If you are an unmarried father PLEASE READ

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by JudgeDredd, Oct 28, 2008.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:


    Did you know that as a father of a child or children your rights in law in relation to your children are VERY different to your rights if you are married?

    In simple terms if you are not married to the mother of your children beware.....because you will not be treated as an equal parent in the eyes of the law, no matter how wrong or unjust that feels. So, for example, if your child was hurt in a car accident (heaven forbid) you cannot technically consent to emergency medical treatment for your child. Shocking? Read on....it gets worse.

    In October 1991 the Children Act 1989 came into force. If you have friends who separated or divorced prior to October 1991 they may have custody, care and control or access orders in relation to their children. The Children Act did away with all of this; these orders are no longer made.
    Parents now have 'Parental Responsibility' for their children and this is defined as:

    '..all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent has in relation to a child and its property'.


    a) If your Child's birth was born before the 1st December 2003 then only the child's mother will automatically have parental responsibility. The child's father (even if his name is on the birth certificate) will not automatically have parental responsibility. In such circumstances the father will acquire responsibility in any of the following circumstances:-

    1) The parents are married or you subsequently marry the mother
    2) The mother and father enter into a parental responsibility agreement (please note that formal documentation is required).
    3) The Court makes a parental responsibility order.
    4) The father applies successfully for 'residence' of the child.

    b) Where a child's birth is registered on or after the 1st December 2003 AND both parents have registered the birth of their baby together, the father will automatically gain parental responsibility. If the father did not register his name on the Birth Certificate then he will have to apply in the same way as above.

    c) Step parents may also acquire parental responsibility if:
    1) Both parents, who have parental responsibility are in agreement and everyone (including the step parent) executes a parental responsibility agreement (please note that formal documentation is required) or;
    2) By application to the Court for a parental responsibility Order.

    In theory at least, if you do not have parental responsibility you are not put in the shoes of the “father” as you understand it.
    For example:

    a) (This happened to me), when you go to the Doctor to enquire about your child’s health some doctors will refuse to give you any information regarding your child’s medical position until you have proved that your do have Parental Responsibility. They are technically not supposed to give you that information unless you do have Parental Responsibility.

    b) If your child is harmed by someone and there is risk that your child will be placed on the Child Protection Register, you will not be notified of any case conferences which affect your child’s life.

    c) If your child needs emergency medical treatment and say the mother is unable to give it, because for example she was injured in the same car crash too, you cannot technically consent to emergency medical treatment.

    d) If your child is unfortunate enough to be considered for being placed into care, or fostered because the child’s mother is unable or unsuitable to cope with your child, then social services do not need to consult you nor will they definitely consider you as the first person the child should be placed with.

    The list goes on.......

    The bottom line is this: Parental Responsibility puts both parents of children on equal footing, if you don’t have Parental Responsibility, arrange to get it sorted ASAP. When things are sweet between you and your partner, you can get Parental Responsibility for only a £100 or so. There is only one form to complete by both of you.

    If you ask for Parental Responsibility when your relationship breaks down, you may have to go to court for it, as mothers often misunderstand Parental Responsibility as giving you something more than they have, and that could cost thousands of pounds literally.
  2. ...or you could just get married then you'll have rights and your kids won't be illegitimate.
  3. Observations with the benefit of hindsight:

    1. Fathers should obtain an original copy of their childrens birth certificates long before a relationship sours, they should also consider getting additional passports registered at grandparents/'friendly forces' address.

    2. Fathers should ensure child benefit is paid into their rather than the mothers account. PR/residency applications can boil down to who (which parent) receives it.

    3. Do not expect Queensbury rules to prevail in our (secretive/unregulated) family courts. Their default position heavily favours mothers and will fall for any unsubstatiated allegation she or her legally aided solicitor cares to conjour up in order to secure custody of the children/house/car/dog/cat/ferrets........

    4. Insist on being filmed/recorded during any interviews by FCWS, CAFCASS or whatever they call themselves this week. If this isn't allowed ensure an impartial witness attends and is seen to take meticulous notes. Insist on taking a copy of any notes written by the interviewer before leaving the building.

    5. Military personnel can very quickly become RAMBO at the hands of the clowns in para 3 & 4. I guess this is more prevelant now thanks to Telic/Herric adding weight to the allegations.

    6. More on www.fnf.org.uk
  4. so if a father doesn't have parental responsibility does that mean he isn't responsible for paying for the child?
  5. NO the father still has to pay for the child regardless of whether he has parental responsablity or not........if this wasn't the case there wouldn't be the need for fathers for justice
  6. British family law absolutely shafts fathers.

    Unmarried - pay maintenance but very few rights.

    Married - irretrievable breakdown for divorce, no concept of fault, wife's infidelity can be grounds, she'll get the house and the kids, you'll have to pay with no way of ensuring the kids benefit from the dough.

    In effect a woman can get rid of you, move in her waster and you can pay to keep the pair of them - (I know one bloke who has suffered exactly this, and he is well sick).

    Practise the ancient art of Wan King, buy some good quality filth, don't drink or put yourself in situations where it could all go wrong - you know it makes sense.

  7. thats fcking absurd....surely it should be both or nothing....
  8. Yes I agree the system is wrong, also I'd urge anyone with an agreement set up with the CSA to check with the other parent that the money is getting through, as my ex has been paying regular amounts to them and I've not seen a penny, this had happened for nearly 2 years without my knowlegde and nether of us have any way of getting that money back.
  9. Really? In that case why didn't you, as the parent with care, tell the csa that you and your ex were going to have a private arrangement and forego the need for csa entirely?
  10. Here's one for the legal eagles then :)

    I am about to marry a very wonderful woman, she has three kids by her previous partner (never married) all born before the 2003 ruling, so he does not have parental responsibility, he has paid no maintenance, and has the kids for visits once a month or so for a few hours when he can be bothered.

    On marrying my intended would I receive legal parental responsibility for these kids automatically or would I have to apply for it?

  11. You have to apply for it
  12. Thanks for the info moody.

  13. i agree with moody, you would have to apply for it
  14. The answer?

    Condoms, you twits.

  15. whilst i agrewe with your sentiments ....one must be careful in winding up the courts and CAFCASS. Dont get me wrong, many agree that the system needs changing, but by aggressive counteractions (and i dont mean physical aggression here) you may only alienate yourself from those who are making the decisions.

    in some cases you simply cannot fight fire with fire. you have to work round the system as much as that sucks sometimes.