Fathers and Child Custody: Your Rights in the UK Family Court System

The UK family court system recognises the fathers’ rights concerning child custody to ensure healthy parenting. However, various family law issues, such as a rift between the parents or a bitter divorce/separation, may make it challenging for the father to be involved. Sometimes, the mother may prevent the father from visiting or communicating with the children.

Besides, the father may feel he is not getting fair access to the children. The ultimate goal in

such situations is to secure the child’s safety while ensuring parents are responsible and not making the child suffer during their mediation. Keep reading to learn about child custody rights as a father.

Rights as a Father

Legally, neither of the parents can stop each other from seeing their children unless expressly prohibited by a court order. Mother and father share equal responsibility for the kids and help them be raised in the best possible way.

Parental rights

These are your responsibilities and rights towards the child:

  • Well-being of the child/children.
  • Deciding their place of residence where they will grow up.
  • What type of education they should receive
  • Representation of your child during a legal proceeding
  • Choice of religion
  • Who the child spends time with
  • Right to decide medical treatment when needed

They must apply in court if the father and mother cannot agree on childcare, visitation, and custody. The court will hear both sides and decide custody and visitation accordingly, considering the child’s best-case scenario.

Effect of Marital Status on Fathers’ Rights

For married couples, the parental responsibility stays the same with the father unless the court orders to remove it. If the father’s name is absent from the child’s birth certificate, the father may need to apply for parental rights through family court.

For unmarried fathers, paternity can only be registered with the mother’s consent to give them further rights. If you split up with your partner before birth, she’ll be under no obligation to add your name to the birth certificate. Thus removing all your parental rights as a father. When proving paternity, the court may ask for a DNA test in these cases and grant child custody rights to the father in the UK.

How can a Family Law Solicitor Help the Father?

If you see your parental rights are being unfairly taken away by the mother, approaching the court will be ideal. Remember that the court will decide in the child’s best interest, so he/she may also be asked about preferences.

A child below eight may be considered too young to make decisions; in this case, the court will prepare the best arrangement. A child above 12 may have more input in how much or little they want to connect with the father.

The court may help you with the following:

  • Deciding when you see the child, such as on holidays, special occasions, or weekends.
  • Describing the duration of stay from a few hours to weeks.
  • Clarify the terms of the arrangement, specifically if you can meet the child alone or under the mother’s supervision.
  • Offer other ways to connect with the child, such as regular phone calls, video calls, writing letters, or sending video updates.

Parting Words

Now, you are aware of your rights as a father and how to pursue child custody. Your right to have a relationship with your child is as important as the mother’s and is supported by the law. Besides, it’s essential to approach the situation mindfully, keeping the law into consideration.

When dealing with child custody and rights issues as a father, you may want to get access to the best legal team. An experienced legal professional may help you know your options more and represent your case as needed. Get in touch with Lawyersorted.com to find the right solicitor for your needs.

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