It is seen very often on chat shows and television programmes; parents of a child fall out and the mother threatens to place an injunction on the father, preventing him from seeing their child ever again.
But is this reality? And is there more to it than such frivolous and petty ideas?
Family law in the UK is very complicated and, if you are ever faced with such an issue relating to child access or any other area surrounding custody, then it is wise to seek the advice of a legal team who have expertise in family-related matters.
In this article, some of the most prevalent myths and mistruths that surround child custody and access will be looked through, so you can better separate the fact from the fiction.
Myth 1- a mother can stop the father from seeing their child(ren)
Under UK law, both parents have the legal responsibility to take care of their child and, as any family solicitors Portsmouth will tell you, such a harsh agreement can only be reached if it is in the best interests of the child.
For instance, if you and your partner have simply fallen out and you have left the home, then this is not grounds for them to stop you from seeing your child(ren). If you have threatened to harm your former partner or your child(ren), then this is deemed a satisfactory reason under UK law to prevent access.
For more advice, contact a solicitor specialising in family law.
Myth 2- courts always favour mothers over fathers
This is not true and, if you as the father of the child(ren) can offer them a more stable home environment, then it is likely that if it goes before a court, you will gain custody.
There is no legal presumption in the law that the child is better off with their mother and as mentioned earlier, if the mother is deemed a threat to her child(ren), or it is not deemed to be in the child’s best interest to stay with her, then you will likely gain custody.
Myth 3- I pay for child maintenance and so I am entitled to contact
This is not the case as the two are different things.
Under UK law, you are required to pay for your child as you have a legal responsibility to do so and this does not automatically grant you access rights.
In a similar vein, if you stop paying maintenance, this does not mean that access to your child will be stopped. Contact is based on the best interests of the child and so, if you are deemed to be a risk to your child(ren), then you will still need to pay maintenance, but may be denied access.
Myth 4- I do not need permission to take my child on holiday
If you are legally separated from the other parent, then not only do you need an order to take the child abroad, but you also need to ensure that everyone involved is aware that you are doing so, or you may be guilty of child abduction.