Administrative tasks when the other parent does not engage

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    Hi all,

    Wondered how other people handled situations similar to mine in the past. I understand that our circumstances are all different, and just trying to think of routes I might have not explored through shared experiences.

    My son is 2.5 years old and I look after him 100%. I am French, my son is British and his father is South African and lives there. His father is on the birth certificate, therefore shares parental responsibility with me however doesn’t want to be involved in the duties of father and is happy to just have friendly chats with his son regularly. My son last saw his father 2 years ago in real life – when I took the initiative to visit him in South Africa to help them bond. He doesn’t send me any financial support other then a food shopping online once a month.

    The issue is that he is now making my life quite difficult by refusing to sign some of the official paperwork I need. I am for example registering my son as French so he can have a EU passport and healthcare there if we travel (I am a single daughter, and with my mother aging in France, it is likely we will have to spend some time there). To progress this, I need him to provide me with a copy of his birth certificate (I am not asking him to pay for anything), just his birth certificate, I have found the form he needs to complete and the address he needs to go hand it to. But he refuses to, because “there will be a queue”. But he fully supports the idea of his son having French citizenship.

    This made me realize the painful and difficult life ahead of me and son… stuck with a man who has parental responsibility yet is not interested in honoring it. Are there processes to override the absent parent? Will they always by at my financial expenses? Or in reality, are systems pretty flexible and most of the time allowing just one parent to make all the decisions?

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