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Applying for Child Custody

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 9 Jul 2020 | 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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Hello, since my partner devorced his wife 6 years ago, who he has two kids with. He has had them every weekend (unless he is working) She always threatens him about not being allowed to have them if he doesnt conform to her demands. She has been on and off with her boyfriend who abused her, often infront of the children (we have evidence of a police report) We know that she often sends the kids to sleep at other peoples houses during the time she is meant to have them, often the grandma! (We belive she has never had the kids for more than two consecutive nights) We are also positive she has a mental disorder and is a narssisist, her constant lies and manipulation is having a dangerous effect on his daughters me talking health and we are frowning increasingly concerned about their wealfare and their future. Would we stand a hight chance of getting full custody, we have always wanted this but two scared for it to have a backlash as she is so good at acting the victim and is incredibly manipulative. Also the cost is a concern of ours as although we both work full time I dont know how we will find the funds?
Selene - 2-Jul-20 @ 9:07 PM
Hi, my other half abandoned me and my four kids and left the country taking my 4years old boy document/ ID card and Passport and refusing to return it. I kept the house and I am raising my kids, my 2 eldest are 19 and 17, but still have a 12 years old daughter and a 4 years old boy which I need to grant custody so I can apply for new documents and take charge of everything. We lived together for 20 years but never got married. What do I need to do? Whom do I need to speak to? Where do I need to go? to grant my kids full custody.
Bruno - 26-Apr-20 @ 11:41 PM
Hi, my other half abandoned me and my four kids and left the country taking my 4years old boy document/ ID card and Passport and refusing to return it. I kept the house and I am raising my kids, my 2 eldest are 19 and 17, but still ha a 12 years old daughter and a 4 years old boy which I need to grant custody so I can apply for new documents and take charge of everything. We leaved together for 20 years but never got married. What do I need to do? Whom do I need to speak to? Where do I need to go? to grant my kids full custody.
Bruno - 26-Apr-20 @ 11:39 PM
Hi, my wife ask me to move out of our marital home and to take our daughter with me. I have been out daughters primary carer since October 2018. I fear that because I don’t have a job nor a house to call home at the moment I will not be given custody of our daughter. I have had to isolate my daughter due to the corona virus and haven’t allowed her mum to see her as she has not followed the social distancing. She does receive daily pictures and video calls. Can this be held against me if we go to court?
Frank - 13-Apr-20 @ 1:23 PM
My husband attacked me on 5th Aug 19 the police put in a non molestation order with davss. he was told he was 2 have contact with my sister who was a 3rd party 2 sort access of him seeing my daughter. now hes constantly letting my 10 year old down also then stopped contact for 10 weeks. now saying hes going 2 change my non molestation order 2 have hes new girlfriend put on it so my sister has 2 discuss with her. and hes going 2 take me 2 court 4 custody. my daughter doesnt want to see her dad is under going counciling 4 what she saw her dad don2 me. I'm so confused and dont want to loose my daughter
windy house - 15-Jan-20 @ 8:47 PM
Hi I'm a dad of a 9 Yr old boy my wife has moved out of our house we lived in together as found out she cheating and is now pregnant for someone else my son is with me she visits I do for him and always have even when we were together which she knows which is why she left and didn't argue about him staying but I want custody etc as she could take him as we still married on Paper. So question is how do I go about having sole custody as father and arranging visitation for her without worry of her taking him?
H - 7-Jan-20 @ 1:18 AM
Hi! I m married but my husband is not in home at all. He don't take even 1 day in week of from job and he when he is of he no stay in home or look after kids.Our relationship is gone.I want my kids custody.How I will do ?
Diana - 27-Oct-19 @ 9:38 PM
My daughter lost custody of her son when we he was 2 because her partner (the boys father) was very abusive to her and her other son (not his child) Her ex partner and son then disappeared and he made it very difficult for her to see him or contact him. And Because of her anxiety and lack of condidence she lost contact with. He then went on to marry have more children and abuse her. Which his now lost custody of them because of his anger and drug abuse. So now my daughter wants to go for full custody of her son even though shes not been able to see him at all in the last year or so. What does she need to do to get the process in the place. How much it may cost etc? She wants me to represent her in court as she knows im a good spokesman for her? Please advice on what we need to do to start the process? Thank you very much.
Bubbles - 16-Sep-19 @ 11:08 AM
Hello I want to look into taking full custody of my child. I feel like an only parent to her, her dad has her only once a week and doesn’t see her otherwise, he only has her otherwise he will have to pay more child Matienence, even though he only lives a 10 minute drive away! I have asked for him to share parenting abit more, as I never get a chance to do anything! He has responded saying things like he doesn’t want to be her dad & he doesn’t want to have her more! He makes excuses that it’s hard - when really it isn’t. I just feel like I don’t want a part time dad in her life as it’s upsetting and confusing for her. So to be honest I’d rather take this role alone! As it’s already what I do! If you could give me some advice on what I need to do - that would be great. Thank you
Emma - 6-Aug-19 @ 8:52 PM
me and my partner separeted after she started on drugs & i moved back to my parents but social servicres contacted me asking me to take over custody of my 1yr old son and 4yr old daughter, i gave up my job, my family found us a flat etc and i went thro court with her stupid accusations but ive now been informed her parental ban has been lifetd and she could take back the kids and i cant stop her?? i dont trust her to lose the plot again and i know shes mixing with the wrong ppl, the kids are now settled,in school and doing very very well....i cant afford legal costs but i dont know were to go from here...any advice???Im desperate
jo3796 - 4-Aug-19 @ 7:14 PM
How do I apply for full custody of my daughter, who is 9 years old. Her father has no interest and refused to respond to ny messages. I need a full custody order so that we can travel to and fromSouth Africa ( my hone country) without his permission.
J - 30-May-19 @ 10:45 AM
Kia Baxter won't let me see or evun speak to my children please I don't no haw much more I can take please I'm in Peece's it has been 14 months since I last spoke to them my yungist dust even no ho I am or wot I look like please I can't go on like this eny more I'm at the end ove the rope please help me please
Tarot fawcett - 15-Apr-19 @ 12:03 AM
kindly take my daughter away from my baby mum she refuse to let me talk to her I have no access to my own daughter,I don't even know what forms she is in school,I try to come to terms with her mother she never let me,she is in her third relationship now with another man child,she don't have any time for my daughter or the rest kids,please safe the life of my daughter, I ask her to tell me what form she is and I need to know her life she just don't let me near my girl,and I don't trust the man she married she could be pedophile. please safe my daughter.
murphy - 4-Dec-18 @ 2:30 PM
Me and my husband are splitting up and he is threatening me if I take my kids he does nothing for them and never has what can I do
Ej - 28-Nov-18 @ 11:14 PM
I have spent a lot of money on trying get some access to my 3 kids but my ex wife caused me of domestic voilence and stoped me from seeing my kids. I was told by the court I have to do a course which cost me nearly £2000 which I have completed but now I don't have any money left to pay a solicitor. Does any one know how I can prepare and present myself in court to gain any form of access to my kids. I am not a violent person I love my kids and miss them so much
GP - 3-Nov-18 @ 12:26 PM
Can you help me my ex partner is trying to take my daughter away from me when she's been born thanks hope to hear from you soon
Kyl - 30-Oct-18 @ 5:20 PM
Hi I will to know I lose my 3 kids costudy because I was in a domestic abuse with my ex boyfriend and I was affected with that and I was negelt my kids when I was depression it was 2014 my ex husband have full costudy of them by the court and now he is abuse my kids we gt the police involved and social services . In but I have my baby was born and I do a parenting assessment after my ex boyfriend go to jail for abuse me and I pass and it been 2 year I don't have any prb I done all my work with social services all was positive I don't have anymore social services in my life now but is it any way I can have costudy for my other 3 kids who live with my ex husband pls I need a answer as I am actually going to court when I have all prove to prove to my solicitor thx
Santiago - 24-Oct-18 @ 3:32 PM
Hi really need some help here. I made a massive mistake and drank while my 2 kids were at school, only due to pick the boy up. I've been very stressed and I didn't think I was drunk. I picked the child up and we had an altercation, he refused to get onto the car with me, we had a massive argument and he ended up leaving with a family member to walk to there house. I was livid, and hysterical at the same time, and tryed to run after him. I ended up having a car crash, as I was so emotional. I ended up in custody for the night, and while my phone battery had died, I couldn't reach the father of the other child, who was due home that night. The school rang social services, I presume,and the next day when home, the father of the boy told me the boy didn't want to speak to me. He was hysterical and angry. The father of the girl completely blocked my number all together,and haven't contacted me at all. I haven't seen either child since, or spoke to them. Boy blocked me too.I've been told both are going for custody. I've previously had past problems with alcohol, but after this I be we want to touch a drink again. Please tell me how I can win the custody battle,proving that I have indeed sorted myself out? They both live with me, but see there dad's on a regular basis.I've never stopped them seeing there dad's. How can I fix this problem?? I'm so desperate. It was a very very stupid mistake ,and I'm paying the ultimate punishment. Also, how do I go about putting my case across? How long does the whole process take?? And what are my chances? As I will defiantly never do anything that stupid again. Please help me
Jonesy123 - 12-Oct-18 @ 9:04 PM
How would I go about getting full custody of my two boys from my ex husband as he is never round for them. He also does not pay nothing for the kids.
Shan - 4-Sep-18 @ 9:49 PM
Hi, this is just a brief break down,I have meet this man through work 1998 then I left for another job a year later, we lost all contacts but got re-contacted by an ex manager early February 2010 we kept in touch then got involved with him October 2010, got engage December 2011, we had child 2013 now 5, but he’s got 4 other children by his late wife, I had one from a previous relationship. During that time I start getting to know him and some of stuff I can not repeat, I have suffered constant verbal abuse and physical abuse, I almost took my own life but that night I cry and I pray for strength, soul searching andpeace and hug my children, I have to protect my children and be hear for them. I wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone, go anywhere without him being there getting dropped off at work, he’d even stork me at work, I removed myself from all social media because he said nobody likes me, he told me I was ill and that I needed help, I don’t need to go church or give to charity, he would check my phone, email very much in control my account which he’d check. I couldn’t even speak to my own family with whom I loved dearly I’d literally cut them off. My closes friends and families and even his own children try’s to warn me but I was so blindsided by a con, a narcissist, a control freak and all messed up man. Break up and get back because of the children but it got worse, I wanted out I took my children and lefted. I had counciling my doctor, my preast and mindfulness program my life was a logo puzzle putting it back together. He had access to see his child but the disappointed promises and upsetting my child then I have to explain for multiple times he’s not turning up it breaks my heart. He doesn’t contribute at all but goes on the most 5 star holidays, drive a jaguar, exspensive dinning, not got a job and always his high horse. Now that he’s no longer in control, I he’d took me to court to get full custody he told me I was going lose anyway he’s got more money than me and I am not capable of taking care of my children and that I couldn’t afford a lawyer. He actually under estimated me little does he know my prayers had been answered a week before the court a lady just happen walk into the store then started talking to me she give some tips on family court, then three days before the court another lady “angel” was sent to me started talking she gave a family lawyers number and she call right away, 48 hours of emailing documents and phone calls, he’d offer to me meet me court day. Faith and god is by my side there was an arrangement for him to see his child for a few hours then sleep over every other weekend, he told the court would pay £200 per month for child maintenance but it only lasted probably less three months, he did not follow through with the court order, it was pointless for me to keep on paying lawyer fees for him to come and see their own child. Now it’s well over a year since he’d bothered or to have any form of relationship with
Chan - 18-Aug-18 @ 3:38 PM
Hi, this is just a brief break down,I have meet this man through work 1998 then I left for another job a year later, we lost all contacts but got re-contacted by an ex manager early February 2010 we kept in touch then got involved with him October 2010, got engage December 2011, we had child 2013 now 5, but he’s got 4 other children by his late wife, I had one from a previous relationship. During that time I start getting to know him and some of stuff I can not repeat, I have suffered constant verbal abuse and physical abuse, I almost took my own life but that night I cry and I pray for strength, soul searching andpeace and hug my children, I have to protect my children and be hear for them. I wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone, go anywhere without him being there getting dropped off at work, he’d even stork me at work, I removed myself from all social media because he said nobody likes me, he told me I was ill and that I needed help, I don’t need to go church or give to charity, he would check my phone, email very much in control my account which he’d check. I couldn’t even speak to my own family with whom I loved dearly I’d literally cut them off. My closes friends and families and even his own children try’s to warn me but I was so blindsided by a con, a narcissist, a control freak and all messed up man. Break up and get back because of the children but it got worse, I wanted out I took my children and lefted. I had counciling my doctor, my preast and mindfulness program my life was a logo puzzle putting it back together. He had access to see his child but the disappointed promises and upsetting my child then I have to explain for multiple times he’s not turning up it breaks my heart. He doesn’t contribute at all but goes on the most 5 star holidays, drive a jaguar, exspensive dinning, not got a job and always his high horse. Now that he’s no longer in control, I he’d took me to court to get full custody he told me I was going lose anyway he’s got more money than me and I am not capable of taking care of my children and that I couldn’t afford a lawyer. He actually under estimated me little does he know my prayers had been answered a week before the court a lady just happen walk into the store then started talking to me she give some tips on family court, then three days before the court another lady “angel” was sent to me started talking she gave a family lawyers number and she call right away, 48 hours of emailing documents and phone calls, he’d offer to me meet me court day. Faith and god is by my side there was an arrangement for him to see his child for a few hours then sleep over every other weekend, he told the court would pay £200 per month for child maintenance but it only lasted probably less three months, he did not follow through with the court order, it was pointless for me to keep on paying lawyer fees for him to come and see their own child. Now it’s well over a year since he’d bothered or to have any form of relationship with
Chan - 18-Aug-18 @ 3:37 PM
I currently have 3 children in foster care and i am 30 weeks pregnant. Im not going to deny or beat around the bush the reason for them being taken was neglect, poor home conditions etc due to a deterioration in my mental health which i didnt notice the severity of my depression until it was too late... since January i have dramatically turned my life around working with professionalsinstead of hiding away, maintaining routine home conditions,self empowerment , my unborn baby (unexpected) has been put on a child in need care plan following a case conference 23/07/18 and i am working with all involved.On 24/07/2018 it was a trial for the final hearing of my other three, instead of going against LA and having to give evidence in courtroom our barristers managed to come to an agreement, detailing expectations for all inc etc, I agreed to the condition of the kids staying where they were for now as i needed to show more consistency and coping with a newborn to social services plus the upcoming cesarean section and sterilisation recovery period on the understanding contact would be for 3 hours on a Saturday ( as opposed to 1 hour 3x per week)that it would be regularly reviewed and the possibility of the children returning home sometime in the near future wasn't out of the question. I know as difficult as it was i was thinking of the best interests of my babies at this time which the judge commended for so they were subject to a full care order. Current contact is for an hour and a half every monday which is killing me!!! Because apparently we need to build up to that 3 hours so its not too much ( the contact centre cannot facilitate this
Feelingnumb - 17-Aug-18 @ 6:23 AM
My daughter is 12, I ended an abusive relationship with her father when she was 3. I had to get an emergency injunction at the time because of how he was with me. Contact has never been great, I have never stopped it but he has never made much effort to keep any contact with her. In 2013 my daughter told him she no longer wanted to see him, I suggested that he write letters to her to maybe build a relationship but she’s not received anything in the post, not even a birthday/Christmas card. There has been no contact since 2013. Id like to apply for full custody of my daughter but I am worried that I will need to face him in court or that it will bring him out of the woodwork and he’ll start hassling me again. I was diagnosed with PTSD and I suffer with anxiety due to that relationship and this makes it worse, the thought of seeing him, him trying to get in touch with me again etc.
Purple - 16-Aug-18 @ 12:14 PM
My daughter is conflicted about seeing her dad. She is 9 and did not see him for 18 months while he was in a relationship, since which has ended. He has reentered her life which at first was well received but has since turned sour. Now my daughter hides from the phone ringing and anytime his name is mentioned bursts into tears. During the time he was away she started seeing a counsellor to help her express the feelings. I have tried explaining to her dad that she may have some unresolved issues with him leaving but he is refusing to talk. Now my daughter falls to pieces everytime he texts me. I cant bare to see her like this anymore
Sam28 - 13-Aug-18 @ 11:37 PM
Maram - Your Question:
Hi my question is a bit different from parents but ex sister in law. My daughter is now 12 she was taken from me when she was 4 by my family as I got married she went to live with my father then he passed then my brother and wife took custody of her now they are divorced she now lives with ex sister in law is now have 4 more children with my husband I have recently found out that where my 12 yr old daughter is living is not suitable in my opinion as there are 4 people smoking weed every day and night and 1 other person who lives with ex sister in law is on a lot of medictation for PTSD and depression and other problems now me and my husband we don't drink nor take any drugs we keep our self's to our self's my question is what is the chances of getting her back with me here mother thanks

Our Response:
Talk to social services. Was your daughter adopted or just put into the care of your brother and his wife? Have you had an ongoing relationship with your daughter?
LawAndParents - 3-Aug-18 @ 10:37 AM
Hi my question is a bit different from parents but ex sister in law. My daughter is now 12 she was taken from me when she was 4 by my family as I got married she went to live with my father then he passed then my brother and wife took custody of her now they are divorced she now lives with ex sister in law is now have 4 more children with my husband I have recently found out that where my 12 yr old daughter is living is not suitable in my opinion as there are 4 people smoking weed every day and night and 1 other person who lives with ex sister in law is on a lot of medictation for PTSD and depression and other problems now me and my husband we don't drink nor take any drugs we keep our self's to our self's my question is what is the chances of getting her back with me here mother thanks
Maram - 31-Jul-18 @ 9:05 PM
Hi my son ex left with his daughter when she was only 3months old and his ex has now lost there daughter as she was in a violent relationship and my sons daughter is getting looked after by grandparents to his daughters mum.. My sons been fighting the gran parents for custody of his daughter .. He has court next month to see if his daughter is going to go home with him .. My son has no criminal record and has been having visits with his daughter every2 weeks as its in england and my son lives in Scotland all assessment s have came bk the child is not at risk. Dose enyone in law know if my son will get full custody of his daughter over the gran parents plz
Shazza - 18-Jul-18 @ 12:23 PM
Need advice which steps take next. I am separated almost for 2 years. Have filed for a divorce and my ex has ignored the whole process at moment I am about to send still this month my decree absolute. He lives in another country since we have split he hasn’t contacted my daughter neither came to see her. I look after her in all senses and no financial or emotional support from dad. Want to have full custody of my daughter so I don’t need any permission from dad for travelling etc..
Jana - 15-Jul-18 @ 9:24 AM
Hi, I have been separated from my husband for 9 months, in this time I have filed for divorce he has ignored everything as he says he is depressed and suicidal, has been in a treatment centre for 3 weeks and threatens to throw himself in the thames, he doesn’t have regular access as says he can’t cope as is to unwell, I’ve had to stop access and he is now saying he is going for full custody and will tell everyone I’m an unfit mother and alcoholic, also not true . Can he do this? What are the chances of him winning?
Toni - 4-Jul-18 @ 6:37 PM
Mr J - Your Question:
My daughter is turning 8 next month and she has lived with her mum since our relationship breakdown almost 7 years ago. I have had concerns in the past about the welfare of my daughter and I have spoken to her mum about it and it's always been batted down. I have spoken to people in the past including Citizens advice, social services and even a solicitor and they have all told me that without evidence It wouldn't go very far. My latest concern is that my daughters mum works nights and my daughter and her sister (different dad) stay with grandparents during this time, my concern is my daughter is saying to me that her and her sister are being left to look after themselves in the mornings whilst my daughters mum gets some sleep following a night shift, she has told me sometimes she sleeps through most of the day. My daughter has been subject to three different men living with her mum in the last 7 years, one of the relationships broke up as it was verging on abusive. When I pick my daughter up I can see into the house and it is always trashed and the smell is atrocious, my daughter comes out wearing seasonally inappropriate clothing (No coat in the winter and jeans and long sleeave tops in the summer) and my daughter's hair is always greasy and unbrushed and looks generally neglected. My daughter wants to stay with me as she doesn't get on with her mum or grandparents particularly well and when she plays up for them I get phonecalls to speak to my daughter and tell her off for her bad behaviour, I think her mum can't cope with part time work and the two children. So my question is this, What can I do? do I report to the police or NSPCC or do I apply for custody (Which I don't think I could afford to do). How do I help my daughter and get her out of there and at home with me where she is looked after, never left to fend for herself?

Our Response:
Talk to the mother first of all. Ask if you can change the child arrangements so your daughter stays with you more of the time. If your ex doesn't agree, you will have to attend mediation before going to court for a court order. If you're concerned about your child's welfare, continue communicating with social services.
LawAndParents - 2-Jul-18 @ 1:00 PM
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