How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Harris Your Own Question

Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2535
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
90234221
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Harris is online now

What are my rights as a separated unmarried parent when a

Resolved Question:

What are my rights as a separated unmarried parent when a child is in my care? Can my ex force me to give them back on demand if i and the child wanted to go somewhere else (after i was planning on returning them back to the other parent)?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:

-Are you the mother or father? If the father, is your name on the birth certificate?

-How old is the child?

-What are the arrangements and are they in a court order?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Harris,
I am enquiring in behalf of the father (he is my brother) and his name is ***** ***** birth certificate. The child in question is 6 yrs old. At the moment there are no concrete arrangments, both parents were in the process of drawing up a childcare arrangement between them however the Mother appears unwilling to sign what they have nearly agreed (as she states she's too busy). There is no court order.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The Father has had the children (ages 6 and 3) at weekend's and occasionally for tea/overnight in the week. This has been working well. He was due to drop them back with the Mother after the weekend and he and the eldest child decided to go elsewhere for a short while (to drop some things back at the Dad's house which would have been a short trip). The Father informed the Mother that he and his son were going to to that (and that the child wanted to help his Dad take some stuff back to his house) and she said that's not happening. She and her family basically forced my brother to hand over his child. I just wanted to know who was in the right and who in the wrong in this situation please?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Not sure you can see my responses to your questions actually as I haven't had a reply and can't see if you're typing as in a live chat?
Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for confirming and apologies for the delay in contacting you. Firstly, the children are entitled to a relationship with both parents which can only reasonably be restricted if there are child protection concerns. She could reasonably argue that it is a concern that he allowed a 6 year old to go back to the home alone.

In the circumstances I would suggest that you make a referral to an independent mediator (you can find local ones here: familymediationcouncil.org.uk). The mediator will assist you both in reaching an amicable agreement that is in the children's best interests. If mediation does not help, then you will be able to pursue an application to court under Form C100 together with a £215 court fee to your local family court for a child arrangement order and the court can make a decision regarding the matter. For your information the Court will take into consideration the following when making a decision regarding the application:

1.The wishes and feelings of the child concerned
2. The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
3. The likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the courts decision
4. The child’s age, sex, backgrounds and any other characteristics which will be relevant to the court’s decision
5. Any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering
6. Capability of the child’s parents (or any other person the courts find relevant) at meeting the child’s needs
7. The powers available to the court in the given proceedings

If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your response and advice. Just to clarify the father did not "allow a 6 year old to go back to the home alone" and nor would he have ever done this. The father and the child were going to drop some things off at the Dad's house together, as i said this would have been a very short trip. Apologies if you misinterpreted what I said.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Please can you confirm acknwledgement of the above correction and then I will be able to rate your service and submit my rating.
Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.

Apologies for the confusion. In that case, as long as the father was with him and there are no other concerns, she has no grounds to attempt to restrict contact and I would suggest he follows the above procedure if she does not voluntarily agree to resume the arrangements.

Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.

My name is ***** ***** I have been a family lawyer for more than 30 years

Just to add to the above.

It is for both parents to agree how the children share their time between them - and it is helpful if they can agree a Parenting Plan.

However it is important then to respect the timings that have been agreed and not to "decide" to do something else when that time comes.

Neither parent did well on this occasion

Instead of "informing" Dad should have asked and made sure that the child understood that it was up to Mum whether the time was extended or not.

Equally mum could have been a little more flexible - but no doubt she was angry at the way it was approached.

Family Mediation is certainly the best way forward as a Court Order is even less flexible than the current arrangements.

They can both read more on this site

http://theparentconnection.org.uk/

Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.

If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top of this page as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.

Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2535
Experience: Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
Harris and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Of course, thanks to you and your colleague for both your help, it was very useful and I have forwarded the guidance to my brother for his reference.
Many thanks for your thorough answers and suggestions.
Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.

Thank you - I hope it goes well. If you have any questions in the future you can ask for me directly by starting your question For Harris

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Kasare

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    204
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    204
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TG/TGraham12/2012-7-17_81212_bigstockBusinessHandshake508163.64x64.jpg Thomas's Avatar

    Thomas

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    164
    UK solicitor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    7
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    340
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/GL/Glossolicitor/2013-5-14_214834_TWMParkinsonWright.64x64.jpg Glos solicitor's Avatar

    Glos solicitor

    Family Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2
    10 years experience in all areas of family law, now specialising in cases involving social services and children
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CL/clairep80/2013-8-25_191218_dreamstimexs267279822nd.64x64.jpg Clare's Avatar

    Clare

    Family Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    4742
    I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HH/hhlaw/2015-12-8_22495_unnamedlanczosbicubic.64x64.jpg Harris's Avatar

    Harris

    Family Law Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    1351
    Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters