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What issues could an unmarried couple with children face, through separation?

Jan 24, 2017

The breakdown of a relationship is upsetting at any time, but if you are worried or concerned about how this will affect your children and your rights to see then, it can be even more distressing.

We’ll look at parental responsibility, who has it and any of the other issues that could affect you when you separate from your partner.

Parental responsibility is the collective name of your legal responsibilities and rights as a parent.

Your role is to provide a home for your child and to protect and care for them. You are also responsible for disciplining your child, naming them, agreeing any medical treatment necessary and helping to choose and to pay for their education.

Every mother automatically has parental responsibility for their children and a father can have parental responsibility if he is married to the child’s mother or if he is listed on the birth certificate. If, as a father, your name is registered on the birth certificate after 1 December 2003, you will have parental responsibility. If your name is not on the birth certificate, or is but it was before 1st December 2003, you’ll need to apply for parental responsibility..

You can do this in one of two ways. If your ex-partner agrees, you’ll need to complete a parental responsibility agreement and ask the court to sign it off. If your ex-partner does not want you to have parental responsibility, you can apply for a court order.

The biggest issue for you both if parental responsibility is not an issue is coming to an agreement about arrangements for the children.

It can be difficult to separate your emotions and feelings about the breakdown of your relationship so you can be objective about what’s best for your children. Sometimes having someone to act as an intermediary to open up dialogue can be a good way to get things moving in the right direction and a family law solicitor can help you achieve that. Using a family law solicitor does not have to result in an adversarial approach to your agreement.

You can have an informal agreement with your ex-partner about your children or you can put something more solid in place, perhaps by obtaining a court order. This does not mean that you don’t trust your ex-partner; it just means that everything is clearly laid down and if either side does not comply, both parties can use the court to enforce their rights.

Family law solicitors don’t just help people who are getting divorced, they can help you too. Call and speak to our experienced family law team who can offer you advice on the issues that could affect you after your relationship breakdown. Call our family team now on 01264 353411, via email:  family@bsandi.co.uk or online, via  our free, no obligation enquiry form  and we’ll be happy to help.


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