Child Custody For Fathers

Father and Son

What are the father's child custody rights?

 

What are Fathers Child Custody Rights?

Even though a father has rights to his child, it goes unrecognized because of many reasons. In the UK, a father with a Parental Responsibility order has equal rights over the child as the mother. It is necessary when both parents have divorced or separated. If you have Parental Responsibility, you may make decisions related to the child's wellbeing. You can read more on Parental Responsibility from here.

Even though you and your partner are unmarried, you can still receive Parental Responsibility. It is available to you if your child's birth certificate contains your name or if you have gained it via court procedures. Apart from that, you will also have to look into the financial needs of your child. It will also include the provision of protection and security for your child. As the child's father, you will have to take care of your child. However, if there are any form of agreement issues, you can present them in court.

You can get Child Custody from the child's mother by applying in court. A father can move forward with such an application if you fear that your child's welfare confronts an issue while staying with the mother. You can also apply for Child Custody if you cannot reach an agreement with the mother. The court will conduct a hearing. After looking into the matter, the court will form a decision that will also focus on the child's best interests.

Can a father gain Full Custody of his child? 

Yes, if you are the child's father, you could gain Full Custody of your child. After separating from your partner, you might wish to get your child's Full Custody / Live with Child Arrangement Orde (CAO)r.

 

After getting live with CAO your child will reside with you. You can motion a Full Custody (Live with CAO) under different circumstances.

 

First, when you have separated from the child's mother, and second, you find it will be best for the child's wellbeing. When you apply for Child Custody, it is beneficial to consider these conditions to assist you in attaining Full Custody of your child. They include:

  1. Ensure that you can meet all of your child's needs. You will have to prove that you have the required resources for the same.

  2. Depict that your child's life will be much better if he or she stays with you.

  3. The court will consider your financial condition and analyze it with that of the child's mother. So, it is essential to be financially stable.

  4. If you have any evidence of the lack of child's protection, you can present them. It can include domestic violence, drug usage, alcoholism, mental illness, etc.

  5. If the mother does not provide the child with an opportunity to interact with his child, it is another factor the court will evaluate.

  6. If the other parent provides low living conditions to the child, you can move forward for custody.

These are some conditions that you can look into as you move forward with your child's custody. Want to know more about Child Arrangements? You can find it right here!

What are the rights that I will get as part of Child Custody?

As a father, when you gain Live with CAO /  Child Custody, you will attain numerous rights over the child. They will focus primarily on enhancing your child's life so that he/she can have a bright future. Often in the UK, a mother receives Child Custody after separation or divorce. A father will obtain permission to contact their child from time to time.

 

However, if the father has Parental Responsibility, he has to ensure that he fulfils it. When you attain custody of your child, you will have to complete all the duties that come as part of the Parental Responsibility. It will include looking into their educational, medicinal, and other day-to-day needs. You may provide protection and safety for your child.

  1. You have to offer primary residence to the child.

  2. You need to be there for your child's educational and medicinal needs.

  3. You have to look into the financial requirements of your child. It could include academic, medical, and other expenses.

  4. You have to maintain the child's discipline and ensure their welfare.

  5. You will have a crucial role to play in deciding for the child. For instance, it could be a change in their name or religion.

These are some of the many rights (read responsibilities) a father will receive as part of Child Custody.

 If you need to find out more on Complex Family Law, you can click here!

What are the different types of father's Child Custody rights?

The concept of custody has now become out dated in the English Family Law. Now it is called Child Arrangement Orders which has 2 component:

1. Live with

2. Have contact with

Earlier (historically( there were two different types of Child Custody rights. They include Joint Custody and Full Custody. However, Joint Custody has been gaining popularity in the UK in recent years. Several campaigns are promoting Joint Custody in the UK.

Now this can be termes as Live with BOTH parents in a defined time (alternate week etc)

With sole Live with  Child Arrangement Order (earlier Full Custody), one parent will have complete responsibility for the child.

 

It will include the role of taking care of the child by providing the required security and protection.

 

If you plan to move forward with the Live with  Child Arrangement Order (Full Custody as it was then termed), it is pertinent to understand the duties you will have to discharge.

Apart from that, you have to look after the child. For instance, you have to provide for the child's medical and educational needs. Here, the child will be living with the parent with Full Custody. You can know more about Child Arrangement Order here!

 

When you motion for Live with Child Arrangement Order (earlier called  Full Custody), it is essential to have a positive relationship with the child. You can also furnish documents that will support your case. For fathers, it could be tough to attain Full Custody in the UK. So, it is beneficial to facilitate details that will substantiate your cause.

However, the court will focus on the child's relationship with their parents. The judge will prioritize the child's best interests while deciding. Even if you gain Child Custody, the child's mother could maintain contact with the child.

When it comes to Joint Custody, both the parents will attain equal rights for the child. They will have to discharge their Parental Responsibility without fail. Joint Custody or Shared Custody can facilitate the child with stability. It can also provide the child with an opportunity to maintain a positive relationship with both their parents. It will be beneficial for the child's wellbeing. Along with that, both the parents will have a crucial role in the child's life.

How can I apply for Child Custody rights as a father, and what is the procedure?

It is not essential that parents approach the court to agree on Child Custody / Child Arrangement Orders (CAO).

 

If you are on good terms with your ex-partner, you can convey your requirement to the person. If you are not speaking with each other, you can try to solve the problem by writing or conversing. Once you have exhausted all other options, you can present your request in court. However, remember that it will take longer than expected to reach a solution, and the process could impact the child. So, you have to decide after thoroughly considering the situation.

Once the case reaches court, a panel of three magistrates or a Deputy Judge or a District Judge or an allocated Court Official will look into it. The court may conduct a questioning session on both parents to understand their ability to support the child.

The court mau then request a Court Welfare Officer from CAFCASS / another agency or  to evaluate the father's relationship with the child. The concerned officer will also look into the parent's financial condition. Before submitting a detailed report, the officer will also speak with the child. Here, the officer will note down the child's suggestion and ask about who they would prefer to live with.

 

The Family Court judges will make a verdict after analyzing the report submitted by the Court Welfare Officer. If you fail to receive custody, the final decision will help you understand the reason behind the refusal. Finding difficulties in filing your case, you can reach us here for hassle-free assistance!

What are the benefits of Joint Custody (Shared Child Arrangements Orders)?

Shared Live with Child Arrangement Orders a.k.a Joint Custody has numerous benefits, as it provides equal responsibility to the parents. Through this, the child can maintain contact and relationships with both their parents. It can play a crucial role in the child's wellbeing.

 

Here, the child will have a shared residency. Both parents will have an equal role to play in decision making.

Here, the court will form a verdict. It will be after thoroughly analyzing the living conditions and financial abilities of both parents. As per the Children and Family Bill 2013, it is beneficial for the child to maintain a healthy relationship with their parents. It can also play a role in ensuring the child's safety and protection.

With Joint Custody, both parents will share Parental Responsibility and have an equal say in the child's welfare. Apart from that, the child will have two homes, which will enhance the child's safety.

 

Even though it might seem similar to Standard Contact Order, Joint Custody is different.

Under the Standard Contact Order, the child can only have limited contact with their parent. Although Joint Custody is not highly popular in the UK, it is receiving acceptance because of the campaigns conducted by various organizations.

What are the things that the court will consider during a Child Custody case?

Before a judge offers Child Custody to the child's father, the court will look into several factors. The court will evaluate the father's living condition with the help of a Child Welfare Officer.

The panel of judges will analyze the report facilitated by the Child Welfare Officer thoroughly. You have to convince the court to attain your child's custody.

For that purpose, you need to furnish documents and pieces of evidence that will assist you in winning custody. Apart from that, the judge will consider these components before delivering the final verdict. They include:

  1. The child's age and sex play a crucial role in the decision. For instance, a child above the age of 12 or 13 receives the right to present their inputs. A child who is 16 and above can choose the parent he or she wishes to live with. The judges will ask the opinion of children below the age of 11. But, the court forms the decision by evaluating all the other aspects.

  2. The court will consider the role played by the parent in taking care of the child from their birth. They will evaluate how the parents discharged their parental duties.

  3. The court analyzes how the parent can support the child in the future. It could be financially or emotionally.

  4. The child's preference is often a factor that the court values.

  5. The court focuses on the parent's behaviour while deciding.

  6. Another essential factor is how stable the parent is to look after their child.

Based on these factors, evidence, reports, and other conditions, the court will form a decision. However, the judgement will always highlight the child's interest and welfare. If you require any assistance, you can always contact us, here!

How can I present to the court that the other parent is unfit for Child Custody in the UK?

When you apply for custody of your child, you have to substantiate the same to prove the other parent is unfit. There are different ways by which you can prove it in court. It is always beneficial to provide supporting documents like videos, photographs, social media posts, and messages. You can also present a witness who can prove your statement. It could be neighbours, school teachers, friends, babysitters, etc. Here are a few factors you can look into while moving with Child Custody in the UK.

  1. Your ex-partner's inability to take care of your child

  2. Lack of financial security for the child

  3. Ex-partner's addiction to drugs, alcohol, and other substances

  4. Domestic violence affecting the child

  5. Ex-partner facing mental illnesses

  6. Ex-partner's inability to take care of your child's day-to-day requirements

  7. Ex-partner's association with a criminal offence

  8. Ex-partner's incompetence to discipline your child

 

Under these circumstances, the court can find the other parent unfit. However, it is beneficial to present pieces of evidence to prove your statement. Through this, you can gain custody of your child. You can always reach out to us for any form of paralegal assistance to get your child's custody.

You can contact us for any paralegal assistance from here.

Please do note that this article is NOT legal advice and should not be treated as legal advice.

 
Father and Daughter