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The rights of a separated father

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It’s important to know what your rights and responsibilities are regarding your children after a marital split. One of the most important things to ascertain is if you have parental responsibility for your children. In the case of unmarried couples you still have rights and responsibilities after separation. If your name is on the child’s birth certificate as the child’s father your position as a parent is equal to the mother’s. However, if you are not named on the birth certificate you could find that you have no right to see your children unless your former partner agrees to this. This is when you would need a Parental Responsibility Agreement and once this is signed and filed with the court you would have the same parental rights as the mother.

An unmarried mother is deemed to have ‘parental responsibility’ for her children but for births registered in England and Wales, as a father you have parental responsibility if :

  • The birth was registered after December 1st 2003 and you are named on the certificate as the child’s father
  • If the child was born before that time with no named father but the birth was re-registered later with you named as the father
  • If a Parental Responsibility Agreement has been signed by you and the child’s mother
  • If you’re given a parental responsibility order by the court or a Residence Order for the child to live with you
  • If you marry the child’s mother If the parents are not married and the mother dies parental responsibility does not automatically pass to the father.

Heidi Cardoza, Family Solicitor, says “There have been many protests over the last few years about father’s rights in the UK, for instance, Fathers4Justice, and a bill is currently going through parliament to simplify and clarify the law on this emotive issue.”

For a free initial meeting please call 01202 499255 and a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions you may have.