Parental Responsibility

The Right of Parental Responsibility

In England, the mother automatically has parental responsibility for the child starting at birth. The father is responsible if he is married to the mother or listed on the birth certificate. It is possible for someone to apply for parental responsibility if it is not automatically given. This means grandparents or relatives can apply in certain circumstances with the court for parental responsibility. By doing so, they can gain rights and responsibilities for the child/children.

Unmarried fathers can apply for parental responsibility in order to make sure the father has rights and responsibilities, even if the couple intend to remain unmarried. When Civil Partnerships are involved, such as same-sex parents, the parties involved will need to apply for parental responsibility unless one of them is the birth mother. In a situation where same-sex partners are not Civil Partners, then applying for parental responsibility is necessary. Both parties will need to jointly register the birth; otherwise the birth mother retains rights and responsibilities for the child.

Sample Parental Responsibility Letter

Here is are link to a sample letter you may need for the school system should parental responsibility change.

The Process for Filing

The Court requires a form to be processed in order to grant parental responsibility to a person or persons. The Parental Responsibility Agreement is for fathers. There is a different agreement for step parents or relatives.  At Pinnington Law we can arrange this agreement, witness it, and help you file the required legal forms. You will need the birth certificate and proof of your identity before we can submit the agreement to the court for you.

Types of Parental Responsibilities

  • Discipline
  • Education
  • Medical treatment
  • Deciding where the child should live
  • Change of Name or naming the child
  • Taking care of the child’s property
  • Ensuring proper financial support, whether parental responsibilities are given to both spouses/partners after a divorce or not.

When a divorce occurs, traditional family lifestyle will become altered. This change of circumstances may result in limited contact with the child/children or, in exceptional circumstances, contact may not be allowed at all. However, regardless of contact arrangements, an ex-spouse or ex-partner will still be financially responsible to support their child/children.

Call us for EXPERT advice on: 0161 761 8099 or email us at: [email protected]