[Solved] Fathers rights when mother in hospital
Just joined and this is a great site for us Dads so thank you for setting this site up 🙂
Not sure if anybody will know the answer to this but will ask anyway, apologies if a similar topic already exists:
I have parental responsibility for our daughter and my ex is currently not very well and in hospital.
With her unfortunately being in hospital so unable to look after our daughter does this mean that I have every right in saying that our daughter should be with me until she comes out of hospital even if it is not a weekend that I would normally have her?
The mother does not seem to agree with this and is saying things like “It’s not your weekend to have her so my family can look after our daughter”
Surely the fact that the mother can’t look after our daughter due to being in hospital and me having parental responsibility, not being a weekend that I would normally have her does not matter or does it?
Thanks for your help and any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hello Cheshire Dad,
Like you I shall be interested to know exactly the situation for a father who is presented with the scenario you describe.
I suspect for the father, if there is a Court Order stipulating contact with a child at specific times then the mother determines for the rest of the time who cares for the child if she is incapacitated irrespective of the father having parental responsibility.
Comment by a Moderator would be welcome with regard to what I suspect may be the case.
What I do know is that if a father is ill or in hospital on the days it is stipulated in a Court Order he should have contact / overnights with the child then it is his responsibility to have them and make provision for someone to look after them during the period he is incapacitated. Refusal by the father to have the child on his allocated days stipulated in a Court Order I believe could be misinterpreted by the courts and used against a father by the mother. However, in a dire situation where the father is seriously incapacitated through a sudden accident or critically ill and his family are consumed by the father's situation and there isn't anyone to look after the child then a letter from a Consultant Surgeon / Physician or General Practitioner would be required to satisfy the courts that the reason for being unable to meet the obligations for contact were without doubt, genuine.
If there is no Court Order then it is up to the parents to come to an amicable agreement in the best interests of the child as to who looks after them should either parent be incapacitated.
Thanks for your reply and insight, very much appreciated.
There is no Court Order in place so like you would be interested to hear if the Moderator knows a bit more on this.
I was not aware about what you mentioned if the father was ill or in hospital so this is really useful information.
Thanks again and have a great weekend.
I would say that MoaF's statement that if the father is ill, then it's his responsibility to find alternative care - a Child Arrangement Order doesn't say that the father has to have the children on those days, it simply says that the mother must make a child available for contact, so if the father was ill, then the mother can't insist that contact takes place,
With respect to the original post, if the mother is the usual carer, then I believe (though I could be wrong on this) that she would be the one to arrange suitable care. I'm pretty sure that having PR means that you should be consulted, but I don't think it gives you the right to insist that your daughter stays with you.
I always value actd's opinion.
With regard to my first message, paragraph three beginning, quote, "What I do know" is written from personal experience when my Son was suddenly taken ill and hospitalized the day he was to collect his children. Our solicitor emphasized the need for them to be collected from the mother as it could be misinterpreted by the court and used by the mother against him if he didn't. Both his Father and I were totally consumed by concern for our Son that it was impossible for us to care for the children which we would willingly have done had the situation been less serious. Hence the letter from the health professional clarified the reason was genuine as to why he could not collect the children for the stated weekend. I did in my original post omit to say this happened whilst going through the court procedures to gain access.
I think your solicitor was being cautious to be honest, as it happened whilst the court case was ongoing, he probably felt it necessary to dot the i's and cross the t's.... not giving the other party any room to complain. If someone is hospitalised during proceedings, it's common practice to provide written proof.
It's a different matter once court is over and the order is in place, becoming too ill to meet any requirements of ordered contact, is seen as unavoidable, if alternative arrangements cant be made. Courts want to see parents being flexible, and changing plans in an emergency would fall under that heading.
As far as the OPs query, if you have concerns about the family member that is looking after your child, as they don't have PR and you do, you can remove your child from their care, but as you probably realise, it will sour relations with the mother in your future dealings with her.
I think it would be a good idea to try and reach a compromise, perhaps by having your daughter earlier than you would normally, and keeping her a little longer perhaps.
There are no hard and fast rules in this situation, ideally the mother would recognise that you have the right to step in and help out more, perhaps she worried you won't give her back, maybe some reassurance might help.
Perhaps you could liaise with the family members that are looking after your child, explaining that you just want to help and would like the opportunity to share the burden whilst the mother is ill.
The age of your daughter and whether she can express what she would like, might be important here.
All the best
I always value actd's opinion.
🙂 Of course, that doesn't mean I'm necessarily correct, so personal experience to the contrary is valuable on here.