Fathers, especially unmarried ones, are often ill-informed about their legal rights regarding their kids. As per English law, you are entitled to maintain contact with the child.
Apart from father rights overnight stays, you can enjoy the following contact-
- Direct and face-to-face meetings with the kids,
- The correct father’s rights solicitors can even push for overnight to weekly stays,
- Extended visits during holidays,
- Taking kids away on a vacation for weeks during the more extended holiday periods from schools,
- Telephonic conversation, etc.
When dealing with family law issues, the law can be a bit tougher. As a father, you may feel more hurdles towards meeting the kid.
What do UK law beliefs about parental contact?
Under UK law, neither parent can stop the other from meeting the child. To do the same, a necessary court order must be passed to restrain the other parent, especially when the same puts the child’s safety at risk. If the court is convinced that having contact with the kid can be detrimental to the kid, then such communication is not allowed by the court.
Reasons that can restrict parents from contacting their children
The law favours the kid to have a good and healthy relationship with his parents. The bar for the same is set high so that parents – married or single – can be prevented from meeting their kids. This is possible in instances like the following –
- Exposing the child to criminal activities or unlawful actions,
- Exposing the kid to sexual or physical abuse,
- Exposing the child to emotional abuse or mistreatment, violence, etc.
- Exposing the child to situations or events that can block their access to rights, especially the right to education,
- He is exposing the child to drugs or similar substances, etc.
If any of these examples are proven in the court, then the court can be convinced that the child is at risk. They may immediately deny granting any right to the parent.
However, without these, the other parent cannot restrict the other from meeting with the child.
Unlikely reasons to seek restrictions on meeting with the child and his father
Here are some examples of when a court will be less likely to restrict the meetings with the father and his child: –
- Being unpunctual to the meetings or picking up the kid
Punctuality is essential when picking up and dropping the child. This is crucial to build trust between the parents and children. It also helps to bring consistency between the kids.
Repeated issues in the above can be a cause of lack of respect. However, it may not restrict the contact.
- Refusal to pay child support
Even if the father cannot pay child support, he can maintain contact with the kid. Your kid has the right to be with both parents, and delays in child maintenance will not harm the connection. However, a court would take a dim view of the situation if the kid has to bear the brunt of the delays in child support.
- Arguing with other parents
It is in the child’s best interest to have both parents participate in the development. However, it would help if you did not let your poor relationship with the other parent, as an example, deny contact.
- The father remarries
If the father is in a new relationship or has remarried, it will not impact their relationship with their kids. However, if the partner is a risk to the child, the court can limit the contact.
- The child refuses to meet the other parent
This is a tricky territory, and the court will base orders based on the age of the child in question. For a kid under 8, the court may not decide to restrict contact. This is because the court can believe the kid is not in a state to make an informed choice. However, for kids above 12, such stuff is considered severe.
It is left to the parent to understand or work well to know why the kid is not ready for the meets.