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TOPIC: a tricky one

a tricky one 4 years 11 months ago #61228

i recently found out i have a son, his mum told me after 8 years, obviously i will be seeking a paternity test.

i would like to seek contact with my son, who has beeen brought up by his mums ex for the last 8 years, my son has a half sibling.

my sons step dad is very cold and difficult towards me.

what is the best way to get a paternity test?, should i apply for contact in court?


can someone please advise me on the best way forward

thanks for any help

d

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a tricky one 4 years 11 months ago #61230

  • Nannyjane
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Hi there

This is a sorry state of affairs, no less because the poor child in the middle has probably been brought up believing his step dad is his biological father. I'm guessing that the step dads attitude may be because he was also kept in the dark, but either way he will have strong feelings for your son. Perhaps his coldness towards you is understandable?

I think you and the mum, and possibly the step dad, will need to sit down and discuss a way forward and part of that would be to do a DNA test as soon as possible. Rather than try and set up a meeting privately, it might be better to attend Mediation, to allow for discussion with professional guidance., less chance of emotions running too high.

The first step is DNA, choose an accredited company who's results are accepted by the courts, just in case you will need to apply for contact later on. There's little point in attending Mediation before you have the results and paternity is confirmed.

Once you know where you stand you can use Mediation to negotiate a way forward. The child's feelings must be paramount and central to all agreements. As the mother has approached you, I'm assuming she wants you to have a relationship with the child? Have you asked her, if you are shown to be the father, what she would like to happen and how she plans to deal with all of the implications?

It's a very difficult and sensitive situation and my advice is to approach it with great care and consideration.

Best of luck

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Mum and Grandmother, supporting my son who has residency of his son.
I want to see a much fairer system in place, where Dads and their children have a voice that can be heard.
There are many groups of people that have equal rights within our society and its about time Dads were given equal rights too.

a tricky one 4 years 11 months ago #61240

Dear Quality Dad
Thank you for your post.
In order to establish paternity of the child you would need to take a DNA test. There are two routes to doing this:
1) If the mother was to consent you could visit your GP and request a DNA test to be completed
2) If the mother was not to consent you would need to apply to the Courts for a Declaration of Parentage. This would be asking the courts to order a DNA test be undertaken. To apply for a Declaration of Parentage you would need to complete a form C63 which can be obtained from www.justice.gov.uk . There is a fee for this application which you will need to check with the Courts.
If it is established that you are the father of the child then you can address the following:
Parental Responsibility
Parental Responsibility is defined in s.3(1) Children Act 1989 as being: "all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property".
Practically Parental Responsibility means that both parties should consult and consent on issues such as schooling, medical issues, change of name, removal from the jurisdiction and other major issues concerning the child.
If you are the biological father of the child we would strongly recommend that you obtain Parental Responsibility for your son.
You can obtain this through the following routes:
1) If you have gone through the Courts for a Declaration of Parentage you can request the court order your name be added to the birth certificate
2) If the mother agrees you can both re-register the birth certificate or, complete a form for a Parental Responsibility Agreement from www.justice.gov.uk entitled PRA1
3) If the mother does not agree you can apply for a Parental Responsibility Order on a form called a C1 from www.justice.gov.uk .
Before making an application to the Court you will need to undertake mediation with the mother. This is a process involving you, the mother and a trained professional third party mediator coming together to try and resolve the issue without the need to go to court. Under new legislation mediation is mandatory and you will need to attempt this before going to court. For more information on mediation and for help organising this you can contact National Family Mediation on 03004000636.
Contact
In order to establish contact, the first steps we would advise that you take would be mediation as detailed above. However if mediation does not prove successful then you can apply to the Courts for a Child Arrangements Order. This is a legally binding order that would set out the arrangements in relation to the child in terms of contact including the frequency and the type of contact.
To apply for this Order you would need to complete a form entitled a C100. There are also guidance leaflets entitled CB1 and CB3. These can all be downloaded from www.justice.gov.uk . There is a fee for this application of approximately £215.
In deciding whether or not to grant such an order the court will base their decision on what they feel is in the best interests of your son’s welfare, in order to do this they will go through the welfare checklist:
• Childs physical, emotional and educational needs.
• Effect of any change on the child.
• The age, sex and background of the child.
• Any harm which the child has suffered or may suffer.
• How capable each parent is of meeting the Childs needs.

Should you require any further information regarding your case please do not hesitate to contact us on our advice line which is available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm on 0808 8020 008.

Yours sincerely

CORAM CHILDREN’S LEGAL CENTRE
The following user(s) said Thank You: Nannyjane

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