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That mothers automatically receive sole custody of children.

Comment 7th July 2010

I am a teacher on the senior management team in a school with special needs. Since the day my daughter has been born i have had to fight tooth and nail to see her. I was initially not allowed any access to my daughter and could not believe that despite being the named father and having parental responsibility the only way i would be able to see my daughter is through legal channels. It seems quite unfair that my ex partner is able to claim through the CSA my child support which i would never begrudge paying yet i am unable to see my daughter unless i pay more money to start a long drawn out legal procedure.

Finally after spending upwards of £2000 i now have access to my daughter but i have had to suffer the ignominy of dealing with threatening letters from the CSA when i have never once missed a payment. On top of this I have had to endure CAFCASS involvement due to my ex partner claiming there were welfare issues with regards to me seeing my daughter, this is despite the fact i manage an extremely successful department in an "outstanding" special needs school.

Why is it not the case that fathers are given a minimum amount of access provided they are the named person on the birth certificate. If the mother considers the father unfit to be a parent then surely they should have to prove otherwise. This is instead of the current situation where a father is required to prove their suitability, particularly when in most cases of separation the split is acrimonious and the mother has reason to be hostile.

 

Why does this matter?

As a parent who loves his child immensely, who has always supported her and has been through an incredibly stressful and difficult ordeal in order to see my daughter i would ask that no other person should have to go through this.

I have been extremely lucky that i have had a loving wife and family to support me through this and that i am fortunate enough to have a job that has afforded me the opportunity to fight for some level of custody but what if i did not? Then a parent who loves his child immensely and is, and always will be an important part of her life would not allowed to be there. That is simply not fair. Fathers can make good parents too!


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