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Friend becoming a single mum - has lots of questions

(11 Posts)
missamiss Sun 12-Jul-09 21:16:44

Hi - I have some questions on behaf of my friend. She is 5 months pregnant and her relationship has just come to an acrimonious end, so she will be bringing up the baby alone. She has lots of questions and has asked me to seek advice here (I have namechanged to protect her in case I am recognised under my usual MN name).

- if she wants to emigrate to the US (where her family are), can he stop her?
- if she just wants to leave the country on holiday, can he stop her?
- he has just been made redundant, but has a lot of capital (2 cars, house etc). Can he avoid paying her maintenance just because he has no "income"?
- where can she find information on any tax credits she might be entitled to? (she is worried that childcare costs will write off all her earnings)

Thanks

Mutt Sun 12-Jul-09 21:28:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

missamiss Sun 12-Jul-09 21:35:32

That's great - thanks Mutt. She had heard that she would need his permission to take the child out of the country so was really worried about the control he would have over her life.

That entitledto site is very useful.

Mutt Sun 12-Jul-09 21:40:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

missamiss Sun 12-Jul-09 21:53:01

It's not her home country though Mutt - her parents have retired there. Would that make a difference?

Will def get her to see a solicitor.

Thanks

MollieO Sun 12-Jul-09 21:56:26

Afaik unless he is named on the birth certificate he will not have automatic parental responsibility. To be named on the birth certificate both parents have to attend to register the birth. If he isn't named he would have to apply for a court order for PR.

missamiss Sun 12-Jul-09 22:15:07

Mollie - thanks for that info. I think my friend would want him on the birth certificate.

If she didn't, do you know if he could insist on being present at registering the birth? Also, if he is not on the birth certificate, does that stop any maintenance claims she has against him?

MollieO Sun 12-Jul-09 22:25:46

Unless they are married he would have to attend to register the birth. I don't think she can register and add his name unless he is there. At least that was the position when I registered my ds.

If she didn't want to name him then how would he know when she was registering the birth unless she told him? When I had ds someone from the registry would visit the hospital on a daily basis to register births but as ds's father didn't visit we had to arrange a trip to the registry office.

No idea about maintenance but I imagine she would have to prove he was the father in order to he able to claim - DNA test etc. If he wasn't willing then a court order would be required.

missamiss Sun 12-Jul-09 22:37:37

Thanks Mollie

Snorbs Sun 12-Jul-09 22:59:30

As MollieO said, if the father isn't on the birth certificate then he won't get automatic Parental Responsibility. However, he can subsequently get PR by either agreement with the mum or by applying to court for a Parental Responsibility Order. Courts rarely refuse such requests as they regard it as the right of a child for both parents to be involved in their upbringing unless there are very good reasons not to.

Assuming there is no Residency Order in place (ie, they haven't gone to court to decide who the child lives with) then if/when the dad gets Parental Responsibility then neither of the parents are allowed to remove the child from the country, even for a holiday, without the other's permission. (Yes, I know lots of people do it and get away with it, but strictly speaking you're not supposed to and the US immigration officers can be sticklers for the rules).

He could apply to court to prevent the mum taking the child on holiday out of the country but it's unlikely a court would agree unless he can show reason to believe that they won't be returning (eg, she's got a one-way ticket, or has left her UK job and is selling up). If so, he could apply to court for a Prohibited Steps Order to stop her. If there's any suggestion she's not intending to come back then the court will likely stop her (at least as a temporary thing) until CAFCASS can investigate, produce a report and the court can hear the case properly and make a considered decision. That can take months.

When two parents both have Parental Responsibility, they are also expected to discuss important matters such as medical care and schooling.

Maintenance is dealt with entirely separately and is unaffected by Parental Responsibility or names on birth certificates. If a mother names a man to the CSA as the father of a child, the CSA will expect that man to either pay the calculated rate of maintenance based on hius income or to prove that he's not the father through DNA test. I'm not sure how much the CSA pays attention to assets rather than income, though - all the basic information about the CSA I've seen shows maintenance calculated as a percentage of income.

missamiss Sun 12-Jul-09 23:14:41

Sorbs, that is really useful. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain.

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