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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34905
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I was in a relationship for 8 months seeing someone twice a

Customer Question

I was in a relationship for 8 months seeing someone twice a week when I got pregnant. My then boyfriend asked me to get a termination which I do not believe in so I refused. I tried to split up with him but he took it back for a while and then a few weeks later broke off the relationship asking me again to get a termination because he did not want to "have another child". He regreted it again and we started seeig each other, only for him to break it off again. In allhe called off the realtionship 3 times because of the pregnancy. The last I heard from him was when I was 20 weeks pregnant until 3 days after my daughter was born (now 16 days ago). I then received a texted in which he claimed I was always in his mind and in his heart. I informed of him of the birth and offered him a visit (based on a solicitor's advice). He has visited twice in the last 2 weeks and now to want more contact. I need to get the birth registered and am concerned that if I add him on as the father then he will get paternity rights and threaten to take my baby away/get overnight contact. I have also allowed him to buy a baby bouncer for my child and am unsure whether this is showing that he is providing for his daughter and is entitled to more. He was not there for me during my pregnancy/caesarian section delivery. He has not provided any explanation, just given an apology and congratulations card. What are his rights now?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question
My name is Claire and I shall do my best to help you.
Your concerns are understandable given the history - and you are correct if you add his name to the Birth Certificate he will acquire Parental Responsibility for the child and whilst it is unlikely that he could use that to successfully remove the child from your care it could be an inconvenience in the future if he simply disappears from your lives for good.
If in fact he stays around you can always re-register the birth with him in the future.
The fact that he is not named on the birth Certificate does not mean that he is not entitled to contact - and in deed if he shows commitment to the child and builds up a close relationship with the baby then at some time in the future there may be overnight contact - but there is no automatic right to a set amount of time.
Accepting financial aid is no problem - indeed he should be paying Child Maintenance - and continue to do so whether or not he sees the child
You can read more on the website
I hope that this is of assistance
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



Thank you for your very good advice. I have a few further further questions prompted from your answer above.


I think the father of my baby wants a lot of contact/visits as he said to me before he called off the relationship that if he had another child that he would want a girl. He has a step child who is a 14 year old boy from a previous relationship who stays with him 50% of the time. I have a feeling he may also have another child from another relationship that he has not told me about.


I do not want my baby psychologically messed up by frequent separations from me. She is only 2 weeks old and I am breast feeding. The father is Irish and his family are in Ireland. He has said he has told them and they are excited. He has asked me a few times if I am solely breast feeding to which I have replied yes and he has asked me for how long. I am concerned re his intentions of wanting to take my child away from me. He has not explained his behaviour and has just said that he would like to visit as much as possible. Do I have the right to limit it to fortnightly if his visits make me uncomfortable (he has after all called off the relationship on me which can make me feel rejected, not a great feeling when you're immediately postnatal.) I want to avoid overnight contact and separations for my baby's sake. Can I do this by limiting the frequency of his visits at this stage? If he were to get overnight contact what is the youngest that the courts would see as reasonable for a child. I am assuming that if I were to go back out with him then he would gain more access rights at a later stage if he were to call it off on me again?


The solicitor's advice that I have already briefly received has been from my solicitor dealing which my current ongoing divorce and residence application for my 3 year old son. I currently have a 4:3 court order in my favour and am applying for full residence before school starts as I have moved area and the shared care arrangement is no longer practical. The solicitors advice was to avoid being in litigation re two children at once as this will not look good in court and will make me look under stress. I am concerned however that if am too amenable to the father of my little girl he will take advantage of the situation to increase his access and contact in the future. I have been advised that if I don't put him on the birth certificate then he could take me to court and get himself put on anyway. This is something I would want to avoid. My gut instinct at the moment is to not put him on the certificate until I know his intentions. Difficult situation really.


The only other question I had was you mentioned that I may be at a disadvange if he disappears in the future if he had been put on the birth certifcate and I was unclear as to the reason for this.


Kind regards

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
At this stage it is reasonable for you to point to his past and say that you are not willing to agree to him being on the Birth Certificate until he has shown his commitment - and even if he applies to the Court then the Court will fully understand the delay.
At this stage while the baby is still so small the watchwords for contact is little and often - so an hour twice a week to start with building up to two hours once a week at a Contact Centre.
You can offer it fortnightly but realistically an offer of weekly is more reasonable - and he is more likely to refuse it since I am sure that contact at a Contact Centre is not what he is looking for.
There is no set age when a child has overnight contact - it depends on the relationship the child has with the other parent and the accommodation available - and is a very long way in the future.
So far as making matters more difficult is concerned if you should ever decide to emigrate it could be a problem!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



My baby is now 5 week old and the father has been in touch daily by text and has visited 3 times, each time to my house. He has been nice on each occasion but has not explained the reasons for what he has done in the past. When asked if he knows what he wants he just says that he wants to visit. 4 days ago he sent a text saying that he kept meaning to ask what the baby's full name was and whether he was named as the father on her birth certificate. I think he probably wants to be named on the birth certificate and I understand that he can take me to court and get dna evidence that he is the father to be put on the certificate. This is a situation I need to avoid because of the residence application with my other child at the moment.

I have registered the birth already before he asked about the birth certificate with no named father. Part of the reason I decided on this was because I did not want him being able to decide where I can live in case I loose my residence application for my 3 year old son, in which case I would probably want to move back closer to my son's father to avoid loosing any time with him, despite this being further from my family. The other reason I did not put him on the certificate was because I wanted to avoid any dispute about my baby's surname. I have put my married surname on the baby's certificate as I do not want my baby to have a different surname from my son and I am unable to change my son's surname to my maiden name without my soon to be ex-husband's consent which he will never give.


If I consent to the baby's father being added to the birth certificate (which seems probably inevitable whether I consent or not) do I have the right to refuse his surname and have mine remain on the certificate. I am wanting to keep everything amicable with my baby's father.


I think the baby's father also wants to attend doctors appointments she has or certainly be informed about them. Am I obliged to inform him or let him attend?


The baby's father is next due to visit later today when I was going to discuss the birth certificate with him. I was also going to ask him to be honest with me regarding the reasons for his behaviour for my baby's sake as I do not want to let someone unreliable in to her life that may let her down or make her feel rejected.


Kind regards

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
If the birth is re-registered to include the father you still cannot be forced to a agree to change her name
Until he has Parental Responsibility he has no right to attend any appointments