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Platernal Custody/Access Rights

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? UK

My partner is struggling somewhat at the moment to maintain the
economical responsibility necessary for him to maintain current access to his daughter. I'm not sure what is relavent in this, so i will try to outline the situation as much as possible...

He served with the army for the duration of his relationship with his ex-wife. He is currently employed and lives alone. He is 24.

The actual reason for the divorce was her infidelity, however the grounds for divorce [on paper] is his "unreasonable behaviour"... as i understand it, this is one of the most common grounds for divorce as petitioned by women who have committed adultery.

The decree absoulute came through 11/03/05

As of yet, they have not been to court regarding access arrangements.

He has managed to see his daughter twice since January this year. Not because of his lack of care or want, [I am basing this information on the correspondance with his solicitor's] but because of his ex-wife's reluctance in letting him see his little person.
She is in another relationship [with the person who she adultered with during their marraige]. My partner has never failed to attend any access arrangements they have informally agreed on.

What i would like to query, is the following points;

As i understand the law [in a very limited capacity - i hasten to add], it is the responsibility of both parents to come to an arrangement that gives the child the opportunity to have access to both parental figures...

Currently the arrangement is to see his daughter fortnightly. It is his sole responsibility to travel 2 and a half hours to her village to pick up his daughter at 10.00am on a Saturday and deliver her back to her mother for 5.00pm on a Sunday. He is having to drive 10 hours on average per weekend of access... the cost is approximately £50.00 in fuel. Is it both parent's responsibility to maintain access arrangements, as far as the law stands? Therefore, can he negotiate that she drives also, to a halfway point? What is the likely stance of the court regarding this?

So far, due to funding issue's he has obtained advice from three
solicitors. He has been advised that it would potentially be a
pointless excercise for him to seek to gain full custody. There are
concerns that the Mother's lacking in mental stability, but other than the fact that she was perscribed anti-depressent's, i feel sure that he would struggle to provide evidence to illustrate his concerns...

HOWEVER we are considering that the daughter would be better placed with her father in this instance, mainly due to the grounds that he would ensure that the child has regular contact with her mother, in the event that he gains custody. Would this go in his favour regarding applying for custody? [bearing in mind that she has denied contact for approximately 7-8 months this year and also, since their seperation 2 years ago, he has had no contact at Christmas or on her birthday]. Is anyone aware of any case studies whereby the father has been awarded custody... particularly on these grounds?

Finally there is the economical concerns that along with paying 15% of his wage to the Child Support Agency weekly, £25 per week in travelling costs to see his daughter, as well as his own financial obligations i.e. food and rent etc [please note, he is not on a very high wage to begin with] Further to his recent application to legal aid, he has been informed [by the legal services commission] that he is also required to pay another £29.29 per month towards his solicitors fee's. IS there any funding or method of negotiating these ammounts? And, is any of this relavent to Article 16 of the Universal Decleration of Human
Rights... whereby the family is entitled to protection by the state?

Thankyou so much, for any thoughts anyone can help us with, we have been stuck with this quandry for months and ANY pointers in the right direction anyone could offer us, would be very welcomed.

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