Fathers Rights UK: Fathers’ rights in divorce in the UK aren’t always easy to comprehend when you’re dealing with the emotional strain of the breakdown of your relationship.
That, coupled with caring for your child, means that fathers’ rights can be overlooked.
Fathers’ Rights To See A Child UK
The key phrase here is parental responsibility.
This is where a parent has “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities, and authority which by a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property.”
There is an exception however, if. If the child or parent who has primary care of the child is likely to suffer significant harm if the child has a relationship with the parent they don’t live with.
Now, it’s worth noting that every case is different and will be considered on its own merit. So if the father has been absent for some time, then this might affect the amount of contact they are afforded initially.
However, the standard position is that both parents should play a role in the child’s life, as it’s in their best interests.
It’s down to the discretion of the court. The legislation simply provides the courts with the legal basis to work from, rather than giving outright guidelines.
So, this could mean that an absent father doesn’t have the automatic right to make contact or play a role in their child’s life…
The court will always look to ensure that both parents play a role in their child’s life wherever possible.
The reality is that most conflicts in a break-up involving children relate to access. Whether a father wants unsupervised visits, overnight stays, or anything else.
The welfare of the child will ALWAYS be the priority in the court’s eyes. You MUST be aware of this before seeking out the advice of a legal professional.
Unmarried Fathers’ Rights UK
If you weren’t married in your relationship and there are children involved, that doesn’t mean fathers have no rights…
In fact, the most important thing is whether or not they have parental responsibility.
Interestingly, the mother of a child automatically has parental responsibility from the day they are born, while a father does not.
So, how does a father gain parental responsibility?
- They are registered on the child’s birth certificate as the father, as long as the child was born after 1 December 2003
- The father was married or in a civil partnership with the mother on the day the child was born
- He enters into a parental responsibility with the mother
- Or the father obtains a court order that grants him parental responsibility
Can A Father Lose Parental Responsibility?
Each case is treated on its own individual circumstances. So, if a father has been absent from a child’s life for a significant amount of time, then it might be a slow process to reintroduce them…
For any absentee parents, the situation isn’t always straightforward.
The legislation is there to give the courts a legal basis on which to work from. It doesn’t give an absent father any right to make contact or have an influence in their life.
Major conflicts usually arise around access to a child, whether that’s supervised, unsupervised, overnight stays, or anything else. This is also usually an issue because, in most cases, it’s determined through either a court order or mediation
There’s also the reality that reasons other than absence could result in a parent losing parental responsibility.
The key thing the court will consider is whether their involvement in their child’s life would be detrimental to them. This could be for a variety of reasons.
What About Legal Advice For Parental Rights?
If you believe you require legal advice to proceed with your child maintenance case, it’s worth looking for solicitors in your area that assist with children’s matters…
Get Connected With A Solicitors Near Me UK Solicitor Now!