or 5th old would be hurt by dad trying to physically get him off me on the way to the school. I can't drive.I was advised to collect my son early from school. My son wasn't upset about not seeing dad. The 3 times I have witnessed him collecting him. My son has been very sad and reluctant to go. Despite me only watching from distance and not commenting about it
Caring78 - 9-Feb-16 @ 6:50 AM
Hi my daughter has just been diagnosed with postnatal depression. And her boyfriend. Is telling her he is going to take the baby away. She has taken an overdose after what he said only six tablet , thankfully . But just want to know what are her / his rights the baby who is only 3 months wasn't as risk .
Spenner - 6-Feb-16 @ 7:56 AM
Hi my son is 17 and is being a real handful. I have enough problems of my own and really want him to leave. I dont speak to his father but can i get his father to take responsibility of him? Maybe through a court or social worker? I feel ive raised him single handedly for 17 years and his attitude causes friction in the house that is upsetting my 8 year old. My ex has always been on the birth cert and was present when registering in 1998. thanks
becca - 5-Feb-16 @ 9:06 PM
Jj1989 - Your Question:
I was in a absive realsionship for 2 plus year and I had a child. I fled and ran away my ex found out where I lived so I took him to court he kept saying he wanted to see my child I got a injunction for a year and prohibited step plus full resendy, he contacted my solitor and said he wants nothing to do with my child. This was a year ago. Ive moved had no contact Untill today! He contacted a family member saying he's taking me to court for acess bear in mind my child hasn't seen him for 6 years, the child is now 7, and terrified off him, we have had Councling ect, im off to get a emergency injunction tomorrow. What will happen if he takes me to court, can they see his case through even thou last year he didn't want to no. Please help

Our Response:
I'm afraid I cannot predict what a court may decide. However, if he is accepted to apply for contact you will be able to confer your worries about this when Cafcass gets 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. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-Feb-16 @ 12:20 PM
I was in a absive realsionship for 2 plus year and I had a child.. I fled and ran away my ex found out where I lived so I took him to court he kept saying he wanted to see my child I got a injunction for a year and prohibited step plus full resendy, he contacted my solitor and said he wants nothing to do with my child. This was a year ago. Ive moved had no contact Untill today! He contacted a family member saying he's taking me to court for acess bear in mind my child hasn't seen him for 6 years, the child is now 7, and terrified off him, we have had Councling ect, im off to get a emergency injunction tomorrow. What will happen if he takes me to court, can they see his case through even thou last year he didn't want to no. Please help
Jj1989 - 4-Feb-16 @ 8:40 PM
Juan - Your Question:
My ex wife and I have been divorced for 12 years. My youngest daughter is now 18. The divorce agreement says that the house has to be sold when she is 18. I have a charge on my portion of the house. I have written to her giving her the option to buy me out or the charge will be put into force. She has come back and said that or daughter is going to university in September. This is a pack of lies. My daughter has been working since she was 17 and has 2 GCE's only. A court I believe might say the charge cannot be enforced if they believe her. She still gets child benefit for her as she lies she is still at school. I have reported this but they do nothing. I don't know how to proceed as she is a constant liar, it's gone on for years and I want resolution and to be able to move on. Thanks

Our Response:
I can only suggest you take legal advice on how to ensure the order is realised once you get to court, especially if you think your ex may try to prevent this happening.
ChildSupportLaws - 4-Feb-16 @ 11:48 AM
jo - Your Question:
I have been divorced 5 years. I have 2 children with my ex. When we got divorced we both agreed that the children lived with me and their father had regular contact, so we didn't fight for custody. I am wanting to move closer to my family which is 60 miles from their father but am worried that he will cause problems as he doesn't like my family and argues with me about every thing. Can he stop me from moving?

Our Response:
He can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order, which is an order granted by the court in family cases which prevents either parent from carrying out certain events or making specific trips with their children without the express permission of the other parent. This is more common in cases where there is suspicion that one parent may leave the area with their children. If your ex has PR, you would have to ask his consent regarding the move. However, if he refused, then you would have the option to take the matter either to Mediation or if your ex refuses to attend Mediation, to court. The court will assess whether or not it thinks the move is in the best interests of your children. You would have to build a case why you think it is.
ChildSupportLaws - 3-Feb-16 @ 2:34 PM
My ex wife and I have been divorced for 12 years. My youngest daughter is now 18. The divorce agreement says that the house has to be sold when she is 18. I have a charge on my portion of the house. I have written to her giving her the option to buy me out or the charge will be put into force. She has come back and said that or daughter is going to university in September. This is a pack of lies. My daughter has been working since she was 17 and has 2 GCE's only. A court I believe might say the charge cannot be enforced if they believe her. She still gets child benefit for her as she lies she is still at school. I have reported this but they do nothing. I don't know how to proceed as she is a constant liar, it's gone on for years and I want resolution and to be able to move on. Thanks
Juan - 3-Feb-16 @ 2:33 PM
tcha - Your Question:
Hi, my brother and his partner have a 20 month old son together, they have had an on/off relationship, they argue a lot and she has called the police on him a couple of times due to arguing. Both arguing. At the moment they are split up, my brother has taken all of his belongings from the house on the request of the mother and she also handed over their son for my brother to have for a week. (Literally put him in his car seat and told my brother to take him!) My brother is staying with an aunt and uncle, the mother is now saying that she expected him to stay with me although she didn't state this when I helped my brother move his things out. She is now saying that when she gets their son back my brother won't be able to see him unless it's at a supervised meeting building. Can she do this? They are never going to be able to sort this out amicably so I know that will have to go to mediation, as the mother gets many benefits would this mean that they both should receive free mediation or will my brother have to pay.he's not working at the moment but hope to start a job next week?

Our Response:
You can see whether your brother may qualify for free mediation via the link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 3-Feb-16 @ 12:16 PM
I have been divorced 5 years.I have 2 children with my ex. When we got divorced we both agreed that the children lived with me and their father had regular contact, so we didn't fight for custody. I am wanting to move closer to my family which is 60 miles from their father but am worried that he will cause problems as he doesn't like my family and argues with me about every thing. Can he stop me from moving?
jo - 3-Feb-16 @ 3:25 AM
Hi, my brother and his partner have a 20 month old son together, they have had an on/off relationship, they argue a lot and she has called the police on him a couple of times due to arguing. Both arguing. At the moment they are split up, my brother has taken all of his belongings from the house on the request of the mother and she also handed over their son for my brother to have for a week. (Literally put him in his car seat and told my brother to take him!) My brother is staying with an aunt and uncle, the mother is now saying that she expected him to stay with me although she didn't state this when I helped my brother move his things out. She is now saying that when she gets their son back my brother won't be able to see him unless it's at a supervised meeting building. Can she do this? They are never going to be able to sort this out amicably so I know that will have to go to mediation, as the mother gets many benefits would this mean that they both should receive free mediation or will my brother have to pay ......he's not working at the moment but hope to start a job next week?
tcha - 2-Feb-16 @ 9:49 PM
My ex wants to move from Dundee, Scotland to Leeds England,roughly 300 miles away, I do not approve of this and have told her so,I have 2 kids with her and 10 and 8,my youngest has autism and learning difficulties and is at a specialist school for this, my oldest is settled and goes to a cheerleader club twice a week,something she loves,as I'm the father do I have any rights
phunter - 2-Feb-16 @ 1:09 PM
Jenny - Your Question:
Hi, I have a 5 year old daughter and spilt with her dad over 4 years ago, he is on her birth certificate and he does pay each week for her, but my issue is he comes and goes out of her life. he can go 6 months with out seeing her and doesn't ring her or have any other sort of contact. I've told him I'd rather he kept the money for her until she was 16 and cut all contact with him until then. Its not fair on her that he just comes and goes in and out of her life. She refuses to leave my house when he does come to see her, and her behaviour is terrible after she's seem him, she was even waking up with nightmares saying 'Daddy was trying to take me away' When he does come to see her she hides in her wardrobe or under her bed. He's never had a relationship with him and she calls my current partner dad (he's been in her life since she was 17 months old and we have a son together.) There is so much more that's happened but I'd be here all day. Is there a way I can stop contact with him? As it affects my daughter not having consistent contact with him, and I'm sick of forcing a relationship between the two of them. Thanks.

Our Response:
While you can stop contact, your ex would also have the option to take the matter to court. Mediation may be another way forward if you felt you needed to get your points across and can't do it directly. Please see link: Mediation: What is it and is it For Me? here.
ChildSupportLaws - 1-Feb-16 @ 2:57 PM
Hi, I have a 5 year old daughter and spilt with her dad over 4 years ago, he is on her birth certificate and he does pay each week for her, but my issue is he comes and goes out of her life. he can go 6 months with out seeing her and doesn't ring her or have any other sort of contact. I've told him I'd rather he kept the money for her until she was 16 and cut all contact with him until then. Its not fair on her that he just comes and goes in and out of her life. She refuses to leave my house when he does come to see her, and her behaviour is terrible after she's seem him, she was even waking up with nightmares saying 'Daddy was trying to take me away' When he does come to see her she hides in her wardrobe or under her bed. He's never had a relationship with him and she calls my current partner dad (he's been in her life since she was 17months old and we have a son together.) There is so much more that's happened but I'd be here all day. Is there a way I can stop contact with him? As it affects my daughter not having consistent contact with him, and I'm sick of forcing a relationship between the two of them. Thanks.
Jenny - 1-Feb-16 @ 1:47 PM
jono - Your Question:
My ex girlfriend left our daughter with me almost 4 years ago, she is now 7. I am remarried have the most awesome 2 step children and my wife and I had a son just over a year ago. We a very close family, we stable, settled and enjoy a lovely life in Cape Town. My ex girldfriend is now calling again demanding all kinds of things, has threatened to take Amy away from us and my wife and kids are pertrified. Is there any way after I have been her soul carer and provider all these years have my little girl taken away from me and her siblings?

Our Response:
I'm afraid I can't advise you on this as we are a UK-based site with knowledge only of UK family law.
ChildSupportLaws - 1-Feb-16 @ 12:47 PM
Suzie - Your Question:
My ex husband was having an affair and left the family home last July. He is still with the woman and are moving in together next month. We have 2 boys together who live with me. They stay with their dad every other weekend and every Monday. My two boys really don't like their dads girlfriend and doesn't want to stay over anymore because she is there. When he moves into her house next month, can I stop my boys staying over at her house? They want to see their dad and I try and encourage that because he is their dad but what is their rights on sleeping over if they don't want to and especially at the girlfriends house?

Our Response:
There are no rights either way and it is something to be organised between you, unless a court order is already in place, in which case you would have to comply with it. However, if you can't agree between you, or via Mediation, then if you refuse to let your children stay, your ex would have the option to take it to court and leave it to the courts to decide. You don't say how old your boys are, but if they are older i.e over the age of 11, then their opinions would be taken into consideration. Your only other option would be to apply through the courts for a Specific Issue Order, which 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 their best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. Applications for a Specific Issue Order are heard before a judge and a representative from Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Services Officer), who is a qualified social worker. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 1-Feb-16 @ 11:50 AM
My ex girlfriend left our daughter with me almost 4 years ago, she is now 7. I am remarried have the most awesome 2 step children and my wife and I had a son just over a year ago. We a very close family, we stable, settled and enjoy a lovely life in Cape Town. My ex girldfriend is now calling again demanding all kinds of things, has threatened to take Amy away from us and my wife and kids are pertrified. Is there any way after I have been her soul carer and provider all these years have my little girl taken away from me and her siblings?
jono - 31-Jan-16 @ 7:14 PM
My ex husband was having an affair and left the family home last July. He is still with the woman and are moving in together next month. We have 2 boys together who live with me. They stay with their dad every other weekend and every Monday. My two boys really don't like their dads girlfriend and doesn't want to stay over anymore because she is there. When he moves into her house next month, can I stop my boys staying over at her house? They want to see their dad and I try and encourage that because he is their dad but what is their rights on sleeping over if they don't want to and especially at the girlfriends house?
Suzie - 31-Jan-16 @ 1:47 PM
Hi I'm after a bit of advice regarding my daughter she has recently split from her boyfriend they sorted access out between the for my 18 mth old grandson he spend 2 nights a week with his father and the rest with his mother (my daughter). It hasn't been completely amicable as her ex threatens her with alsorts if he doesn't get his own way (been a few problems with possessions in the house) one of these threats which is becoming a regular one is that he will not let her have her son back after his contact is up. He is at the moment living with his father who I have been able to talk to and sort a few things out and he has been able to reason with him but he is moving into his own place next week and my daughter is worries he may actually carry out his threat of keeping him if she doesn't agree to anymore of his demands is there anything you can recommend we can do to prevent this happening or what can we do if he decides to do it
a - 30-Jan-16 @ 4:35 PM
My ex and I talk if it's concerning our son,he is now 15,so sorts out when he sees his dad himself. 2 years ago it was found out that our son was smoking pot,he was caught with it at school,at the time my own mother was under going treatment for cancer so my sons father demanded he took our son for 6 weeks or longer if he needed it to get him away from the people he got involved with. I agreed bur after 2 weeks was missing my son and demanded him back. 6 months later I found drugs again,I grounded my son and suggested to his dad that I thought he was on drugs before this and to keep a eye on him,but his dad went straight to him and said your mum thinks your taking drugs again,of course my son denied it and his father be lived him. So this time I grounded him and he begged me not to tell his father.... so I didn't.I don't give him any money at all,although his father's side of the family do. I have pretty good evidence that he is on drugs again and even the school called me cos they thought he was on something.My son denies it and I am going to order a drugs test to see if his pot use has progressed to other drugs. My worry is,if I tell his father this time,he will take him away from me,as he will believe it's all my fault and I am not doing enough as his mother. Can he do this to me?
Kel - 30-Jan-16 @ 4:16 PM
pandie - Your Question:
My ex husband who has parental rights moved to Qatar 3 months ago. When we were together he had low level addiction to drugs, which he said he stopped, and had a few outbursts of violence during our 10 year relationship one of with has left me scared on my face. None of this was reported and we split up 7 years ago after I realised how much debt he had got our mortgage into. Debt that I will pay for the rest of my life and dont recieve a penny from him. I also found out he had sexual relationships with at least 8 women behind my back 2 of them being my supposed best friends, he also tried to make a move on my sister. Despite all of this I have always tried to maintain his relationship with our now 12 year old son. I have spent 7 years defending him when he has let our son down by cancelling arrangements and cutting his visits short. I always believed that it was not my job to pour poison down my child's ear and in time he would figure it out for himself and could make his own decision. A few days ago my ex husbands niece who is now 23 told me that he raped her a year ago! She is terrified of reporting this as she feels it would break her nanna and grandad (his parents) I can't pursue her otherwise as she is so scared. It now makes sense why he has taken off to the other side of the world! He plans to return in the summer and take our son camping for 3 weeks! I can't allow that to happen and believe that from now on he should only be able to see our son with supervised visits as I believe my son is at risk from him and his behaviours. Where do I even start with this because I don't think any court is just going to take my say so that this has happened but there is no way she will report it. I have spoken to her mum who was aware of the situation but she also does not want her mum and dad being at risk of finding out what he's done to their granddaughter. I'm at a loss because although I want to respect their wishes I have a duty of care to my son. I don't want him anywhere near my ex husband who I now believe to be a sociopath! What can I do???? Please help

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this and really this is beyond our remit to advise. If you confront your ex, then you could be accused of slander as it is a very sensitive area. If your niece does not wish to report this, then there is little you can do on her behalf. One option would be to refuse to let your ex take your son and not give a reason why. However, this would allow your ex to take the matter to court, and of course Cafcass would want reasons why access was being stopped. Also presumably your son would wish to know why he was prevented from going away on a pre-arranged trip with his father. If you seek advice from a solicitor, then this would be with a view of the eventuality of it going to court. It is a very tricky situation, and can see you are very much between a rock and a hard place. It is a situation where really only your natural instincts can advise.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Jan-16 @ 2:25 PM
Suggie - Your Question:
Hi, my ex boyfriend who works 4/5 days a week has our kids 15 years and 9 years 3 days a week and I work 2 days and have them 4 days a week. My ex used to have them 1/2 days a week for last 5 years. I agreed to his demand of wanting them 3 times a week but now is demanding more. He recently moved in with his new girlfriend and says he's in a position to have them every day if he wants. He works 4/5 days and wants his new girlfriend to care for them when he's at work, even though I'm at home to care for them. I've been constantly harassed about this through texts and phone calls. He can't understand my side when I want to take of them whilst he is at work. He's simply wanting them more so that he dosnt have to pay a penny child maintenance. What are my rights? As he keeps telling me I haven't got any rights. Please help as it's making me ill the thought of him taking them away from me.

Our Response:
As the primary carer, you have more rights than your ex in the decision making process. If your ex is making your life miserable over these disagreements you could try mediation. Please see link: Mediation: What is it and is it For Me? here . You do not have to agree with anything you do not wish to, but the mediator will try to facilitate an arrangement that suits you both.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Jan-16 @ 11:21 AM
My ex husband who has parental rights moved to Qatar 3 months ago. When we were together he had low level addiction to drugs, which he said he stopped, and had a few outbursts of violence during our 10 year relationship one of with has left me scared on my face. None of this was reported and we split up 7 years ago after I realised how much debt he had got our mortgage into. Debt that i will pay for the rest of my life and dont recieve a penny from him. I also found out he had sexual relationships with at least 8 women behind my back 2 of them being my supposed best friends, he also tried to make a move on my sister. Despite all of this I have always tried to maintain his relationship with our now 12 year old son. I have spent 7 years defending him when he has let our son down by cancelling arrangements and cutting his visits short. I always believed that it was not my job to pour poison down my child's ear and in time he would figure it out for himself and could make his own decision. A few days ago my ex husbands niece who is now 23 told me that he raped her a year ago! She is terrified of reporting this as she feels it would break her nanna and grandad (his parents) I can't pursue her otherwise as she is so scared. It now makes sense why he has taken off to the other side of the world! He plans to return in the summer and take our son camping for 3 weeks! I can't allow that to happen and believe that from now on he should only be able to see our son with supervised visits as I believe my son is at risk from him and his behaviours. Where do I even start with this because I don't think any court is just going to take my say so that this has happened but there is no way she will report it. I have spoken to her mum who was aware of the situation but she also does not want her mum and dad being at risk of finding out what he's done to their granddaughter. I'm at a loss because although I want to respect their wishes I have a duty of care to my son. I don't want him anywhere near my ex husband who I now believe to be a sociopath! What can I do???? Please help
pandie - 27-Jan-16 @ 11:51 PM
Dotty - Your Question:
Hi, I was wondering if you could help with my current situation. My ex partner is on our 3 year old birth certificate. Before splitting up with him our plan was to move away from North East to Cumbria. After splitting up I still went ahead with this and took our daughter with me. It's a 2 hour drive from where he lives to where I live. We have lived here 2.5 years now. He was consistent in the beginning at seeing her and I would also take her through to see him. Now she has started school it's difficult for me to take her due to term times. He only phones when he feels like it and sees her whenever he can be bothered now which is confusing for her. I told him I wanted a parental agreement to be written up and he said instead he will take me to court and they will make me move back to Newcastle and if not take my daughter away to live with him full time. She is settled and happy here as well as my 11 year old daughter. What are my chances of losing my little girl? :(

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely you will lose your little girl - the courts will not remove a child (who has an established and consistent home life) from a resident-parent unless absolutely necessary. However, on the other side of the coin, unfortunately you cannot force your ex to see his child if he doesn not want to be involved in her life.
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Jan-16 @ 2:55 PM
hi, my ex boyfriend who works 4/5 days a week has our kids 15 years and 9 years 3 days a week and I work 2 days and have them 4 days a week. My ex used to have them 1/2 days a week for last 5 years. I agreed to his demand of wanting them 3 times a week but now is demanding more. He recently moved in with his new girlfriend and says he's in a position to have them every day if he wants. He works 4/5 days and wants his new girlfriend to care for them when he's at work, even though I'm at home to care for them. I've been constantly harassed about this through texts and phone calls. He can't understand my side when I want to take of them whilst he is at work. He's simply wanting them more so that he dosnt have to pay a penny child maintenance. What are my rights? As he keeps telling me I haven't got any rights. Please help as it's making me ill the thought of him taking them away from me.
Suggie - 27-Jan-16 @ 2:27 PM
October - Your Question:
Hello really need to know if my bf can take our daughter away from Mme. Yes he is in the birth certificate and yes she has the same name but we are not married. We have been having way to many problems lately, so he threatened to take my child away. He said all he had to do is bring up my past cases from yes ago witch are now closed. We both have things in the past that can potentially hurt us both in the end. Mine is unfortunately two cases CPS from when I was homeless. But I do have her here with me happy and very healthy, by the grace of God! He on the other hand I believe has a history of anger and misdemeanors other things but no felony charge that I know of He has kept me home with her since her birth and then times I have worked he's cut me short on them. He has kept a roof over are head, but I am the one always with here and reminding him what we have to get. So is he capable of keeping my daughter?

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot answer your question if you are from the US, as we are a UK-based service with knowledge of UK family law only.
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Jan-16 @ 12:55 PM
Hi, I was wondering if you could help with my current situation. My ex partner is on our 3 year old birth certificate. Before splitting up with him our plan was to move away from North East to Cumbria.After splitting up I still went ahead with this and took our daughter with me. It's a 2 hour drive from where he lives to where I live. We have lived here 2.5 years now. He was consistent in the beginning at seeing her and I would also take her through to see him. Now she has started school it's difficult for me to take her due to term times. He only phones when he feels like it and sees her whenever he can be bothered now which is confusing for her. I told him I wanted a parental agreement to be written up and he said instead he will take me to court and they will make me move back to Newcastle and if not take my daughter away to live with him full time. She is settled and happy here as well as my 11 year old daughter.What are my chances of losing my little girl? :(
Dotty - 27-Jan-16 @ 9:56 AM
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