Unmarried Fathers Rights

Do unmarried fathers have rights to see their children?

unmarried father with his young son

Parental responsibilities for their kids have long been an issue in the United Kingdom.

Do fathers rights to see their children still exist, in spite of the fact that they are not married to the mother of the child?

Unfortunately, unmarried fathers have limited access to their children.

As the law states, the mother is by default the one who has the parental responsibility over their children.

As such, she actually has the freedom to limit the amount of contact between the father and their child.

What To Expect In Most Situations

In short, in most situations, it practically seems like a charitable act for the mother to allow the father to have contact with his children.

Should she not allow this to occur, the unmarried father will have no right to contact the child by any means, not unless he chooses to take the situation to court.

Even so, the court will only rule in the father’s situation if and only if it deems that it’s in the best interest of the child to have contact with his or her father.

Even in the event of the death of the natural mother of the child doesn’t automatically grant the father child custody.

A father can only have responsibility over the child if he happens to be married to the child’s mother when the child was born.

It is also possible for him to have legal responsibility over his child if any of the three situations should occur:

If the father jointly registered the child at birth with the child’s  mother – by December 2003.

If an agreed responsibility order has been ruled by the courts.
Or by a responsibility agreement with mother.

Should the father be granted legal responsibility over the child, he will be automatically entitled to help make important decisions involving the child’s welfare and future, such as his or her schooling or medical treatment.

Furthermore, the unmarried father will also be entitled to see his children regularly.

The extension of the fathers rights to see children as well as to allow him to have legal responsibility over the child in spite of not being married to the mother is controversial.

Nonetheless is a much appreciated revision of the law, particularly by unmarried fathers who previously were refused visitations with their children.


With unmarried fathers the responsibilities involved can be difficult to understand the laws regarding how much contact you are entitled to have with your child.

If you’re concerned about fathers rights in regard to seeing your children, you may want to consult with reputable family lawyers to help you resolve the issue.

As much as possible, it would be better for the parental responsibility agreement to be decided amicably by both parents even if they are not married, for the sake of their child.

While the court will be the one to determine whether to reject or accept the application in the end, it is still possible to take steps before bringing it to the court.

This will help make the proceedings as smooth and as painless as possible.
 A fathers rights are ultimately decided by the courts.