Posted by familylaw on 19th December 2011

Fathers with Parental Responsibility have rights and responsibilities to their children. In return for these responsibilities, you have contact with your children, and the family courts have to do everything possible for you to see your children.

How To Protect Your Rights

Maintain the Status Quo (the present, existing state of affairs)

The court is always reluctant to remove a child from its present home unless there is a strong reason for doing so, and it follows that the person looking after the child at the time of a dispute is at an advantage. The longer that situation continues the greater the advantage. It is important to stop and consider what effect your moving out of the marital home will have. In the same way as spending time with your children, by moving out you may effectively be creating a new “status quo” and you may struggle to obtain a Residence order or Shared Residence Order based upon the status quo established when you moved out.

Have an amicable relationship with your ex

This the best way to stay in close touch with your children and, although not legally binding, it is a good idea to have all of the details concerning contact (who, when, where, or possible restrictions) in writing, to avoid potential conflict in the future.

Stick to any arrangements made

If contact and residence rights have been agreed between you and your ex without going to court, it is important that you both stick to the arrangements established, arriving promptly for each visit and never missing a visit. Missed visits with a parent can be extremely harmful to your child, and if one parent consistently misses scheduled visitations, the courts may intervene to protect your child.

Be flexible

If arrangements have been worked out privately, or in mediation, court-issued contact orders will prove unnecessary. However, even where a Contact Order is issued, often the parents are allowed to work out the details for themselves. Be flexible and open to suggestions.

Taking your child on holiday

Unless you have residence, you should not attempt to take your children out of the country, even for a short holiday, without written permission from their mother.

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