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

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 21 Feb 2017 |
 
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We get many comments and questions from you about child support. We've taken a selection of your comments addressing the issue of keeping contact with your children and the fear of your ex taking them from you - and asked our expert to give some comprehensive information and advice.

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

Parental Responsibility

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

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

Who has Parental Responsibility?

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

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

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

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

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

Other family members

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

Voluntary access arrangements

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

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

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

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

Residence Orders

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

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

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

What Factors Will be Taken Into Account?

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

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

Domestic abuse

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

Reality Check

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

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

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[Add a Comment]
DeCoy - Your Question:
I have two children from a previous relationship. The father is named on one of their birth certificates but not the other. Both registered after 2003. I have had no contact from him since 2009 nor has he had any contact with either child. He has recently been tracked down by what was CSA and been taken to court for non payment. He has now made contact with me that he is going to take me to court for access and that if he is going to pay maintenance (for the first time since the split in 2007) that in return he has the right too see the children. Both children have stated that they do not want to see him and I would like to know what rights he may have and does the length of no contact have any bearings on a courts decision on access. He also has previous for domestic violence, drug use, drink driving and assault.DeCoy - 21-Feb-17 @ 6:49 PM

Our Response:
The fact your child's father has to pay child maintenance does not guarantee him access to your child; child maintenance and child access have no bearing on each other. If the matter goes to court Cafcass will get involved and construct a report taking into account your views and your ex's, meaning both of you will have your say. Much also depends upon how old your children are and whether they wish to have contact with their father. If the father has not seen your children for a while and has not made any attempt to see them, then it is highly unlikely he would be allowed more than supervised contact, if any at all. If his argument is that he should see the children based on the fact he is now having to pay child maintenance, this will not hold him in good stead.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-Feb-17 @ 12:27 PM
I have two children from a previous relationship. The father is named on one of their birth certificates but not the other. Both registered after 2003. I have had no contact from him since 2009 nor has he had any contact with either child. He has recently been tracked down by what was CSA and been taken to court for non payment. He has now made contact with me that he is going to take me to court for access and that if he is going to pay maintenance (for the first time since the split in 2007) that in return he has the right too see the children. Both children have stated that they do not want to see him and I would like to know what rights he may have and does the length of no contact have any bearings on a courts decision on access. He also has previous for domestic violence, drug use, drink driving and assault. DeCoy - 21-Feb-17 @ 6:49 PM
DeCoy - 21-Feb-17 @ 6:51 PM
Hi, i have been with my partner for 8 years and now he suddenly texted me on my facebook while I was on holidaythat it is over, we have a 3 year old daughter, i came back from holiday 4 days ago to find him cold and unaccepting, he keeps hiding his phone in the car and would not let me near it. he has googled abuse on men by women on the internet and now he is claiming that I'm that person. he also has been recording me on mobile 4 times when I was angry with him due to my children being bullied in school, and when I recently needed to know why he would dump me and his child when we were away on holiday. he has been using these mobile recordings to blackmail me . he then informed me that for the last 8 years he has never loved me and that he was with me because it was just convenience to him. he also said he only stayed with me coz I got pregnant. I have today found bank statement of hotel bills when I was on holiday from him . he is now threatening me with solicitors and court because I'm moving away from home. he is also saying that I beat him up but I was trying to get him off the window he was trying to jump off from the house. his family are all hiding him but he has not seen what he is doing to our child emotionally, he keeps running away nights he has not been at our home since 5th feb till now. he sleeps at his mates. i'm due to start college and he is trying to subbotage that by logging his spats incidents to the police against me.we are not married but his surname is on my child's certificate. i just want full custody and he can have visitation. how do I go about this?
yulio - 19-Feb-17 @ 12:04 AM
i am divorced from my wife, we have a 7 year old son up until almost two weeks ago i gad regular contact with my son, two days a week after work and every second weekend. this all changed after a diagnosis from the doctor saying he was allergic to catsand dogs, she immediaelty tried to stop him coming to mine because of the cat however she said he was perfectly fine to be around her dog although after having to contact the doctors myself i was one was no worse than the other anyway what started off as a petty argument in her part has spiralled, after i returned my son to her after my weekend i got a call on the monday evening from him on loudspeaker telling me he didnt want to come up anymore because the cats are there, that was the last i heard from him, i know that it is her and her mother who are influencing the situation as my ex now wants me to go up and speak to my son in front of her as there is now other reasons, i have so far refused on the basis that i dont not want to put my son on a pedestal like that and the second i say something my ex doesnt like it will result in her starting on me again which i dont want my son to see. i have tried a charity who deal with this and they said if i could prove its happening which is very easy as i only txt my ex to show whats getting said it could be classed as emotional abuse and to speak to social work i went to social work and they washed their hands of me, their answer was it wasnt something they woukd really deal with as the child isnt in any physical danger and because my ex and her father were supposed to have entered statements to court in order to satisfy the divorce about my access times etc and that there was no problems it is a dispute as far as they are conncerned and needs to go to court with my solicitor charging £300ph i have genuine concerns is i expect this to go on for months and with no access to my son i fear that by the time i do see him his mind will completely abused and or misled by said parties do you know anyone whom i could turn to short term than can review my sons welfare and that it isnt happening any advice greatly appreciated at this stage
someonesdad - 18-Feb-17 @ 5:24 PM
I have always seen my daughter and paid for her every week we are very close me and my daughter she loves nothing more than being with her daddy .the mum has always called the shots wich I have took so I see my daughter but now she has blocked me from everything so I can't see her and I'm sure my girl is as sad as me breaks my heart . How can I stop getting bullied by mum all the time and enjoy my time with my daughter with out all the stress
Wayne - 18-Feb-17 @ 1:53 AM
i am divorced from my wife, we have a 7 year old son up until almost two weeks ago i gad regular contact with my son, two days a week after work and every second weekend. this all changed after a diagnosis from the doctor saying he was allergic to catsand dogs, she immediaelty tried to stop him coming to mine because of the cat however she said he was perfectly fine to be around her dog although after having to contact the doctors myself i was one was no worse than the other anyway what started off as a petty argument in her part has spiralled, after i returned my son to her after my weekend i got a call on the monday evening from him on loudspeaker telling me he didnt want to come up anymore because the cats are there, that was the last i heard from him, i know that it is her and her mother who are influencing the situation as my ex now wants me to go up and speak to my son in front of her as there is now other reasons, i have so far refused on the basis that i dont not want to put my son on a pedestal like that and the second i say something my ex doesnt like it will result in her starting on me again which i dont want my son to see. i have tried a charity who deal with this and they said if i could prove its happening which is very easy as i only txt my ex to show whats getting said it could be classed as emotional abuse and to speak to social work i went to social work and they washed their hands of me, their answer was it wasnt something they woukd really deal with as the child isnt in any physical danger and because my ex and her father were supposed to have entered statements to court in order to satisfy the divorce about my access times etc and that there was no problems it is a dispute as far as they are conncerned and needs to go to court with my solicitor charging £300ph i have genuine concerns is i expect this to go on for months and with no access to my son i fear that by the time i do see him his mind will completely abused and or misled by said parties do you know anyone whom i could turn to short term than can review my sons welfare and that it isnt happening any advice greatly appreciated at this stage
someonesdad - 16-Feb-17 @ 7:51 PM
I have separated from my husband and is living in a quiet bedroomed sheltered accommodation with my uncle. Can my ex husband force me to have my children if I don't have any room where I am living and bring them to me and then leave.
Rere - 16-Feb-17 @ 5:15 PM
Hi , i'd like to inquire about my rights as a father , I am on the birth certificate and my 36 month year old child is in my name , I have not been allowed to see her for nearly 2 years now ,there was involvement from social services about 3 of my ex's partners relatives being convicted of sex offenses of minors 1 being her father and we were warned from Social we were not allowed them to have any contact at all , and I caught her trying to arrange a prison visit and threatened to blow the whistle on her and she tried to frame me for domestic violence to blackmail me into letting her get away with it , there was no evidence at all of the alleged assault and I was not convicted in a court of law either , she is still threatening to 'Set me up' in court for it , I'm just wondering if she will succeed in her effort by screaming assault even though I have not ever been convicted for the alleged assault and strip me of my parental rights in order to change our childs surname and stop me from seeing our child ever again , can this actually happen ?
J - 15-Feb-17 @ 3:08 PM
ka - Your Question:
My ex and his mother are forcing me to sign the form for the school where they want to send my son.ex's mother was very controlling and burried me. my ex never stopped her and now he behaves just like his mother.they, especially she, annoyed cos me and my son moved out from the town where we used to live and they are living. she sent her partner to persuade me to remain in town.we didn't discuss to send him to independent school or not, he just handed me the form and threatens me as if I don't sign it and he will send it to the court. we've got residencial court order and the one for our divorce.do I have to sign the form? don't I have right to say no?please advise.

Our Response:
If you live in the UK, you do not have to be forced in to signing anything you do not wish to sign. The choice of school your son goes to should be ultimately decided by you as the primary carer regarding what you think is in the best interests of your child. Yes, the father has a say, if he has parental responsibility. Plus, he would be eligible to take the matter to court. However, it is highly unlikely the court would force you to send your son to a school you do not wish to send him to. Ideally, the matter should be discussed and agreed between you and your ex, but if it cannot you should not feel as though you have to be forced into a situation you feel is not right for your child.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Feb-17 @ 10:29 AM
my ex and his mother are forcing me to sign the form for the school where they want to send my son. ex's mother was very controlling and burried me. my ex never stopped her and now he behaves just like his mother. they, especially she, annoyed cos me and my son moved out from the town where we used to live and they are living. she sent her partner to persuade me to remain in town. we didn't discuss to send him to independent school or not,he just handed me the form and threatens me as if i don't sign it and he will send it to the court. we've got residencial court order and the one for our divorce. do i have to sign the form? don't i have right to say no? please advise.
ka - 14-Feb-17 @ 3:10 AM
My ex has walked out on my & our 3yr old 3 times and the latest one was because his older daughter who is 17 nearly 18yr she has now gone to live with her mum & my ex is now living on the streets or so he tells me he had our daughter over the weekend for the night and said that they were staying somewhere safe but he wouldn't tell me where does he have the right to keep this from me as I'm worried about my daughter what can I do!!! Help me please
Worried mummy - 12-Feb-17 @ 4:19 PM
Guess I won't ever understand my wife...she gets all the sex and pleasure from me but she has to be on these sites on facebook messaging men and getting nude pics..just so wrong..but she tries to make me feel like the bad person..she sneaks and does this..she even gives his number out..am I the one in the wrong? I couldn't confirm any of this until i was told about an ethical hacker who helps people hack into phones, websites and social media accounts. I decided to try him and he performed beyond my imagination as he gave me real-time access to my cheating wife's phone that i was able to see her text messages, social media accounts and also listen to her calls while she receives them. BIRDEYE.HACK @ G MAIL . COM is the real deal out there, he works discreetly, with accuracy and his charges are affordable too. You can use me as your reference, i'm sure he's gonna help!
DaveBuck - 10-Feb-17 @ 3:23 PM
Nes - Your Question:
My ex husband left wen my girls were 3 yrol and one 9 months. They have not seen him. They r now 16 and 13. At school yesterday my 13yr old received message from him. Saying hello to her !! He has had no contact with me or asked if he can do this. This made both my daughters upset and the school concerned. Can he jus do this to a 13yr old !! ??

Our Response:
There is nothing to stop your daughter's father getting in touch with her, unless there is a court order in place that specifies he is allowed no contact. You can ask your ex not to contact your children. However, if he is their father he will have the opportunity to take the matter to court to request access if he chooses.
ChildSupportLaws - 10-Feb-17 @ 2:51 PM
My ex husband left wen my girls were 3 yrol and one 9 months . They have not seen him . They r now 16 and 13 . At school yesterday my 13yr old received message from him . Saying hello to her !!He has had no contact with me or asked if he can do this . This made both my daughters upset and the school concerned . Can he jus do this to a 13yr old !! ??
Nes - 9-Feb-17 @ 6:28 PM
I have been through court over my ex partner and was granted a child arrangements order. My ex keeps telling me he doesn't want my friends and family around our daughter. Does he have any legal right to do this or is he just trying to continue controlling my life.
Kezza - 9-Feb-17 @ 10:45 AM
Steve.8504 - Your Question:
My ex partner is very controlling and uses my son against me in everyway possible. She allows my access on her terms at her house even though I was my sons main carer after he was born a son I gave up work when she finished maternity. Even though I see my son weekly I have still not been granted any overnight access as my ex partner controls every situation. I am constantly waiting on her to allow me to go round of an evening but she frequently cancels stating work issues even though I know she is home at the usual time as she isn't the smartest liar in the world and is quiet easy to catch out.She doesn't seem to understand the shared responsibility parents have and believes it lies with her and her only and I'm basically a bit part player. I am at my wits end and frankly do not no where to turn. She seems to think I am not entitled to proper shared access but she is quiet happy to take £450 per month off me for my son to go to private burserysk she can continue to work and live in her nice house.

Our Response:
If you want to apply to increase your access to your son, then you would either have to suggest mediation to your ex, and if she refuses take the matter to court. If a court order is awarded giving you access, your ex will have to adhere to it. On another note, child maintenance and child accesshave no relationship to each other. This means regardless of whether you see your child or not, you are by law still considered to be responsible towards the financial upkeep of your child. This is also regardless of what your ex earns, or the type of property in which she lives. Child maintenance is based upon your income, not hers.
ChildSupportLaws - 8-Feb-17 @ 1:45 PM
arh - Your Question:
Hi, I've been apart from my ex since my son was 3 months old, who is now soon to be 5 years old. The relationship was abusive and on one incident was documented by my doctor. Anyway, since we have been apart there's been a lot of solicitor involvement pushed by myself to organise safe contact for my son to see his dad. Due to his dad's weed addiction, excessive drinking problems and very immature attitude towards his responsibilities as a father. Protecting my son has always been my main priority, almost 5 years later and it hasn't really improved. My son will see his dad every second weekend at his grandmothers house where it is supervised by her. I made the decision a long time ago to move when the time was right, from Scotland to England. Due to all my family being there and I always wanted my son to go to a great school and to have all the opportunities at his door. So my plan is for him to start p1 down south, but the dad has decided to now blame me for having no relationship with his son and wants to stop us from going! Can he do this as he is on my sons birth certificate? I'm aware if it was to be Australia like I read above then there are orders to apply for but if it's still within the UK can he stop us from going ? I would be happy to make legal arrangements for me to bring my son back to Scotland during holidays ect and open for visits to where we will move. Can someone shed some light on this please. Thank you.

Our Response:
Your ex can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order (PSO) through the courts. A PSO, is an order granted by the court in family cases which prevents either parent from carrying out certain events or making specific trips with their children without the express permission of the other parent. This is more common in cases where there is suspicion that one parent may leave the area with their children. Every parent has a right to have a relationship with their child and if your ex thinks it is not in your child's best interests to leave the area, then he can apply. The court will then decide upon what it thinks is in your child's best interests. If your ex has parental responsibility, and you wish to move, it is the law that you have to have his consent. If he refuses consent, then you would have to apply though the courts and put forward the reasons why you think it is in your child's best interests to move.
ChildSupportLaws - 7-Feb-17 @ 2:10 PM
sally - Your Question:
I have been with my partner almost 3 years now and he and I are extremely concerned about how his children get cared for by their mother.Its small issues but there are lots of them such as their mother hardly ever has them, if we havent got them they are at their nannas, one of the children has had nits for 3 weeks, (Ive checked his hair each weekend when hes with us but it isnt getting re-checked in the week) they never have their hairs/nails cut or have a bath, they never get a home cooked meal for tea they have a sandwich or pub food and this week one of them has come to us with a bad ear infection but she doesnt seem to be interested in getting her checked over. I have 2 children myself and wouldnt raise my children like this. It is upsetting my partner knowing he sends his children home each sunday to not be looked after until they come back to us the following friday. Is there anything he can do?? Hes tried lots of times to speak to her but unfortunately it makes no difference.

Our Response:
If you feel the children are being neglected and it is impacting upon their lives, please see NSPCC link here to see if it applies. It will also point you in the right direction, if it does.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Feb-17 @ 12:15 PM
Jlaker - Your Question:
My partner is separated from his wife who has overall parental responsibility for their 3 sons. He sees them every Tuesday evening and overnight and once at the weekend (usually alternative Friday and Saturday nights and the following day). He has been out of work so has been lucky enough to be able to drop the boys at school on a Wednesday morning and pick them up on a Tuesday afternoon, however he has just got a new job which will mean he can no longer do that and also the staff meetings are on a Tuesday night so he won't be able to have them then. We have an arrangement on a Wednesday night we can't change so he's said to her he can have them Thursday night instead. She's now causing major problems telling their oldest son that h can no longer go to football on a Tuesday night due to his dad as she won't take him and also that we have to cancel our plans on a Wednesday so he an have them then. Nothing is in writing so what rights does he have?

Our Response:
There are no specific rules regarding when a non-resident parent should have the children, it is agreed on the premise that both parents negotiate. Some parents like to stick rigidly to specific days and refuse to negotiate and feel the other parent should make their own sacrifices if they want to change the arrangement i.e continue the responsibility and find someone to take the boys to football, etc. Parenting is seen as an equal job, but much of the time it is still the resident that has to fit around the non-resident parent and make the sacrifices. Some resident parents feel they should not have to do this, and in cases such as this where the issue cannot be resolved, mediation is usually the best answer.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Feb-17 @ 11:49 AM
Maxi T - Your Question:
Hi I was with my ex partner for 17 years and we have 3 kids aged 7,6;& 22 mths. We split up last year. Prior to this he had been having the kids every weekend cause he said that was his legal right.he can be very intemidating and manipulative to get his own way. He is not no the birth certificates as he refused to put his name on them as he didn't want his wife and kids to find out. He can be aggressive when he doesn't get his own way and has told our 7 year old son to watch if I speak to any other men etc.I'm very concerned as my son is vulnerable and is under the care of camhs for assessment but iþ comes accross that his dad is almost grooming him to be a carbonus copy of himself. He has told my son and daughter that he hates me and has threatened to take me to court and has told me his solicitor advised him that if he gave up work he would get full custody of the kids which scared and upset me. He has the kids every other week ending and come up every evening after work to see them but he can be argumentative and when I tried to talk to him this weekend to let him know I feel that the kids should stay home weekends for a while as my sons behaviour and temper is getting worse just till camhs have done their medical assessment and I know what I'm dealing with. he stormed off back to worcester where he lives without saying bye to the kids and has not even called to see if they are ok. The sad thing is they are fine as they have got used to him doing things like that. I told him he cn come up and see them when he wants to and take them out week ends but bring them home after. He keeps saying I'm trying to stop him seeing his kids and calls me names in front of the kids and even went to the extreme of saying he wishes me a horrible painful death in front of the kids. I just don't know what to do anymore as it's becoming impossible to hold a civil conversation with him and I'm tired of the kids being upset by what goes on it really needs to stop. He hates me so much as 2 years ago while we were on a break I slept with someone else just once but I told mynow ex 2 days later as I thought it was wrong and out of respect he should hear it from me. Since then he has made my life a misery and last year easter he had a mild heart attack and had stents put in. The doctors told him to change his lifestyle stop smoking and he needed to loose weight as this is what contributes to the heart attack but he has said it was my fault because I've give him a dogs life and caused it to happen. We have never lives together and he is still married. I need help and advice as he is stressing me and the kids out.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. I cannot comment on whether your ex is right or wrong in his attitude as of course there are two sides to every story and parenting involves two people. Therefore, 'theoretically' both parents should have equal rights. However, if your ex's name is not on the birth certificate he has no rights and you have the right to control what access and contact he has and when to bring the children home. If he is not happy with this, his option would be to suggest mediation. Mediation might be a good way for you to be able to resolve the issues you have with him, and in addition to an access arrangement discuss his general attitude. The way to get the best out of mediation is to look objectively at what you want from the discussions and rather than being critical of his behaviour try to resolve the matter amicably and in the best interests of your kids. However, if you cannot resolve these issues through mediation satisfactorily, then your ex will have the option to apply to court. If the court issue an access order, you would have to adhere to it. So, trying to resolve the matter outside court will work better for you, if you wish to still have some overall control.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Feb-17 @ 10:23 AM
Hi, I've been apart from my ex since my son was 3 months old, who is now soon to be 5 years old. The relationship was abusive and on one incident was documented by my doctor. Anyway, since we have been apart there's been a lot of solicitor involvement pushed by myself to organise safe contact for my son to see his dad. Due to his dad's weed addiction, excessive drinking problems and very immature attitude towards his responsibilities as a father. Protecting my son has always been my main priority, almost 5 years later and it hasn't really improved. My son will see his dad every second weekend at his grandmothers house where it is supervised by her. I made the decision a long time ago to move when the time was right, from Scotland to England. Due to all my family being there and I always wanted my son to go to a great school and to have all the opportunities at his door. So my plan is for him to start p1 down south, but the dad has decided to now blame me for having no relationship with his son and wants to stop us from going! Can he do this as he is on my sons birth certificate? I'm aware if it was to be Australia like I read above then there are orders to apply for but if it's still within the UK can he stop us from going ? I would be happy to make legal arrangements for me to bring my son back to Scotland during holidays ect and open for visits to where we will move. Can someone shed some light on this please. Thank you.
arh - 5-Feb-17 @ 11:05 PM
I have been with my partner almost 3 years now and he and I are extremely concerned about how his children get cared for by their mother. Its small issues but there are lots of them such as their mother hardly ever has them, if we havent got them they are at their nannas, one of the children has had nits for 3 weeks, (Ive checked his hair each weekend when hes with us but it isnt getting re-checked in the week) they never have their hairs/nails cut or have a bath, they never get a home cooked meal for tea they have a sandwich or pub food and this week one of them has come to us with a bad ear infection but she doesnt seem to be interested in getting her checked over. I have 2 children myself and wouldnt raise my children like this. It is upsetting my partner knowing he sends his children home each sunday to not be looked after until they come back to us the following friday. Is there anything he can do?? Hes tried lots of times to speak to her but unfortunately it makes no difference.
sally - 5-Feb-17 @ 8:05 PM
My partner is separated from his wife who has overall parental responsibility for their 3 sons. He sees them every Tuesday evening and overnight and once at the weekend (usually alternative Friday and Saturday nights and the following day). He has been out of work so has been lucky enough to be able to drop the boys at school on a Wednesday morning and pick them up on a Tuesday afternoon, however he has just got a new job which will mean he can no longer do that and also the staff meetings are on a Tuesday night so he won't be able to have them then. We have an arrangement on a Wednesday night we can't change so he's said to her he can have them Thursday night instead. She's now causing major problems telling their oldest son that h can no longer go to football on a Tuesday night due to his dad as she won't take him and also that we have to cancel our plans on a Wednesday so he an have them then. Nothing is in writing so what rights does he have?
Jlaker - 5-Feb-17 @ 5:24 PM
Hi I was withmy ex partner for 17 years and we have 3 kids aged 7,6;& 22 mths. We split up last year. Prior to this he had been having the kids every weekend cause he said that was his legal right....he can be very intemidating and manipulative to get his own way.He is not no the birth certificates as he refused to put his name on them as he didn't want his wife and kids to find out.He can be aggressivewhen he doesn't get his own way and has told our 7 year old son to watch if I speak to any other men etc....I'm very concerned as my son is vulnerable and is under the care of camhs for assessment but iþ comes accross that his dad is almost grooming him to be a carbonus copy of himself. He has told my son and daughter that he hates me and has threatened totake me to courtand has told me his solicitor advised him that if he gave up work he would get full custody of the kids which scaredand upset me.He has the kids every other week ending and come up every evening after work to see them but he can be argumentative andwhen I tried to talk to him this weekend to let him know I feel that the kids should stay home weekends for a while as my sons behaviour and temper is getting worse just till camhs have done their medical assessment and I know what I'm dealing with... he stormed off back to worcester where he lives without saying bye to the kids and has not even called to see if they are ok. The sad thing is they are fine as they have got used to him doing things like that.I told him he cn come up and see them when he wants to and take them out week ends but bring them home after.He keeps saying I'm trying to stop him seeing his kids and calls me names in front of the kids and even went to the extreme of saying he wishes me a horrible painful death in front of the kids.I just don't know what to do anymore as it's becoming impossible to hold a civil conversationwithhim and I'm tired of the kids being upset by what goes on it really needs to stop.He hates me so much as 2 years ago while we were on a break I slept with someone else just once but I told mynow ex2 days later as I thought it was wrong and out of respecthe should hear it from me.Since then he has made my life a miseryand last year easter he had a mild heart attackand had stents put in. The doctors told him to change his lifestyle stop smoking and he needed to loose weight as this is what contributes to the heart attack but he has said it was my fault because I've give him a dogs life and caused it to happen. We have never lives together and he is still married. I need help and advice as he is stressing me and the kids out.
Maxi T - 5-Feb-17 @ 7:17 AM
My ex partner threatened to not give my 2 month old back th first time I let him have him on his own. I went and got him to whic I received a load off absue from him and his mother he then decided to take me to court for no reason at all. 3 months later hasn't heard a thing no court proceedings etc. Hasn't paid a penny. At xmas 14 weeks after he last saw him I contacted him to ask if hewanted to see him he started seeing him again planned one day a week till he got to know him and not on his own or at his flat as he sells drugs and left my two month old with someone on drugs. He seen him for a week then decided he wanted 2 days a week and a sleep over which I said no to the sleepover and said see how it goes with one day first. Now he's sent me letters to take me to court and threatening me saying once he gets on birth certificate I can't do nothing n don't have a say etc he isn't safe with him he's 6 months old and doesn't even know him surely he won't get access alone or sleep overs ? I also have harassment krders on him from turning up at my home on drugs shouting at me and sending me abusive texts he also has his windows put in every other week as he owes everyone money I would rather Go to jail than let him have my baby without supervision HELP
Lee - 4-Feb-17 @ 11:02 PM
My daughter lives with my ex partner. She had to move out a few days ago as she never paid her rent. For some reason she is blaming me for her this and she said I can't see my daughter. I have to take her to court to get regular access as I have my daughter twice a week and I am worried that I will only see her every other week, which is not enough. How much money would it cost me as I work, I can't claim legal aid.
Kevinkev - 4-Feb-17 @ 3:16 AM
My ex boy is 14 and wants to live with me he has been here a week and doesnt want to live with his father ive brought him up since he was a baby but we never married and i didnt adopt can he stay with me
Maria - 3-Feb-17 @ 5:30 PM
Im a step mum to a 14 boy i never married the boys dad and we split last yr but his son wants to live with me not him can he make him go back home he has been here a week now and his dad is saying he can just take him back
Maria - 3-Feb-17 @ 5:26 PM
Mick robbo - Your Question:
Hi just found out my ex partner is going to take my son to australia in november this year. My son is 15 and he lives with her and his mam intends to take him out of school at a time where he will be doing revision and moch exams in preperation for his final year. My question is do I have a legal right to block this decision as my ex never asked my permission to do so because she knew what my answer would be. We never married but I was present at the birth and have my name on the birth certificate.

Our Response:
Yes, you can either apply for a Prohibited Steps Order. A PSO is an order granted by the court in family cases which prevents either parent from carrying out certain events or making specific trips with their children without the express permission of the other parent. You can alternatively apply for a Specific Issue Order. Much like the name suggests, these orders sought from the family court to determine a particular matter in connection with the exercise of Parental Responsibility. They can cover a wide range of issues that you and your ex-partner cannot agree on, such as taking your child out of school in term time. 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 - 3-Feb-17 @ 2:27 PM
I have a 9 month old baby boy who is with me all the time I can count on one hand the amount of times he has slept at my mothers for me to have a break. My recent x partner works away mon to Fri we have done nothing but argue for months to the point we have got to call it a day he is very manipulating and very verbal abusive. I also have 10yr old and 16yr old girls from previous relationship. My 16yr old is working and does her own thing most of the time and 10 year old is very sporty has hobbies ever night of the week. My ex partner wants a FaceTime call every night to say goodnight to his son which I understand he works away and important to him but this is not possible on some occasions which he carnt accept he demands he wants it ever night and has no consideration with how hard it is to run a family home and run 10yr old to hobbies etc this was actually the way our relationship has ended as one night missed in 9 months and received the most nastiest texts ever. He wants to come home and have baby all weekend I'm going to go stay at my mothers as carnt stand another weekend of nastiness but I think spending fri night and all day Saturday and me having him Saturday night is fair he thinks different what would the law say I feel he is the one who works away not me why should I be told when he has baby it is also important for me to spend time with my son at the same time as my girls who during the week are in school and work I also couldn't bare been away from my baby for a full weekend my x does have pr what will be the best decision to make for baby boy 9 months best intrest
Amelia - 3-Feb-17 @ 12:21 PM
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