Home > Paying Child Support > What Rights Does My Ex Have With Regards to Our Children?

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

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 19 Jan 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
My ex and I split up whilst I was pregnant and my child is now 2 and ahalf.We have an agreement in place where he is supposed to have his child every Wednesday night then every other weekend (sat- Monday). He regularly books things on the weekends that he’s supposed to have his child so doesn’t end up having them. He’s now threatening court as he wants more days with his child. I’ve been contacted by a mediator and expressed I wanted commitment from him for at least 3 months with him consistently having his child when he is supposed to, prior to making any changes.He has disagreed with this and proceeding with court. I’m just wondering where I stand in regards to this?
10985 - 19-Jan-18 @ 4:59 PM
Kassy - Your Question:
I have split up with my ex partner when my son was 6 months old. Throughout the relationship he has been controlling and aggressive. He did not look after the child, he did not change him, feed him, paid any money. He forced me to put his name on the birth certificate and to give my baby his surname otherwise we would beat me up. The first time I have contacted the police was when the child was 6 months old, I have ended up in the hospital after he became aggressive with me. He then had a restraining order put in, to not contact me and not enter my street. He was allowed to see his child through third party, but he did not see the child once. I kept on receiving aggressive messages though stating that I am refusing to give him the child. When I went on a holiday, he broke in to my house and ended up in jail. He got out in December 24th. So because it was christmas time, and I wanted my son to see his father on christmas day I asked his sister to take my child to him. He then ended up not wanting to give him back. He became aggressive and we had to use force to get the child away from him. Things like this has been in place for several months and I am just fed up with it. He's in jail now for breaking the restraining order and attacking me on the street. I am scared that when he gets out of jail he will want to see his son and I do not know what to do. He has the PR and I just want to know whether there is anything I can do to take it away from him or at least reduce it in any way. He never bothered with his son, never supported me, never paid for anything. He uses him as a weapon. I do not see him as a real father and just want the best I can for my son. Thank you for any help in advance

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely a court would remove PR. However, if your ex has broken the restraining order and attacked you and is in prison as a result, then you can apply for a child arrangement order through court to ensure your child should live with you on a permanent basis, please see link here . You can also request that contact be removed. Whether it is or not would be up to the courts. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. You may also be able to get Legal Aid, if domestic violence has played a part in the application, please see link here and here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-Jan-18 @ 11:09 AM
I have split up with my ex partner when my son was 6 months old. Throughout the relationship he has been controlling and aggressive. He did not look after the child, he did not change him, feed him, paid any money. He forced me to put his name on the birth certificate and to give my baby his surname otherwise we would beat me up. The first time I have contacted the police was when the child was 6 months old, I have ended up in the hospital after he became aggressive with me. He then had a restraining order put in, to not contact me and not enter my street. He was allowed to see his child through third party, but he did not see the child once. I kept on receiving aggressive messages though stating that I am refusing to give him the child. When I went on a holiday, he broke in to my house and ended up in jail. He got out in December 24th. So because it was christmas time, and I wanted my son to see his father on christmas day I asked his sister to take my child to him. He then ended up not wanting to give him back. He became aggressive and we had to use force to get the child away from him. Things like this has been in place for several months and I am just fed up with it. He's in jail now for breaking the restraining order and attacking me on the street. I am scared that when he gets out of jail he will want to see his son and I do not know what to do. He has the PR and I just want to know whether there is anything I can do to take it away from him or at least reduce it in any way. He never bothered with his son, never supported me, never paid for anything. He uses him as a weapon. I do not see him as a real father and just want the best I can for my son. Thank you for any help in advance
Kassy - 15-Jan-18 @ 3:03 PM
Lornalou - Your Question:
My daughter’s biological Father has never wanted anything to do with my daughter. When he found out I was pregnant, he blocked me from all forms of contact. I finally found him again on Facebook in 2015 when my daughter was just over a year old. I approached him, told him all about my daughter and offered him the chance to get to know her. He told me he wasn’t interested and told me to make someone else her Dad. I had to go through the CSA just to get a DNA test from him so I had something to show my daughter when she was older. I have litterally heard nothing from this man since 2015. Although now i’ve just randomly recieved a letter through the door from a court telling me that he’s applied for a child arrangements order. I’ve tried to contact him again, asking him, why now after 4 years? And he’s completely ignored me. Surely no court will allow him to just stroll into her life and have imediate access?? He’s a complete stranger to her and me. He didn’t even know she was a girl until I approached him 2015. He’s never paid a penny for her, never met her, spoken to her, he doesn’t even know her D.O.B! Does anyone know where I might stand on this? My daughter deserves to know the truth but we don’t know this man, she calls my Husband Dad. Am I really about to sit my 4 year old daughter down and tell her she’l be off to a random strangers house every other weekend? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Our Response:
Firstly, the court will take all of what you say into consideration and would not expect you to hand your daughter over to a stranger. If an order is put in place, a contact centre or supervised access would be considered first, with access slowly building up to unsupervised. Usually, the parents are requested to attend mediation before court will allow the matter to go to court (unless one party refused to attend). This would be less stressful than the matter going through court. There is no guarantee the court will award access, if your daughter knows another person to be her 'dad'. However, as in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Jan-18 @ 12:26 PM
Dan x- Your Question:
I have always allowed my ex partner to have contact with our son (now 8) over the past 3.5 years he has been in and out of my sons life choosing when he wants to see him and doesn’t support him in any way. Also when he visits I drop him to him and collect him. In the last 6months plus since finding out I have a new partner he has been as I would put it brainwashing my son into misbehaving at home being extremely rude and nasty and has told him to do this to get rid of my partner. Every week (unless he lets him down) I dread him going as he comes back being so terrible.I am really considering stopping him from seeing him as I believe in the long run the things he’s putting in his head will be extremely damaging. Does anyone know where I would stand with stopping access? Thank you

Our Response:
If you stop access, it is an open invitation for your ex to apply to court. In the first instance, if you both have a disagreement that you cannot solve between you, then you should consider requesting your ex attends mediation. If you stop access and refuse to discuss the matter via mediation, then court will be the next option for your ex would be court. If the matter goes to court, then the court will always decide what it thinks is in the best interests of your child. Any court order awarded through court would have to be adhered to. Therefore, communication and negotiation are always best and if you cannot do this between you, then mediation is the next step. A court would be likely to reinstate access (if access has been consistent to date) unless you can prove 'categorically' that your ex should not be allowed in your child's life.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Jan-18 @ 11:39 AM
Leannemp15 - Your Question:
Me and my boyfriend have a daughter together who is only 8 and a half months and things have got very bad between us we constantly argue and he has accused me from day one and has stopped me seeing or having friends. I tried leaving him before but he refused to give my daughter back so I can take her home. I had police out and they pursaded him to give her back. The reason for him to do that was because I had tried moving on and he didnt want me to so he used her as a weapon against me. Well I think its time I left for good this time but im scared he will try take her again. He has PR but she doesnt settle with him and every time she is at his house she is looked after by his mum while he plays on his play station and when he stayed at mine he wont do anything with her. Im always the one that feeds and changes her and gets her to sleep. Ive had phone calls from him with he screaming and crying saying she wont settle for him so ive had to go pick her up at gone midnight. What should I do I cant risk him keeping her from me again my son (her half brother) would be devastated he loves her to pieces and I cant live without my kids under my roof

Our Response:
If you are the day-to-day carer of your child and the father has kept your child previously without authorisation, and you live in fear of him doing so again, then you can apply for a child arrangement order through court which will determine who your child should live with, please see link here. If your child normally lives with you and there is no concrete/provable reason why your child should not live with you, then it is highly likely the court would grant the order in your favour. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. The child's best interests are usually judged as stability and consistency etc and a court will not attempt to disrupt such an arrangement. However, before you apply to court, you may wish to suggest mediation to your ex in order to come to an out-of-court arrangement. Mediation is when two or more parties meet to resolve problems before the matter reaches court. It is most often used in family proceedings, and courts can accept the agreement of the mediation instead of having to go through the court process, although it is subject to final court approval. Mediation takes place in front of a neutral third party. The mediator has no pre-conceptions and will not force you to make an agreement. They will assist the two parties in taking turns in the conversation, and help you reach a decision that you are both ready to agree with. Mediators do not pass judgment or offer guidance; they are there, in effect, to facilitate conversation between the two sides.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Jan-18 @ 10:23 AM
I have always allowed my ex partner to have contact with our son (now 8) over the past 3.5 years he has been in and out of my sons life choosing when he wants to see him and doesn’t support him in any way. Also when he visits I drop him to him and collect him. In the last 6months plus since finding out I have a new partner he has been as I would put it brainwashing my son into misbehaving at home being extremely rude and nasty and has told him to do this to get rid of my partner. Every week (unless he lets him down) I dread him going as he comes back being so terrible. I am really considering stopping him from seeing him as I believe in the long run the things he’s putting in his head will be extremely damaging. Does anyone know where I would stand with stopping access? Thank you
Dan x - 14-Jan-18 @ 5:02 PM
Me and my boyfriend have a daughter together who is only 8 and a half months and things have got very bad between us we constantly argue and he has accused me from day one and has stopped me seeing or having friends. I tried leaving him before but he refused to give my daughter back so i can take her home. I had police out and they pursaded him to give her back. The reason for him to do that was because i had tried moving on and he didnt want me to so he used her as a weapon against me. Well i think its time i left for good this time but im scared he will try take her again. He has PR but she doesnt settle with him and every time she is at his house she is looked after by his mum while he plays on his play station and when he stayed at mine he wont do anything with her. Im always the one that feeds and changes her and gets her to sleep. Ive had phone calls from him with he screaming and crying saying she wont settle for him so ive had to go pick her up at gone midnight. What should i do i cant risk him keeping her from me again my son (her half brother) would be devastated he loves her to pieces and i cant live without my kids under my roof
Leannemp15 - 14-Jan-18 @ 5:47 AM
My daughter’s biological Father has never wanted anything to do with my daughter. When he found out I was pregnant, he blocked me from all forms of contact. I finally found him again on Facebook in 2015 when my daughter was just over a year old. I approached him, told him all about my daughter and offered him the chance to get to know her. He told me he wasn’t interested and told me to make someone else her Dad. I had to go through the CSA just to get a DNA test from him so i had something to show my daughter when she was older. I have litterally heard nothing from this man since 2015. Although now i’ve just randomly recieved a letter through the door from a court telling me that he’s applied for a child arrangements order. I’ve tried to contact him again, asking him, why now after 4 years? And he’s completely ignored me. Surely no court will allow him to just stroll into her life and have imediate access?? He’s a complete stranger to her and me. He didn’t even know she was a girl until I approached him 2015. He’s never paid a penny for her, never met her, spoken to her, he doesn’t even know her D.O.B! Does anyone know where I might stand on this? My daughter deserves to know the truth but we don’t know this man, she calls my Husband Dad. Am I really about to sit my 4 year old daughter down and tell her she’l be off to a random strangers house every other weekend? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Lornalou - 13-Jan-18 @ 10:09 PM
Hi My ex has not been involved in his sons life for 6 years my son is 8.I have had a letter off the solicitor to say will I try mediation with him. even when he was in his life it was when it suited him. I have done mediation before and he never stuck to what he wanted . He tryed to run me an my little boy over when he was 2 and threatened to set the house on fire. has he got any rights as he has not bothered for 6 years
shannon - 12-Jan-18 @ 5:04 PM
KateW - Your Question:
My ex is threatening me with court because he isn’t happy with the contact that he has with his children. I would like it supervised (just for now) because of concerns and because of advice from safeguarding, women’s aid and my support worker. In summary, I left when I was 7(ish) months pregnant with twins because of violence. He then left the country before the boys were born to start a relationship. He didn’t reply to the message I sent when they were born and when they went in to special care for a month, I told him and he replied - thought someone else would be looking after them. He continued his holiday knowing they were in special care! They have both been taken in to hospital in an emergency ambulance and he ignored my messages about this. He has since had on/ off contact, as and when it suits him, he can be very helpful and nice when he wants to be but then when he isn’t happy, he says he’s going to court and not following my demands (even though I’ve never stopped him seeing the boys, I’ve just said it’s too soon for him to have them on his own at his house because of what’s happened) My question is, because of the situation, their age (now 7 months), his behaviour and the fact he’s threatened to take them off me, is supervised contact an unreasonable suggestion? If he takes me to court, will the court say that he can take them on his own? I’d like to build up to this gradually once he proves if he can be consistent, he is okay for a few weeks then he changes his mind when he isn’t happy and says he can’t see them anymore. The latest, because he saw me out with another man, he now doesn’t want to see them and is taking me to court. He hasn’t said this directly but an hour after he saw me he text saying he had to cancel plans (this was at 11:30pm on Friday night to cancel his arrangements to see the boys on Saturday at 1pm). What can I do? I want him to have a relationship with them but he’s so temperamental and constantly saying he won’t or can’t see them. I’ve done loads to encourage it but if he takes me to court, what will happen? I have never stopped him seeing them, that’s only ever been his choice so I don’t see how he can take me to court? Also, to add, he isn’t on their birth certificate because at the time of birth, he was out the county for two months and you only have about 40 (ish) days to register their birth and he’d blocked me so I wasn’t able to contact him? Will this affect his court application? Will this reflect badly on me? There was literally nothing I could do, it wasn’t physically possible and I have tried so much to be accommodating with regards to him seeing them. I don’t want the court to give full access at the moment when he’s being temperamental and threatens to not see them. I feel it needs to be gradual and worked on from there for him to prove he is committed. What would be a likely outcome if it went to court?

Our Response:
The fact your ex is not registered on the birth certificate gives him no current rights and the court will not make a judgement upon you for not adding his name to the birth certificate. However, before any court application will be allowed, you and your ex would have to have refused to attend or failed at the mediation process first. Mediation is when two or more parties meet to resolve problems before the matter reaches court. It is most often used in family proceedings and is a formal negotiation. The courts can accept the agreement of the mediation instead of having to go through the court process, although it is subject to final court approval. Mediation takes place in front of a neutral third party. The mediator has no pre-conceptions and will not force you to make an agreement. They will assist the two parties in taking turns in the conversation, and help you reach a decision that you are ready to agree with. Mediators do not pass judgment or offer guidance; they are there, in effect, to facilitate conversation between the two sides. Therefore, you may wish to consider mediation first. If the matter goes to court, then as in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child/children in question. The court will always put the children’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. This means once the matter goes to court, you would have no say in what the court decides and both you and your ex would have to keep to any court order awarded. If the children are young, this order may begin with supervised visits, but lead to unsupervised visits/overnight stays over time. However, it is impossible to predict what a court may decide.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Jan-18 @ 10:18 AM
My ex is threatening me with court because he isn’t happy with the contact that he has with his children. I would like it supervised (just for now) because of concerns and because of advice from safeguarding, women’s aid and my support worker. In summary, I left when I was 7(ish) months pregnant with twins because of violence. He then left the country before the boys were born to start a relationship. He didn’t reply to the message I sent when they were born and when they went in to special care for a month, I told him and he replied - thought someone else would be looking after them. He continued his holiday knowing they were in special care! They have both been taken in to hospital in an emergency ambulance and he ignored my messages about this. He has since had on/ off contact, as and when it suits him, he can be very helpful and nice when he wants to be but then when he isn’t happy, he says he’s going to court and not following my demands (even though I’ve never stopped him seeing the boys, I’ve just said it’s too soon for him to have them on his own at his house because of what’s happened) My question is, because of the situation, their age (now 7 months), his behaviour and the fact he’s threatened to take them off me, is supervised contact an unreasonable suggestion? If he takes me to court, will the court say that he can take them on his own? I’d like to build up to this gradually once he proves if he can be consistent, he is okay for a few weeks then he changes his mind when he isn’t happy and says he can’t see them anymore. The latest, because he saw me out with another man, he now doesn’t want to see them and is taking me to court. He hasn’t said this directly but an hour after he saw me he text saying he had to cancel plans (this was at 11:30pm on Friday night to cancel his arrangements to see the boys on Saturday at 1pm). What can I do? I want him to have a relationship with them but he’s so temperamental and constantly saying he won’t or can’t see them. I’ve done loads to encourage it but if he takes me to court, what will happen? I have never stopped him seeing them, that’s only ever been his choice so I don’t see how he can take me to court? Also, to add, he isn’t on their birth certificate because at the time of birth, he was out the county for two months and you only have about 40 (ish) days to register their birth and he’d blocked me so I wasn’t able to contact him? Will this affect his court application? Will this reflect badly on me? There was literally nothing I could do, it wasn’t physically possible and I have tried so much to be accommodating with regards to him seeing them. I don’t want the court to give full access at the moment when he’s being temperamental and threatens to not see them. I feel it needs to be gradual and worked on from there for him to prove he is committed. What would be a likely outcome if it went to court?
KateW - 11-Jan-18 @ 5:26 PM
Advicepleasè - Your Question:
My husband and I are soon to be divorced we have 2 children. He refuses to move out and says I should be the one to leave. In the last 2 weeks he has pretty much taken the children out every night without me which it extremely unusual.The children have a different attitude towards me - especially our daughter and I'm beginning to feel pushed out and alienated from my children. My soon to be ex has been emotionally and mentally abusive to me in the past and I feel he is doing this to hurt me and get the children 'on his side' so they can choose to live with him and I will have to move out. He is adamant they should choose where they live. Any advise would be gratefully received.

Our Response:
Much depends upon the age of your children. Children over the age of 11, are allowed to give a preference (if the matter goes to court). However, as in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the children in question. The court will always put the children’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. If both parents have parental responsibility, then they are considered to have equal ability to care for the children. However, if one parent is the usual day-to-day parent of the child, the courts will generally leave this arrangement in place with the other parent becoming the non-resident parent. The primary carer is the parent who usually is allowed to stay in the house with the children until school-leaving age where parent's cannot agree. If you can, either mutual negotiation, or mediation would be the best way to agree who becomes the primary carer. If you feel your husband is alienating you from the situation, you may wish to seek legal advice, as 'parental alientation' is being treated more seriously in court.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Jan-18 @ 2:49 PM
My husband and I are soon to be divorced we have 2 children. He refuses to move out and says I should be the one to leave. In the last 2 weeks he has pretty much taken the children out every night without me which it extremely unusual. The children have a different attitude towards me - especially our daughter and I'm beginning to feel pushed out and alienated from my children.My soon to be ex has been emotionally and mentally abusive to me in the past and I feel he is doing this to hurt me and get the children 'on his side' so they can choose to live with him and I will have to move out. He is adamant they should choose where they live.Any advise would be gratefully received.
Advicepleasè - 10-Jan-18 @ 9:04 PM
My ex is threatening me with court because he isn’t happy with the contact that he has with his children. I would like it supervised (just for now) because of concerns and because of advice from safeguarding, women’s aid and my support worker. In summary, I left when I was 7(ish) months pregnant with twins because of violence. He then left the country before the boys were born to start a relationship. He didn’t reply to the message I sent when they were born and when they went in to special care for a month, I told him and he replied - thought someone else would be looking after them. He continued his holiday knowing they were in special care! They have both been taken in to hospital in an emergency ambulance and he ignored my messages about this. He has since had on/ off contact, as and when it suits him, he can be very helpful and nice when he wants to be but then when he isn’t happy, he says he’s going to court and not following my demands (even though I’ve never stopped him seeing the boys, I’ve just said it’s too soon for him to have them on his own at his house because of what’s happened) My question is, because of the situation, their age (now 7 months), his behaviour and the fact he’s threatened to take them off me, is supervised contact an unreasonable suggestion? If he takes me to court, will the court say that he can take them on his own? I’d like to build up to this gradually once he proves if he can be consistent, he is okay for a few weeks then he changes his mind when he isn’t happy and says he can’t see them anymore. The latest, because he saw me out with another man, he now doesn’t want to see them and is taking me to court. He hasn’t said this directly but an hour after he saw me he text saying he had to cancel plans (this was at 11:30pm on Friday night to cancel his arrangements to see the boys on Saturday at 1pm). What can I do? I want him to have a relationship with them but he’s so temperamental and constantly saying he won’t or can’t see them. I’ve done loads to encourage it but if he takes me to court, what will happen? I have never stopped him seeing them, that’s only ever been his choice so I don’t see how he can take me to court? Also, to add, he isn’t on their birth certificate because at the time of birth, he was out the county for two months and you only have about 40 (ish) days to register their birth and he’d blocked me so I wasn’t able to contact him? Will this affect his court application? Will this reflect badly on me? There was literally nothing I could do, it wasn’t physically possible and I have tried so much to be accommodating with regards to him seeing them. I don’t want the court to give full access at the moment when he’s being temperamental and threatens to not see them. I feel it needs to be gradual and worked on from there for him to prove he is committed. What would be a likely outcome if it went to court?
KateW - 9-Jan-18 @ 7:13 PM
Rei - Your Question:
I have recently spilt with my ex due to the fact last year in October I found out from two other women that he had been seeing them and he slept with them, confirming he was a single dad and that I had left him with my children (which is not true) He is a Compulsive liar and for the last five years it had been really difficult due to the fact he lied a lot and I couldn't trust him, I was angry and upset so I took my leave with my children, left my home to live with my parents, I simply had no choice as I felt my children would be in danger and I was all alone up in Norfolk and I needed to be back with my family, My children are very settled but now he has been threatening and saying he will find me and get the children, I never expected this to happen due to us trying so much to make this relationship work, I was stressed and depression hit me hard as I felt useless,I don't know what to do as I'm worried for my children as I don't want them being in a bad situation any advice would help.

Our Response:
Regardless of what the ins and outs of your relationship is, your ex is the father of your children and therefore may understandably be emotionally upset that you have moved and he is no longer allowed to see them. Also, if your ex has parental responsibility of your children, then by law you are requested to ask his permission to move your children out of the area. If he refuses, then you would have the option to apply to court. However, as you have taken matters into your own hands and moved without permission or any mutual negotiation, this gives your ex the opportunity to apply straight to court without having to request mediation first. However, any threats i.e texts threatening you, should be kept and used as evidence if needed. If your ex puts a trace on you and applies to court, then as in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child/children in question. The court will always put the children’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. It is highly unlikely a court would order you to return to your former area, but it may allow your ex access to see his children. The problem with issues when they get to the court stage is that the court will decide what it thinks is in the best interests of your children on your behalf and issue and order that you will have to keep to, meaning any mutual negotiation is taken out of your hands. You may wish to seek legal advice in order to fully explore your options.
ChildSupportLaws - 9-Jan-18 @ 12:05 PM
I have recently spilt with my ex due to the fact last year in October I found out from two other women that he had been seeing them and he slept with them, confirming he was a single dad and that I had left him with my children (which is not true) He is a Compulsive liar and for the last five years it had been really difficult due to the fact he lied a lot and I couldn't trust him, I was angry and upset so I took my leave with my children, left my home to live with my parents, I simply had no choice as I felt my children would be in danger and I was all alone up in Norfolk and I needed to be back with my family, My children are very settled but now he has been threatening and saying he will find me and get the children, I never expected this to happen due to us trying so much to make this relationship work, I was stressed and depression hit me hard as I felt useless,I don't know what to do as I'm worried for my children as I don't want them being in a bad situation any advice would help.
Rei - 8-Jan-18 @ 6:17 PM
Hi i am single patent, living separate from my husband nearly 3 years. I left my husband for domestic violence..after my son born.. we now have contact to father, he pay, and see my son in my house 1per week but always i am there to control him! but is not good he started slowly pushing psychological my son on his side..telling him you will come sleep to my house?? Or telling him that i was crazy, horrible ...my son one day told me... So also i scare if he would like to get him out alone!!! Pls any advice..i have not any proof that i care mainly about my son.. what to do thank you do much for any help.
Karca - 7-Jan-18 @ 9:59 AM
Charlie - Your Question:
My son was born in 2017 and his father is on the birth certificate so he has parental responsibility but he is very controlling and I am scared of him how can I protect myself and my son from him? I have tried to break up with him and he won’t leave me alone, we live separately and he has broken into my house. When I have been at his house and said I’m leaving he has threatened me and told me to leave but I can’t take my son. How can I handle this situation in the best way? I don’t want him to be kept out of my sons life but I need to have some kind of legal backing to protect myself as I am not physically strong enough and I’m pretty sure words will not convince him of anything. He has never harmed my son and I don’t think he would but he is a threat to me and has reflected controlling and aggressive/ abusive behaviour towards me. What can I do

Our Response:
If at any time your ex comes into your house uninvited, you should call the police. If your ex has parental responsibility, then he has equal rights over the care for your/his child. If both parents have PR and one parent keeps the children against the other's wishes, the police cannot help, even if the children do not normally live with them. This is the remit of the courts. However, it is a rare occurance that one parent keeps the child without the other parent's consent. If you feel you can come to an agreement between you both, then mediation should be considered. However, if your ex is being overly aggressive and you do not know where to draw the line, you may wish to speak to someone at Women's Aid, please see link here for some helpful guidance and advice. If you don't think you can agree through mediation, then you can apply for a child arrangement order through the courts, please see link here, which will determine who your child should live with.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-Jan-18 @ 11:20 AM
My son was born in 2017 and his father is on the birth certificate so he has parental responsibility but he is very controlling and I am scared of him how can I protect myself and my son from him? I have tried to break up with him and he won’t leave me alone, we live separately and he has broken into my house. When I have been at his house and said I’m leaving he has threatened me and told me to leave but I can’t take my son. How can I handle this situation in the best way? I don’t want him to be kept out of my sons life but I need to have some kind of legal backing to protect myself as I am not physically strong enough and I’m pretty sure words will not convince him of anything. He has never harmed my son and I don’t think he would but he is a threat to me and has reflected controlling and aggressive/ abusive behaviour towards me. What can I do
Charlie - 4-Jan-18 @ 2:55 PM
My ex was supposed to return our son on Boxing Day but never showed up at the agreed meeting place. He has denied me any access and phone calls and after contacting various departments and the police, they have said that there is nothing they can do. I have no idea where he is as police checked his home and he is not there. We have a paper from the court which outlines our schedule which has been breached but I apparently still do not have any legal footing as the father also has PR. I am going out of my mind. Please help.
Mullins - 29-Dec-17 @ 8:49 PM
My husband walked out after 3 years together and being married for 9 months. We have a son together who was 3 when he walked out. I have now met and married again and moved away. My ex is demanding to see his son every other weekend which is not viable due to the distance and is not fair on our son. I have offered longer periods in the school holidays which would more than make up for the less weekends. Through out our relationship and since there has been emotional and verbal abuse. My health has suffered and I need what is best for all of us. Help please
Willow - 23-Dec-17 @ 1:39 PM
My ex partner and I have been separated for 4 months now and have a 15 month old daughter. She is living with me and has been seeing her father every week from Friday evening to Sunday evening. My ex partner has commitments on Saturdays so she often stays with her grandparents (his mum or dad) over the weekend. When I drop my daughter off on a Friday, she becomes distressed and doesn't want to leave me and when I pick her up, she is very unsettled on the Sunday evening and it isn't until about Wednesday that she gets back into her routine. I've suggested to my ex that the current circumstances are having a negative effect on her and that there are too many changes. I've therefore asked that he sees her every other weekend. He's told me that I'm unreasonable and that he is going to take me to court over this? I don't feel that he has my daughters best interests at heart. Please can you advise what the courts view on this is? My ex partner was very controlling and sometimes abusive throughout our relationship, but other than a visit to citizens advice and a photo from one occasion, I have no proof of this. When we separated, he asked me and my daughter to leave the flat where we lived with him within the space of half an hour but is now denying it. He also said that it would be difficult for him to see her the first few weeks after we had split. I would like to know where I stand!
Emily - 23-Dec-17 @ 10:00 AM
My son's ex is denying him access to his son purely because she is jealous that he has a girlfriend. She is verbally abusive to him, writes disgusting comments about females she thinks he might be with and I'd generally volatile and unpredictable. What strategy can our son / we use to fight for his son / our grandson.
baye - 22-Dec-17 @ 7:26 PM
Haddi - Your Question:
My boyfriend left me after my pregnancy n he is hiding from me my parents r also not with me I am all alone now wht can I do to him any justice is there for me

Our Response:
There is nothing you can do to bring your boyfriend to 'justice' for leaving you when you are pregnant. He has not committed a crime. You can find more information regarding how you can help yourself and your child to adjust to being a single parent, please see link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 22-Dec-17 @ 11:18 AM
My boyfriend left me after my pregnancy n he is hiding from me my parents r also not with me i am all alone now wht can i do to him any justice is there for me
Haddi - 21-Dec-17 @ 8:05 PM
Me - Your Question:
Hello I'm the father to two children. I split with my ex because I couldn't co with her alcoholism and violent out bursts at me over the years. I took it on and thought I could help but she never changed and I couldn't take it any more.Since the split she's had thousands of pounds out of me in cash and threatened me on numerous occasions. I was going to work at 6am finishing at 3pm then getting my children from school everyday and then having to look after them on my own up until 8:30pm at night then expected to drop them off at her house. This has taken its toll on me. She's since had a baby with her new partner and is now claiming csa which is a big chunk of my wages. I'm not bothered about the csa payment what bothers me is when her maternity is over she is expecting me to go back to picking them up after work everyday feeding them and dropping them off. Because csa is based on how many nights they sleep and not hours of care I can't claim anything back. I'm not on a large wage and this will probably cripple me. It's not a case of not wanting it be with my kids it's a case of I can't physically and mentally cope with the pressure. Please advise.

Our Response:
Your only recourse would be to try to resolve this issue via mediation, if your ex will not discuss this mutually. You can feed children for a relatively small amount of money if you budget and/or batch cook meals, so that you all eat together. But you have posed a tricky question to answer, as many working, resident parents have to juggle this kind of day-to-day care of their children as well as getting them to school in the morning. Parenting is a two-way arrangement and many non-resident parents would be envious of the amount of time you have to spend with your kids. If it would be easier for you to have your children overnight, then ask your ex to attend mediation and/or say you will apply to court if she refuses. If the court thinks your ex is restricting overnight access because of child maintenance reasons, then it will disregard this and make a decision based upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your children. If you are having your children over for food five nights per week, then there is a good chance the courts will allow you to have them overnight. If you cannot afford legal representation, you can represent yourself in court. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 18-Dec-17 @ 2:18 PM
Hello I'm the father to two children. I split with my ex because I couldn't co with her alcoholism and violent out bursts at me over the years. I took it on and thought I could help but she never changed and I couldn't take it any more. Since the split she's had thousands of pounds out of me in cash and threatened me on numerous occasions. I was going to work at 6am finishing at 3pm then getting my children from school everyday and then having to look after them on my own up until 8:30pm at night then expected to drop them off at her house. This has taken its toll on me.She's since had a baby with her new partner and is now claiming csa which is a big chunk of my wages. I'm not bothered about the csa payment what bothers me is when her maternity is over she is expecting me to go back to picking them up after work everyday feeding them and dropping them off. Because csa is based on how many nights they sleep and not hours of care I can't claim anything back. I'm not on a large wage and this will probably cripple me. It's not a case of not wanting it be with my kids it's a case of I can't physically and mentally cope with the pressure. Please advise.
Me - 18-Dec-17 @ 12:21 AM
Kaz - Your Question:
Hi my daughters father has been absent for 6 years (she is 7 now) and today I received a phone call from school stating that a man had turned up at school trying to get information on her. He said he had proof of being her dad but school would not disclose anything to him as he is not listed on family members. My daughter does not know him she calls her step dad "dad" would he be able to take her without my permission since he is on the birth certifacte eventhough he has been absent for near enough her entire life. We broke up because he was abusive and then after the relationship ended I eventually told him to gain access through the courts due to the abuse continuing, which he didn't do just stopped seeing her.

Our Response:
As a general rule, if both parents have Parental Responsibility then the police cannot intervene to take the child off one parent and give them to the other; the police cannot choose between parents, that is the remit of the courts. However, they are able to intervene and remove a child if there is a perceived risk to life. If your ex has not seen your child for several years, then the police may be able to intervene if your child does not know her father, it may be worth checking with them first if you are concerned. If you feel your ex may take your/his child without permission (which is very rare), then you may wish to apply to court for a child arrangement order which will determine who your child lives with officially, please see link here . Speaking to the school and asking them to only let your child go with designated parents or guardians will also help prevent any such incidents. It may be that your ex simply wanted some information, which (if he has PR), by law he is entitled to have certain information on his child's schooling etc.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Dec-17 @ 11:27 AM
Hi my daughters father has been absent for 6 years (she is 7 now) and today i received a phone call from school stating that a man had turned up at school trying to get information on her. He said he had proof of being her dad but school would not disclose anything to him as he is not listed on family members. My daughter does not know himshe calls her step dad "dad" would he be able to take her without my permission since he is on the birth certifacte eventhough he has been absent for near enough her entire life. We broke up because he was abusive and then after the relationship ended i eventually told him to gain access through the courts due to the abuse continuing, which he didn't do just stopped seeing her.
Kaz - 13-Dec-17 @ 12:04 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • CTCx
    Re: Your Legal Rights as a Parent
    Hi, I'm just seeking advice on my current situation with my ex. We split up when our son was 6 months old (June 2016). We made…
    20 January 2018
  • Sue
    Re: Child Custody Rights
    In my divorce we agreed that kids would reside with me and he would visit when work permitted. My ex has now moves to America and married and…
    20 January 2018
  • John Doe
    Re: Child Custody Rights
    Any examples of precedence for cases involving siblings and parents. I have a 11 year old daughter and her mother died a year ago and now the…
    19 January 2018
  • Mr e
    Re: Child Custody Rights
    hi I have 2 daughters with my x we split up over a year ago. I have the girls every other weekend and days in the week from school till 7. my…
    19 January 2018
  • FTurner
    Re: Child Custody Rights
    I have full custody of my son. I was granted this because the Mum wanted to move abroad. The Mum didn’t move abroad and now a couple of years…
    19 January 2018
  • Clarabelle
    Re: Your Top Child Support Questions Answered
    Hi my partner has a 20% share in our business partnership, I have the other 80% as the business was mine before…
    19 January 2018
  • 10985
    Re: What Rights Does My Ex Have With Regards to Our Children?
    My ex and I split up whilst I was pregnant and my child is now 2 and a half. We have an…
    19 January 2018
  • ChildSupportLaws
    Re: Your Legal Rights as a Parent
    KB - Your Question:Hi.I'm seeking some advice as I'm worrying myself silly.Basically, my ex left me with 2 children in early…
    19 January 2018
  • ChildSupportLaws
    Re: Child Custody Rights
    metaljac3 - Your Question:I was seeing a guy for short period of time fell pregnant to him and currently have another daughter also whos…
    19 January 2018
  • ChildSupportLaws
    Re: Who Has to Pay Child Support?
    Leigh - Your Question:I have recieved no maintenance for 12 years. Now my son may move in with his father, would I have to pay…
    19 January 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ChildSupportLaws website. Please read our Disclaimer.