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Your Legal Rights as a Parent

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 10 Apr 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Parent Child Parent With Care Non

Losing full-time contact with a child is a difficult and painful outcome of any separation or divorce. The parent who retains day-to-day care of the child may not experience as much separation anxiety as the non resident parent, but they will however become more financially minded.

Maintenance payments from the non resident parent will help ease the financial pressure of raising a child, but unless parents agree to shared care or regular access and visits there may be other problems to overcome too.

Parenting Plan

A custody court order will include a parenting plan or visitation schedule which parents must adhere to. This plan is more likely to affect, and/or restrict, the non resident parent, particularly if the parents are not able to communicate effectively. Understanding and accepting that there will be imposed changes that will affect a non resident parent’s relationship with their child in some way, may enable the parent to consider expressing views openly prior to the custody order being finalised.

Many parents are able to make private arrangements that put the child’s rights and needs first. Joint custody or shared care will enable both parents to have regular contact with their child, and to contribute equally to the emotional, physical and financial aspects of child raising.

Making Modifications

A non resident parent may have a court order but may still experience problems enforcing it. Being flexible about re-arranging a visit keeps communication open. However, the parent with care must acknowledge the non resident parent’s rights.

If problems persist, threatening to withhold child support is not a good idea. If a parent has to go to court to enforce visitation any threats to stop child support payments will be held against them. Modifying maintenance is only acceptable if the parent with care has an increase in income whilst the non resident parent’s income has decreased, or a parent’s expenses have increased considerably through illness etc.

Parent And Child Rights

On the whole, the law allows parents to bring up their children in accordance with their own beliefs and values. This gives parents the right to make decisions about the child’s upbringing, provided the child’s well-being is never put at risk. Parents must accept that wanting their own way however, is not the same thing as exercising a right. Although parents have the right to set limits they do not have the right to enforce views.

A parent has the right to determine their child’s name, religion, form of education and healthcare. They also have the right to accompany the child outside the UK and agree on emigration issues. Parents who have a joint custody agreement share rights and parental responsibilities. If the child’s parents are divorced, however, the mother generally has charge of parental responsibility, although the father’s opinions can be expressed and documented.

A child’s rights state that a parent must ensure their child is safe from harm, has somewhere to live, has food, clothing, medical care and education and is financially supported.

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Sophie- Your Question:
Hi, I've recently left an abusive relationship. My baby is 8 weeks old. When I fell pregnant my partner promised me he would change. The abuse entailed physical emotional verbal and in the end finicial. My ex is a functioning alcaholic and would regularly get drunk and verbally abuse me get aggressive and scare me. When we brought baby home he began to be aggressive towards me when I was holding the baby. He swore at baby held him rougly I was afraid to leave him alone with his dad.I contacted social services out of desperation to get my partner to change he has very little insight into his problem. Now that I have ended the relationship I need to keep my baby safe but I don't want to restrict access entirely I don't want to be accused of witholding access thru spite, which I'm not. Children's services have said on their report I need to consider contact to keep baby safe. He saw him for 2 hours at my mums house. But will ask for more please help I'm scared that he will take my baby to get back at me. What can I go to court and do?

Our Response:
The gov.uk link here, should tell you all you need to know about applying for a child arrangement order. If Children's Services have said you need to keep your child safe, then the courts will allow you to apply directly without having to attend mediation. If domestic violence has been an issue, you may be able to apply for Legal Aid, please see link here. It would be advisable to keep contact supervised until the court has made the order. Your ex cannot force you to do otherwise.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Apr-18 @ 11:22 AM
Hi, I've recently left an abusive relationship. My baby is 8 weeks old. When I fell pregnant my partner promised me he would change. The abuse entailed physical emotional verbal and in the end finicial. My ex is a functioning alcaholic and would regularly get drunk and verbally abuse me get aggressive and scare me. When we brought baby home he began to be aggressive towards me when I was holding the baby . He swore at baby held him rougly i was afraid to leave him alone with his dad.I contacted social services out of desperation to get my partner to change he has very little insight into his problem. Now that I have ended the relationship I need to keep my baby safe but I don't want to restrict access entirely I don't want to be accused of witholding access thru spite, which I'm not. Children's services have said on their report I need to consider contact to keep baby safe. He saw him for 2 hours at my mums house. But will ask for more please help I'm scared that he will take my baby to get back at me. What can I go to court and do?
Sophie - 10-Apr-18 @ 3:20 PM
Henry - Your Question:
Hi. split from my ex wife 6 years ago. My 2 daughter's aged 14 and 10 live with her. I'm in their lives properly. I speak twice a week to them and they sleep over at mine each weekend. I live with my partner a joint child and her son.My 2 daughter's living with their mum are coming smelly each week. I believe it's a dirty house and a cat litter issue. Windows and blinds are shut 24/7/365.The gardens gone into disrepair. Weeds grow up to the bedroom windows and the patio is now full of a hardy shrub 10 feet high. There are countless black bin bags outside full of rubbish and I've seen a few wine bottles.I've offered many times to clear the garden (I'm a gardener). for free.She immediately refuses anything from me and chooses to say it's not true. countless times.I'm now close to thinking of getting social services involved or looking at getting custody.I'm sure they will get called names at school with the smell.I work hard. run my own successful business and take them on holiday every year. The mum never takes them out anywhere even for a day.I've mentioned the smell before and got verbally attacked. and I asked very very carefully and sympathetically.What are my options and chances of custody?I live in a town an hour away so they would go to a new school.I believe we would be able to give them better opportunities in life.Background.We split 6 years ago.She called it off after I found out she was virtually meeting other men for adult purposes.2 months later I joined a gym and lost 5 stone in weight.I started dating and let my current partner. Been with her ever since.Had issues with the ex not letting my girls see her. Had to take her to court to get proper regular access.She accused my partners 6 year old son of sexually molesting one of our daughter's and reported to social services who found nothing whatsoever. completely false. he was 6!.My eldest daughter aged 14 has some learning issues mentally.I just want to get as much help as I can before she leaves school. I did reinstate some hospital visits for her for this as my ex had previously ignored them

Our Response:
Surely your daughters must say something about their home life when they come to stay? One option is to speak to your children's school about your concerns to see whether you can work in tandem. Many people have homes that aren't super clean, but it doesn't mean your children are being neglected. If you wish to see more about what constitutes neglect, please see link here . You can also speak to the trained counsellors via this link for more advice.
ChildSupportLaws - 3-Apr-18 @ 10:43 AM
Hi.. split from my ex wife 6 years ago.My 2 daughter's aged 14 and 10 live with her.I'm in their lives properly.I speak twice a week to them and they sleep over at mine each weekend.I live with my partner a joint child and her son. My 2 daughter's living with their mum are coming smelly each week.I believe it's a dirty house and a cat litter issue. Windows and blinds are shut 24/7/365... The gardens gone into disrepair.Weeds grow up to the bedroom windows and the patio is now full of a hardy shrub 10 feet high.There are countless black bin bags outside full of rubbish and I've seen a few wine bottles. I've offered many times to clear the garden (I'm a gardener).. for free.. She immediately refuses anything from me and chooses to say it's not true..countless times... I'm now close to thinking of getting social services involved or looking at getting custody. I'm sure they will get called names at school with the smell. I work hard.. run my own successful business and take them on holiday every year. The mum never takes them out anywhere even for a day. I've mentioned the smell before and got verbally attacked..and I asked very very carefully and sympathetically. What are my options and chances of custody? I live in a town an hour away so they would go to a new school. I believe we would be able to give them better opportunities in life. Background.. We split 6 years ago... She called it off after I found out she was virtually meeting other men for adult purposes. 2 months later I joined a gym and lost 5 stone in weight. I started dating and let my current partner.Been with her ever since. Had issues with the ex not letting my girls see her..Had to take her to court to get proper regular access. She accused my partners 6 year old son of sexually molesting one of our daughter'sand reported to social services who found nothing whatsoever.. completely false.. he was 6!.. My eldest daughter aged 14 has some learning issues mentally. I just want to get as much help as I can before she leaves school.I did reinstate some hospital visits for her for this as my ex had previously ignored them
Henry - 2-Apr-18 @ 2:36 PM
Half full - Your Question:
My ex husband and I have a final order child arrangement programme in place. I am the main child carer in the arrangements split. The ex husband is now saying that he doesn’t want to see his eldest son and has suggested that I take the eldest and he takes the youngest. I have not agreed to this but if he refuses to take the older child do I have any right to delay/refuse contact for the youngest? I don’t want them separated and I think it would be detrimental to both children on many levels to experience this.

Our Response:
If you cannot agree between you, then you would have to seek mediation in order to resolve this issue. There are no right or wrong answers. However, is never a good idea to withhold access as a punishment if you are punishing the child as much as the parent.
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Mar-18 @ 12:20 PM
Catherine- Your Question:
Hello. I desperately need some advise. I have three children, 14, 11 and 9. Father didn't bother to see them for a period then decided to bother, went to court to see them regularly. I agreed everything. Then in a few months I ended up in court again when he hired a barrister and took me to court to impose injunction on me - breach of court order. Apparently for one occasion he didn't have an access, he claimed I prevented children to go to his, for this, he went to court. Judge standed by me, and I was let go without any fine charge or injunction. I had to fight for my life atvourt that day. He turn up arrogant with his confident barrister and I turned up alone with no legal aid. He and his barrister not only tried to enforce an injunktion on me but also make me pay all their hefty legal expenses, yet he didn't pay for months any maintanence. Although it was a victory, I am still shaken with the animosity and embition to annihilate me that day. A year passed and there is another problem now. Children 9 and 11 do not want to go and stay at his house, but the father keeps treathening to take me to court every month if they dont go to his because they are ill. Originally, when he took me to court to annihilate me, I told court that my son then 13, do not want to see him, they said he is growing and can make his decisions. Since then my son never went to his, and this never bothered the father. So, when is the age that my younger children can chose to go or stay and this will not give the father another opportunity to take me to court. Please help me

Our Response:
Any changes to a contact order must be agreed by both parties. One party cannot unilaterally decide to change the order, meaning you cannot decide that your children no longer have to go see their father. If you wish to change the terms of the order, then you will have to refer the matter back to court to let the court decide what it thinks is in your children's best interests. If you breach the order again, then your ex will have the option to refer the matter back to court to once again have the order enforced. .
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Mar-18 @ 12:14 PM
Hello. I desperately need some advise. I have three children, 14, 11 and 9. Father didn't bother to see them for a period then decided to bother, went to court to see them regularly. I agreed everything. Then in a few months I ended up in court again when he hired a barrister and took me to court to impose injunction on me - breach of court order. Apparently for one occasion he didn't have an access, he claimed I prevented children to go to his, for this, he went to court.Judge standed by me, and I was let go without any fine charge or injunction. I had to fight for my life atvourt that day. He turn up arrogant with his confident barrister and I turned up alone with no legal aid. He and his barrister not only tried to enforce an injunktion on me but also make me pay all their hefty legal expenses, yet he didn't pay for months any maintanence. Although it was a victory, I am still shaken with the animosity and embition to annihilate me that day. A year passed and there is another problem now. Children 9 and 11 do not want to go and stay at his house, but the father keeps treathening to take me to court every month if they dont go to his because they are ill. Originally, when he took me to court to annihilate me, I told court that my son then 13,do not want to see him, they said he is growing and can make his decisions. Since then my son never went to his, and this never bothered the father. So, when is the age that my younger children can chose to go or stay and this will not give the father another opportunity to take me to court. Please help me
Catherine - 26-Mar-18 @ 9:45 PM
My ex husband and I have a final order child arrangement programme in place. I am the main child carer in the arrangements split.The ex husband is now saying that he doesn’t want to see his eldest son and has suggested that I take the eldest and he takes the youngest. I have not agreed to this but if he refuses to take the older child do I have any right to delay/refuse contact for the youngest? I don’t want them separated and I think it would be detrimental to both children on many levels to experience this.
Half full - 23-Mar-18 @ 3:44 PM
Hi. My step son chose to live with me and his father, however his father got work overseas and now lives overseas. I am still in the UK with my step son. I claim maintenance through the CMS from the mother. Due to renting our home, my step son has had to move in with his Nan... Can I still claim child maintenance through the CMS? My husband and I are still paying for day to day care of my step son such as food, clothing etc.. he just isn't living under the same roof. Thanks.
StepUp - 23-Mar-18 @ 8:26 AM
hi am looking for advise, when my son was 18 months his dad wouldn't return him from having contact with him, i had to go to court to have my son removed from the house he was being kept in, the police assisted with this. we both them went though the court to set out in writing the arrangements for my son. at the time i offered weekend contact but because of a long line of issues discovered through the court case he ended in a contact centre, then due to failure to attend the contact centre and having no relation with my son over the 2 year court case the judge wanted to rule no contact, although the father wasn't deserving of my son i didn't think it was right to not leave a window of opportunity open for him to be a dad.I request that the judge give him a level of contact but to put things in place so that the issues over the time of the court case wouldn't happen if contact was taken up. the judge do this as far i can remember, i no that he order my son to live with me and for his father to have no parent responsibility in teams of every day decision making, his father couldn't get a passport or bank account in my sons name etc the judge order alternative weekend one night stays, this was in 2010. my sons dad seen him 2 times after the court case and then hasn't seen him since. my son has autism so struggles with change, emotions and social skills. his struggles was so bad over a period of 3 years when contact stopped with his father that he was taken out of mainstream school for 12 months, he is currently settled in a mainstream school and has been for a few years now, he is due to start secondary school in sept and now his dad has made an application to the court for contact. where do i stand on this as my son doesn't no him and his condition only makes it harder with change and getting to no strangers. I am obviously worried that my son will have the same issues as before with emotional side of things regarding establishing contact after 7 years and i don't want this to impact him going in to secondary school. his grades are really good and he is happy, could you please advise, thank you in advance
k - 21-Mar-18 @ 10:13 PM
Hay - Your Question:
My daughter is 10, her father has not seen her for 5 years (his choice) as he moved away and has a new family and never paid child support. I have never taken him to CSA as we cope without his money. I want to change her last name as she still has his last name. How do I go about doing this and am I able to get his parental rights towards her terminated?

Our Response:
If your ex has parental responsibility of your child, you would still have to request his consent to change your child's last name, please see link here. You would have to take the matter to court, if you wish to request the court takes away your child's father's PR. However, it is rare a court will do this. A court has to have very good reason.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-Mar-18 @ 11:11 AM
My daughter is 10, her father has not seen her for 5 years (his choice) as he moved away and has a new familyand never paid child support. I have never taken him to CSA as we cope without his money. I want to change her last name as she still has his last name. How do I go about doing this and am I able to get his parental rights towards her terminated?
Hay - 15-Mar-18 @ 6:28 PM
RitaBee - Your Question:
Am looking for some advice. I've never stopped my son from seeing his dad. We have been sepearted for many years. He has never been continuous in our sons life. Makes up excuses as to why he cant come for him and doesnt contribute to school clothing or anything in that matter that my child needs. However my son is nearly 7 years old and gets very upset having to see him. To the point where he is hysterically crying when I say his dad is coming over. We have a very strong bond and my son says he will miss me too much, and when I say go with your dad for a little while he becomes upset with me and I don't want this to affect our relationship. He's scared that His dad won't bring him back as His dad has said to our child that tuff he's a child and doesn't have a say in the matter. His father never pays or turns up when he says he will. But now he is saying he is taking me to court for over night stays fri-sun every second weekend. His father is meant to have our son every sunday but my son wont go or his father wont show up I just feel over night stays is a bit much at the moment and I don't feel this is the best interest for my son as he isnt used to being away from me that long. Am just wondering wjere I stand in the matter as I've never stopped contact but I also dont force my son to go with his dad if he says no he doesnt want to go then I respect his choice and wont force him, I feel this arrangement will effect my child's emotional well being.

Our Response:
If you stop your child from seeing his other parent, then you should discuss why with the other parent. You then have the option of trying to work through the issues via mediation. If you refuse to attend mediation on the request of your ex, then your ex will have the option to apply to court. if the matter goes to court, a court will then decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your son. If a court order is put in place, then you would have to stick to it. Therefore, it is always best to try to work alongside your ex regarding what is causing the problems and try to resolve them between you, or via mediation.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Mar-18 @ 2:32 PM
Am looking for some advice. I've never stopped my son from seeing his dad. We have been sepearted for many years. He has never been continuous in our sons life. Makes up excuses as to why he cant come for him and doesnt contribute to school clothing or anything in that matter that my child needs. However my son is nearly 7 years old and gets very upset having to see him. To the point where he is hysterically crying when I say his dad is coming over. We have a very strong bond and my son says he will miss me too much, and when I say go with your dad for a little while he becomes upset with me and I don't want this to affect our relationship. He's scared that His dad won't bring him back as His dad has said to our child that tuff he's a child and doesn't have a say in the matter.His father never pays or turns up when he says he will. But now he is saying he is taking me to court for over night stays fri-sun every second weekend. His father is meant to have our son every sunday but my son wont go or his father wont show up i just feel over night stays is a bit much at the moment and I don't feel this is the best interest for my son as he isnt used to being away from me that long.Am just wondering wjere I stand in the matter as I've never stopped contact but i also dont force my son to go with his dad if he says no he doesnt want to go then i respect his choice and wont force him, I feel this arrangement will effect my child's emotional well being.
RitaBee - 10-Mar-18 @ 9:46 AM
Ashjo - Your Question:
Hi I was wondering if you could help. My daughters dad had a contact order put in place and last Feb he decided to cut all contact and blamed it on my then 7 year old daughter. There has been no contact from him and the only way I found out was when I asked his wife why they hadn’t been to pick her up. Is there anyway I can get the contact order removed due to this? Thanks

Our Response:
If your ex has breached the order, then you would have to refer the matter back to court to have the order officially stopped. A solicitor's letter specifying that as your ex has had no contact then the order is no longer applicable, may also work. However, the order is naturally no longer deemed a working order, especially if you or your ex do not wish to apply to court to have the order enforced.
ChildSupportLaws - 8-Mar-18 @ 11:38 AM
Hi I was wondering if you could help. My daughters dad had a contact order put in place and last Feb he decided to cut all contact and blamed it on my then 7 year old daughter. There has been no contact from him and the only way I found out was when I asked his wife why they hadn’t been to pick her up. Is there anyway I can get the contact order removed due to this? Thanks
Ashjo - 7-Mar-18 @ 8:44 PM
Miss Jane - Your Question:
My husband and I are struggling to sort out contact arrangements for our 2 year old son during the holidays. He says he wants him for half the holiday, but in one block (so 3 solid weeks over the summer). My son has not been parted from me for more than 3 nights and we still breastfeed. I think he would find it incredibly unsettling and upsetting not to see me for so long. Any advice on how to approach this with my ex who is permanently angry and very vindictive.

Our Response:
If you cannot agree between you, then mediation would be the next option. The last option to consider is court via a child arrangement order, please see link here. 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 - 5-Mar-18 @ 2:41 PM
My husband and I are struggling to sort out contact arrangements for our 2 year old son during the holidays. He says he wants him for half the holiday, but in one block (so 3 solid weeks over the summer). My son has not been parted from me for more than 3 nights and we still breastfeed. I think he would find it incredibly unsettling and upsetting not to see me for so long. Any advice on how to approach this with my ex who is permanently angry and very vindictive.
Miss Jane - 4-Mar-18 @ 9:15 PM
S5 - Your Question:
Hi. I have a very unusual situation where by a very close friend has a 5 years old daughter. She has been split from the father for 4 years. The daughter sees her dad 3 times a week and the relationship between the parents is amicable. Over the last 18 mothts the little girl has said how she doesnt want to see her dad anymore. This is because in her words 'she doesnt like him, he doesn't talk to her or do anything with her as he is always playing on his phone. The mom has been convincing the little girl to see her dad however last week the girl broke down at school in tears and told the teachers. The teachers have fully documented the situation and have relayed back that they can tell that what was said was the little girl's own mind and nothing has been fed to her. She is still absolutly adamant she doesnt want to see her father and cries at the very suggestion of possibly seeing him or even talking to him. How does this stand legally? The father is now looking to take this through court to get and order to force the girl to see him. Can this be granred against the girl's will?

Our Response:
Often the court will ask Cafcass to prepare a report. A Family Court Adviser will prepare this report usually after seeing both the parties separately and with the children involved in the case, they may also wish to see the children on their own, please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 26-Feb-18 @ 2:14 PM
Hi. For the past 6 years i have always given my ex every other weekend (fri-sun eve) with my 2 children 6&10 yrs old, he used to have a week night for dinner but constantly cancelled on them so we stuck to every other weekend. I had a harrassment order against him but when this ended he applied to court for more accesssaying i with hold access (which i never have even when he didn't pay or was being abusive) and wanting their passports to take them abroad (which am worried he wont return them) and also wants their surname changed from mine to his stating he wasnt aware (even thought he was in same room and signed the birth certificates) im so worried that all his lies will be believed, my children are not toys he is never there when he does have them anyway!
Clou90 - 24-Feb-18 @ 8:14 PM
Hi. I have a very unusual situation where by a very close friend has a 5 years old daughter. She has been split from the father for 4 years. The daughter sees her dad 3 times a week and the relationship between the parents is amicable. Over the last 18 mothts the little girl has said how she doesnt want to see her dad anymore. This is because in her words 'she doesnt like him, he doesn't talk to her or do anything with her as he is always playing on his phone. The mom has been convincing the little girl to see her dad however last week the girl broke down at school in tears and told the teachers. The teachers have fully documented the situation and have relayed back that they can tell that what was said was the little girl's own mind and nothing has been fed to her. She is still absolutly adamant she doesnt want to see her father and cries at the very suggestion of possibly seeing him or even talking to him. How does this stand legally? The father is now looking to take this through court to get and order to force the girl to see him. Can this be granred against the girl's will?
S5 - 24-Feb-18 @ 11:06 AM
Charlie- Your Question:
Some advice please. Me and my child father broke up 2 years ago, with a child who is 6. Dad lives 300 miles away and doesn't pay any child support which doesn't actually bother me. He demands I pay for my son to see him which I do with no problem but obviously can't do this all the time and he has seen him a hand ful of times in the last year, he always threats to take him away for me unless I give him money ECT. He is meant to having him next weekend and I'm worried he won't bring him back. I understand that he has every right as his on the birth certificate, but I was just wondering is there anything I can do if this happens as he lives so far away it would completely mess with my son as his school, family and friends are all here and with him barely seeing him recently I'm worried for my son. I believe he also does drugs and is being evicted from his house so it not like he can even support him.

Our Response:
If both parents have Parental Responsibility and one parent keeps the children against the other's wishes, the police cannot intervene, even if the children do not normally live with them. They are only able to intervene and take a child back to the primary carer if there is a possible risk to life. If you are unsure about your rights, speak to your local Citizens Advice Bureau who will be able to provide you with free assistance. The courts may be able to help, but this can be a lengthy process and you will need to evidence any concerns. It is therefore important to know your options before seeking a Child Arrangement Order, please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 19-Feb-18 @ 3:26 PM
Some advice please. Me and my child father broke up 2 years ago, with a child who is 6. Dad lives 300 miles away and doesn't pay any child support which doesn't actually bother me. He demands I pay for my son to see him which I do with no problem but obviously can't do this all the time and he has seen him a hand ful of times in the last year, he always threats to take him away for me unless I give him money ECT. He is meant to having him next weekend and I'm worried he won't bring him back. I understand that he has every right as his on the birth certificate, but I was just wondering is there anything I can do if this happens as he lives so far away it would completely mess with my son as his school, family and friends are all here and with him barely seeing him recently I'm worried for my son. I believe he also does drugs and is being evicted from his house so it not like he can even support him.
Charlie - 19-Feb-18 @ 12:13 AM
T - Your Question:
Separated from my 1 year old sons mother just after we found out she was pregnant. Since 6/7 months old, my new partner has been involved in my boys life. She also does all running around, ie. Pick ups/drop offs for my son as his mother refuses to do so and I am unable to learn to drive due to epilepsy. Also, when mother asks we drop him to alternative addresses on occasions. We recently asked her to compromise on some things with us, including doing half the travel. She has now told us she has got legal advice and that by law I am responsible for all pick ups and drop offs, so she will not help as she is not obligated to? Is this true? She is also adamant that legally I have to tell her if we are staying at an alternative address or visiting a place further out than usual when we have him. Is this correct? She has also advised my partner can no longer be around my son alone, or pick him up on her own (as she used to all the time), even though her own words are 'she is a great stepmum'. I feel she is trying to control me/the situation by fabricating rights, or is she correct?

Our Response:
There are no set rules. Your ex can try to lay down some house rules, but it doesn't mean you have to comply or that these rules cannot be challenged. If you cannot agree arrangements between yourselves, you would have to consider mediation, or if your ex refuses to attend mediation, court to let the court decide these matters. 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 - 13-Feb-18 @ 3:36 PM
CityRus - Your Question:
Hello don't know if you can answer this but me and my ex split up 4 years ago. We were not married and both agreed on 4 nights with me and 3 nights with his dad. Right from when my daughter was born I claimed child benefit. A year after we split my ex put a claim in for my child benefit so I asked why and he said so he could get help in getting a council house as he needs to be the one showing he receives child benefit. He said he would pay me the child benefit every month as it's not the money he is after its the status of having the benefit paid to him. So I notified HMRC straight away of his intentions and said I agree to surrender it to help him out for now if they were ok with this and the reasons why and he promised in turn that once he was in a stable relationship again I would be able to claim it back. Well now is that time and instead of allowing me to have it he is fighting for it. Am I likely not to get it back now or am I within the best chance. Alot of people tell me I will get it back no problem as I originally had it and did it as a good will gesture. Cannot believe I put my trust into him. I was warned not to.

Our Response:
You would have to speak directly to the Child Benefit Office regarding this matter. The receipt of child benefit means that your ex is effectively considered the primary carer of your daughter. By being the primary carer, it means he is allowed an extra bedroom when applying for a council house. Where parents do not choose who is to receive child benefit, the Secretary of State will use his discretion to decide. This usually means that the decision is taken by HMRC, who often look at the number of nights a child has in each home. The issue is further complicated by the question of which parent is entitled to the child benefit has implications for receipt of related benefits such as child tax credit and working tax credit. These are generally paid to the primary carer who receives child benefit. Likewise, if CMS is involved with regards to child maintenance payments, the parent who receives child benefit becomes the receiving parent and the parent who doesn't becomes the paying parent. We cannot tell you who will be allocated the child benefit, that is up to HMRC to decide.
ChildSupportLaws - 13-Feb-18 @ 12:20 PM
Separated from my 1 year old sons mother just after we found out she was pregnant. Since 6/7 months old, my new partner has been involved in my boys life. She also does all running around, ie. Pick ups/drop offs for my son as his mother refuses to do so and I am unable to learn to drive due to epilepsy. Also, when mother asks we drop him to alternative addresses on occasions. We recently asked her to compromise on some things with us, including doing half the travel. She has now told us she has got legal advice and that by law I am responsible for all pick ups and drop offs, so she will not help as she is not obligated to? Is this true? She is also adamant that legally I have to tell her if we are staying at an alternative address or visiting a place further out than usual when we have him. Is this correct? She has also advised my partner can no longer be around my son alone, or pick him up on her own (as she used to all the time), even though her own words are 'she is a great stepmum'. I feel she is trying to control me/the situation by fabricating rights, or is she correct?
T - 13-Feb-18 @ 11:45 AM
Hello don't know if you can answer this but me and my ex split up 4 years ago. We were not married and both agreed on 4 nights with me and 3 nights with his dad. Right from when my daughter was born I claimed child benefit. A year after we split my ex put a claim in for my child benefit so I asked why and he said so he could get help in getting a council house as he needs to be the one showing he receives child benefit. He said he would pay me the child benefit every month as it's not the money he is after its the status of having the benefit paid to him. So I notified HMRC straight away of his intentions and said I agree to surrender it to help him out for now if they were ok with this and the reasons why and he promised in turn that once he was in a stable relationship again I would be able to claim it back. Well now is that time and instead of allowing me to have it he is fighting for it. Am I likely not to get it back now or am I within the best chance. Alot of people tell me I will get it back no problem as I originally had it and did it as a good will gesture. Cannot believe I put my trust into him. I was warned not to.
CityRus - 12-Feb-18 @ 7:26 PM
Mummygeorgia - Your Question:
Over 3 months a go I fled domestic abuse from my kids dad. Since then we have both kept it Sivel for the children and both agreed to set a rule that no new partner is to meet the children for at least 6 months and then only when the other parent has met them first. Me and the kids dad both have not so savoury exes so the rule was put in place to protect the kids safety and mental well-being. How ever I have now found out that thier dad is seeing someone new, has been since before I left and he has introduced her to the kids by taking them to the park for play days on several occasions. I have told him that until I have in writing that it won't happen again and that the original agreement is kept in place them there will be no contact. Am I right in what I have done?

Our Response:
There is no right or wrong in a situation such as this. If you cannot agree between you, then you would have to agree via mediation, please see link here. If you cannot agree via mediation, then your ex will have the opportunity to apply to court.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Feb-18 @ 12:28 PM
Finch - Your Question:
Hi. Need some advice please.The father of my child moved abroad when she was about 2. He only comes to see her once a year for a couple of night's. (She is now 5) she sometimes doesn't want to talk to him on the phone and I feel like I have to force her. He wants her to go abroad and visit him but I don't feel comfortable with it and now he is trying to manipulate me. She's very confused with the situation, what do I do? What rights does he have?

Our Response:
You do not have to allow your child to visit her father abroad. Your ex must get the permission of everyone with parental responsibility for a child (i.e you) or from a court before taking the child abroad, please see link here. If you refuse, your ex would have to apply to court. 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 - 12-Feb-18 @ 12:16 PM
Gabbs - Your Question:
Hi hope you can help. I split up with my girlfriend of 5 years we have a daughter which is 3. My ex will not allow me to see her any more. She has said on a number of occasions I can see her but when time comes she is out or will not answer the door. All I want is to see my little girl.What can I do. Thanks

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Your first step should be to send a registered (or solicitor's) letter to your ex-partner in which you ask her to reinstate contact between you and your child. Don't forget to take a copy of the letter for your records and keep your proof of sending. Court is always seen as a last resort and you will usually have to show that you have both attended a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before you can apply. If this produces no action, and/or your ex refuses to attend mediation, then you have no alternative but to go to court and apply for a chail arrangement order, please see link here. The courts do want fathers to have relationships with their children and in all likelihood a court order would be granted. Once a court order is in place, your ex would have to keep to it.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Feb-18 @ 12:05 PM
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