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Ask The Legal Expert - Not Named on Your Child's Birth Certificate?

View profile for Angela Killa
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My partner and I are splitting up. While we are working hard to keep things friendly, for the sake of our 11-year-old son, I am worried where I stand with access, since I am not named on his birth certificate. Is it too late to do anything about this?

It is good that you are both keen to shield your young son from any potential disruption throughout your split. This should put you on a sound footing when it comes to the important step of putting your name on his birth certificate.

You are right to deal with this issue as soon as you can. If you are not named as the father on your child’s birth certificate you will not have the same legal rights and responsibilities that your former partner has. 

This may make it difficult for you to arrange to spend time with your son. It could also make it complex for your ex-partner to collect financial support from you, for your son.

As is the case with many Family matters, it is best for all concerned if both parents involved can discuss the matter calmly and respectfully together and reach a mutual agreement on the issue. If your ex-partner agrees, you should both sign an application form to re-register the birth with your details to attest to the fact that you are the biological father of your son, then lodge the form with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, so you can be added to the birth certificate.

Once paternity has been settled your child will have access to:

  • Legal proof of each parent’s identity
  • Financial support from both parents, including child support and the ability to inherit

Hopefully, you can avoid it, but if a dispute arises on this matter an application to the Court will be required and a formal hearing will take place, so a judge can determine the situation. It is important to get tailored legal advice when dealing with applications such as this.

The Court has the power to order that DNA testing be carried out by the mother, father and the child in question. Then, if you, as the proposed father, are shown by this test to be the biological father, the Court can make an Acknowledgement of Paternity and inform the Registry Office, so the birth certificate can be re-registered to include your details.

For more information, please contact Angela on 01267 248893 or at: angela.killa@jcpsolicitors.co.uk.

For further advice, please contact our specialist Family Solicitors in:

  • Swansea: 01792 773773
  • Cardiff: 02920 225472
  • Carmarthen: 01267 234022
  • Caerphilly: 02920 860628
  • Cowbridge: 01446 771742
  • Haverfordwest: 01437 764723
  • Fishguard: 01348 873671
  • Pontypridd: 01443 408455

The question posed is based upon a hypothetical situation.

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