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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34902
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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Just wondering if you could advise, I have a five year old

Customer Question

HiJust wondering if you could advise, I have a five year old daughter her father moved to California two years ago, we were not married but he is named as her father on her birth certificate. However, although he pays maintenance for her and I allowed him to see her whenever he wanted to, I now aware that he suffers from serious mental health problems which have not been officially diagnosed but which could have serious implications on my daughters overall mental health and wellbeing, I am thus restricting him to day visits until he seeks the psychological help he so desperately needs, which he refuses to do, I would just like to know what my rights are as he has now consulted a solicitor threatening to go through the courts when we have no custodial agreement in place at the moment?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

How often is in the UK and what are his mental health problems

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I allowed him to take her away and see her when he wanted to, however, there was a period this year when he never saw her for seven months and he rang on occasions just once a month. He suffers with a severe case of NPD, which is a very serious mental health condition. It's like dealing with a wolf in sheep's clothing, part of his condition means he has no capacity to listen whatsoever, he is always right, on the outside he is charismatic, charming, friendly, intelligent, and successful, but behind the facade is someone, devious, calculating, manipulative and very ruthless, and I'm the only one who sees it because I lived with him for over ten years, although I'm sure there are people out there who he ruthlessly discarded and abused in order to get to the top of his profession. He has even attended anger management counselling. I'm not out to get him, I want no animosity, the mental health and wellbeing my daughter is paramount. She is such a wonderful child and she deserves so much better. The thing is I don't want to cut him out of her life I just want him to get the help he needs so eventually he can be a good dad to her. I've even told him that I am willing to help him. I guess what I'm trying to ask is what rights does he have when there is no custodial agreements in force in the UK and the fact that he has been residing in America for the last two years and works for an American based company?
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

The law says that a child is entitled to. Personal relationship with both parents and the Courts will enforce this is if necessary

It is unlikely that the courts would take the same view of NPD as you and I would and it would not be a good reason in itself to deny him overnight contact here in the UK - however the long gals between contact would certainly suggest that it should be postponed unti he has a settled pattern of attendance

AS the starting point you should offer yo attend family mediation with him the next time he is in the UK.

I am sorry that the news is not more positive for you - please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks for your help, so just to clarify you feel I should allow overnight visits in the UK, but what should I do if he wants to take her to America? However, I don't really understand as he lives in America permanently not the UK so effectively as I'm not able to chase child support payments through the courts by law, why would he be allowed visitation rights especially on his terms, I'm confused?
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Maintenance and contact are not related - it is about the right of a child to a relationship

If he wishes to take her to America then he will have to show that he can care for her in the UK for longer periods of time first .

In fact you CAN chase him for maintenance.

You can either get the Order here and then enforce it using the Reciprocal Enforcement methods in place between the UK and the USA

Alternatively you can apply in the State in which he lives

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Sorry, but why isn't NPD recognized in a court of law for the very serious mental health issue it is? Can I ask the court for a full psychological evaluation be carried out on my ex partner? It's not fair or just that these issues are simply brushed aside and ignored.