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Can a Mother Stop a Father from Seeing Their Child?

Have you recently divorced your ex-spouse and won custody of your child? If yes, congratulations, as you have finally freed yourself from a toxic relationship and are on the right path to finding love again. 

However, do you think your child might get deprived of their father’s love? When parents are divorced, kids suffer the most. But at times, when the father is toxic, it is far better to keep your children away from his shadow even. 

But is that possible? In this article, let’s explore whether you can stop the father from seeing your child or not. In addition, dig in to find the importance of a parenting plan and its benefits for your child. 

Moreover, if you want any additional support and guidance on this topic, don’t hesitate to contact Austin Kemp solicitors, a team of experts in family and divorce law. 

Can You Stop Your Ex-Spouse From Seeing Your Child? 

The answer to this question is quite complex because both parents are responsible for looking after the children after their divorce in the UK and most other countries. It is imperative to ensure that the child grows in a loving environment, under the supervision of both the mother and the father. 

So, as per UK law, a mother can’t stop the father from seeing his child. Similarly, if the child is under the father’s custody, the former can’t stop the mother from seeing or meeting the child. 

However, if there is proof and evidence that the father has a poor influence on the child’s well-being, UK law doesn’t allow the father to meet the child legally. 

Below are some of the scenarios in which a mother can legally stop the father from meeting their child.

  • If the father is affiliated with certain criminal activities and exposes the child to these, too, a mother can take legal action and stop the father from meeting the child. 
  • In some circumstances, your child might be exposed to mistreatment and abuse after meeting the father. And so, you have every right to stop that from happening. 
  • If you fear that your child might be exposed to violence after visiting their father, you can stop their meeting legally. 
  • Certain fathers live in conditions that fail to offer a child their right to education. In that case, a mother can come as a saviour and prevent the influence of the father over the child right away. 

If you can prove any of the above conditions to the court, it can prevent the father from seeing your child. In addition, the ban persists until the father resolves the condition or promises to make him better and safe for the child.

That said, if you fail to prove the conditions above, you may not be allowed to stop the father from seeing your child. This is because UK laws protect the relationship a father or a mother has with their kids.

Reasons that Aren’t Good Enough to Stop the Father from Seeing Your Child

If a woman has gone through an abusive marriage, it is pretty understandable that she would try her level best to stop her child from seeing the father. And for that, she may present certain circumstances which may not be strong enough to make the ban possible. 

Here are a few circumstances that the court may not consider good enough to stop a father from seeing his child. 

Unable to Pick or Return the Child on the Scheduled Time 

Suppose the father has failed to pick up or return the child to the mother at a scheduled time. In that case, the mother can’t take action to stop the father from revisiting the child. This is because such delays may occur due to unforeseen circumstances, and the court acknowledges that. 

Father Refuses or Fails to Pay Child Support

Even if a father refuses or fails to support the child’s expenses, a mother can’t expect the court to ban their meeting. This is because child maintenance and child contact are two different matters, and when one obligation is not met, the other can’t be banned. 

Can A Mother Stop the Father’s Abusive Partner From Meeting the Child?

In many circumstances, the father might choose to marry someone else who may be abusive to the child. So, can you stop the abusive partner of your ex-spouse from seeing your child?

The answer is yes! You can request a prohibited order from the court and hire solicitors that can prove that the meeting between the child and the father’s partner isn’t safe for the welfare of the former. If the court agrees, it will ban the partner from seeing your child. 

How to Make Sure that You and Your Ex-Partner Look after the Child Together?

Until and unless there aren’t any solid reasons to ban meetings between your child and their father, you can’t stop a father from seeing their child. This means that regardless of whether you and your ex-spouse live separately, both are responsible for helping the child grow and develop in a peaceful and stress-free environment. 

However, how is that possible? When two partners pursue a divorce, they do so because of their disagreements on various topics. So, how is it possible that they can work together to help their child nurture and grow after their break-up?

The best way to achieve that is through a well-curated parenting plan. Of course, it is not necessary to have this plan in all situations, but it works well for couples who want to have some agreement to fall on while taking care of their child together. 

In addition, a parenting plan sets specific rules created and agreed upon by both parents, so no one runs away from their responsibilities when required. What should this plan contain, and is it legal? Let’s explore the answers to these burning questions below. 

What Should Your Parenting Plan Contain?

While a parenting plan may differ in different situations, there are nine common points that it should cater to. 

Some General Rules

Before adding anything complicated to the plan, it is best to set out some general principles that it should contain. These principles may contain specific points that both parties should follow to benefit their child in every way. 

This may include the input of both parents in the upbringing of the child, the goals set for the child’s future and the exposure to emotional well-being to allow the child to grow in a safe environment. 

Conditions Regarding Child’s Stay With Each Parent 

When you are separated from your partner, the biggest challenge is curating a schedule that helps the child spend equal time with both parents. To avoid complications, it is best to create a weekly chart with your ex-spouse, mentioning the number of days and nights the child can stay with each parent. 

The chart can also help curate the plan by highlighting the number of hours the child can go out with one parent or the duration they can FaceTime with their mother or father. However, it should be understood that the chart may not remain the same every time. As your child grows, their needs change, and so does the schedule. 

School Holidays

If your child is school-going, it is understandable that you and your ex-spouse may want to spend some quality time with them on holidays. So, to avoid any disagreements later, it is best to include this point in the parenting plan before the holidays arrive. 

You can include all the major holidays in a chart, such as Christmas, Easter and Half terms and divide the days between you and your ex-partner. If the father has been unable to spend quality time with the child for some reason, you can allow him some extra days with the child and take a break yourself. 

Communication 

Set some days for a meeting between you and your ex-partner in your plan. You may not want to meet your ex after the divorce; however, such meetings are imperative for your child’s future. These allow you both to communicate and discuss goals that you want to help your child achieve. 

In certain circumstances, communication may not be possible. So, in that case, take a diary and send them to the partner, explaining all the significant issues related to your child. 

Expenses

It is essential to discuss all the costs and expenses related to your child in the parenting plan. This may include all the expenses related to child maintenance and the procedure to handle one-off expenses such as your child’s books or uniform. 

If your child is a teenager, they may also have a mobile phone. So, the plan should also cover the phone charges that each will bear. In addition, certain after school activities are pretty expensive, and if your child is into any of them, you and your partner should also discuss the distribution of expenses in the parenting plan. 

At times, certain expenses are unpredictable, such as medical emergencies. However, it is best to predict them to avoid any financial shocks later. 

It is wise to divide total expenses equally between both partners. However, if that’s not possible, because one partner is financially weaker, a certain percentage should be decided to make cost distribution stress free. 

School Matters

If you want the father to play a vital role in your child’s upbringing, it is best to involve them in the school matters. Therefore, your plan should consist of all the possible events and meetings in school that both you and your ex-spouse should go to together. Besides, it is best to communicate the contact details of both the parents to the school’s administration for any emergencies. 

Access to Grandparents 

Make sure that your parenting plan has a section mentioning the  access of grandparents to the children. Although grandparents have their own rights, you can include this point in your plan as well, so both you and your ex-partner are on the same page. Whether you like it or not, your child must have a healthy relationship with their grandparents and extended family from both sides. 

New Partners

Whether you want to have a new partner or your ex-spouse, discussing the complicated relationship between your child and the new person is imperative in the plan. The plan can cover ways to introduce the new partner to the child without causing them any stress. It is always wise to introduce the new partner slowly rather than suddenly. 

Passports and Holidays Abroad

If you plan to take your child on holiday abroad, the father of your child needs to know all the details. You can also pursue a Child Agreement Order to enforce that the child is your temporary resident. 

Moreover, when it comes to travelling, the parenting plan should also contain a section on handling and maintaining the child’s passport. Again, this is a significant expense, especially if you and your ex-partner are frequent travellers. 

There is no restriction on the number of points and areas you can cover in your parenting plan. But, interestingly, the more points, the better. This way you can prevent future disputes with your ex-spouse and focus on upbringing your child in a safe environment. 

That said, many people ask if the parenting plan is legally binding? The answer is no; a parenting plan isn’t legally binding in the UK. However, if you and your ex-partner agree, the plan can be presented to the court to communicate your parenting arrangements. 

Final Takeaway 

While you can’t stop the father from seeing your child (until certain circumstances apply), you can always sit with your ex-partner and curate a plan to benefit your child. A parenting plan is a great way to bring both the parents on the same page and allow each to play a role in their child’s upbringing. 

Moreover, it is always wise to seek support and guidance during and after divorce to live a stress-free life. And in that case, no firm can serve you well other than Austin Kemp Solicitors. So whether you require assistance on divorce or family law, don’t hesitate to contact us through their our address mail@austinkemp.co.uk or contact number 0333 311 0925

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29th July 2022

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