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

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 22 Apr 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]
I've been fiting for years for my son sins he was 2 years old.I went to social workers ,legal aid no body can help me I miss him so much ,My ex mother tells the social workers I'm on drugs and I neglected my son but the father is on heroin and the brother and the grand ma is a gambler. What should I do?
Wena - 22-Apr-17 @ 12:07 PM
I have my daughter full time. Her mother has moved house and won't tell me where she lives or who with. That's all I want to know. We had no issues before when I dropped her at her old address. I get torrents of abuse when I ask her these simple question. She's also got a big dog my young daughter is terrified of. All I want do is drop her off at her address instead of meeting at the shops or doctors like the last time and she wasn't there. I was victim of mental abuse. I could understand if it was the other way round
Taylor - 21-Apr-17 @ 1:30 PM
Toothless6114 - Your Question:
My ex partner had been mentally and physically abbusive through our relationship which is on Doctors records.She has stopped all access to my 2 kids, blocked all my family so there's no contact at all.I've never done anything to harm my children, never raised my hand to her.She is controlling me still and denying everything. I become unemployed with the circumstances and the first thing she did was arrange CSA when I've not a problem regarding paying for my kids.She's threatening if I come around she'll call the police and action court services.I'm blown away and don't want courts or CSA involved. I don't know what to do, she was possessive during it all and seems she still is.Help

Our Response:
Your only recourse is to take the matter to court. The courts do want fathers to have contact with their children. Therefore, if you are awarded access through the courts to see your kids, your ex will have to stick to this. The court will not judge you on being unemployed and if you cannot afford legal fees, you can represent yourself in court, please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Apr-17 @ 2:42 PM
My ex partner had been mentally and physically abbusive through our relationship which is on Doctors records. She has stopped all access to my 2 kids, blocked all my family so there's no contact at all. I've never done anything to harm my children, never raised my hand to her. She is controlling me still and denying everything. I become unemployed with the circumstances and the first thing she did was arrange CSA when I've not a problem regarding paying for my kids. She's threatening if I come around she'll call the police and action court services. I'm blown away and don't want courts or CSA involved. I don't know what to do, she was possessive during it all and seems she still is. Help
Toothless6114 - 20-Apr-17 @ 1:21 PM
Help pls- Your Question:
Hi me and my ex wife divorced 3 years ago.I'm take children to my house for weekend every Christmas birthday etcMy ex wife clams benefits like a single parent but from 3 years living with new partner (he work) Her partner growing marijuana in house about 50-60 trees?? I don't now what I suppose to do with this I'm Scarry what happen with my children r4 and 6 years old when some day police coming to her house.I have new partner we both full time workin We living in 3 bed house and we think take kids to us. if that possible in the UK ????Can anyone help me what to do ??????

Our Response:
If you feel your children are in a situation that is putting them in danger, and/or is illegal then you have an option to report this to the police. If you have parental responsibility of your children, then you can refuse to hand your children back and the police cannot intervene (that would be the remit of the courts to decide upon what it thinks is in the best interest of your children regarding where they live). However, it is never a good idea to keep your children without authorisation from the other parent, unless you feel it necessary (as it can backfire). Before you make any decisions, you may wish to seek legal advice regarding this in order to explore your options more fully.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Apr-17 @ 12:19 PM
Kezzy - Your Question:
Hi my daughter lives with me and my husband and his son, my daughters dad hasn't paid maintenance ever and she is now 4 years old he also hasn't seen her in nearly 4 months or spoke to her on phone. I am wanting to change her surname and gain solo PR am I able to do this? Thanks in advance

Our Response:
You can change your daughter's surname unofficially (i.e through school/GP etc). However, if you wish to change your daughter's name officially by Deed Poll, you would have to request your ex's consent (regardless of whether he sees her or not). The only way you can attempt to remove PR from the father is to take the matter to court. It is very rare a court will remove PR, unless a situation warrants it i.e you would have to be able to give a very good reason why your child's father should not be entitled to have parental responsibility of his child.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Apr-17 @ 11:05 AM
Hi me and my ex wife divorced 3 years ago. I'm take children to my house for weekend every Christmas birthday etc My ex wife clams benefits like a single parent but from 3 years living with new partner (he work) Her partner growing marijuana in house about 50-60 trees?? I don't now what I suppose to do with this I'm Scarry what happen with my children r4 and 6 years old when some day police coming to her house. I have new partner we both full time workin We living in 3 bed house and we think take kids to us.if that possible in the UK ???? Can anyone help me what to do ??????
Help pls - 19-Apr-17 @ 8:31 PM
Hi my daughter lives with me and my husband and his son, my daughters dad hasn't paid maintenance ever and she is now 4 years old he also hasn't seen her in nearly 4 months or spoke to her on phone... I am wanting to change her surname and gain solo PR am I able to do this? Thanks in advance
Kezzy - 19-Apr-17 @ 4:02 PM
Hi social services placed my 2 girls 7 & 4 with me there father 6 months ago when there mother admitted drug and alcohol abuse resulting in them missing school her not turning up for them after school having party's while they slept upstairs and sleeping when they were in her care. She's had supervised access at her Dads house for 3.5 hrs twice a week, she's missed a lot of these meetings with cancelling at the last minute or just not turning up. Just recently I've found out (but cannot prove) she's smoking and selling crack cocaine and hanging around with like people so I've cut all contact and am refusing to let her see the children which her dad agrees with. Do I need to report this to social services ? And go see a solicitor to get something more legal ? She recently smashed my window in the early hours drunk because I wouldn't give her money which she's up in court for next week.
Billy - 16-Apr-17 @ 11:33 PM
My 3 year old granddaughter will soon be starting overnight visitations with her father after having contact with him every other weekend for the past 8 months. We have just found out that he no longer lives at his parents house which is where she will be staying on these visits. He lives with his pregnant girlfriend and her daughter. Can my daughter do anything about her child being left with her ex's parents overnight while he stays somewhere else? My granddaughter doesn't really know these people. She has only met his father once which was a few months ago, and his mother only 3 or 4 times.The court order states 'spending time with the applicant father overnight' not 'spending time with the applicant father's parents overnight'. If we are wrong in this assumption and he does take his daughter to his new home (to stay with a woman she has never met and the woman's daughter she has never met) should he inform my daughter of this change? Even his solicitor and CMS think he still resides with his parents.
Corncerned Gran - 16-Apr-17 @ 11:31 PM
i have a prohibited steps order against my ex husband stopping him from taking my child abroad without my approval. Can he use a solicitor to force me to agree?
Star - 15-Apr-17 @ 7:56 AM
I need some advice !!! My ex is in n out of my daughters life (shes 5 month) it seems to be when it suits him .but then turns it around as though its my fault that hes not rang to make arrangements or even dont turn up !!! . I havent stopped access at all but because hes not seen her in 4 week (ive told him he can ave access on sundays after dinner till tea . He was avin her for an hour on a tues after work n sun for an hour berring in mind his house is 15 mins drive away there n backso hes only having her for half hour . And sometimes he wouldnt turn up so i said for a sunday so that hopefully he will turn up if its 1 day a week !!!! But because he doesnt want me telling him when he can n can not see our daughter hes gone to a solicitor . He didnt make arrangements last weekend coz apparantly he couldnt get hold of me but got hold of me mon !!!! Weekend before i rang him because i hadnt heard off him to see if he was comin for her and he said theres no point because hes got a solicitor involved . He messaged me yesterday because he wants access this weekend !!! Should i let him ave our daughter ?? Even thou hes been seein a solicitor because in his eyes im not lettin him ave access i dont know wat to do for the best . Should i leave it to the solicitors and wait till i get a letter or would it be best for me to let him ave her
Molly - 14-Apr-17 @ 9:29 AM
I need some advice !!! My ex is in n out of my daughters life (shes 5 month) it seems to be when it suits him .but then turns it around as though its my fault that hes not rang to make arrangements or even dont turn up !!! . I havent stopped access at all but because hes not seen her in 4 week (ive told him he can ave access on sundays after dinner till tea . He was avin her for an hour on a tues after work n sun for an hour berring in mind his house is 15 mins drive away there n backso hes only having her for half hour . And sometimes he wouldnt turn up so i said for a sunday so that hopefully he will turn up if its 1 day a week !!!! But because he doesnt want me telling him when he can n can not see our daughter hes gone to a solicitor . He didnt make arrangements last weekend coz apparantly he couldnt get hold of me but got hold of me mon !!!! Weekend before i rang him because i hadnt heard off him to see if he was comin for her and he said theres no point because hes got a solicitor involved . He messaged me yesterday because he wants access this weekend !!! Should i let him ave our daughter ?? Even thou hes been seein a solicitor because in his eyes im not lettin him ave access i dont know wat to do for the best . Should i leave it to the solicitors and wait till i get a letter or would it be best for me to let him ave her
Molly - 14-Apr-17 @ 8:57 AM
My son is 2, I've been letting his father have contact with him. When my son was born He had a gambling addiction and I told him he wouldn't have contact with his son until he sorted himself out. He seemed to calm down with the gambling so I started to let him see him. Recently, it turns out he's been gambling again. I've had his 'friends' messaging and calling me to find out where he is because he owes them money. My priority is my son and I don't want my son to be around him when he's in this situation. He isn't on the birth certificate. I've told him he needs to get help because I don't want this sort of thing around my child. He keeps messaging asking to see him and I don't know what to do. What do I do? Where do I stand, i want my son and his dad to have a relationship but not whilst he is I'll!
Worriedmummy - 14-Apr-17 @ 8:37 AM
Irishbhoy - Your Question:
My ex wife has cut all contact with our son and this has on off for the four years and I have been to three times and have a court order that says I am supposed to have contact twice a week and this has stopped because I received a letter from the Csa to say that I they are no longer involved in our case and the day after received a text message to say that I was to have no further contact

Our Response:
If you have a court order to see your child, then your ex cannot change the terms of the court order unilaterally (the terms of a court order can only by changed through court). Therefore, if you ex has stopped contact, you can ask a solicitor to write a letter to your ex outlining the terms of the order and the repercussions if she does not keep to them. If your ex ignores the letter, you can apply to court to have the order enforced. In order to apply to the court for enforcement of a child arrangement order (or contact order / residence order), you will need to fill in, issue and serve form C79 (which can be found here). The court will wish to see that other methods of resolving the issue have been attempted first, therefore keep a copy of the solicitor's letter as proof. However, if you have stopped paying child maintenance and you should be by law (i.e if you are earning and paying tax via HMRC and your child is in full-time education), then it would be wise to reinstate payments through a family-based arrangement as the court can also implement this via a court order, which you will not be able to breach. If you are not considered responsible for paying child maintenance i.e you are out of work, then the court will not stop your access to your child because of this.
ChildSupportLaws - 13-Apr-17 @ 11:53 AM
My ex wife has cut all contact with our son and this has on off for the four years and I have been to three times and have a court order that says I am supposed to have contact twice a week and this has stopped because I received a letter from the Csa to say that I they are no longer involved in our case and the day after received a text message to say that I was to have no further contact
Irishbhoy - 12-Apr-17 @ 3:34 PM
maria - Your Question:
My ex partner was voilent towords me in the past but I've never used to press charges on him as he used to monipilate the situation and always made as it was my fault we got a a 3year old son now he was in prison while I was pregnat he come out off prison and my son is now 3yras old he sees my son but don't stick to the rules we agreed on my son loves him as he needs father figure but his dad takes drugs he been abusive to me while my son seen all off it he tells my son lies and then takes him with him and when I ring the police to tell them he has taken my son they tell me they can't do anything about it but he's not on the birth cintificate or anything like that he dose as he pleases all the time he tryed to have sex with me while my son was there but when I told him I will tell the police he told me it will be my word against his and I wount be able to proof anything so now he's telling me he wants to take full custody off my son I just dont know what to do anyone help please

Our Response:
If you live in the UK and your ex is not registered on the birth certificate as your child's father and he has not been awarded Parental Responsibility through the courts or by mutual agreement, the police WILL be able to intervene and bring your child back to you if your ex takes your child without your permission. If your ex threatens to apply to court for custody of your son, you can rest assured the court are highly unlikely to award your ex this. First and foremost, the court will always rule at what it thinks is in the best interest of your child and consistency and stability are of the upmost importance. The court will also take into consideration your ex's past history and the court will not take a child from one parent and hand them to another unless it has a very good reason for doing so and this again, is very unlikley to happen. You need to take charge of this situation and put some boundaries and rules in place with regards to your relationship with your ex, especially if you are allowing him to enter your home (which is really not advisable if he is making unwanted sexual advances towards you). If you need any further advice or need to talk to someone about your ex's sexual threats, please see Woman's Aid link here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Apr-17 @ 11:02 AM
Eva - Your Question:
I have a residency order, contact order (tied down very tightly due to his SV) and my ex has PR. Long story short my 14 year old is violent and self harmer with overdoes regularly. A run away, theft etc. My ex and I decided to put her under a section 20 to protect her as I couldn't with other young babies who she had threatened to "disappear". Social services have been great my daughter has to engage with her issues before they will work with her coming home. This week she bolted again to a friends we don't know. Social worker wants her back at placement but Dad has agreed she can stay at this unknown person. Social worker checked out address not known to social services but my daughter is using it to avoid everything agreed in the lac review. I have residency so can I force her back into care that social worker and I want as she needs to be safe or does Dad's PR stop us doing this under a section 20. I don't want to put her under a care order as we are trying to get her to work through things.

Our Response:
I'm afraid due to the complexity of these issues and how far down the line you are with social services we are unable to advise. Legal advice may be needed here to see whether the issue can be enforced.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Apr-17 @ 10:01 AM
My ex and I have never lived together. We have a 14month old son together. He's named on the birth certificate so has pr. he's always been allowed access to his son even though he's a heavy drinker and habitual cannabis user. He assures me that he has stopped both of these but I know he's still drinking. He's turned up smelling of alcohol twice and drug dealt in front of me and my son. On Saturday I wasn't happy with him seeing our son. So I asked for him back. I got him. But in the process the father has accused me of hitting him (the father) and said he'd see me in court. I called the police to report his false allegations. My question is do I have to let him see our son when I now feel threatened and frightened by his volatile temper (he has four previous convictions for abh, not against me). He's a lovely dad to his boy, but keeps leaving him in the care of his older daughter. What am I allowed to do?
Babawoo - 12-Apr-17 @ 7:51 AM
my ex partner was voilent towords me in the past but I've never used to press charges on him as he used to monipilate the situation and always made as it was my fault we got a a 3year old son now he was in prison while Iwas pregnat he come out off prison and my son is now 3yras old he sees my son but don't stick to the rules we agreed on my son loves him as he needs father figure but his dad takes drugs he been abusive to me while my son seen all off it he tells my son lies and then takes him with him and when I ring the police to tell them he has taken my son they tell me they can't do anything about it but he's not on the birth cintificate or anything like that he dose as he pleases all the time he tryed to have sex with me while my son was there but when I told him I will tell the police he told me it will be my word against his and I wount be able to proof anything so now he's telling me he wants to take full custody off my son I just dont know what to do anyone help please
maria - 11-Apr-17 @ 4:02 PM
Mummylovesu - Your Question:
I wonder if you could offer me some advise. My child is 5 years old and has never had an relationship with her farther (his choice since pregnancy). We were never married and his not on the birth certificate. I have claimed Child Support via the government CSA and he never contested being father. I have since cancelled this because I'm concerned it might give him some legal PR and it was only a very small sum of money. Q1. Was I right to be concerned? Does paying CSA give him some PR? My child also does modelling and tv ad's etc. I have created ISA and saving accounts. Q1. Can he (childs father) ever contest my child doing, am I legally required to get his concent for work? Q2. Would he ever get access to her accounts and money? Q3. Is there anything legal I can do to ensure he has no legal standing with my childs life including if something was to happen to me (I die).

Our Response:
You have posed some interesting questions here. Firstly, child maintenance and child access have no bearing on each other. By law a child's father is responsible for contributing to the financial day-to-day care of your child whether he has access or not. However, some non-resident parents won't rock the boat by asking for access while they do not have to contribute. If you do claim child maintenance and suddenly your ex does pop up and request access, if you refuse, he would have the option to take the matter to court and the court will decide upon what 'it' thinks is in your child's best interest. But if your ex hasn't had a relationship with your child to date, then a court isn't going to jump straight into unsupervised access, a contact centre would be more likely. If your ex is registered on the birth certificate, then he has PR despite not paying child maintenance, he just hasn't exercised it. If your ex wanted to dispute anything you were doing with your child, and if you did not agree, then again, he would have to take the matter to court (which judging by what you are saying, this is unlikely). He has no rights to access your child's money. If you are concerned what might happen to your child, should anything happen to you, then you can appoint a guardian in your will. You must include, in as much detail as you can, the reasons why you wish your designated guardian/s to take on the role of caring for your child and it is important to ensure that you clarify your reasons for making this choice so that there can be no confusion over your mental and emotional state at the time of making the will. If you are in any doubt as to how to go about making these provisions in your will or any of the other matters, you should speak to a solicitor who specialises in family law and they will be able to give you all the help and advice you need. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Apr-17 @ 2:35 PM
Khally - Your Question:
I'am a mother who is suffering for the last 11 year!! Struggling to see my son or have contact or spend time together, because the father has taken all the rights for him self and manipulate all. I raised my son from 0 till at the age of 4 years! My ex husband his revenge was to take my only son Tariq. I was neive and don't know nothing at the time. My ex husband abused me and had all the evidence in police and hospitals, but all worked on his favour because of money. I had to sign my son to my ex husband because I was pushed to the wall and it was like a war, it's either we die the 2 of us or one get saved. At the end I had to give my ex husband my old child. I packed all and went to kenya after my son was taken away from me, could not bare to see myself to be a weekend mother. I was destroyed and something taken from my heart. I travelled back and forth from kenya to London like a mad woman to keep up! With my son. My son is now 14 years and I'am still struggling as a mother to have my rights. I'am a worrier who keeps fighting the battle. I'am dead soul inside without my son. I'am in London and still I hardly see my son. I don't know what to do or how to do? So I have just to let it be and let the universe take charge. I'am an empty soul without my son.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. The fact your son is now 14 means that his opinion and preferences regarding whether he wishes to see you or not, will begin to count through mediation or the courts (if you wish to take this route). However, despite this, the court will always decide upon what it thinks is in your son's best interests. When he is 16, his preferences will count more and when he is 18, you will not have to use mediation or court as parental responsibility will have ended and as an adult he will be able to make decisions of his own.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Apr-17 @ 10:45 AM
I wonder if you could offer me some advise. My child is 5 years old and has never had an relationship with her farther (his choice since pregnancy). We were never married and his not on the birth certificate. I have claimed Child Support via the government CSA and he never contested being father. I have since cancelled this because I'm concerned it might give him some legal PR and it was only a very small sum of money. Q1. Was i right to be concerned? Does paying CSA give him some PR? My child also does modelling and tv ad's etc. I have created ISA and saving accounts. Q1. Can he (childs father) ever contest my child doing, am I legally required to get his concent for work? Q2. Would he ever get access to her accounts and money? Q3. Is there anything legal I can do to ensure he has no legal standing with my childs life including if something was to happen to me (I die).
Mummylovesu - 11-Apr-17 @ 8:32 AM
I have a residency order, contact order (tied down very tightly due to his SV) and my ex has PR. Long story short my 14 year old is violent and self harmer with overdoes regularly. A run away, theft etc. My ex and I decided to put her under a section 20 to protect her as I couldn't with other young babies who she had threatened to "disappear". Social services have been great my daughter has to engage with her issues before they will work with her coming home. This week she bolted again to a friends we don't know. Social worker wants her back at placement but Dad has agreed she can stay at this unknown person. Social worker checked out address not known to social services but my daughter is using it to avoid everything agreed in the lac review. I have residency so can I force her back into care that social worker and I want as she needs to be safe or does Dad's PR stop us doing this under a section 20. I don't want to put her under a care order as we are trying to get her to work through things.
Eva - 11-Apr-17 @ 6:42 AM
I'am a mother who is suffering for the last 11 year!! Struggling to see my son or have contact or spend time together, because the father has taken all the rights for him self and manipulate all. I raised my son from 0 till at the age of 4 years! My ex husband his revenge was to take my only son Tariq. I was neive and don't know nothing at the time. My ex husband abused me and had all the evidence in police and hospitals, but all worked on his favour because of money. I had to sign my son to my ex husband because I was pushed to the wall and it was like a war, it's either we die the 2 of us or one get saved. At the end I had to give my ex husband my old child. I packed all and went to kenya after my son was taken away from me, could not bare to see myself to be a weekend mother. I was destroyed and something taken from my heart. I travelled back and forth from kenya to London like a mad woman to keep up! With my son. My son is now 14 years and I'am still struggling as a mother to have my rights. I'am a worrier who keeps fighting the battle. I'am dead soul inside without my son. I'am in London and still I hardly see my son. I don't know what to do or how to do? So I have just to let it be and let the universe take charge. I'am an empty soul without my son.
Khally - 10-Apr-17 @ 1:16 AM
Alonoona - Your Question:
Hello, My husband has PR as we were married upon conception, and he's on the childs birth certificate. However, we split a couple of years ago, he lives overseas, and hasn't seen our child for a year and a half. He stopped making contact 6 months ago, and around the same time stopped paying child support. He is self employed and doesn't pay tax like he should, so there is no way of me being able to succesfully get any support from him financially. My worry is something happening to me. Would my child be forced to live overseas with him should I pass away? My child is 3, so has no real memory of their dad. Moving overseas away from my family whom he is close to would be absolutely devastating for him. Im just wondering if my ex would still have PR, even though he hasn't made contact in such a long time. Thanks for your advice

Our Response:
If you are fearful of not knowing who your child will be cared for by in the event of something happening to you, then you can appoint a guardian in your will. A guardian is an individual who is charged with the responsibility of looking after your child in the event of your death. Any adult of your choosing can be a guardian to your child. This can be a close family friend with whom your son already has a bond with, or a family member not already directly involved in his care, such as an aunt or uncle. It is important to take into account beforehand the relationship the child has with the person or persons you intend to appoint as their guardian. If you do wish to appoint a guardian then your last will and testament should reflect this. You must include, in as much detail as you can, the reasons why you wish your designated guardian/s to take on the role of caring for your child. It is also important to ensure that you clarify your reasons for making this choice so that there can be no confusion over your mental and emotional state at the time of making the will. You must also ensure that once the last will and testament has been drafted or redrafted depending on the circumstances that the person or persons you have chosen to be your child’s legal guardian/s does not sign the will as a witness. This is what is known as a ‘conflict of interest’ and as such can lead to the will being contested. However, if your ex does have parental responsibility of your son, he will have a say and can contest this. But if the relationship with your son and ex are not close and your son has not had a relationship with him, then any court will always decide what it thinks is in the best interests of your child and will ultimately favour the person your child is closest to and who could continue his established routine. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Apr-17 @ 12:30 PM
. Now we we're looking at moving forward and I stuck to the plan of the first contact sessions for first few weeks being in the day at his house and working back up to overnights on condition that first session I take ava up and make sure he has what he needs to keep ava clean, safe warm and dry. He is refusing this and saying no court would grant it and that he has a right to privacy and no matter what I say to him even though it was on the advice of social services that I take these steps and he knows this but he insists that he has been advised otherwise. What are my rights? All I want is for my daughter to have contact with her dad and for him to step up and be there for her properly and put her needs first especially as she has very specific needs that mean he may have to provide things n supervise her more to keep her safe. He's saying he'll go court but I don't feel it's necessary but if we do I'll still be sticking to the same I've said above, am I doing things right? Advise ASAP as mediation in 2 weeks thank you so much
BexyMamma17 - 6-Apr-17 @ 9:59 AM
Me and my daughters ex have been split up for sometime now. We have on the most part been able to agree on contact verbally unless there has been any concerns or issues raised. Then we have adjusted contact as and when need for the best of my daughter n her needs (well from my point of view anyway).I have only ever denied him contact when he was violent towards my now partner in the beginning of our relationship, and at the same time put our daughter at risk of harm by placing her in the road in order to attack him. I stopped it while he got help then we rebuilt it from supervised once a week up to the normal fortnightly although I had concerns about his home conditions but I thought I was doing what's best for my daughter.Any things went ok for a few months until my daughter started coming home late and hungry when it was time for bed for school next day, and she would be dirty her clothes smelt damp and were either too small or his girlfriends sons clothes n had holes in n stains on. I brought up the issue and gave him a bag of clothes that were appropriate to try to resolve things for contact to continue and stay consistent. Told him he had to feed her whilst she was in his care and bath her on a night ors she wouldn't be able to stay if he couldn't meet her needs properly. Any things picked up for a few weeks until my daughter started to come home with cuts n bruises every time she went to his that he put down to play fighting which my daughter isn't encouraged to do so at home, school or anyone else's home, this didn't stop n she kept coming home like it, she began once again coming home hungry, dirty, smelling clothes, clothes that weren't her own, clothes that we're too small. On top of that someone had reported him for home conditions to social services, my daughter was coming home telling me she helps bag up rubbish n that he had loads of bags of rubbish in his kitchen, that his girlfriends son was showing her his private parts, the list went on. I stopped letting contact take place in his home n sought advice from social services who told me that they couldn't do anything because she wasn't residing there but that it's my responsibility to safeguard her if I have concerns. They said If I send her knowing there's cconcerns then it would be me who they would be looking at not him. They also told me with the concerns that I was raising that I had a right to go and check the conditions and that he has the correct things that meet my daughters needs before contact carried on there. So on the advice of social services and other professionals I spoke to I reduced contact to day contact out and about n it was agreed between us both that this would be better for ava to encourage consistency and quality of contact and until he was in a better position to best meet her needs. So for the past year and few month contact has been only in day out an about at his mothers or in the area that me and my daughter live. Now we we're looking
BexyMamma17 - 6-Apr-17 @ 9:36 AM
Hello, My husband has PR as we were married upon conception, and he's on the childs birth certificate. However, we split a couple of years ago, he lives overseas, and hasn't seen our child for a year and a half. He stopped making contact 6 months ago, and around the same time stopped paying child support. He is self employed and doesn't pay tax like he should, so there is no way of me being able to succesfully get any support from him financially. My worry is something happening to me. Would my child be forced to live overseas with him should i pass away? My child is 3, so has no real memory of their dad. Moving overseas away from my family whom he is close to would be absolutely devastating for him. Im just wondering if my ex would still have PR, even though he hasn't made contact in such a long time. Thanks for your advice
Alonoona - 5-Apr-17 @ 10:22 PM
Anonymous - Your Question:
Hi, my ex left me when I was pregnant and I had to move back home, I went into premature labour at 32 weeks due to all the stress at that time. My son spent 3 weeks in hospital, when he was allowed home understandbly I was (and still am) very protective over him. I allowed his father to have him for a few hours when he was 5 weeks old. I turned up at his flat unannounced after a couple of hours and found his new girlfriend of 2 weeks hiding in his bedroom from me, if I hadnt of turned up he wouldnt have told me she was there. I was exteremly upset that he had betrayed my trust. I have now said that he can only see his son at my house on specific days/times until I am able to trust him again - am I right in doing this? He keeps asking when he can have him at his house again but im not ready to let this happen as I know he wouldnt hesitate to lie and do the same again. I dont want my son meeting his girlfirend untill he has been with her for atleast a year.

Our Response:
On a personal note, your ex may have lied about having his girlfriend at his house as he might have known the reponse would have been negative if he'd have had openly had her there when you called. There is no law to say that your ex cannot introduce his new partner to yours/his child, as there is no law that says he can stop you introducing your new partner to your child (should the time come). Regardless of whether your ex left you or not, if he has parental responsibility of your child, in the eyes of the law you both have equal say on what you think is in the best interests of your child. If that means your ex feels your child will come to no harm if he introduces his girlfriend to your child, then that is his prerogative as the child's father. Therefore, if your ex has PR and is unhappy with this arrangement, then he can either suggest mediation in order to try to resolve the issue with you directly, or take the matter to court for a contact order to see his child. The court will then decide what it thinks is in your child's best interests. If the court issues a contact order, then you will have to adhere to it - as will your ex.
ChildSupportLaws - 3-Apr-17 @ 11:41 AM
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