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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34889
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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Why is it assumed that the woman has custody and I have to

Customer Question

Why is it assumed that the woman has custody and I have to go through court to request access.
I appreciate it would be an awful idea but why can I not simply collect my son from school one day and claim that I have custody.
Essentially I would like to clarify what my rights are and what I can and cannot do.
We have been separated for 6 years and I have not seen my son since he was a few months old. He is 6 now.
I don't want to cause any trouble with their family unit, I just want to see my son.
I am in the process of going through the C100 to get access via the courts.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you
In fact it is not assumed that the woman will have the care of the child.
It is expected that parents will try and resolve issues between them - if this fails and the court becomes involved then the priority for the court is the security and stability of the child so in the event of a dispute the question is who has had the care of the child up to now and if the parents cannot agree then the court will favour the status quo.
In your case through no fault of your own you are a stranger to the child - and removing him from his mother's care as you suggest would cause considerable distress to him. Accordingly if you did this then the court would grant an emergency order allowing the police to assist in returning the child to the care of his mother.
However the law says that a child is entitled to contact with both parents and the courts will enforce this if necessary
the starting point is to try and discuss matters with your ex using Family Mediation
If that fails then you can apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order setting out a process for re-introduction to the child.
This is likely to start in the security and neutrality of a Contact Centre and move on from there as the relationship between you grows.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details