What is parental responsibility?

Parental Responsibility A parent has parental responsibility when they have the right to have a say in issues relating to a child’s upbringing. This does not include day to day decisions that should be made by the resident parent.

This provides a parent with the right to be involved in important decisions, such as:

  • Where the child goes to school;
  • Choosing the child’s name or changing their registered name;
  • Appointment of a guardian;
  • Medical treatment;
  • Access to medical records;
  • Providing consent for the child to go abroad on holidays or extended stays; or
  • Decisions regarding the child’s religious or cultural upbringing.

Who has parental responsibility?

All mothers automatically have parental responsibility irrespective of marital status. On the other hand, a father must be married or in a civil partnership with the child’s mother or be registered on the child’s birth certificate. 

What are my options if I am a father who is not married or in a civil partnership with the child’s mother? 

A father who is not married or in a civil partnership with the child’s mother can obtain parental responsibility in the following ways:

  • Register or be registered as the child’s father on an existing birth certificate; 
  • Marry the child’s mother or enter into a civil partnership;
  • Have a Child Arrangements Order which lists the father as the resident parent;
  • Obtain or enter into a Parental Responsibility Agreement with the child’s mother;
  • Obtain a Residence Order; or
  • Apply to the courts.

Can I apply to get parental responsibility? 

You can apply to the courts where an arrangement can not be reached with the child’s mother. At any rate, there is a court fee of £232. However, you can receive help with court fees if you are entitled to certain benefits or are on low income. 

How NA Law Solicitors can help?

Our team of expert immigration solicitors are here to advise you on your options. Contact us today to receive our support and guidance.

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