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help with child

986 Views 9 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  _shel
My partner has a job waiting for him in Oz. We are unsure totally on the law. My sons biological father has no parental rights, I was never married to him nor was he on the birth certificate after December 2003. He will not sign anything to give my son permission to leave the country. We have said he can come over every year and go on webcam etc. What can we do? Do we need permission? If not, how to we go about telling Australia immigration this?
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The Law which both the UK and Australia have signed and work to when-things-go-wrong/child-abduction/



Yes you either need permission or a Court Order to take him out of the country. DIAC will request permission from the father regardless of if he is named on the borth certificate or not. He can in fact apply for parental rights any time he wishes and unless he was not actually the father or was an abuser he would probably get them.

You can apply for a Section 8 Specific Steps Order to see if a Judge will give you permission. The father can contest it if he wishes. It will be your job to prove to the Court that it is in the best interests of the child and that the potential benefits of being overseas outweigh the loss of a parent. And your dream or ideas of what Australia is like will not be sufficent. You'll have to show the standard of life, education, family relationships, future benefits etc are sufficently in the childs best interests compared to what he has now in the UK with access with his father.

I've seen people offer to pay the absent parents airfare once a year or the childs back to the UK to ensure contact is kept up as webcam/skype etc is hardly contact and does not build lasting relationships.
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To get a court order do you go through your solicitor? How long does it usually take and how much on average does it cost? Are we looking at thousands, hundreds? Thanks
Most would use a solicitor but you do not have to as you can represent yourself. But having a solicitor means it would be presented properly, with full knowlege and understanding of the law especially if father contests it!

It can take time I'm afraid, 6 months to 2 yrs depending on how strong your case is and if it is contested. Can also be very costly with legal and court fees, paying for supporting documents etc.
A well prepared and thought out case & argument can go some way to reduce the time it takes and the cost. But the Court systme doesnt move fast for anyone really it moves at the pace it wants! The longest is waiting for CAFCAS to visit everyone and get their reports written, can take forever because they've never got enough staff!
Hi I went through exactly this with my eldest. His father too didn't have pr on account of us never being married and my son being born prior to Dec 03 and yes you still need permission! My sons father hadn't even at the very least made phone contact, sent a birthday Xmas card ( nor none of his family) in nearly 6 years but still before they would grant the visa we had to prove he was in our sole care. We actually went through the adoption process 2 years prior to the visa app and still they wanted proof that the biological father had no say.
I will say from the research we did though ( we never ever used a solicitor, but double check in case) that once the child reaches a certain age, I think may be 10 then they can have a say where they want to be however the problem then is they may want to stay where they're friends are. Good luck
Also _shel is right in saying that the dad can apply for pr anytime, he did during the adoption application and the judge granted access rights with a view if he kept up his visits he would get it, even tho he failed drug tests as well as having no previous contact, because the law states that unless there is significant cause for concern of safety then the interest of the child is to know both parents.
That's really useful information for other parents Nonny. There is actually no set age at which the child has to give their opinion. A childs wishes and feelings always have to be considered. How much it is taken into account depends on the social workers assessment of the childs ability to understand. The social worker will speak to the child alone and what they say will be put into the report along with a reccomendation of how much weight it should hold.
Thanks again everyone. If he was to sign a statutory declaration how do we get one and will he have to come and sign at the solicitor or with us and witnesses? How much does it usually cost? Thanks
Solicitors fees vary greatly, you'd need to shop around. Could be £50, could be £1000. Also depends on if they are drawing up the declaration or just witnessing it being signed.

He would either need to go with you or go in at an arranged time to sign after you have arranged it. Probably best if you were all together so there are no issues, would probably cost less too as less work for the solicitor.

DIAC have a satutory declaration form or the solicitor can draw one up. Pretty standard, I agree to my child blah blah blah, name date signature, copies of photo ID which if he doesn't have you might have to offer to pay for, solicitors signature and witness statement.
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