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What is Parental Responsibility?

All mothers and most fathers have legal rights and responsibilities as a parent.  This is known as ‘parental responsibility’.

Married fathers automatically have parental responsibility for their child.  Unmarried fathers have parental responsibility only if they are named on the Birth Certificate.   Where a father is not named on the Birth Certificate but subsequently marries the mother of the child, Parental Responsibility will be acquired.

If you have parental responsibility for your child, then you are entitled to be consulted about all major issues that arise in your child’s life, whether or not you are still living with the other parent.  An Adoption Order is the only way to remove parental responsibility.

Parental Responsibility Agreements are used where somebody has not been named on the Birth Certificate, but the mother feels that they should have parental responsibility for the child and they are the father of the child.

You can also have Step-Parental Responsibility Agreements which are signed by both parents, giving a spouse of one of the parents’ parental responsibility for the child.  This can be useful if a child is spending a great deal of time with their step parent.

Parental responsibility is not about where the child lives and it is not about who gets to cut their hair.  The day to day responsibilities for the child lies with the parent who they are living with on that particular day.

If your ex has parental responsibility, then you certainly do need to consult them about any decisions on medication and education.

If you wish to move abroad, then you would need the permission of either the other parent or the Courts.  If you don’t get permission, then an Application can be made in the country that you moved to, forcing you to return with the child, in order that the Court can decide whether or not the move is in the best interest of the child.

Andrew Isaacs Law are family law experts and can advise on all aspects of children law.  Contact Andrew Isaacs Law today to arrange a consultation.

 

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