Parental Responsibility means ‘all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent has for a child’.
It includes, but is not limited to:
- The duty to care and provide a home for the child.
- Make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing.
- Determine where the child should live.
- Naming the child.
- Which, if any, religion a child follows.
- Providing consent to remove the child from the country – whether on holiday or permanently.
- Giving consent to medical or other treatment for the child.
- Decisions regarding the child’s education and schooling.
The concept of Parental Responsibility serves to highlight the idea that parents have “responsibilities” or “duties” towards their children, as opposed to “rights” over them.
Who has Parental Responsibility?
A mother automatically has Parental Responsibility for a child – But what about the father? Here the situation is slightly different.
A father automatically acquires Parental Responsibility for a child if he is married to the mother at the time of birth or subsequently – it is not lost on any subsequent divorce.
A father can acquire Parental Responsibility if they:
- Are named on the Birth Certificate (if the birth is registered after December 2003).
- Enter into a Parental Responsibility Agreement with the child’s Mother.
- Secure a Parental Responsibility Order.
- Secure a Child Arrangements Order for a child to live with them (also known as a Residence Order).
No one else automatically has Parental Responsibility for a child. However, other people may be able to acquire Parental Responsibility in very specific circumstances.
Our family law team can advise you whether you are eligible, how to acquire it and the best way this can be achieved in your circumstances.
If any issues arise regarding the exercise of Parental Responsibility, we also offer practical advice to try to help you resolve the problem.
In these circumstances, our family law team will be able to represent and guide you through the proceedings. Whatever the problem, our family law team are able to help.
Free Legal Appointment
Our Family Department offers a free 30 minute appointment to all clients.
At that appointment we will discuss and review your circumstances and give you preliminary legal advice.
We will also review with you, in general terms, your options in respect of the divorce, finances or children matters and also provide a cost estimate.
The 30 minute appointment will be free of charge and there will be no obligation for you to use our services.
Please telephone the following contact numbers to arrange an appointment:
Eastbourne 01323 727321
Hailsham 01323 841481
Polegate 01323 487051
Meads 01323 407577
Alternatively, please complete the contact form below.
We will maintain complete confidentiality and discretion at all times.
Please note the above is for information purposes only and is intended to be a short summary. It should not be treated as a comprehensive guide and should not be acted on without qualified legal advice.
Further Legal Information
Click on the links below for further information on the following areas: