Coronation Street

My mum’s a school teacher

Sud’s Law have been watching Coronation Street keenly of late. Not content with driving a wedge between highly strung husband David Platt and wayward wife Kylie, Callum Logan is now intent on forming a relationship with his, until recently, long lost son Max.

Since Kylie disappeared at Christmas (to facilitate actress Paula Lane’s pregnancy), David has been left holding the babies- Kylie’s son Max from her relationship with Callum, and the Platt’s little baby Lily.

Callum has been winding David up, stealing moments with Max and laying on the charm with babysitting Katie. We rather suspect his agenda is to cause as much bother as possible, rather than forming a relationship with young Max. Nevertheless he has laid his cards on the table. He wants son Max.

However on Monday night, he revealed the ace in hand- not only was he named upon little Max’s birth certificate, but he comes from a respectable family and his mother is a school teacher. That’s right, a school teacher. And what’s more, he can prove it and David will be hearing from his solicitor.

As David stood agog, we could hear not Callum’s hot-shot brief, but our very own soap geek extraordinaire Rebecca Finnigan. ‘Pipe down Callum’ and ‘pull your finger out David’, are the polite versions of the phrases she exclaimed!

Having taken some deep breaths and following a bit of a lie down in a darkened room, we find out just what has rattled the cage of Rebecca Finnigan, Family Law solicitor and member of the Law Society’s Advanced Family Law panel

Firstly, us viewers had been told sometime ago that David was going to adopt little Max as his own son, however that storyline was left up in the air and was never concluded one way or the other it would seem. Only now has David mentioned that he in fact never did conclude the adoption process. It would seem the only one with parental responsibility for little Max is the now absent Kylie. If only David had put his money where his big mouth is, he wouldn’t be in this current pickle!

Secondly, we were also led to believe that the back story was that the teenage Kylie was abandoned by the dastardly Callum when she found out she was pregnant with Max, and accordingly he has not been on the scene since. Now however Callum is protesting that he has rights, his name is apparently on the birth certificate.

Is it possible that Callum, absent either through choice or spending time within Her Majesty’s finest correctional facility, is in fact named upon the birth certificate?

This, dear fellow soap lovers, is where we find the hole in the argument. It is unlikely Callum could have been named upon the birth certificate. We know Callum and Kylie were not married, and he has been notable by his absence throughout Max’s life (including when the poor wee mite was taken into foster care). If he did in fact abandon Kylie whilst she was pregnant, then he cannot have been named upon Max’s birth certificate- as an unmarried father he would have had to attend the registration in person (save for limited circumstances).

We all know that the law in Weatherfield operates in it’s own jurisdiction from time to time, and that the normal laws of the land do not apply if it would stand in the way of adding drama to the storyline. It seems this is another example of that; in reality, Callum would most likely not have found his name upon Max’s birth certificate.

Turning to Callum’s great winning tactic – he comes from a very respectable family, with a school teacher for a mother. He will win the star prize of little Max. Won’t he?

Wrong. If and when Callum and David do actually make it to court, the occupation of Callum’s mother is not going to be a deal breaker when it comes to deciding Max’s future.

The court’s paramount interest will always be with the welfare of the child, so regardless of Callum’s mother’s occupation, the court will look at the bigger picture in as much as it will impact upon Max.

The fact that Callum has not been on the scene thus far, his motives are highly questionable, has a long criminal record, is a drug dealer, has served a prison sentence not too long ago and seems intent on unsettling Max, will all serve against him. Unfortunately being a blood relation, having (or not having, as the case maybe) his name upon the birth certificate and his mother being a teacher, are not going to be deal breakers.

Whilst David is less than squeaky clean himself (to put it mildly), the fact that he has cared seemingly well for Max since he came home from foster care will stand him in good stead. Max is settled with him, has a loving extended family and his baby sister Lily. David and the Platt household are the only real family he has known and this is likely to bear heavy weight with the court.

My (legally-informed) money would be on David here. Now those are words we thought we would never hear about David Platt!

If you need advice about issues relation to children or any other family law issue details of specialist solicitors can be found through Resolution or the Law Society. Myself and my colleagues within the Divorce and Family Law department at Canter Levin & Berg are as ever happy to oblige.

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Rebecca Finnigan

Rebecca is an accredited member of the Law Society’s Advanced Family Law Panel. She is also a member of the solicitor’s family law association Resolution.

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