Family Matters

Your monthly family law digest from Woolley & Co, Solicitors

  
  
 

June 2017

What rights do fathers have? Fathers access rights UK

A common question I get asked during the divorce process from worried dads is: what rights do I have as a father?The first thing to say in response to this is that the law is focused on, and based around, the needs and rights of the children, not those of the parents. It is what is best for the children. Often that will be to ensure a healthy, supportive relationship is maintained with both mum and dad. In broad terms, it is considered to be their right to have a relationship with both parents.

In Brief

Do you legally have to give back an engagement ring? UK Law

Recently I was asked what happens if an engagement breaks down and one party requests the return of the engagement ring. Now you might assume that it would be the property of the person who received the “gift”....
... more

Can I get a prenuptial agreement in the UK without a solicitor?

Prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular, at least if the number of enquiries our solicitors receive is anything to go by. I suppose with all the headline news about cases where couples spend months, and in some cases years, arguing...
... more

Who is entitled to spousal maintenance?

When a couple separate whether one party is entitled to claim spousal maintenance from the other is a common concern. There are several factors that need to be considered:Length of marriage Whether each party is working The age of...
... more

My relationship has broken down. What do I do now?

The breakdown of a relationship or marriage is not easy for anyone to deal with. Emotions run high and confusion sometimes reigns. Before rushing to take action, it is important to remember you need time to come to terms with...
... more

For a couple separating or going through divorce, the arrangements for the care of the children are often a bone of contention. Our advice is always to try and reach agreement as a couple, without involving the law or family lawyers, if you possibly can.

Unfortunately, as experts in divorce and family law we see all too many cases where parents cannot agree on the arrangements for the care of their children and we speak to many fathers who are, at least as they see it, being denied their rights to see their children.

It is sometimes suggested that fathers do not really have any rights. There is a feeling that there’s not enough help for dads who are desperate to play a greater role in their children’s life but are being prevented from doing so.

If you would like to play a greater role in the care of your children and you cannot reach an agreement with your ex there are steps you can take. Sometimes a carefully worded letter from a family lawyer, setting out your proposals will help your ex see your point of view. If this doesn’t work there is always mediation, a process of sitting down with a neutral third party to discuss the situation and for each party to make their case in the hope that by talking openly about the situation you can reach a mutually agreeable solution.

If negotiating in this way doesn’t work a dad can make an application to the Courts for a child arrangements order which sets out where the child will live and when they will spend time with the other parent. It’s not a forgone conclusion that fathers are denied the ability to spend time with their children. There are regularly cases where arrangements are changed quite dramatically meaning that children spend more time with dad or even live most of the week with their father. Of course, this only happens if it’s in the best interest of the child and this has to be proven.

So, the fundamental answer to the question is that the rights sit with the children, not with the parents. However, it is considered to be their right to have a relationship with both parents. The courts can and do take steps to make sure the child’s welfare is taken care of. They can even send a parent to prison if they wilfully and repeatedly ignore an order of the court.

This is a sensitive and specialist area of family law – it’s always best to get advice maybe even before you approach your ex, so that you put yourself in the best possible position to get the right solution for yourself and your children.


Andrew Woolley
Woolley & Co, family law solicitors

www.family-lawfirm.co.uk

 

 
 
 
 
Woolley & Co, Solicitors
Warwick Enterprise Park,
Wellesbourne,
Warwick CV35 9EF
info@family-lawfirm.co.uk
Call 0800 321 3832
Mobile 0330 330 3832
Outside UK +44 (0)1789 330310     
 
   
 

© Woolley & Co, Solicitors. All rights reserved. No unauthorised copying, extraction or other use is allowed except with our prior written permission. Woolley & Co Solicitors is the trading name of Woolley & Co Limited, company number 07387222. Woolley & Co, Solicitors is a member of the Law Society and authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. A list of directors is available from our registered office which is Warwick Enterprise Park, Wellesbourne, Warwick, CV35 9EF. VAT Reg. No. 687 644 675.

Click here to unsubscribe.