Child Custody for Fathers

Fathers are often denied access to see their children in the event of a divorce or separation with the mother. Many people often remain unaware of father’s rights and may be led to believe that following a separation the mother has the right to the child and decide whether the father can have access to their child.

Our child custody law specialists proven this stereotype wrong countless times by securing father’s rights in terms of having shared child access and in some instances full child access.

Article Contents

Father’s rights

Under English law both parents have the responsibility to look after their children. Similarly, the child has a right to have an ongoing relationship with both their parents.

Father’s rights are dependent on parental responsibility. This means fathers who are named on the child’s birth certificate or have acquired parental responsibility automatically have rights to make important decisions about their child’s upbringing and welfare.

Father’s rights extend to those who are:

  • Married to the child’s mother
  • are named on the birth certificate
  • the child’s birth certificate gave no name but later it was renewed with your name
  • you have a signed parental responsibility agreement
  • a family court has granted you parental responsibility or a residence order.

Unmarried fathers can only acquire parental responsibility if they are jointly registering the birth of a child with the mother, have obtained a parental responsibility order from the mother or are in possession of a parental responsibility order from the court.

If you do not have parental responsible and want to secure father’s rights through acquiring this then speak contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Father’s rights also cover the financial responsibilities of a father. A father must contribute towards the child’s upbringing which includes providing a home for your child as well as protecting and maintaining your child. A father has a duty to support their child financially regardless of whether they have child contact.

A father has as much rights as a mother in relation to contact and care of the child. Following a separation it may be difficult for the parents to reach an agreement with regards to the custody and contact of the child. Our family specialists can assist you in trying to reach an agreement with your former partner on the issue of father’s custody rights and contact. 

Father’s Child custody rights

Father’s child custody rights is also known as have residence over the child in terms of providing a roof and security for a child.

If you are unable to reach an agreement with the mother over custody or contact with the child our team of specialists can assist you in making an application to the court to acquire your child custody for fathers and establish contact with your child.

Types of Father’s child custody rights

There are two types of child custody for dads; which is sole or joint custody which will be explained in detail below.

Sole child custody for dads

Sole custody or full custody is where one of the parents has the overall responsibility to care for the child and provide a safe home.

While it is possible for a father to obtain full custody of a child and to undertake full responsibility it is important to get proper legal advice on (a) the best way to get full custody and (b) understand what the responsibility involves. Father’s with sole custody will need to make sure appropriate arrangements are made with their work to attend the child’s dentist and medical appointments as well as school parents evening.

Although it is quite challenging for fathers to get sole custody of their child the courts cannot be biased in their approach and must grant sole custody to fathers if a father can prove they are able to better parent and it is in the child’s interest for the child to remain with the father.

In order to obtain full child custody for fathers an important ingredient would be to demonstrate a strong loving bond with the child; usually through photographs and reference to activities engaged.  The courts will tend to look at past regular contact with the father and also consider the child’s relationship with their mother. If the mother was the primary carer of the child the father will have to overcome several hurdles and show a change in circumstances which warrants for them to acquire child custody for dads.

Despite a father obtaining sole custody of their child a mother may have favourable contact sessions with the child as a relationship with both parents is considered to be in the welfare of the child unless there would be significant harm caused by such contact.

Joint or shared child custody for dads

Joint or shared child custody for dads may be an ideal situation where both parents can equally contribute to a quality standard of care to the child. This means that both parents have equal rights to see their child and will both have parental responsibility.

Some of the benefits of being granted joint child custody include:

  • The children involved will have two homes giving stability and security
  • Both parents are able to decide important things such as where the child will be educated and where they will live
  • The children are able to still have a relationship with both parents; something which should be granted wherever possible after a separation
  • Separated and/or unmarried fathers are able to see their children and are granted more involvement in their child’s life

Whilst joint child custody is considered to be of the best interests of the children involved, some parents may dispute the requirement. In this case, mediation would not to be seen as possible and the case will need to be escalated further in a family court.   

How to apply for child custody for dads?

Not all child custody cases result in a court. Parents can try and reach an agreement between themselves if they are on speaking terms. 

If you are unable to speak to your former partner we can assist you in obtaining your father’s custody rights by speaking or writing to the other parent. Our team of child law specialists can assist with trying to reach an agreement on who the child will reside with and the amount of contact with the non-resident parent.

If neither of the above options work then a child act application will need to be made to the court to secure a child contact order.


Do unmarried fathers have custody rights?

Unmarried fathers can have custody of their children if they are able to agree this with the mother of the child. Similar to married couples if an agreement cannot be reached then unmarried fathers can apply to the courts for a child arrangement order to determine who the child will live with and who they can have contact with.

Unmarried fathers who do not have parental responsibility do not have any rights to act on a child’s behalf or make important decisions relating to the childs religion, school, treatment or medication, change of name or whether or not the child can be adopted. These rights only extend to fathers with parental responsibility.

Which parent is most likely to be awarded with child custody?

Historically the courts favoured awarding custody to mothers. However with changing times fathers are also able to apply for custody and can even obtain full custody if they can prove that it is in the welfare and best interests of the child for them to have custody.

Arrange a free consultation today to secure father’s rights or child custody

Here at Kabir Family Law, we have a strong team of child law specialist who are able to passionately fight for child custody for fathers on your behalf. Having helped hundreds of dads with custody and legal access to see and interact with their children on a routine that suits both parents, we’re sure that we can help with your child custody battle and get the result you deserve.

We are proud to have reunited countless children with their father’s and push an effort towards a shared child custody for fathers. If you are being deprived of your father’s rights or want more information on father’s custody rights then call us today on 0330 094 5880 or arrange a call back.  

Did you know that we have family law specialist in York, Manchester, Northampton, Oxford, London and Newcastle so we are never far from being within reach of you.