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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 boyfriend with whom I have a 18 month child with, broke

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My boyfriend with whom I have a 18 month child with, broke up with me and has recently moved abroad to live with his new partner. We have decided, our child will stay here with me. However, we can't come to terms regarding how often he should see my son. As he's now living abroad, it is difficult to arrange for my son flying abroad. I do not limit my ex-boyfriend seeing our son in UK, however I am concerned about my son going abroad. I am also not happy with my son being separated from me for longer periods of time, especially abroad.
Furthermore, my ex has requested that I allow him to see him for two weeks in the summer, two weeks in the winter and additionally every few months. In my mind his plans are highly unrealistic due to him being unable to afford travel costs and I think my son is not old enough to be seperated from me for longer periods of time.1. I would like to find out what my and his rights are.
2. I would also like to know what his obligations are.
3. Can I forbid him taking my son abroad for longer periods of time, such as two weeks at the time?
4. As we have decided I will be the one who cares for my son, am I allowed to decide what my ex is allowed to do or not?

Hi, thank you for your question. Which country has the father moved to and is he named on the birth certificate?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Harris
He moved back to Poland and yes, he is named on the birth certificate.
My son was born in UK and has British passport.

Thank you. Firstly, your child has a right to a relationship with both of you which can only be reasonably restricted if there are child protection concerns or if it is in his best interests. Given that the father has now moved abroad, and your son's young age and you indicating that the father cannot afford such travel, it would not be reasonable to agree for him to go to Poland to have contact, especially for the extended periods the father is asking for. If no agreement can be reached then the father would need to pursue a court application in England for a child arrangement order and the court can make a decision, but based on your information the arrangements he is seeking are a bit excessive for a small child.

In relation to the father's obligations, he has an obligation to pay child maintenance which will be based on his gross income. Given that he has now moved abroad, if he does not voluntarily provide this then you would be entitled to apply to court for a child maintenance order which can be enforced in Poland.

I hope this assists you. 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 your question without a positive rating. Thank you.,

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for the information.Just to clarify, I am a Polish national and my son has dual nationality. Does it change anything?Can my ex apply to court in Poland to restrict my rights etc. ?As I explained before, I am suspecting my ex will not see our son for long periods of time. If he doesn't maintain contact with him, are my rights affected? If he doesn't visit our son for say six or twelve months, can I apply to court for exclusive rights?

As the child resides here, and as long as he is habitually resident in England, the English courts will have jurisdiction regarding him so an application to a Polish court will not progress matters for the father.

If he does not maintain contact with the child this will not impact any rights you both have as parents and if he attempts to restart contact in the future then the court will need to ask him to explain why he was absent, but even then this will not necessarily deny him access

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay thanks - very helpful.Just few more things to clarify - do I have any obligations to update my ex on how my child is doing etc.? I

As the father is on the birth certificate he has parental responsibility and a right to be consulted regarding major decisions in the child's upbringing such as major medical issues, education decisions, change of name, and leaving the jurisdiction.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Great, thanks.From what I am aware, the Polish law says that until certain age, the father can see the child only with mother being present at the same time, unless given special permission. For instance, the child until certain age can not stay overnight away from home without mother's permission (assuming mother is the one caring for the child). From what you have advised I gather that this is not the case in UK, but could you please confirm?

In England the way it works is vastly different and there is no set method of how contact should take place between children and parents - it all depends on what is in the child's best interests and if there are any concerns about the parent.