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UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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Hello,I live in the USA but i have a son living with here

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Hello, I live in the USA but i have a son living with his mother in the UK. They are UK citizens. I am a permanent resident of the USA but citizen of Hungary. Mother and i were engaged in 2008. Unfortunately, the mother completely shut me out and not allow me to keep in touch with my son. It`s been years and i have no information about my son. What can i do?

Hello and thanks for your question.

How old is your son?
When did you last see him?
How often did you see him before his mother stopped your contact?
Apart from seeing him face-to-face, what other contact havae you had with him? telephone? email? skype? letters etc
Were you married to his mother?
Are you named as him father on his birth certificate?
If years have gone by since youu last saw your son, what steps have you taken so far to reestablish contact with your son? Are there any court orders concerning your son?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My son is turning 7 in October. I was not married to the mother but we were engaged. I am the dad on his birth certificate. I also signed a document that i acknowledge that i am the father.

Her mother let me go when my son Harley was 14 months in December 2008. Since i had nowhere to go and had any job that time, i moved back to my home country Hungary. In July 2009 i relocated to the USA where i could immediately start working.

Before moving to the US i saw Harley a few times, had him for vacation. We kept in touch after i moved to the US however, her mother did not allow me to speak to him anymore saying that he can`t talk anyway... She just informed me about his well being and i would send money twice a year.

I got married in the US and had a child in 2010 from my wife. That`s when the problems started. As soon as she found out about my marriage and child she did not want to keep in touch at all.

I traveled to the UK twice, in 2011 and 2012. In 2011 i had to meet him in a hotel for only 2 hours and in 2012 i was only allowed to see him for 30 minutes. In 2011 i asked her to reintroduce me to my son as his dad and to let me regularly keep in touch with him otherwise i will not send her money anymore. I have all this in writing. She refused to cooperate. I have about 20 letters saved that proves her aggressive, vulgar attitude and that she refuses to keep in touch. I still send birthday, christmas gifts, holiday cards. i don`t know if Harley gets those or not but i still do it. i called many times, emailed, texted the mother unsuccessfully.

There is no court order because financially i cannot afford to pay a british lawyer. I asked around from lawyers in the US and i was told that since my son is an England citizen i have to go to England to get this case done under the English law. I do not have the financial support to pay lawyers or start any case.

I do not want to take my son away from his mother and half sister (the mother has another child from another father who is not around either due to mother`s request) i just want to keep in touch with my son and see him when i can.

is there any way to do this?

I appreciate the help in advance.

Hello again and thanks for the extra info.

1) Going to court - The legal action route would be to apply for a child arrangements order in the family court in the locality where your son lives in the UK.

The court form you would need is a C100, here:-

The court fee is £215.

The court would be likely to order that you should have some form of regular contact with your son, becauase it is government policy that it is good for children to have contact with the parent that they do not live with - unless there is very good reason indeed why that should not happen.

However, not only would this be difficult for you to do as you are not living in the UK, but also, even if you got the court order, it would be very difficut for you to enforce if your boy's mother did not comply, because you would have to bring the case back to court again.And of course all this is very expensive.

You would not get an order saying that your son should live with you, because that would be far too disruptive for your son, as he has always been cared for by his mother, so I am glad you are not considering that.

2) Child support. I do not recommend that you stop paying child support a) because the money is for the benefit of your son b) because if you stop, you give the boy's mother the opportunity to say to your son that you care so litttle for him that you have stopped sending money c) in UK law, child support is always due to be paid by the arent that the child does not live with, regardless of whether or how much they actually see the child. It's separate legislation - child support is governed by the Child Support Act 1991, and contact with a child is governed by the Children Act 1989.

3) REUNITE INTERNATIONAL The best that I can suggest is that you contact the charity Reunite International.

They specialise in everything to do with children living in a different country to one parent. Their advice line is: +44 (0)(###) ###-####234

They also offer a speciaist mediation service by telephone for eg contact with a child in another country

I have been to talks given by Reunite and I can confirm that they are really expert in international issues concerning children.

4) As you are named on your son's birth certificate, that means in UK law that you have parental responsibilty. Although this is largely symbolic, it does mean that you have the right to be kept informed of your son's educational progress. So - with a copy of your son's birth certificate, and proof of your own identity, you could write direct to the headteacher of your son's school (if you know which school he's at) and politely ask to be included on their mailing list for all school events, and to receive a copy of his annual school report each year. I know it's not much, but at least then you'd know how he's doing.

I'm sorry I couldn't give you a moer positive answer but I hope this helps anyway and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...

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