Home > Parent's Rights > What Are The Legal Rights of a Father?

What Are The Legal Rights of a Father?

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 22 Jul 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Divorce Rights Fathers Custody Legal

As a general rule the mother will always have what is referred to as ‘parental responsibility’ for her children regardless of the father’s presence or absence. This is something that many think needs to be addressed by the government and legal institutions of the United Kingdom.

What are My Rights as a Father?

You have rights as the father of your child if:
  • If the child was born on or after December 1st 2003 and you are named on the Birth Certificate as the child’s birth father
  • If a Parental Responsibility Agreement is signed
  • If the birth certificate for the child held no father’s name but was later renewed to show yours
  • If a Magistrate or Justice of the Peace (JP) at the Family Court has granted you parental responsibility or an Order Of Residency

I Want to Enter Into a Parental Responsibility Agreement (PR) – Is This A Good Idea?

If you want to have a say in your child’s upbringing, then yes, it is a good idea. It is unfortunate that sometimes relations between both parents become so strained that the children will become the unfortunate tools that parents use to hurt each other.

If both parents can enter into such a PR agreement, it should ensure that both parties have a say in how their child are brought up. This does not necessarily cover the day-to-day living arrangements but it certainly includes larger concerns, such as what school their child should go to, the medical treatment they receive, what religion they should be taught, etc.

In some cases, the parents’ split is an amicable one and there will be no need for such an agreement. But often it is a necessity if a relationship has turned sour and neither party can agree without the intervention of the courts.

Financial Responsibilities

You have a financial obligation to help provide for your child’s upkeep. If a relationship breaks down, you have to expect that you will be required by law to pay something towards caring for your child and providing them with what they need.

This can be done by mutual consent between both parents – and if this is agreed upon it is important to have something written down so that all parties know exactly where they stand. If no agreement is made, or if you simply prefer it, Child Maintenance can be handled through the Child Support Agency.

The Child Support Agency requires that you pay 15% of your net income towards your child’s care and this increases to 20% cent for two children, 25% for three children and so on.

Visiting My Child

If you are named on the birth certificate as the father of the child, you have a legal right to see your children. This is sometimes tested to the limit if parents split under less than agreeable circumstances, and it can ultimately mean the involvement of the courts and family services to help mediate towards agreeable visiting rights for the father.

If you are in any of the above situations and feel you need advice, it is wise to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau or your local family services court for more information and support. It should be noted, however, that it is best – where possible – to try to resolve any issues between both parents with resorting to courts and solicitors as this can be as traumatic for the child as it can be for the parents. Read up about parental responsibility.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hello everyone, my name is Kim Adriana and i would just like to help a friend who helped me get out of a dysfunctional and abusive relationship and helped me get proof of infidelity amongst other things from my ex’s devices. if you have a similar predicament or need all sorts of hack services like fb, whatsap, phone text call logs and recordings, ig, snapchat and need full guarantee and safety, you can reach them out on whatsap + 16282043675 or via mail at (almondhackings atgmailcom) i owe him a lot so least i can do. he’s surprisingly a genius and got me results in less than 5 hours. very understanding and trustworthy. just don’t waste his time,go straight to the point and you get full data result, thank me later.. llk
kimaddd - 22-Jul-18 @ 2:37 PM
Hi, i have recently split with my ex of 5.5 years. We have one daughter and she already had a child when we met which i have took on as my own as he has nothing to do with her. So i will still stick by her side, she looks upto me as her dad so i wont let my eldest down. Anyway, my ex has not spoke to my mum and dad for over 2 years due to a massive fall out which never got healed. I have had the kids the last 2 weekends but i cant take them back to where im living again (mum and dads) because they dont talk. What are my rights, am i legally allowed to bring them to mine. It has caused major issues in the last 2 years of the relationship and is partly the reason why it broke down. She will not resolve the issue either. Can someone help me please.
Jeffrey - 21-Jul-18 @ 4:53 PM
My son several years ago had a very short relationship, she found out she was pregnant they split up and she went back to her husband.She told my son the child was his and 5 months after she was born she said that he and all his family were to have nothing to do with her as she was nothing to do with us, then she moved away, we never saw her again. .She has since divorced her husband and has a new partner.Now she has decided to go back to her studies and has decided she cannot manage without maintenance even though we had had no contact whatsoever in over 7 years, we only know this as a couple of months ago she contacted my daughter and told her she needed maintenance.My son is not named on the birth certificate and I wondered where he stands if the CSA contact him for payment.Do they need to prove the child is his because of course at the time we only had her word for it.
t0pgir1 - 20-Jul-18 @ 6:23 PM
Hi there. I have 2 wonderful children and they live primarily with their mom (divorced) and stay with me 2\3 nights during a week. Arrangements are flexible and the relationship with the ex in general is a very positive one, always putting the children first. Out of the blue she has told me they are moving to a different area and will mean moving schools. I had barely 12hours notice and asked to attend their new potential school to look round. I do not believe it is in their best interest to move from their current Outstanding primary school, but the ex has said as she is classed as the primary carer, she ultimately has the legal right to control the decision and I have no leg to stand on. Any advice would be appreciated. Many thanks.
Dag - 19-Jul-18 @ 12:56 PM
I’m in this situation now I’m not feeling bad my children will always know I love them but some women are filled with bitterness and hate . As children get older they learn this and will see me as the better person . Lesson learnt don’t ever work yourself in to the ground for a woman who hates you
Dan - 19-Jul-18 @ 12:46 AM
I haven't seen my child for some years (my fault) And have recently tryed to contact my x via letter apologising and trying to make contact and b my daughter's father. I then received a letter from a solicitar for her new husband to have parental responcability No idea what to do next ??
Craig - 16-Jul-18 @ 9:52 PM
Me and my wife split up in oct 2016, i have been paying maintenance as required by cms. At the Christmas of 2016 I met some one new, since then she has dug her heels in. I have now not seen my children since August of last year. She refuses to let the come and stay overnight, we live 148 miles away so making the journey to see them for a day ' 6- 8hours' is nigh on impossible. I am at my wits end, is there something that any one can help with?
Phill - 9-Jul-18 @ 3:52 PM
hi iv got a little 4 months old baby with a girl iv never had a relationship with at how old should he be legal to stay at my place and how many days per week os ot legal too see him as that im not allowed too see him very mutch
Bryn - 8-Jul-18 @ 10:57 PM
Hi there I am just wanting me and my partner are at splitting up point to where he is messaging other people saying some horrible stuff but I was wondering if we did who would get custody? Plus he is threatening me with our youngest daughter won't be going with you... and we going through cyfs atm also and I also can see my partner and his family trying to say I'm a unfit mum... Please help
Conserd mum - 7-Jul-18 @ 3:33 PM
So my daughter has a baby and the father does not know.She is now deciding she is going to tell him. What rights can he get?He is not on the birth certificate and I am really worried things will turn nasty. Can a court make my daughter put the father on the birth certificate? Can he try to get custody?I am really worried she is doing the wrong thing can anybody give any advise?
SC81 - 5-Jul-18 @ 1:37 PM
My wife has her family here in UK and we are originally from Nepal. We are not the permanent resident but my wife and two of my kids are on my dependant visa. Everytime my wife's family has intervened our family life and brainwashed my wife. She ran away with my two kids once and i convinced her to return home once but this time again we had an argument and she wanted to go to her brother's place where we agreed mutually that she would let me see and speak to my kids but as soon as she left, she is full of lying things and completely ignoring my calls and making false allegations to police. I am on both kids birth cert and we been married for 11 years. Now i want to just pick my kids from school and keep them with me. What could be the consequences.
Sunil - 5-Jul-18 @ 1:20 PM
Cate - Your Question:
I have a question. my partner and I are extremely concerned about the welfare of his two and half year old son, living with the mother. My partner has photographic evidence of the state of the house, with broken glass left in the floor with the toddler running around bare foot. He also has text messages from his ex provoking him and saying that he’ll never see his son again. He is named in the birth certificate and the police have told him they cannot stop him removing his son from the property. But what are his legal rights and is he able to just take his son and then gain full custody?

Our Response:
Simply taking his son is not the right way to go about it.Your partner should consider apply for a court order for shared care or full residency. Any concerns about the child's safety could be dealt with via the police/social services.
LawAndParents - 5-Jul-18 @ 12:07 PM
Hi, Myself and my ex do not speak.Perhaps the odd communication by email or text.He pays his maintenance on a regular basis and sees the children regular. However, he feels I have to pay and provide everything.He is taking the children abroad for a week and expects be to buy and provide all their clothing. He says this is covered by the maintenance he pays me (communication through the eldest) . Child Maintenance service were not prepared to have the chat with me about whether this was covered.Surely if he chooses to take them away he should provide for them?Any help would be greatly appreciated. TIA
danni - 4-Jul-18 @ 10:50 AM
I see my 4 year old daughter 3 times a week and overnight contact once a fortnight as part of court ordernow been told by her Mum that she is moving to London in 2 months and said that il only have contact during holidays is there not soemthing I can do I don’t believe she will keep this up And I do feel she is running away or give me fake address
Upset Dad - 2-Jul-18 @ 10:36 PM
I have a question ... my partner and I are extremely concerned about the welfare of his two and half year old son, living with the mother. My partner has photographic evidence of the state of the house, with broken glass left in the floor with the toddler running around bare foot. He also has text messages from his ex provoking him and saying that he’ll never see his son again. He is named in the birth certificate and the police have told him they cannot stop him removing his son from the property. But what are his legal rights and is he able to just take his son and then gain full custody?
Cate - 2-Jul-18 @ 8:36 AM
Hi. I have separated from my husband and as he has been lying to me for some time. He had his own flat but suddenly moved out and refused to give his new address saying he doesn't have one yet. However I have just seen that he put a post on facebook early June showing him moving in to his new home. He has now said that he is living with his girlfriend but refuses to give me their address and says he wants the kids round to stay. Now this girlfriend is the same one that he took out a police warning against for stalking our family home and threatening me and the kids. I even relocated and we sold or family home because of it. So now he says she has taken him back as neit her want to be alone! But he will not give their adress but he has mine as (so the woman i moved to get away from now has my new address which makes me uneasy). I don't trust him and for the kids safety feel I need to know an address just in case. He says he has dropped it now-but not theven point. I have asked to meet her and again she refuses and explained why would I let the kids stay in a strangers house and one who threatened us? Now my husband is saying he wants to see he kids. Of course I want him to just want to have an address especially under the circumstances. He also gets out of paying me maintenance he says as not giving address and saying working cash in hand and now paying the bills in his new home so can't help me. What do I do, is there a way of getting the address?
Sammy - 30-Jun-18 @ 11:24 PM
my son is 6 years old me and his dad have never been together but he's on the birth certificate and he does see him but over this last year or so my son's been really kicking off and screaming at that he doesn't want to go to his dads at all and he hates him i don't like to see him like this iv always incurraged him to go and I just don't no what to do anymore he doesn't just do it once In a while he does it every time he goes which is every other weekend can any1 help me please
Emma jayne - 30-Jun-18 @ 10:05 PM
So me and my babymother split around 6 years ago it recently went to court and was granted to see the kids when i can atleast 1 day a week due to work and nowhere to live and once living arrangments are sorted ill start having them over night this has been around 2 months since court and now im getting abusive texts and her telling me shes took my son out of school as its not for him and shes moving in 3 weeks time 12 miles away and i cant see my children as she cant keep putting them though this only seeing me 1 day a week but due to work i cant have them anymore than that iv been with my girlfriend for nearly 4 years now and when i see my kids my ex tells me who i can and cant be around and give me greif because i havent moved in with my current girlfriend due to my ex kicking off my girlfriend cant deal with it all my ex is saying shes going childsupport but i pay for my kids anyway due to her taking the oldest (8) out of school have i got a leg to stand on? And also my 8 year old comes to me and tells me that hes worthless and would rather be dead because hes not good at anything and hes a failure but im thinking my ex is telling him hes all these things as shes told me shes putting them in boarding school due to their behaviour iv offered to take them and have them live with me but she refuses i just want my boys to have a nice life this proberly hasent made since but i hope you can make sence out of it thank you for reading this
Cantdothisanymore - 30-Jun-18 @ 9:06 PM
Shortie - Your Question:
Ok I had a question my husband n I have 6 kids and are divorcing but my question was can he take our 3boys n I stay with our 3girls

Our Response:
You can choose to do whatever you find most suitable. You may need to ask yourself some questions about whether you really want to split up the siblings etc. If you can't come to an agreement, try mediation and then the courts if necessary. It might be worth seeking advice from a children's worker or the NSPCC so that you can make an informed choice.
LawAndParents - 29-Jun-18 @ 2:14 PM
Ok i had a question my husband n i have 6 kids and are divorcing but my question was can he take our 3boys n i stay with our 3girls
Shortie - 27-Jun-18 @ 7:14 PM
Bobby - Your Question:
Me and the father of my children have spilt up he’s recently brought a new house but he not tell me where and I was wondering does he have to tell me when he’s got my children? He said he doesn’t but I feel like he does just in case of an emergency

Our Response:
No there is no obligation to divulge an address in this kind of situation but most parents will generally do so out of courtesy.
LawAndParents - 25-Jun-18 @ 2:59 PM
Chog - Your Question:
I’ve a child almost 2 years never been with the father because of abusive relationship, he saw the child only three times the first time was to sign the birth certificate for one day and the other two times are not longer than three hours, I want to know if he has rights in my child’s life and if he has right if he can take my child away? And can he be a legal guardian If I passed even if I make s will for him not to be?Please help me get the right advice

Our Response:
If he is the natural father, he will have certain rights - so if he asks for contact you may need to make suitable arrangements. In the unfortunate case of your death before your child reaches 18, the father will be the automatic guardian unless you specify in your Will that another person would be more appropriate in which case it might be referred to the courts for a decision.
LawAndParents - 25-Jun-18 @ 2:03 PM
Me and the father of my children have spilt up he’s recently brought a new house but he not tell me where and I was wondering does he have to tell me when he’s got my children? He said he doesn’t but I feel like he does just in case of an emergency
Bobby - 23-Jun-18 @ 3:48 PM
I’ve a child almost 2 years never been with the father because of abusive relationship, he saw the child only three times the first time was to sign the birth certificate for one day and the other two times are not longer than three hours, I want to know if he has rights in mychild’s life and if he has right if he can take my child away? And can he be a legal guardian If I passed even if I make s will for him not to be? Please help me get the right advice
Chog - 22-Jun-18 @ 10:14 PM
Hi. My partner is divorced from his sons mother. We have his 5 year old son every Friday and every other saturday. The mother doesnt make sure he goes to school, he has a very poor attendence. He always looks unkempt, his clothes are always scruffy and he looks dirty. He has bad eczema and he is always so sore, it doesnt appear that its looked after at home, although he have no evidence. He however isnt neglected or abused in the eyes of the law but it is very upsetting to see this despite paying maintenance. The school has close contact with my partner and lets him know when he doesnt turn up because his sons mothers lies to him and doesn't tell him. However she has on a number of occasions said that shes veen too unwell to take him to school. He also never geta taken out, to the park etc, he is always in his house with the curtains on playing on games console. Does my partner as a father have any rights? We are willing to take his son full time and have role reversal so he can go to his mums once or twice a week. Thank you
Unsure - 18-Jun-18 @ 1:55 PM
My girlfriend wasn't sure of the paternity of my son and was in another relationship when he was born so she put his name on the birth certificate. 11 months later we got back together when they split and a DNA test proved I was my sons biological dad. However, she couldn't bring herself to tell the ex and his family the truth so he has continued to see my son believing he is his real dad for the last 12 months, I have seen and built a relationship with my son also but his mum/my girlfriend is refusing to let the truth come out and I fear that we may break up over this, so what are my rights as I don't want to lose contact and the relationship with my son aged 2 and a half. Thanks
Tom - 13-Jun-18 @ 4:26 PM
SjT - Your Question:
I am married(separated not yet divorced)to my children’s father. We have 3 children together. I have never stopped him seeing them and always encouraged him to stay part of their life. We split 1 year ago and the last contact he had with our 2yr old was 3/8/17 but he has contact with the older 2 about 6 times since we split and he has seen Our 2yr old in passing whom he completely ignored when picking the older 2 up. I began looking into removing parental Responsibility from him in regards to JUST our 2yr old due to NO contact as I don’t feel he has a right to make important decisions about education / medical as he they sadly don’t k is each other due to NO contact. What rights do I have ? As my ex does see the older 2 sometimes I don’t want anything to effect them.

Our Response:
You cannot remove parental responsibility unfortunately.
LawAndParents - 4-Jun-18 @ 10:56 AM
I am married(separated not yet divorced)to my children’s father. We have 3 children together. I have never stopped him seeing them and always encouraged him to stay part of their life. We split 1 year ago and the last contact he had with our 2yr old was 3/8/17 but he has contact with the older 2 about 6 times since we split and he has seen Our 2yr old in passing whom he completely ignored when picking the older 2 up. I began looking into removing parental Responsibility from him in regards to JUST our 2yr old due to NO contact as I don’t feel he has a right to make important decisions about education / medical as he they sadly don’t k is each other due to NO contact. What rights do I have ? As my ex does see the older 2 sometimes I don’t want anything to effect them.
SjT - 3-Jun-18 @ 9:49 AM
I had a friend I'd known a year be a donor for me and my girlfriend, on the agreement of no input just updated and odd meets. He has a drug and criminal past only a couple of years ago he was last in prison. Obviously he's not on birth certificate, he split me and my partner up the moment baby was born as he had changed his mind! So he split up a stable home for my child and I meet odd time for an hour as agreed. What is he actually entitled to if he decides on court, and if I think he's a danger and still on drugs? He harassed A lot and I won't let him know where we live as I'm 100% he would be round constantly causing trouble..
Ruth - 1-Jun-18 @ 6:28 PM
I am named on my sons birth certificate he is 16 months old , we have shared responsibility and I havehim 3-4 nights a week ,several times his mum has said to various people that she doesn’t want him and she’s not ready to be a Mum, then last week she demanded that I have to have my son ( as she did on many occasions) on a day that wasn’t my day, butI had made plansso I couldn’t have him on that day.On that same day I said I couldn’t have him, she asked my mum to drop a car seat off to her, she then asked my mum to hold my son whilst she took the car seat off of her she then ran and smiled and said bye I’m going away. So she dumped my son tricked us all. Andthis is not the first time she’s done things like this, so I’m looking for some advice on going for custody of my son please if anyone can helpthank you
Jame - 31-May-18 @ 3:57 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the LawAndParents website. Please read our Disclaimer.