What is Parental Responsibility?
Parental Responsibility is all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority in relation to a child. Those with Parental Responsibility (or who have a Parental Responsibility Agreement) are responsible for the upbringing of a child, and can make decisions regarding the child’s health, education and welfare.
Who has Parental Responsibility?
All mothers automatically have Parental Responsibility of their child.
A father whose name is on the child’s birth certificate and was present when the birth was registered on or after the 1st December 2003, automatically shares Parental Responsibility with the mother.
If this is not the case, the father will need to acquire a Parental Responsibility Agreement, unless one of the following are satisfied;
1. The parents of the child are married
2. A Parental Responsibility Order is made by the Court
3. A step-parent Parental Responsibility agreement can also be entered into
What is a Parental Responsibility Agreement?
A Parental Responsibility Agreement is a contract entered into by both parents that allows both parents to have parental responsibility for the wellbeing of their child.
The Parental Responsibility Agreement gives the father the right to be consulted when the mother makes major decisions regarding the welfare of the child. These can include; their education, religious upbringing and medical care.
What if I have been granted a Residence Order by the Court?
If you have been granted a Residence Order by a Court the child will live with you and you will be responsible for his or her main care.
Why is it important to have a Parental Responsibility Agreement?
It is really important that if you are involved with a child’s care and upbringing that you have a Parental Responsibility Agreement to enable you to be involved with the decision making for the child.
In cases where parents have separated and there is a non-resident parent, it is equally important for you to be involved in the decision making and, without a Parental Responsibility Agreement, this will not happen.
I don’t think I have Parental Responsibility for my child?
If you either don’t know if you have Parental Responsibility for your child or have any questions about obtaining a Parental Responsibility Agreement, then please contact us at Ringrose Law and we would be happy to advise you.
Will I have to go to Court?
In making any decisions about a child, the Court will take into account the child’s welfare as the paramount consideration, and will only make an Order if it is better to make one than not.
In order to satisfy the Court that you should be granted Parental Responsibility, they will require evidence that you have shown commitment to the child and that you have an attachment to the child. The Court will also want to know a little bit about your reasons for wanting to apply for the Parental Responsibility Order and decide whether it is in the best interests of that child for the Order to be made.
How can we help?
We have a dedicated team of specialists that can help you with your matter. If you have any questions, or would like to be assessed to see if you qualify for public funding to enable us to deal with these matters on your behalf, without any charge to you, then please contact us today and we would be happy to answer your questions.
For further information and advice contact the Ringrose Law family team in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, Sleaford, Spalding and Newark.