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Access to children

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hi I'm new here and not really sure where to post this so please tell me if it's in the wrong place. Basically my ex partner has recently got in touch and requested access to his daughter, she's two years old now and my current partner has brought her up since she was months old and although we have no intention of stopping him from seeing her I am concerned about just handing her over to him. He doesn't want to go through the courts if it can be helped which is understandable but I would like supper vised visits to begin with or for as long as it takes for her to become comfortable with him.

I'm also concerned as at the moment he has only just began paying his child support and in total has only ever made 3 payments (two on time) in two years, He has said in his letter that he would be happy to stay away but by asking him to pay maintenance I have left him no option as he needs to know the money he's paying being spent on her. I feel like his interest in her is purely because of the money hes paying out not because he really wants to see her.

What I basically want to know is that if he does actually take me to court what kind of access would he be given or is there anyway I can go about arranging supervised visits with out the courts being involved. I know it's a long process if we do go to court and would like to resolve this as quickly as possible.

Sorry for such a long post but any help or advice would be great.

Niki.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think the best thing would be to get some legal advice, in the short term a nice arrangement between you and your ex might be fine, but if you have a fall out or things turn nasty you might wish you had that court order stating when, where and how long he can see his daughter. Your ex can still see his daughter while the courts organise everything, so it wouldn't be holding that process up, but your right, it can be long winded! I think you should let him see her and I think your idea about supervised visits is good as it allows your ex and your daughter to get know each other. If he has started making payments that is good, and it sounds like he is really trying to take an interest in his daughter even if it is a little delayed! I hope this all works out for you :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    um legally, his paying maintenance does not give his automatic rights of access to your daughter! From what I gather of your situation, although he is not the biological father- your partner has legal rights to the child as the known (raised em) parent and Mr. Sperm is still obliged to pay maintenance! If he objects or causes any hassel- go straight to the CSA who'll collect your money for you without you having to have any contact with him at all. There are orgonisations that arrange meetings for children who are estranged from a parent. One that I knw of is called the Association For Shared Parenting. As far as I'm aware, they're trained volunteers who act as in intermediatory place and supervisor for access visits.

    You can take his money and not give him access though, you are baby's carer and until a court tells you otherwise- YOU know what's best for your babe. He'll have to take you to court to apply for parental rights and parental access if he wants it so badly- unless you were married at time of baby's birth.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ok I was wrong about your partner having legal parental responsibility it seems. Look up http://www.childrenslegalcentre.com/Templates/Topic.asp?NodeID=89632 for more info. This raiises the question- was Mr. Sperm registered on the birth certificate?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://www.childrenslegalcentre.com/Templates/Topic.asp?NodeID=89857

    and there it gives details of contact. Although it says that "the law encourages contact..." blah blah blah, I still think I'm correct in saying that if you say 'no' he'll have to take you to court, establish parentla responsibility and then be awarded access.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i think if her father is showing an interest, and you have no reason to think she would be in danger, thenyou should actively encourage contact, especially while shes still young enough to not be freaked by the idea of having a `real` daddy as well as the stepdady shes known so far.
    Having more people to love her, and for you to get time off can only be a good thing?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The only advice I can give you is to go to your local Community Law Centre and take some advice from them.

    Him paying maintenance does not give him mandatory access, though obviously its better if he can keep seeing his child. Questions you would need to consider are why has he come back after so long, especially given that he didn't ever make maintenance payments, and what effect would it have on your child?

    get some legal advice, that's the best course of action.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Certainly that is the best course of action, but in truth the courts are very keen on contact (as it's now called) between children and their biological parents. And it is, in fact, your daughter's right of access to her biological father rather than the other way round. How much access he would get really depends on your individual circumstances, but it would be unlikely to be supervised unless there is some reason to be concerned that she is in danger. In practical terms it's quite difficult to get supervised access even through the courts. What MIGHT make the difference is her age and the fact that she doesn't know him from Adam.

    If you're not concerned for her safety, then your best bet might be to arrange for your daughter to meet him and get used to him in some kind of surroundings that are familliar to her. Are things reasonably amicable between yourself and your partner and him? If so, perhaps he could meet her at your house to begin with, or if not then maybe a grandparent? I agree with you that I wouldn't want to just hand her over to someone who is, to her, a total stranger. If he is reasonable he ought to understand that. If he's not willing to be reasonable then he'll have no choice but to take it to court, in which case all three of you will probably be interviewed by a Cafcass officer who will make a report to the court containing their recommendations. I sincerely doubt they'd recommend you to just hand her over, in the circumstances, but frankly you never can tell quite what will happen when things actually get to court. But get that legal advice so you at least know where you stand.

    Hope this helps.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks everyone for your very helpfull posts. I don't want to stop him seeing her I don't feel it's my right to do so and I never want her to be able to say *you stopped me seeing my daddy*. I have a solicitors appointment on Thursday and hopefully they will be able to help us to come to some sort of agreement with out the need to go to court. He's not on her birth certificate and we were never married. Im going to put it to him that maybe we could arrange some sort of contact our self and see how it goes.

    I don't have anything against him but I know he's very resentfull ( or was ) of me as I left him and carried on with my pregnancy, he says he still wants to know why I went ahead and had her !

    Anyways thank you all again for your help :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well after trying to call him as we had arranged he wouldn't take my call then sent a text msg saying that he wants his solicitor to sort it out :rolleyes:

    I have a funny feeling that he may ask that if I stop the claim for child support an then he'll not seek contact with her. My partners finding this quite hard, much harder than I thought :( and I think he would agree to stopping the cs but I don't want Lily to grow up and ask why we did it, we have both agreed we would never lie to her about her real father.

    So now im just waiting for a solicitors letter to drop through the door and see what happens, I hate waiting around not knowing whats happening grrrrr.

    x
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    He doesn't sound like he's very interested in seeing his daughter, to be honest. He wishes you'd had an abortion, and he's said himself that he wouldn't care about seeing her except for the fact that he's having to give you money for her. If he's hardly paid his child support at all then it sounds like you can get by without it, so stopping the payments sounds like the best course of action really. I'd keep that letter, too - it shows he has no real interest in seeing his child apart from to get something that's 'owed' to him from paying child support.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd keep that letter, too - it shows he has no real interest in seeing his child apart from to get something that's 'owed' to him from paying child support.

    That's unlikely to count for a fat lot tbh. Courts are very keen on kids having contact with their natural parents, in a very worthy kind of way, unless there are very extreme circumstances.

    Anyway, ncollict, I can't tell you what you should do, but be aware that even if you stop the claim for CS he could still decide to go to court and get access. Of course, that goes both ways that you could then ressurect the claim for payments, but you see what I mean.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    but be aware that even if you stop the claim for CS he could still decide to go to court and get access. Of course, that goes both ways that you could then ressurect the claim for payments, but you see what I mean.

    This is exactly why I think I should just carry on with the child support and sort things through a solicitor, keep things as simple as possible if you know what I mean.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ncollict78 wrote:
    This is exactly why I think I should just carry on with the child support and sort things through a solicitor, keep things as simple as possible if you know what I mean.

    Depends really, if you want to take the chance that if you stop the CS he might just go away. And how much you need the CS. Only you can really decide.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not sure what the law is, but if the natural father is paying for child maintenance, what exactly is he gaining if he never gets to see the child again?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Monserrat wrote:
    I'm not sure what the law is, but if the natural father is paying for child maintenance, what exactly is he gaining if he never gets to see the child again?

    The law is that the one thing has nothing to do with the other.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not sure what the law is, but if the natural father is paying for child maintenance, what exactly is he gaining if he never gets to see the child again?

    Im not stopping him from seeing her, im just worried about his reasons for doing so, He's never made an effort to pay her maintenance on time or pay it at all actually. He hasn't even paid this months, He's been so reluctant to pay and now suddenly he makes a few payments and says him self if he didn't have to pay he would stay away these are hardly the words of loving father !

    Law is that child support and access are two compleatly seperate things
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miffy wrote:
    The law is that the one thing has nothing to do with the other.

    miffy is right, even if u went through the courts and he was denied contact (which tbh is pretty unlikely) he would still have to pay maintenance. maintenance isnt about paying to see the child, its about the parents responsibility for their child. your ex partner doesnt seem to see it this way though!

    i think you have to put your daughters needs first, he might not be interested for the right reasons now but you might find that if contact was arranged he would bond with her and then surely it would be a good thing. it does seem like he is trying to get you to stop claiming maintenance though, maybe if u dont give in and do that then he will leave things as they are. but then i understand why you might want to just forget about the money and get him out of your lives again.

    its a shame for your partner though, it must be awful to bring up a child as your own only for 'mr sperm' as someone else put it to come along and stick their nose in after years of not caring.

    good luck
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I hope you are getting some good legal advice.

    If the father is being a tosser, I'd suggest being a tosser back. Get him to pay, get the CSA on his case.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    Get him to pay, get the CSA on his case.

    Frankly, unless you're on benefits they aren't all that interested. And if you are on benefits you don't get a choice anyway.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Very true he hasn't paid this month and the cs don't seem to be botherd every time I call I get told the same thing *Mr X had a mix up with his payment dates and is due to make a paymen* :lol: Yeah right if they say so.

    I still haven't heard a thing from his solicitors and im so eager to find out what exactly is going on it's driving me up the wall.
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