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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Hi, I would appreciate your advice please,My partner and

Resolved Question:

Hi, I would appreciate your advice please,
My partner and his ex girlfriend have a daughter together, they were in a relationship for many years, lived together, had a daughter. When she was 6 they split up and he moved out.
They never married.
Their daughter was born in August 2002.
His name is XXXXX XXXXX birth certificate.
He pays maintenance regularly and on time through the CSA.
He has his daughter 2 nights one week and 3 nights the next week.

We need advise please because his ex girlfriend is threatening to restrict his access to only 1 night per week unless he pays more maintenance !! He has explained to her that he cannot afford to pay any more than the CSA have told him to pay. The csa worked out the maintenance amount due to the mother on his earnings and he pays exactly what they tell him to pay.
His ex says that as they were not married she has sole parental responsibility over their daughter and if he only has his daughter one day per week then the CSA payment will reflect this and he will have to pay her more money ?
His desperate not to see his daughter any less than he does now ?
Does he have any rights to say how often he wants her ?

Many thanks for your help.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
For clarity - can I assume that his daughter does not want the pattern to change?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Clare,
No she doesn't, she loves spending time with her Dad.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Then your partner has little to fear
His ex is correct - because the child was born before December 2003 he does not have Parental Responsibility - but that can be put right either by both parents signing a Parental Responsibility Agreement or by Order of the Court.
She is also correct that the number of nights the child spends with him does effect the Child Maintenance BUT if she does simply reduce the nights the child spends with him then he can apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order (and Parental Responsibility) stating that the child lives with him in the current pattern already established - and since his daughter also wishes then then there is little doubt that the court would make that Order.
He does not have to pay more than the CSA assessment.
he should offer to discuss matters - such as the signing of the Parental Responsibility Agreement - using Family mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk)
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Clare,

Thank you so much for that response, it was very helpful.

Unfortunately his ex girlfriend would not sign a Parental Responsibility Agreement. So we will be going down the 'order of the court route to get this. Could you please advise if this incurs a cost to the father ? And if so, is it an expensive process ?
What would need our next plan of action to get 'shared responsibility.'

Thank you very much for your assistance,

Kind regards

Julie.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
The starting point is to make an appointment for mediation.
The fact that his ex will not turn up is not relevant - he has to have tried it first.
Once he has done that he can apply to the Court for Parental Responsibility and a Child Arrangement Order
The form is here
http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/d013b-eng.pdf
The fee is £215 and you can read more here
http://www.familylaw.co.uk/system/uploads/attachments/0000/2078/CB1_1108.pdf
Clare
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