Many fathers are ill-informed about their rights with regard to their children following a separation or divorce. Rodney King & Partners Solicitors will explain exactly where you stand in relation to having a say about with whom your child lives, as well as contact and financial support.
The law generally accepts that it is in the interests of children to have regular contact with both parents.
Contact arrangements can take a number of forms including:
In some cases ex-partners have informal agreements for contact to take place between the father and the child. Unfortunately, informal arrangements cannot be enforced and can therefore be ignored by a parent if, for example, they are seeking to withhold child contact so as to apply pressure for non-payment of maintenance.
Financial maintenance and contact are two separate issues and contact with a child is not dependent upon payments of maintenance. It is the child’s right to have a relationship with both parents regardless of finances.
Nonetheless it is the responsibility of all parents to provide financial support to their children, regardless of whether or not they have contact with them
We are experienced in this area and will help you to work out the most suitable arrangements for contact with your children.
Please see our page on child contact for more information.
Parental Responsibility is a legal phrase that describes who has the rights (and obligations) in making decisions that affect the child’s life. Parental responsibility includes the following legal rights and responsibilities:
The natural mother of the child automatically has parental responsibility. If the parents are married at the time of the child’s birth then the father has automatic parental responsibility.
Unmarried fathers only have automatic parental responsibility depending on when the child was born. If you are the father of a child born after 1st December 2003 and you are named on the birth certificate, then you do automatically have shared parental responsibility with the mother. However, if your child was born before 1st December 2003, you do not.
If you do not have parental responsibility, then it can be obtained by one of the following methods:
If you wish to apply for parental responsibility please contact us for a consultation.