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Help.... no idea what to do....

(48 Posts)
lunavix Wed 05-Jan-05 14:55:25

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beachyhead Wed 05-Jan-05 14:58:58

Oh, I am so sorry that you are having this horrible time. I don't have direct experience of this but there are lots of MN's who have been through the same and come out the other side with good news stories. You will get lots of fantastic advice here, but I think the first thing is to get you and your ds out of the house to a place of safety. That will give you some breathing space and the chance to plan. Good Luck and (((hugs)))

JudgeFlounce Wed 05-Jan-05 15:00:14

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lunavix Wed 05-Jan-05 15:05:04

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lunavix Wed 05-Jan-05 15:07:04

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JudgeFlounce Wed 05-Jan-05 15:11:33

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lunavix Wed 05-Jan-05 15:14:28

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aloha Wed 05-Jan-05 15:15:21

If your son is 2/12 then I'm almost certain that the new rules about parental responsibility do NOT apply to you and your dp - he won't have parental responsibility, though he could get it automatically if he went to court for it. However, the 'equal rights' PR confers are only technical as you as the mother and primary carer would get residence of your son if you split with your dp and so would have the ultimate say over matters concerning him. I wonder, what do you think about Relate counselling, not so necessarily to save your relationship but as a safe place to talk about issues include splitting up. Also, Citizens Advice would help you re benefits and the money your dp would have to contribute to support your son via the CSA (is it 15% of his salary now? I think so).

popsycal Wed 05-Jan-05 15:16:27

sorry to hijack this thread - will be very brief - quic query for judge flounce.....more a 'nosey' thing than anything. someone once told me that since we were not married when ds was born (even thogh we are now) that DH would have the rights of an unmarried father. do you know if this is true

beansprout Wed 05-Jan-05 15:17:19

Lunavix - I'm so sorry you are having such a difficult time. It seems that your dp is just happy to blame everyone else for how he feels and not take responsbility for what he is doing. He may not be physically violent but his constant undermining you can still have a very damaging effect, especially over time. In a word, he sounds like a bully. I hope I am wrong, but it's what springs to mind on the basisi of what you have told us.

Do you have anyone you could go and stay with, even for a few days, to get some space, some support and to be able to consider your options?

aloha Wed 05-Jan-05 15:19:41

Popsycal, by marrying you your dh (as father of your son) has full parental responsibility - just as if he was married to you all the time.

lunavix Wed 05-Jan-05 15:22:15

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aloha Wed 05-Jan-05 15:25:58

Sorry - seem you've been together 2/1/2 years - if he was born after Dec 03 which he was, and your dp's name is on he birth certificate, then he has PR, but having PR doesn't mean that he can just take your son. No judge in the whole world would place a small baby apart from his devoted mother who has cared for him since he was born. It won't happen. Why aren't you close to your family? Is there really nobody (even your mother) who you could go and stay with for a while? What about the Relate idea? Or going to see Citizen's Advice?

JudgeFlounce Wed 05-Jan-05 15:26:38

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Mosschops30 Wed 05-Jan-05 15:28:19

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aloha Wed 05-Jan-05 15:28:38

But the law was amended re Parental Responsibility from Dec 03. This does mean, as I said, that Lunarvix's dp has the right to take her child or that the police or any court would support his action.

popsycal Wed 05-Jan-05 15:29:08

Thanks Judge flounce - how do you have all these facts at your finger tips!!!!
and sorry for the hijack!

fairyfly Wed 05-Jan-05 15:29:30

i have two illegitimate persons in my house

popsycal Wed 05-Jan-05 15:29:54

i agree with aloha - didnt the law change last december?

lunavix Wed 05-Jan-05 15:29:55

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aloha Wed 05-Jan-05 15:33:55

Lunarvix, if your ds was born after Dec 03 and you both registered him, then your dp DOES have PR. But don't let this upset you or worry you. You WILL be able to have your son live with you in the even of a split.

The concept of parental responsibility is defined within the Children Act 1989 as "all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property".

Parental responsibility is conferred automatically on the mother of a child irrespective of her marital status. Whether the father also has parental responsibility depends on whether he was married to the mother at the time of the child's birth. If he was so married then he will also have automatic parental responsibility.

If the father was not married to the mother at the time of the child's birth and does not come within the extensions to this concept then prima facie he will not have parental responsibility for the child. However, he may acquire parental responsibility in one of several ways:-

* by making a "parental responsibility agreement" with the mother;
* by applying to the court for a parental responsibility order;
* by applying for and obtaining a residence order, by which case the court will make a parental responsibility order;
* by being appointed the child's guardian by the court;
* by being appointed the child's guardian by the mother or by another guardian.

Further, section 111 of the Adoption and Children Act came into force on 1.12.03. The effect of this is that the unmarried father acquires parental responsibility if he is registered after this date as the child`s father on the birth certificate under the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953. Consequently, if the birth and registration took place prior to this date then the father does not obtain parental responsibility under this new provision.

When considering an application by an unmarried father the court will have to consider whether it is in the child's best interest for the father to have parental responsibility. It will be necessary to satisfy the court that the applicant is the father of the child before an order granting him parental resonsibility can be made.

The court will consider evidence of commitment by the unmarried father to the child, evidence of a degree of attachment between the father and the child and the father's reason for applying for the order when dealing with such an application. The lack of a responsible attitude towards the child or evidence that the exercise of parental responsiblity will be used to interfere with or undermine the mother's care of the child may result in the court refusing to make a parental responsibility order.

An unmarried father who does not seek parental responsibility will still remain liable to maintain his child in the context of the Child Support Act. A parental responsibility order or agreement will automatically end upon the child attaining the age of 18 years.

Mosschops30 Wed 05-Jan-05 15:34:13

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aloha Wed 05-Jan-05 15:34:49

My dh had to go to court to get PR for his daughter in the face of her obstructive mother. I got to know a fair bit about it!

Mosschops30 Wed 05-Jan-05 15:35:16

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aloha Wed 05-Jan-05 15:35:45

Mosschops - it has - after Dec 03 and ONLY if both parties names are on the birth cert.

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