Your Rights as A Father After Separation in the UK
Your rights as a father after separation can vary depending on whether you have recently separated from your wife or girlfriend, or have a child with someone who you are not in a relationship with. You may be left with many questions about the role that you can have in your child’s life. You will also need to be aware of your legal and financial obligations.
Even if you and the child’s mother are on good terms at this time, it’s important to learn what your rights are as a father. Knowing what the law says that you can and cannot do will help you figure out how to address any conflicts that may arise and lead to a happier situation for everyone involved.
Legal Responsibility As A Father UK
The answer to this question depends on several details. First, if you were married to your child’s mother at the time that the child was born, you automatically have Parental Responsibility in the UK. While many people automatically think of child support when they hear this term, Parental Responsibility encompasses a number of rights that you have.
The law in the UK states that with Parental Responsibility, you have the right to have a say in whether your child changes schools. You also have rights in whether they move to a new country, changes his or her surname, is adopted, or even if they can go on holiday with another family. If your child has a serious medical issue, it also means that you have a say in their care.
Furthermore, you may still have Parental Responsibility even if you were not married to your child’s mother at the time of his or her birth. If your child was born after 1st December 2003 and your name is listed on the child’s birth certificate, UK law states that you automatically have Parental Responsibility and all of the rights that that entails.
Your Rights as A Father
While Parental Responsibility grants you the right to have a say in major decisions in your child’s life, many fathers also wish to have a say in other decisions as well. Unless you have residence of your child, you do not have any legal right to make these ‘lesser’ decisions. Residence may be granted to the father by the courts, though it is most often given to the mother.
Do Father’s Always Pay Child Support in the UK?
Regardless of your past relationship with your child’s mother, the law states that you are required to pay child support. How much you pay is determined by the Child Maintenance Service or CMS. Their decision is based on your earnings, as well as how residence of your child is divided. Your rights as a father mean you must pay these contributions.
When You Are No Longer Legally Responsible
As a child approaches their teenage years, many fathers wonder how long they will be obligated to pay child support, or when they will no longer be able to have a say in key decisions in their child’s life. Parental Responsibility is terminated at the time that a child leaves school. But that age may be different for each child. Legally, they may leave as early as 16, but if they choose to attend university, Parental Responsibility continues until they are 19 years of age.
Writer’s Bio: Lewis Murawski is a Director of Kahootz Media. He has been ranking websites on the first page of Google for more than 10 years. Connect with Lewis on LinkedIn.