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Familylawexpert1, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 6
Experience:  Qualified in 2005 and specialise in all aspects of family law, including divorce, finances and children disputes.
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What are the rights of a single parent, in regards ***** *****

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What are the rights of a single parent, in regards ***** ***** access to his son who is 4 years old The father at present is not on the birth certificate and has been paying maintenance of £400 each month but does use this as a controlling factor.
Thankyou Joy

Were the parents married? If not, then as the name is ***** ***** the birth certificate I would urge him to apply to the courts for a parental responsibility order. This would give him rights in relation to decision making for the child, such as medical care, schooling, religion etc.

The court's position is very clear that as long as there is no serious reason for contact not taking place (such as a safeguarding reason) then a child has the right to contact with both parents. Indeed, the court can be extremely generous and as long as it's practical and wanted, would award staying contact (overnight) as well as contact in the day time.

I would advise to try and speak to the mother informally about this and if this is not successful apply for mediation. This is a pre-requisite before applying to the courts. If this is unsuccessful I would advise making an application to court for a child arrangement order to have defined contact set out in a court order. An order can then be enforced through the courts if it is breached.

Please let me know if you require further detailed information about this process.

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Its my daughter who has the problem. She is a single parent and has been from the birth of her 4 year old son.

The father sees him every weekend but now wants to take him to Spain with a group of his friends. She is concerned because she doesn't know the group of friends but does know they will be drinking round the pool.

Her son doesn't swim so she is very concerned, as the primary carer she feels that her son is not ready for this and doesn't think the farther will be able to cope.

What rights does she have to stop this?

Thank you. Joy

If she is the only parent with parental responsibility, she does not have to give the father the child's passport. He cannot take the child abroad without her consent, this would be classed as child abduction.

If he sought legal advivce, as I stated before, he would probably be advised to apply to the court for parental responsibility. In theory, if the mother still doesn't consent he could also apply to the courts for a child arrangement order to decide on the issue of having contact abroad. It really depends on how strongly he feels and how far you think he may go.

In the meantime, it might be an idea to suggest he takes the child away in the UK to try and build up the contact this way and see how he gets on.

Hope that helps.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you.

Yes she has been reasonable and did say she would not object to him going on holiday in England.

His reply was you will hear from my solicitor, i will not pay you any more maintenance and then block her from contacting him!

Her best bet is to just sit tight and see whether he does take legal advice on it and make an application to the court. Until then she doesn't have to do anything and it sounds as if she has been very reasonable.

Best of luck.