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

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 16 Jul 2018 |
 
Child Divorce Relationship Amicable Grow

We get many comments and questions from you about child support. We've taken a selection of your comments addressing the issue of keeping contact with your children and the fear of your ex taking them from you - and asked our expert to give some comprehensive information and advice.

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

Parental Responsibility

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

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

Who has Parental Responsibility?

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

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

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

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

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

Other family members

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

Voluntary access arrangements

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

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

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

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

Residence Orders

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

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

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

What Factors Will be Taken Into Account?

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

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

Domestic abuse

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

Reality Check

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

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

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[Add a Comment]
Hi, me & my daughters dad split up 18 months ago we both have new partners & me & my new partner are in the very early stages of buying a house together I have spoken with my ex about this & he has demanded that he meets my partner before the move as they have never met & my ex is threatening to not allow my daughter to move until he has met my partner but my partner is adamant he doesn't want to meet him as my ex isn't a very nice person & isn't a great dad. Can I please just state we are planning on moving 5 minutes away from where me & my daughter currently live & that my ex has our daughter every other weekend & during some school holidays & I'm in no way trying to stop him from seeing my daughter. But he has never paid maintenance, doesn't contribute towards child care, uniforms, school trips, birthday parties ect, he has never attended anything at my daughters school patents evenings, sports days, open days ect, he refuses to look after during term time through the week or help to look after her if she's poorly ect for the first 12 months we were separated he didn't take any time off during the school holidays to have her or help with child care while her child minder was off, on his weekends to have he has on numerous occasions cancelled at the last minute when I've had prebooked & paid for things planned & has refused to compensate me. He shouts & swears at me infront of our daughter & shouted at me infront of neighbours & our daughter that I'm a c**t & told me if I was a man he would knock me out these are just some of the reasons my partner doesn't like him & doesn't want to meet him, can my ex stop me from my daughter living with me & my partner & does my partner have to meet him. He will still see his daughter every other weekend & my partner isn't trying to replace him as her dad in anyway he also works for the government & is fully DBS checked.
Pinkie13 - 16-Jul-18 @ 8:51 PM
Hi, My partner and I have a 2 year old boy, My partner is serving time for Child Grooming,and has a court order not to be alone with anyone under the age of 18. He will be released in 6 months time. I have left my partner under going counselling and do not want to see him again can I get a court order giving me sole Parental Rights.
Mavis - 13-Jul-18 @ 5:43 PM
Kelly - Your Question:
I have been superheated from my daughters father for 10 years, 5 years ago he took me to court for residency of our daughter and won, he also obtained an order stating that I was not to have any ki d of Co tact with our daughter until she turned 16,to stop the court case I agreed to this as is said to be my daughters wishes. My daughter and I began contacting each other again when she turned 16 (she was the one to instigate contact)she will be 17 in September, we have planned to meet up several times and each time her father has stopped it happening. My ex partner moved last year without telling me and has kept their new address a secret from me, I found out what it was by myself, as he only had a residency order he was still supposed to tell me when and where they moved but he didn't inform me of either. My daughter had her Prom recently and I sent her some jewellery to wear as I wouldn't be able to see her on the night, because I now know where they are living my ex partner has now began to treat my daughter as if she did something wrong and is making her life a misery. My daughter has asked to stay with me for 2 weeks as it is the summer holidays, he father is refusing to allow it to happen. Now the court order has finished can he stop her seeing me if she wants to?

Our Response:
If the father has stopped you from seeing your daughter as the court order has finished, you would have to refer the matter back to court to have the order reinstated until your daughter is 18.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Jul-18 @ 12:11 PM
I have been superheated from my daughters father for 10 years, 5 years ago he took me to court for residency of our daughter and won, he also obtained an order stating that I was not to have any ki d of Co tact with our daughter until she turned 16,to stop the court case I agreed to this as is said to be my daughters wishes. My daughter and I began contacting each other again when she turned 16 (she was the one to instigate contact)she will be 17 in September, we have planned to meet up several times and each time her father has stopped it happening. My ex partner moved last year without telling me and has kept their new address a secret from me, I found out what it was by myself, as he only had a residency order he was still supposed to tell me when and where they moved but he didn't inform me of either. My daughter had her Prom recently and I sent her some jewellery to wear as I wouldn't be able to see her on the night, because I now know where they are living my ex partner has now began to treat my daughter as if she did something wrong and is making her life a misery. My daughter has asked to stay with me for 2 weeks as it is the summer holidays, he father is refusing to allow it to happen. Now the court order has finished can he stop her seeing me if she wants to?
Kelly - 10-Jul-18 @ 6:03 PM
Maundy - Your Question:
I've been divorced a long time and my severely disabled son lives with his dad recently his partner assaulted my daughter unprovoked awaiting to go to court. He has refused me to see my son as I requested she not be there and I don't want her around my son he is vulnerable and she is violent. I want my son with me so I can care for him properly were do I stand on this

Our Response:
Regardless of your other court case, you would have to apply for a child arrangement order if you cannot solve the issue via mediation, please see link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 9-Jul-18 @ 10:13 AM
I've been divorced a long time and my severely disabled son lives with his dad recently his partner assaulted my daughter unprovoked awaiting to go to court. He has refused me to see my son as I requested she not be there and I don't want her around my son he is vulnerable and she is violent. I want my son with me so I can care for him properly were do I stand on this
Maundy - 8-Jul-18 @ 11:42 AM
Breakingpoint - Your Question:
Hi, after advice. Me and my ex have a 4mth old. Things broke down during pregnancy although done what I could for him to remain involved in the process as wanted to be an active part in her life. At times of medical appts he was verbally abusive in the waiting rooms to the point where I stopped inviting him but kept him updated. He attended the birth but due to having to stay in hosp for a few days he created a scene arguing with me and becoming verbally abusive and offensive on the ward, although tactfully not around staff, to which I told him to leave. On discharge I still gave him the benefit of the doubt to have a relationship with his child, allowing him into my home whenever he pleaded, but again became too comfortable and verbally aggressive around the baby, to which I stopped. I resorted to meeting him in public and communicating through text, which has lasted 2weeks for him to continue to be abusive towards me. I have now put a stop to this as have tried everything I can. His mood and attitude towards me concerns me when our child is in his care. He refuse to listwn to simple instructions of last feeds etc. He has her about 3-6hrs a week on his terms and pays minimal maintenance. I am not allowing this environment around our child and informed him contact is stopping until he goes down mediation route, as shows more of a commitment to arguing and creating an issue with me than actually seeing his child. We both have PR due to being on the birth certificate. Am I being reasonable? Will our child hate me for this? I've tried what I can for him to build a relationship with his child although he creates an awful atmosphere during pick ups and drop offs. I'm at a loss, as have our childs best interest at heart, wanting a comfortable environment for her, but its proofing impossible? Any advice would help

Our Response:
It is never excusable to be verbally abusive. However, whether your ex is being verbally abusive because he is frustrated and feels he wishes to be involved in his child's life and cannot articulate another way, or he is generally aggressive by nature. As a parent, it is understandable that a parent wishes to have a relationship with their child and when a parent feels pushed out it can lead to confrontation. You can see more via the link here, which will tell you all you need to know.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Jul-18 @ 11:07 AM
The father of my child and I were not married but he is on the birth certificate.After he visits him especially when his family ie Mum/Aunts are involved screams when he comes back that he does not like me and does not want to stay with me which is very upsetting. He says he can take him where he likes and for the first time he is taking him away for a week. Have I the right to know where he is taking my son during this week? I am dreading him coming back as I know after a week in contact with his family it will take me ages settling him again.Anything I can do about this?
Reba76 - 6-Jul-18 @ 10:16 AM
Hi, after advice. Me and my ex have a 4mth old. Things broke down during pregnancy although done what I could for him to remain involved in the process as wanted to be an active part in her life. At times of medical appts he was verbally abusive in the waiting rooms to the point where I stopped inviting him but kept him updated. He attended the birth but due to having to stay in hosp for a few days he created a scene arguing with me and becoming verbally abusive and offensive on the ward, although tactfully not around staff, to which i told him to leave. On discharge I still gave him the benefit of the doubt to have a relationship with his child, allowing him into my home whenever he pleaded, but again became too comfortable and verbally aggressive around the baby, to which i stopped. I resorted to meeting him in public and communicating through text, which has lasted 2weeks for him to continue to be abusive towards me. I have now put a stop to this as have tried everything i can. His mood and attitude towards me concerns me when our child is in his care. He refuse to listwn to simple instructions of last feeds etc. He has her about 3-6hrs a week on his terms and pays minimal maintenance. I am not allowing this environment around our child and informed him contact is stopping until he goes down mediation route, as shows more of a commitment to arguing and creating an issue with me than actually seeing his child. We both have PR due to being on the birth certificate. Am I being reasonable? Will our child hate me for this? I've tried what I can for him to build a relationship with his child although he creates an awful atmosphere during pick ups and drop offs. I'm at a loss, as have our childs best interest at heart, wanting a comfortable environment for her, but its proofing impossible? Any advice would help
Breakingpoint - 5-Jul-18 @ 10:33 AM
My ex and I have had a turbulent relationship in which he was at times violent to me, I only went to the police once 12 years ago and never have since.i always blamed myself and pushed it to one side as he was always good to the children. We agreed that he could have the kids once a week and every third weekend but the hand overs have become more drought he turns up late and if the girls are missing anything or not out the door quick enough or I ask why he’s late he’s started becoming aggressive and shouting and swearing at me in front of the girls. Can I stop visitation? Until mediation or is there a way for me to go to court without mediation. The kids are young enough that they worship him and I don’t want to stop him seeing them but I don’t want him acting like that in front of them or for me to have to feel that way anymore.
Kitty - 3-Jul-18 @ 6:41 PM
Lauran - Your Question:
Hi, me and my ex have split up we have a 6 month old and I the mother hold full parental responsibility as he is not on the birth certificate. We broke up due to domestic abuse from his mother while I was living there so I moved out and took my son. Me and ex are not on terms but we arranged that he would take him 4 days a week. That is currently not good enough and he keeps dropping by to pick him up on days I have him. We keep arguing over it and he wants to take to court What can I do?

Our Response:
Your ex would not be able to take you to court, unless mediation had been attempted first. Please see link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 3-Jul-18 @ 1:55 PM
Hi, me and my ex have split up we have a 6 month old and I the mother hold full parental responsibility as he is not on the birth certificate. We broke up due to domestic abuse from his mother while I was living there so I moved out and took my son. Me and ex are not on terms but we arranged that he would take him 4 days a week. That is currently not good enough and he keeps dropping by to pick him up on days I have him. We keep arguingover it and he wants to take to court What can I do?
Lauran - 3-Jul-18 @ 12:07 AM
Clare - Your Question:
Hi, I wonder if you could give us some advice. My ex partner and I separated in 2013. He was very bad with paying maintenance 20 pounds here and there sometimes months before any money. He saw him one day most weekends until 2015 when he and his whole family moved 200 miles away. I didn't put up a fight but we spoke and he promised he would make it work and would visit regularly. The visits and money has tapered off over time and corresponding with his new relationship. So this year, 3 visits (2 days each time) and he's sent exactly 85 pounds so far. His family have not seen my son this year. It has been 80 days since he last saw him and 76 days since he spoke with him on the phone. We do soeak now and again over text but he tends to ignore me. He got a new job 3 weeks ago and promised to start paying regularly which he has for the last 2 weeks, he won't say when he'll see him next, often I'll have to take him to him. We have been discussing divorce recently (mainly because he wants to get remarried asap). I'm not sure what to do from here, he has zero input as a parent and is not consistent in any way. I feel as if I'm at breaking point and he is one broken promise away from me cutting him out, although I know he has RP. He will fight at first but will give up (I know him). My son does not talk about him anymore, I think this way will save him alot of emotional distress. What can you advise us? Thank you.

Our Response:
We cannot advise you whether to stop access or allow access to continue. However, mediation may be something for you to consider as a way of attempting to resolve the situation between you and if your ex slips with any agreement, then it would be up to him to apply to take the matter to court. As far as child maintenance is concerned, by law your ex (if he is earning) has to pay regardless of whether he sees his child or not. Child maintenance and child access have no bearing on each other.
ChildSupportLaws - 29-Jun-18 @ 2:53 PM
Sorry left out some details by mistake, my son is 6 and we have never been formally introduced to the new fiance, I have tried to discuss her role but he avoids talking about it. None of his family call to ask about him, see him or talk to him.
Clare - 28-Jun-18 @ 11:11 PM
Hi, I wonder if you could give us some advice. My ex partner and I separated in 2013. He was very bad with paying maintenance 20 pounds here and there sometimes months before any money. He saw him one day most weekends until 2015 when he and his whole family moved 200 miles away. I didn't put up a fight but we spoke and he promised he would make it work and would visit regularly. The visits and money has tapered off over time and corresponding with his new relationship. So this year, 3 visits (2 days each time) and he's sent exactly 85 pounds so far. His family have not seen my son this year. It has been 80 days since he last saw him and 76 days since he spoke with him on the phone. We do soeak now and again over text but he tends to ignore me. He got a new job 3 weeks ago and promised to start paying regularly which he has for the last 2 weeks, he won't say when he'll see him next, often I'll have to take him to him. We have been discussing divorce recently (mainly because he wants to get remarried asap). I'm not sure what to do from here, he has zero input as a parent and is not consistent in any way. I feel as if I'm at breaking point and he is one broken promise away from me cutting him out, although I know he has RP. He will fight at first but will give up (I know him). My son does not talk about him anymore, I think this way will save him alot of emotional distress. What can you advise us? Thank you.
Clare - 28-Jun-18 @ 11:05 PM
Lostintransit - Your Question:
Could you tell me if I'm wrong but, my ex and I have been seperated for 15 months and he has been a good father. He met someone in December and began to let me down with contact here and there. He then met someone new within that month and by March he had introduced her to our daughter (she 4 in oct) against his request to wait a year. My daughter's nursery quickly picked up on some behaveiour changes which we have been keeping an eye on. They began spending quite a lot of time together and my daughter was forming a bond with her but, at her request, all communication between him and I stopped. Agreed contact was being moved round or he just wasn't turning up. In April, there was an incident with them while on holiday in India that cause them to break up. (Apparently because I said "hello" during a video call to our daughter on my phone) He told me last month that they had split up and that she was after me, not to accept any friend requests on social media and to send him screenshots if she did try to befriend me. She did under an alias and I sent it to him. He told me that she had requested that he walk away from my daughter untill she's 16. I expressed that I didn't trust her around my daughter now and didn't want them having contact. He agreed but, within a few days were back together and on his next contact assured me that they would have no contact but, then spent the day together. I have asked to meet his partner but, have been refused and don't even know her name. When I suggested mediation or a solicitor to set down ground rules, he said he would just walk away and have no contact at all. So, a week ago I decided to stop contact but, suggested he could visit her at my house until it is resolved and I would stay out of the way. He arrived at my house on day of usual contact, got angry in front of our daughter and threatened to take her as there was nothing I could do. It isn't the first time. The last few days have been intense. I have tried to discuss our daughters emotional well being but, he is only interested in contact alone with her. I have spoke to social services as her nursery have told me that he is within his rights to take her from nursery without my consent. They agree. He came round to see her this evening and I left them to have time together, he then called me to thank me but, then became aggressive again saying he was going to walk away unless I establish their contact alone again. I've been told to seek a residency order but, am I wrong to deny contact alone while I apply? I have offered him contact at his sister's house but, they are asking me to allow him to collect our daughter to do that. What should I do? Is this a case that would grant legal aid? I understand that his relashionships are his business but, he has informed me that they're moving in together so potentially, our daughter will spend a lot of time with them. Am I being unreasonable in wanting to at least know her name and where my daughter mig

Our Response:
There are no right or wrongs in such disagreements. In order to try to resolve your issues, mediation is the next option if you cannot agree between you both. Please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Jun-18 @ 2:51 PM
Could you tell me if I'm wrong but, my ex and I have been seperated for 15 months and he has been a good father. He met someone in December and began to let me down with contact here and there. He then met someone new within that month and by March he had introduced her to our daughter (she 4 in oct) against his request to wait a year. My daughter's nursery quickly picked up on some behaveiour changes which we have been keeping an eye on. They began spending quite a lot of time together and my daughter was forming a bond with her but, at her request,all communication between him and I stopped. Agreed contact was being moved round or he just wasn't turning up. In April, there was an incident with them while on holiday in India that cause them to break up. (Apparently because I said "hello" during a video call to our daughter on my phone) He told me last month that they had split up and that she was after me, not to accept any friend requests on social media and to send him screenshots if she did try to befriend me. She did under an alias and I sent it to him. He told me that she had requested that he walk away from my daughter untill she's 16. I expressed that I didn't trust her around my daughter now and didn't want them having contact. He agreed but, within a few days were back together and on his next contact assured me that they would have no contact but, then spent the day together. I have asked to meet his partner but, have been refused and don't even know her name. When I suggested mediation or a solicitor to set down ground rules, he said he would just walk away and have no contact at all. So, a week ago I decided to stop contact but, suggested he could visit her at my house until it is resolved and I would stay out of the way. He arrived at my house on day of usual contact, got angry in front of our daughter and threatened to take her as there was nothing I could do. It isn't the first time. The last few days have been intense. I have tried to discuss our daughters emotional well being but, he is only interested in contact alone with her. I have spoke to social services as her nursery have told me that he is within his rights to take her from nursery without my consent. They agree. He came round to see her this evening and I left them to have time together, he then called me to thank me but, then became aggressive again saying he was going to walk away unless I establish their contact alone again. I've been told to seek a residency order but, am I wrong to deny contact alone while I apply? I have offered him contact at his sister's house but, they are asking me to allow him to collect our daughter to do that. What should I do? Is this a case that would grant legal aid? I understand that his relashionships are his business but, he has informed me that they're moving in together so potentially, our daughter will spend a lot of time with them. Am I being unreasonable in wanting to at least know her name and where my daughter mig
Lostintransit - 28-Jun-18 @ 12:44 AM
BATMAN - Your Question:
I could use some advice.I have been seperated for over two years. Me and my ex agreed to joint custody which with us both working shifts was tough but we managed.Approximately 8 months ago she got a new job working 9 to 5 which meant the kids now spend more time her its less disruptive and we dont have to rely on family as much. I made it clear im also trying to find a job with similar workjng hours so we can get back to 50/50.The children have always been registered as living with me in the family home and as im still single and earn less I can claim tax credits which I half with her.She now wants the children registered as living with her. This would also mean we would lose tax credits as she has a nee partner and they dont qualify.She did try and change the our sons choice of new school a few months ago.something we had always agreed on.Where do I stand? Can she just simply register them as living with her.I still have them every other weekend. Monday to friday. Every third week I pick them up from school and drop them off in the evening all week. School holidays I take time off and other odd days shifts allowing.Financially im struggling. If I lose the tax credits as well im not sure how I will cope apart from doing loads of overtime which in turn means less time with the kids.Too many sleepless nights over this. Please help

Our Response:
You do not have to agree to this. Once you do, you will lose child benefit and tax credits and also currently (if child benefit is registered in your name) you are considered the primary carer. Just because your ex is the mother, it does not mean she has more rights. If you are the primary carer and have the children more, then if the worst came to the worst and the matter went to court you would have a better chance of gaining residency of your kids. Once you register the children in your ex's name, you won't. You don't say why your ex wishes the kids to be registered in her name as the primary carer, but it may be worth seeking legal advice in order to explore your options. Currently, your options are listed via the link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 26-Jun-18 @ 2:00 PM
I could use some advice. I have been seperated for over two years. Me and my ex agreed to joint custody which with us both working shifts was tough but we managed. Approximately 8 months ago she got a new job working 9 to 5 which meant the kids now spend more time her its less disruptive and we dont have to rely on family as much. I made it clear im also trying to find a job with similar workjng hours so we can get back to 50/50. The children have always been registered as living with me in the family home and as im still single and earn less i can claim tax credits which i half with her. She now wants the children registered as living with her. This would also mean we would lose tax credits as she has a nee partner and they dont qualify. She did try and change the our sons choice of new school a few months ago...something we had always agreed on. Where do i stand? Can she just simply register them as living with her. I still have them every other weekend. Monday to friday. Every third week i pick them up from school and drop them off in the evening all week. School holidays i take time off and other odd days shifts allowing. Financially im struggling. If i lose the tax credits as well im not sure how i will cope apart from doing loads of overtime which in turn means less time with the kids. Too many sleepless nights over this. Please help
BATMAN - 25-Jun-18 @ 8:16 PM
Lau - Your Question:
Me and my partner broke up a year ago and have never had an issue with sharing contact of our daughter. But recently his shifts started to change at work and he started finishing at different times each day. Which sometimes I meant I couldn’t work as he wasn’t finishing till after I needed to start. I decided to find a child minder so she had some stablitly. Which he agreed to as he couldn’t alwsys be back in time. Our daughter still goes to her dads every other weekend from the Friday night to the Sunday evening. He’s now telling me he’s been to see a solicitor as I’m not giving him enough rights to our daughter? What can I do? I have kept all the messages to him agreeing to me sending her to a childminder instead? I really don’t want to fight with him?

Our Response:
Before your child's other parent can take the matter further, i.e to court, you would both have to agree to mediation (if you cannot agree a resolution between you). The link here will tell you all you need to know about the process.
ChildSupportLaws - 25-Jun-18 @ 11:53 AM
Hi me and my ex have split 3 years know we have a child togetherhe seesonce a week I have two other children I have been depressed and struggling so my oldest son been helping me take my son to schoolso as this is happendmy ex want to take my son away from me to live with him instead of me can this happen I have been doing everything for them and don't get treated badly or anything just been struggling with school runs
Suzanne - 24-Jun-18 @ 12:58 PM
Me and my partner broke up a year ago and have never had an issue with sharing contact of our daughter. But recently his shifts started to change at work and he started finishing at different times each day. Which sometimes I meant I couldn’t work as he wasn’t finishing till after I needed to start. I decided to find a child minder so she had some stablitly. Which he agreed to as he couldn’t alwsys be back in time. Our daughter still goes to her dads every other weekend from the Friday night to the Sunday evening. He’s now telling me he’s been to see a solicitor as I’m not giving him enough rights to our daughter? What can I do? I have kept all the messages to him agreeing to me sending her to a childminder instead? I really don’t want to fight with him?
Lau - 24-Jun-18 @ 10:31 AM
Hi, I have been divorced for 4 years. I have 2 sons, 8 and 5. My 8 year old does not want to see his dad. I have tried to encourage him to go and I buy them toys or give them money to take with them. He has felt this way from the beginning but I know his father has a legal right to see his son. What age can my son refuse to see his father? Thank you
Em - 23-Jun-18 @ 4:00 PM
HB - Your Question:
I need some advice please. Ive been split from my ex for over 2 years. He met someone else 3 months after we split, then introduced our children to his new girlfriend without telling me 2 months after they got together. I was very angry at the time but now have no problem in my children spending time with his girlfriend because he gave me no choice and there’s nothing I can do about it, so I let it happen. He wants me to let his girlfriend be in the car when he picks and drops the kids off and wants her to come to sports day etc. I don’t want to meet her or see her or be anywhere near her because they hurt me and done some awful things to upset me. Do I have a right in saying to my ex that he keeps his girlfriend away from me and that the pick ups and drops off with our children should be between him and me only? I have told him that I will stay my end, he keeps his girlfriend his end and him and me meet in the middle for the children’s sake. Am I being fair? Is there proof I can show him that when it comes to the children, this is between me and him and not his girlfriend?? Thank you

Our Response:
There are no rules or regulations here, so if you cannot agree between you mediation is where a third party can help you come to some sort of agreement.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Jun-18 @ 2:39 PM
Yorkiebar - Your Question:
Hi,I split from my partner over 8 years ago and we have a 14 year old son together. Unfortunately he has developed cancer and is in hospital at the moment. My ex has been making it extremely difficult when visiting my son and wont allow me my own time within the ward with my son. She literally sat there and ignored me for the 1 hour visit she allowed. He goes in for chemotherapy on Thursday and I was wanting to visit him but she has said not to come as he will be tired. Can I legally request private time with my son in hospital? I have parental custody!

Our Response:
I am very sorry to hear this. If you have parental repsonsibility, then in theory you have equal rights to see your son. Your ex cannot refuse you access to see your son unless there is an injunction in place. Your only recourse is to try to negotiate between you and your ex keeping your child's welfare upmost in mind. Perhaps you could request to visit when your ex is not there. You may also wish to speak to the ward manager and see whether the hospital has any policy in place. Trying to encourage your ex to put your child's needs may help under these trying circumstances, as at age 14 his viewpoint will also count. A bit of flexiblity is needed from both sides here. I hope all works out well for your son.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Jun-18 @ 11:34 AM
I need some advice please. Ive been split from my ex for over 2 years. He met someone else 3 months after we split, then introduced our children to his new girlfriend without telling me 2 months after they got together. I was very angry at the time but now have no problem in my children spending time with his girlfriend because he gave me no choice and there’s nothing I can do about it, so I let it happen. He wants me to let his girlfriend be in the car when he picks and drops the kids off and wants her to come to sports day etc. I don’t want to meet her or see her or be anywhere near her because they hurt me and done some awful things to upset me. Do I have a right in saying to my ex that he keeps his girlfriend away from me and that the pick ups and drops off with our children should be between him and me only? I have told him that I will stay my end, he keeps his girlfriend his end and him and me meet in the middle for the children’s sake. Am I being fair? Is there proof I can show him that when it comes to the children, this is between me and him and not his girlfriend??Thank you
HB - 14-Jun-18 @ 7:40 PM
Stevemb - Your Question:
Hi My wife left me a while ago and things have been civil and I have one child with her and I raised her child as if he was my own and after we split I continued to see them regular 3 times per week.However my step son has been having lots of problems being with my girlfriend children and there has been name calling and some hitting and lying and my girlfriends childs pet fish was taken out of the tank and left in middle of lounge next to my son which he says he never done.I have spoken to my ex and she doesn’t see any issue but obviously I’m having problems taking him to hers and we were discussing moving in together but there have been so many issues she doesn’t want him around I’ve spoke to ex and she says she won’t let me have my daughter if I don’t take my step son!Does she have the right to do so???What can I do???

Our Response:
If your ex stops you from seeing your daughter, then you would have to suggest mediation as a way of trying to resolve the issue or take the matter to court, please see link here . Much depends upon the situation with your stepson and whether he is under the illusion that you are his father, which can be a sensitive issue. Therefore, it is difficult to anticipate what a court may decide.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Jun-18 @ 3:38 PM
Hi My wife left me a while ago and things have been civil and I have one child with her and I raised her child as if he was my own and after we split I continued to see them regular 3 times per week. However my step son has been having lots of problems being with my girlfriend children and there has been name calling and some hitting and lying and my girlfriends childs pet fish was taken out of the tank and left in middle of lounge next to my son which he says he never done. I have spoken to my ex and she doesn’t see any issue but obviously I’m having problems taking him to hers and we were discussing moving in together but there have been so many issues she doesn’t want him around I’ve spoke to ex and she says she won’t let me have my daughter if I don’t take my step son! Does she have the right to do so??? What can I do???
Stevemb - 13-Jun-18 @ 10:40 PM
Hi, I split from my partner over 8 years ago and we have a 14 year old son together. Unfortunately he has developed cancer and is in hospital at the moment. My ex has been making it extremely difficult when visiting my son and wont allow me my own time within the ward with my son. She literally sat there and ignored me for the 1 hour visit she allowed. He goes in for chemotherapy on Thursday and I was wanting to visit him but she has said not to come as he will be tired. Can I legally request private time with my son in hospital? I have parental custody!
Yorkiebar - 12-Jun-18 @ 1:02 PM
HEVVA - Your Question:
My son is 11. I left his father when he was 18 months old due to Domestic Violence. Since then he has seen his son about 4 times. Twice in 2009, once in 2017 (refused to see him again as we had Social Services involved due to my childs behaviour) and once again in 2017 just before Christmas and then went off grid again. My son asked my partner of 2.5 years to adopt him. What rights do we have? I was married to my sons father and he does have PR. We have asked him to give permission for the Adoption and he has refused. He is more interested in "having one over" on me, than the interests of child. My son is a "thing". he doesn't care about my sons feelings and really believes that I am keeping my son away from him.(my son is at the point now where he knows his father cant be bothered!) He has 6 children in total and only sees the 9 month old he is living with. We are still going to apply to the courts under child welfare. but I want to know how likely the courts are to grant the Adoption?It seams ludicrous to me that a man that has never sent a birthday or Christmas card to "his much loved son", has never paid for any upkeep or even taken him to the park should have PR and the entitlement to make decisions on a child's behalf. My son has written a letter to the courts and we have al the proof about me asking for contact and him refusing ect.I am worried about how much it will cost too!

Our Response:
You can see more regarding this via the Family Lives link here, which should help answer your question.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Jun-18 @ 10:20 AM
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