Parental responsibilty

Parental responsibility

The law defines parental responsibility as “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property”

In short a person who has parental responsibility for their child has the legal authority to make decisions about important aspects of their child’s life. These can include their name, school, religious upbringing and place of residence.

Who has parental responsibility?

A mother automatically has parental responsibility for her child from birth. Whether or not a father has parental responsibility is more complicated. A father obtains parental responsibility by being named on the birth certificate (for a child born after 1.12.03), marrying the mother, entering into a parental responsibilty agreement or obtaining a court order.

Other people may acquire parental responsibility by a court order (eg a grandparent who has a residence order). From 22nd April 2014 the court will no longer make residence or contact orders. Rather it will settle the arrangements for children by making a child arrangements order. Such an order will confer parental responsibility upon any person with whom a child is to live.

The court has the power to make orders about how parental responsibility should be exercised.

Parental Responsibility FAQ’s

Do both parents have parental responsibility? How can I obtain parental responsibility? When will the court give a father parental responsibility? Can I lose parental responsibility for my child? Does a step-mother or step-father have parental responsibility? How do I enter into a parental responsibility agreement? How do I appoint a guardian for my child? How can Simpson Millar LLP incorporating Foster & Partners help me?

Ready to talk to one of our specialists?

If you would like advice about obtaining parental responsibility you can speak to one of us directly by calling our Corn Street Office on 0345 357 9650

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