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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My ex partner tried to commit suicide 3 months ago, since

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My ex partner tried to commit suicide 3 months ago, since then our 19 month son has been living with me full time, she has him for a few hours now and then if she feels she can cope. I work full time and do get tax credits which I use for nursery and my mum helps a lot. I think it's now time I looked at a permanent custody arrangement because I believe that as I'm his dad I have no legal rights at all and if his mum decides she can cope he has to go back. Can you help.

Hi, thank you for your question. Are/were you married to the mother or are you named on your son's birth certificate as the father?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We weren't married but I am named on birth certificate

Thank you for confirming. As you are named on the birth certificate you have parental responsibility which entitles you to be involved with major decisions in your son's upbringing.

Furthermore, as the arrangements for him have now changed, if she attempts to disrupt the arrangement and seek for him to return to her care you would be entitled to apply to court for a child arrangement order (for residence).

Initially you would need to make a referral to an independent mediator (you can find local ones here:, unless there is urgency or domestic violence/child abuse evidence. 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

Hi, this question remains open. 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.

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