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Applying for Child Custody

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 28 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Custody Applying For Custody

Sadly, not every marriage can maintain a 'happy ever after', leading many couples to divorce. In the midst of a marital split, there may be children involved and each parent may have their own ideas as to how their offsprings should be looked after and who should look after them.

Sometimes feelings are so strong as to who should have the children that one or both parents may instigate custody proceedings in order to have the law rule on which parent is the most suitable carer.

What is Child Custody?

Child custody is a ruling by a magistrate – or Family Panel – who determines which parent should have the children living with them. This decision is based on a number of factors and also takes into consideration the feelings of the children involved, if they are old enough to understand what is going on around them.

Child custody also rules on how often and under what circumstances the parent who has been refused custody should see his or her children.

Applying for Custody

Before you can apply for custody you must ensure that all avenues of amicable agreement have been exhausted. It is important to remember that a custody battle can be a long drawn out series of hearings and, throughout this, your children will be fully aware of what is happening. They will have to speak to the court welfare officer during this time, too.

You must first consult a solicitor who specialises in family law, and they will instruct you on the best course of action. If there are no mitigating circumstances in the custody request, such as domestic violence, you should reasonably expect the process to take some time.

Appearing before the Family Panel

When you are given the date for your custody hearing, you will be required to appear before the Family Panel – which consists of three magistrates – and explain your reasons for wanting custody of your child/children. Your partner will also have to do this and the Family Panel will put a series of questions to you in relation to how you think you can cope with the children on your own, why you think you are the parent to whom the court should grant custody, and also if you are able to support the children financially?

The Court Welfare Officer

The Court Welfare Officer is given the task of assessing your status at home and also how you interact and look after your children. They will make their report and submit their recommendations to the Family Panel, and may on the day of the custody hearing be asked to present their findings to all those present.

The Court Welfare Officer may also have to speak with your children to try to find out Who They Would Like To Live With and the reasons why. All of this information is documented and presented to the Family Panel for review.

The Family Panel’s Ruling

You should be mindful of the fact that the Family Proceedings Court is a court of law and the magistrates operating therein are doing so in accordance with the law. With this in mind the Family Panel’s decision is legal and binding and – unless you appeal it – you are required by law to adhere to the terms and conditions of the custody agreement.

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Hi can my partner have the kids live with her even if her ex partner cheated on her and try every way to stop us from having the kids
Pain2017 - 28-Mar-17 @ 10:42 PM
Need advice ,I have a 12 yr old son who has lived with me since birth ,I split with his dad soon after birth he has been payingfor maintenance every week through the csa every week ,but since the change of csa to maintenance recently ,he has become reluctant to pay,the child maintenance recently got in touch with him to start up payment from him but he told them he has his son for 2 nights over the weekend ,while in fact he spends only one night,he recently called me and told me to call child maintenanceand lie to them to let them know he spends 2 nights instead of one or else he would take me to court to get custody for his son.what do I do?
Nicole - 24-Mar-17 @ 5:17 PM
I need help to get full custody of my daughter I am the mother and I have her teeth been living with me for through it but five or six years
Julia - 2-Mar-17 @ 12:24 AM
Gran10 - Your Question:
Can my granddaughters ex partner from over a year ago apply for full custody of their son. He has never paid one penny towards his keep although he says he buys him clothes although never sent home with him.my granddaughter works pays for nursery and everything her son needs he's all of a sudden decided he wants full custody. She allows him 1 night a week and every second weekend.he's now recording every phone conversation talking rubbish saying she's smoking drugs she never has but him and his family do. Does he even have a case for court

Our Response:
Anyone can apply for full custody...whether they will get it or not is another thing. If the father doesn't think he sees enough of his son, or that his son would benefit from having more contact with his father, the parents should discuss this and try and come to some alternative arrangements. Maybe a 50/50 split etc? If they can't agree mutually or using a mediation service, then he can apply to court. The courts will make their decision based on the best interests of your grandson.
LawAndParents - 24-Feb-17 @ 11:40 AM
Hi, my partner went on holiday to Slovakiawith our 21 month old son and refused to return and is saying she will not return to England , I have started a hague application for the return of my son who was born and lived in England since birth, can I go for full custody of him as I fear that she is not thinking of our sons best interests as she doesn't seem to care about my son and me having a proper father son relationship
Stevesjem - 23-Feb-17 @ 10:27 PM
Can my granddaughters ex partner from over a year ago apply for full custody of their son. He has never paid one penny towards his keep although he says he buys him clothes although never sent home with him.my granddaughter works pays for nursery and everything her son needs he's all of a sudden decided he wants full custody. She allows him 1 night a week and every second weekend.he's now recording every phone conversation talking rubbish saying she's smoking drugs she never has but him and his family do. Does he even have a case for court
Gran10 - 21-Feb-17 @ 8:15 PM
My husband left me when I was 6 months pregnant, is name is therefore on birth certificate.He saw our daughter a few times for a couple of years, but we have now had zero contact for over 5 years and I have no means of contact.How do I go about getting sole custody legally?
CG - 2-Feb-17 @ 8:32 PM
My life was destroyed when my husband sent me packing, after 13 years we have been together. I was lost and helpless after trying so many ways to my husband back to me. One day at work, I was distracted, not knowing that my boss called me, so he sat and asked me what it was all about, I told him and he smiled and said it was no problem. I never understood what he meant by it was no problem getting back my husband, he said he used a spell to get back his wife when she left him for another man, and now they are together till date and initially I was shocked hearing something from my boss. He gave me an email address of the Prophet Abuvia which helped him get his wife back, I never believed that this would work, but I had no choice coming into contact with the sayings that I get done, and he asked for my information and that my husband was able to propose to throw him the spell and I sent him the details, but after two days, my mother called me that my husband was pleading that he wants me back, I never believed, because it was just a dream and I had to rush off to my mother's place and to my greatest surprise, was kneeling my husband beg mefor forgiveness that he wants me and the child back home, when I gave prophet Abuvia a conversation regarding sudden change of my husband and he made clear to me that my husband will love me until the end of the world, that he will never leave for another woman. Now me and my husband is back together and started doing funny things he has not done before, he makes me happy and do what it is supposed to do as a man without nagging. Please if you need help of any kind need, please contact Prophet Abuvia for help. His email is prophet.abuvia AT g m a i l . com his website is prophetAbuviasolutiontemple . webs . com
Sarah Coleman - 2-Feb-17 @ 4:42 PM
My now ex has a lot of problems - selfish, lazy, self absorbed, self harms etc. I've tried to help her with these issues but she just blames it on everyone else and it made our relationship impossible for me. I told her we were over and that she can stay in the house as she has nowhere else to go and I would never make my daughter homeless. She has however left and is staying with a friend (and her parents). Despite having a full time job, when I'm home I do about 80% of looking after our daughter (8 months old), majority of the housework, pay all the bills etc. I genuinely believe (as do many others) that my daughter would be better living with me full time, particularly right now as my ex has nowhere to live and no income. Is there anything I can do to attempt to get full custody so-to-speak right away? Or am I going to have to try to come to an agreement and then go through the courts, which will probably take months? I want my daughter home and safe!
Onelastrequest - 30-Jan-17 @ 3:42 PM
Desperatemummy - Your Question:
Hiya dont know where to start ??My ex partner and I split when our child was 4 weeks old he stopped seeing him at 8 weeks old without saying anything, my son is now 5 and he still hasnt bothered with him, whilst together there was violence in which I did phone the police and the day we split he smashed my window covering my son in glass (4 weeks old) I called the police again and he was charged with criminal damage.I dont want him to just be able to walk into his life if he ever decides to so I want full custody and to take his rights away.Does anyone know how I go about doing this?

Our Response:
In effect you have full residency for your child because you are the mother and there are no other arrangements in place. There is nothing to prevent your ex applying for contact - the courts will refuse this if they do not think it is in the best interests of your son or if it will put him at risk.
LawAndParents - 30-Jan-17 @ 10:45 AM
Hiya dont know where to start ?? My ex partner and i split when our child was 4 weeks old he stopped seeing him at 8 weeks old without saying anything, my son is now 5 and he still hasnt bothered with him, whilst together there was violence in which i did phone the police and the day we split he smashed my window covering my son in glass (4 weeks old) i called the police again and he was charged with criminal damage. I dont want him to just be able to walk into his life if he ever decides to so i want full custody and to take his rights away. Does anyone know how i go about doing this?
Desperatemummy - 29-Jan-17 @ 10:24 AM
Hii 2 years ago me and my partner split... We never were ok... now just gone worse as I left my sister and moved in with my fiance. He keeps breaking promesses like scare her for potty when she was going. She come with nappy rashes. All sorts. So I told him until he prove he is capable of looking after her he would have to visit her in the house. Stay as long as he likes but not taking her... anyway when he has her always stays indoors not going out of the hotel... as he lives far. When I tell him to come he refuses and say I'm stopping him to see her. And he will call police. I am metals so stress I dont now what to do anymore... pleaseeee any advice????
Ana - 28-Jan-17 @ 10:21 AM
I got divorced 3 years ago, and I have 2 children ( 5&7 yrs old) . While getting divorce, the court asked us if we can sort the children situation between us or do we need a courts help. We did say that we are ok - we filled in one of the forms stating visiting days and hours ( he sees them once a week for 2,5hrs and every other wknd)Does that mean we have shared custody? How can I check it?
Kazo - 27-Jan-17 @ 8:16 PM
My eldest son is having marital problems with his wife. There is no suggestion that there is any abuse. It seems she feels trapped. He has a god job and has tried to accommodate her wishes. This last weekend she took the car and headed north to visit her sick mother, which is normal. But she refuses to say when she's coming back and doesn't telephone or seem to want to talk with her children. They have been married 10 yrs, he is 34 and she is 40. As his father it's hard to wacth this happen and be un-biased. I've always adopted a position of supporting 100% my children's spouses and I have. What options does he have 'if' she decides not to come home?
ajf57 - 23-Jan-17 @ 9:37 PM
His I split from my husband in Feb 2015 we have a 4 year old nd a 3 year old he sees them twice a week one day from 9 to 5 nd other day 3.30 til 5.30 he expects me to bring them to him nd collect them as well I live a 45 mind walk away from him nd a 29 min bus ride away Ibe asked him to share the journey wit me I take kids to him nd he brings them back he is kicking off satin I should do both ways as I don't wrk he has be abusive mentally nd verbally threating to take them away from me nd report me to social I do everything for my girls but I'm at my widths end now my only way forward is to go threw to courts nd get a court order for access in progress nd get mediation set up I need some advice on how I can progress I have recently got Iver depression
Hols - 14-Jan-17 @ 12:19 PM
I moved out to Denmark 18 months ago with my son to live with my (also British) partner and his children (who are half British/ half Latvian and born in Denmark). My son's natural father doesn't have parental responsibility and does not appear on his birth certificate. He's known my partner now for over 3 years (he's 6 this year). My partner and I are getting married this summer in the UK, and my son is with him at home on occasions when I work abroad. How do we create a parental responsibility/guardianship for my son with my partner. We are happy to consider adoption further down the line, but want something legal set up as soon as possible. Do we need to do this in the UK or in Denmark? One thing is that i make him guardian in my will, but we'd like him to have a legal responsibility for him so he can function as a parent in my absence (e.g. taking him on a flight/ for school etc. here).
Danish Girl - 13-Jan-17 @ 4:03 PM
Eltel76 - Your Question:
I have three children with my ex wife, two sons of 16 and 18, my daughter of 12 wants to live with me. Their mum, for some strange reason has taken to going out every night, often leaving my daughter on her own until my 18 year old gets home from work. She often has different men staying or visiting which concerns me. She has no time for any of her children, she has a six year old son from her second marriage and he often gets forgotten about at home too. I've spoken to he's dad and we both agree that it's time we both got the ball rolling to get custody of our kids. Just need some guidance if anyone has any please

Our Response:
It's worth discussing with her to see if you can come to a mutual agreement that the children reside with you. If this is not successful, you can apply to the courts using form C100 for a residency order.
LawAndParents - 4-Jan-17 @ 11:53 AM
I have three children with my ex wife, two sons of 16 and 18, my daughter of 12 wants to live with me. Their mum, for some strange reason has taken to going out every night, often leaving my daughter on her own until my 18 year old gets home from work. She often has different men staying or visiting which concerns me. She has no time for any of her children, she has a six year old son from her second marriage and he often gets forgotten about at home too. I've spoken to he's dad and we both agree that it's time we both got the ball rolling to get custody of our kids. Just need some guidance if anyone has any please
Eltel76 - 3-Jan-17 @ 10:52 AM
My son father has not seen him for 3 years and in the time we have revived tgreats via third person which loved with the police he is all smoking heroin and doing other strong drugs he now wants access to see my son and also be harressed by messages from his new former girlfriendsaying how many years am I going stop him but I never have I always said contact centre but never did and when social services was involed that arange supervised access as of his behaviour and drugs he was violent to me and really don't want my son around that as he doing so well at school doesn't rember him anymore or get upset so don't want being heard act back and even the let down as iknow he will as Ithe area I love in they all know everyone and they tell me it he off smoking crack with so n so so really just want to know we're I stand with this and what I can do stop his former girlfriend being involed as it has nothing to do with her only person is the rather like he should of with all opertunity he had instead drugs please need help
Grights. x - 3-Jan-17 @ 10:48 AM
My son hasn't seen his dad for 9 years. He left when he was 1. There has been no contact for that time and I don't even know where he is. I would like to apply for sole responsibility which would ensure that he stays with my family rather than end up with him should anything happen to me. I've been told in the past that this is not possible without his permission. Any idea how I can approach this?
Jo168 - 2-Jan-17 @ 9:01 AM
Im a father of 3 but my eldest is with an ex partner whom has out of the blue decided not to inform me of her school activities, etc, and on my last date of collecting my daughter from her residents I decided in confronting these issues which resulted in my daughter being dragged away unnecessary. Since then my wife and I have contact regarding having my daughter with no reasurance I will see her again.
dad - 25-Dec-16 @ 11:28 PM
I have just finalised the divorce with the ex husband . At the moment custody is joint between us , but I want to apply for full custody, as we can't agree on anything to do with the children. We have very such different viewpoints on raising the children, totally opposite ends of the scale due to our different educational and social backgrounds . There is no compromise available and we continue to argue . The Ex keeps going on that he has rights and continues to try and control me through our children . I Divorced him for unreasonable behaviour very controlling . Eldest childis 4.5 and youngest is 2.5. Once we separated I pulled the eldest from normal nursery and this September put her in private school . Yes I did this without his permission as I knew he would never allow the children to attend a private school , but I would be paying all costs ! .I wanted my children to have the best education and opportunities / head start in life that I can provide. Second daughter place also secured in private school, so they would go together .The eldest loves the new school . Ex husband doesn't believe in private school education / educating children (he thinks it's up to the school only) / disagrees with homework set for the children /not supportive (i.e. Doesn't spend time reading or helping teaching children with abc etc ) and the list goes on . Ex does not contribute a penny to education or tuition fees / uniform /lunch money etc .Basically if he doesn't agree with anything he never financially contributes . Overall Im fine if he doesn't financially contribute , but what the problem is that since he objects - I can't do anything , then he goes on about his parental rights . I envisage that this behaviour of him not agreeing to something, will be impacting and will continue for the rest of their childhood. Envisage it will slowly creep into other areas such as location of holidays (he wants them to travel in Europe only - I let them see the world and different cultures) . For example I let them to travel to see his family in Italy , but he won't let them to travel to Vietnam as he says it's a 3rd world country and too far ! Again on children hobbies, since exdisagrees we argue all the time what's in the best interest of children.Typical arguement is that he doesn't want eldest to learn French , I explained it's part of her school curriculum.Find it hypocritical that he would approve of they learnt Italian at school as he is Italian . Overall if I file for sole custody , will this mean that he can't stop me from giving my girls the best opportunities just because he doesn't agree with them ?, he wants them to grow up "average and normal " he says , hence we are always going to clash. He doesn't pay for anything but continues to object to opportunities and experiences for my girls . I financially provide everything in my house /live in nanny / bills etc , what he gives me in monthly mainte
Sophia - 16-Dec-16 @ 1:09 AM
I have two new twins who are living with my wife in Dubai as she will not come back to the UK. They were born by IVF using my sperm but a donor egg that I did not know about. The wife swears she told me but did not and then mislead me. I agreed to try for kids with her and agreed to IVF, much against my instincts, but never to donor eggs and am on record as not being happy about the concept of donors and calling a halt to the process. I agreed to have kids when we were both flexible about where we lived, she was living in Dubai (UK National) at the time and I living and working in the UK. I have tried to develop work in the Dubai but she has consistently frustrated my visits out there for numerous reasons ( family visiting, friends visiting, no room etc). She now does not want me to visit at all as she says she is too stressed and not sure about us. This after I just sold my house to send her £40k to pay next year's rent on her villa. I do understand that she is in the first year and that there is an element of post natal and that pre natal she was pumped full of IVF drugs (mostly illegal in the EU as she went out side to Turkish Northern Cyprus and I since discovered we have no way of finding any information about the egg donor if the children need it in the future) - but the behaviour since the day after our marriage has been unusual to say the least and now I am not allowed a part of my children's lives. I am a partner in my own company and work from home most of the time and think I could more than look after the children myself in the UK, and pay for help when needed. How do I go about gaining custody in the UK - she is resident in the UAE( Dubai)?
DuncanMac - 9-Dec-16 @ 7:29 AM
Danielles998 - Your Question:
I live with my partner the problem is he has a son and his mother hasnt been putting him in nursry she lies to my partner about hos education. The child has come to us on a weekend with burns on his arm and lip his brother has broken his ancle years back his diet is not healthie the bairns mother feeds with sweets cakes ect. My partner and myself just wants whats best for the bairn. What advise can we get please help

Our Response:
He could apply for a residency order so his son can live with you if he feels the child is not getting the care he needs with the mother. The court form is C100. The courts may order a CAFCASS report to check on the child's family background and welfare etc.
LawAndParents - 1-Dec-16 @ 12:18 PM
i have a 3 year old son, his father has never paid any maintenance towards him. he seems to think he should claim half my benefits. I had depression for 3 months after my son was born because he made me feel like everything i did was wrong and i still feel like that now. I really want some legal help and to have it all in writing just to prove him wrong that everything he says is not true. he speaks to me like rubbish i have evidence saved from previous occasions. he seems to think its ok to have his son with his parents while he goes to have a social life. I have my son and my daughter by another man and do everything while they are with me i dont ever get anyone to watch them for me unless an emergency. It's just getting to the point where ive had enough and its not doing me any good just sitting back and letting him get away with it.
natmc - 30-Nov-16 @ 5:21 PM
I live with my partner the problem is he has a son and his mother hasnt been putting him in nursry she lies to my partner about hos education. The child has come to us on a weekend with burns on his arm and lip his brother has broken his ancle years back his diet is not healthie the bairns mother feeds with sweets cakes ect. My partner and myself just wants whats best for the bairn. What advise can we get please help
Danielles998 - 30-Nov-16 @ 1:54 PM
I would like full costudy of my child.
Mimi - 29-Nov-16 @ 1:07 PM
I dont have any legal agreement about my 2 children i split with my husband 10 months ago. We agreed the 2 children with live with him my son coming to me 4 nights a week my daughter 3. After the first 2 weeks he stopped my son and made it 3 nights only. Since then if we fall out he stops all contact with them to me. He says its for their mental wellbeing. Hes recenty dont it again and said i need a court order to see them now. How do i go about getting one and how quick can i get one. I miss my children and want to see them as soon as possible
Zoie81 - 27-Nov-16 @ 9:41 PM
Annon - Your Question:
I am going through a long divorce now 18 months and my ex is impossible to communicate with. We have 2 children, 3 & 5 yrs old and we currently split the care 50:50 but this isn't working. We alternate weekends & split the week up mon-wed then wed to fri. My issues are he doesn't give them a balanced diet, they look disheveled as he can't look after our little girls hair well, they don't have their teeth brushed in the mornings, messages don't get home from school to me in his care, the home work I've seen him do with our eldest isn't good enough, the children being so young are still confused when they are with each of us and the list goes on. I want to have main residency of the children so they are with me mon-fri then weekends with their dad with me retaining 1 weekend a month. Now there's another issue, I want to move to another county 2 hours away. Where we currently live and have for 18 years has been due to work & neither of us have any family or friend suppport network. They are all in another county and I desperately want to move back close to family and friends plus a better part of the country to bring the children up in than in the poor area we live in now. So there's 2 issues, wanting to change the childcare pattern and moving away. Both things my ex will NOT agree to. So how do I move forward?? He also has had depression, anxiety for many years and other health issues and I don't trust the children are always safe in his care in case he gets ill. The mediation firm we went to originally won't see me again on my own as he won't come, my solicitor is a divorce layer not family layer and I need advise badly how to move forward with a very uncooperative ex.

Our Response:
You might need to sit down and discuss this with somoene impartial. If the mediation firm won't see you on your own, can a court order your ex's attendance? While you don't see your ex's fathering skills as being up to your standard, they will not get better if he's moved away. A court might consider all of these things impartially, so perhaps trying to raise the issues there might be better.
LawAndParents - 22-Nov-16 @ 2:36 PM
I am going through a long divorce now 18 months and my ex is impossible to communicate with. We have 2 children, 3 & 5 yrs old and we currently split the care 50:50 but this isn't working. We alternate weekends & split the week up mon-wed then wed to fri. My issues are he doesn't give them a balanced diet, they look disheveled as he can't look after our little girls hair well, they don't have their teeth brushed in the mornings, messages don't get home from school to me in his care, the home work I've seen him do with our eldest isn't good enough, the children being so young are still confused when they are with each of us and the list goes on. I want to have main residency of the children so they are with me mon-fri then weekends with their dad with me retaining 1 weekend a month. Now there's another issue, I want to move to another county 2 hours away. Where we currently live and have for 18 years has been due to work & neither of us have any family or friend suppport network. They are all in another county and I desperately want to move back close to family and friends plus a better part of the country to bring the children up in than in the poor area we live in now. So there's 2 issues, wanting to change the childcare pattern and moving away. Both things my ex will NOT agree to. So how do I move forward?? He also has had depression, anxiety for many years and other health issues and i don't trust the children are always safe in his care in case he gets ill. The mediation firm we went to originally won't see me again on my own as he won't come, my solicitor is a divorce layer not family layer and i need advise badly how to move forward with a very uncooperative ex.
Annon - 22-Nov-16 @ 9:37 AM
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