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Family law (father not on birth cert, how to get PR)

(9 Posts)
thatwomanwho Tue 14-Mar-17 22:47:41

Hi. Looking for some advice.

My BF has a child with his ExW. He left the marriage when she was a few months pregnant for lots of reasons. They were quite young and it was on very bad terms, extending to both of their families an the relationship disintegrated. He moved back closer to his family as the insular village they lived in became an orchestrated hate campaign by the sounds of it.

He wanted to have a relationship with said child but she made this very difficult. She did not tell him when the child was born.

He tells me he really tried for contact but there was constant 'goal post moving', cancelling at short notice, refusal to rearrange/flaky contact, being 'busy' all the time, changing times at short notice in spite of the distance.(She started a new relationship prior to the birth and I think this fuelled her desire to make her then husbands contact difficult as she had 'dream family' ideas). He didn't have the money to take things further legally at the time, and I think it was draining for both of them as it sounds like they were both in bad places. Contact attempts stopped. Child maintenance was always paid.

Because of this BF doesn't think he's on the birth certificate. He never signed anything, baby doesn't have his family name, but they were married at the time of the birth. I understand he will be assumed to be the father but how can this not be formalised? They've since divorced. Can her new partner have PR without my BF consent (especially as if BF isn't on the BC?)

Anybody been through anything similar? He's restarted contact which isn't currently being objected to but if things turn sour again he may need a legal fallback.

I'm just curious, I don't know if he's looking for formalise anything yet especially if things remain as so. I think if she left him off the BC in the first place she wouldn't want him added, and it might be another fight down the line BF for some reason wanted PR. I'm just a worrier and quite practical. I'd like to know where he stands as things progress for my own piece of mind, though I stay out of it. He's done some research on PR to know what his rights were before he initiated contact, and it's kind of difficult because he's in a bit of a grey area but luckily contact is going better now they're both in better more stable happier places. The relationship is still being defined by all as it's a big change but if he does start to look into the legal side at some point I'd like to help him understand where he stands if he wants my help.

Thanks, sorry it got so long!

Familylawsolicitor Wed 15-Mar-17 06:18:51

He has PR as they were married at the time of the birth. It's not a grey area. Birth cert is only relevant to PR if unmarried.

Section 2(1) Children Act 1989
Where a child’s father and mother were married to each other at the time of his birth, they shall each have parental responsibility for the child.

LIZS Wed 15-Mar-17 06:39:29

He can apply for a copy of the birth certificate to check but if they were married he wouldn't have needed to sign anything or be present for her to have registered him as the father. I guess the issue is why he has not made any effort to confirm this sooner. How old is this child now?

prh47bridge Wed 15-Mar-17 06:46:45

As Familylawsolicitor says, he has PR as they were married when the child was born.

Her new boyfriend cannot have PR. PR is not available to the mother's boyfriends or partners unless they adopt the child. If she remarries her new husband could get PR if your boyfriend agreed. If he did not agree his ex and her new husband could try to get a court order giving him PR. They could not do this without your boyfriend's knowledge.

WeAreEternal Wed 15-Mar-17 06:59:10

I think the op means the mother was married to the new partner at the time of birth.

The law assumes that the man legally married to the mother is the father so your bf would have to go to court to get PR.

MrsBertBibby Wed 15-Mar-17 07:09:30

No, OP is quite clear the baby was born before the divorce, and there's nothing to suggest the new guy has married her.

thatwomanwho Wed 15-Mar-17 07:26:03

Thank you, all really useful information. I guess it was so black and white in writing that I almost didn't trust it on face value with no paperwork.

Okay. She is getting married. Even if the authorities don't 'know about' my BF her new partner coundn't get PR?

My only thought is that he doesn't know if he's on any of the child's documentation, therefore I'm assuming not until otherwise proven. Therefore how would authorities know about him if they did try to get PR for her new partner bypassing him, or if contact broke down again and she did it in the future? (She's currently engaged)

In what circumstances might a court grant a new partner PR without the fathers permission, and what would that mean? In important future decisions would it be two vs one?

(I don't know if any of this will come to pass I just want to better understand so I can help if I need to.)

prh47bridge Wed 15-Mar-17 08:53:40

Even if they marry she cannot give her new partner PR without your boyfriend's consent. A PR agreement must be signed by everyone who currently has PR to be valid. Even if she did sign a PR agreement without your boyfriend's consent and managed to get it stamped by the courts it would be meaningless.

The courts will grant PR to the mother's new husband if they think it is in the child's best interests to do so. That is always the central question in any action concerning children.

In terms of what it means, if the mother's new husband gets PR it will give him a say in the child's education, religious upbringing and name. It will allow him to consent to medical treatment and access medical records. It will mean his consent will be needed before the child leaves the country, either for a holiday or for a longer stay. Whilst it may result in two vs one situations that does not mean the two win. All three have to agree on most of the things I have listed. If your boyfriend cannot agree with the child's mother and her new husband the matter would have to be decided by the courts. They would look at the child's best interests.

thatwomanwho Thu 16-Mar-17 06:26:05

Thanks all smile really helpful.

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