The Willwriting Partnership

0161 7054382

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Parental Responsibility

Parental Responsibility (PR) gives an adult responsibility for the care and well being of a child and the ability to make important decisions on the child`s behalf with regard to the home, clothing, food, medical treatment, and education.

A married couple who have children together automatically have Parental Responsibility, even after a divorce. Similarly, mothers, irrespective of status have parent responsibility.

Unmarried fathers however only have Parental Responsibility if: -

  • His name is registered on the birth certificate and the birth was registered after 1 December 2003. (Fathers can re-register if their names have not been placed on the birth certificate before that date.)
  • He later marries the mother
  • Both parents have signed an authorised Parental Responsibility agreement
  • He obtains a Parental Responsibility order from the Court
  • He obtains a residence order from the Court
  • He becomes the child`s guardian
Others who do not have Parental Responsibility (e.g. grandparents or stepparents) can acquire it by:
  • Being appointed as a guardian to care for a child if the parent dies
  • Obtaining a residence order from the Court for a child to live with the person granted the Parental Responsibility.
  • Adopting a child

Parental Responsibility is of particular importance where a person is living with a child in a parental role, and needs the authority, stability and recognition to make decisions in the child`s life. Such decisions as the choice of school, religion, or which surname to use or guardian to appoint on the person`s death are of particular importance. (Note - a step-parent does not automatically obtain custody of the child on the death of the natural parent without obtaining Parental Responsibility).

Unlike adoption and care proceedings, several people can have Parental Responsibility at the same time. Parental Responsibility however can be lost if:

  • The parents give up the child for adoption
  • The Court revokes the Parental Responsibility previously given
  • The local authority has been previously given a care order which is revoked by the Court
  • Another guardian is appointed by the Court

Please bear in mind that financial support for a child and Parental Responsibility do not necessarily go together. The Child Support Agency can obtain financial support from a father who does not have Parental responsibility

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or call 0161 7054382 now.