Parental Responsibility

 Rebecca Oakley Family Law Solicitors Cardiff your expert family lawyer for Parental Responsibility Agreements Cardiff and matters

There is no formal definition of Parental Responsibility but could be summed up as the responsibilities and duties to keep a child safe from all types of harm and to ensure that the child’s physical welfare and emotional well being is met. In the context of Family Law, this is a legally recognised duty rather than merely a moral one.

Parental responsibility would include such responsibilities as making important decisions about a child’s education, medical and dental care, travelling abroad and consenting to marriage for children between the ages of 16-18.

Parental Responsibility, by itself does not give any person rights to have custody (residence) of the child or even to see the child. It does not give a person any right to interfere in the day to day care arrangements made for the child by the parent with whom the child lives.

Who has Parental Responsibility?

Birth mothers have automatic Parental Responsibility immediate upon the birth of their baby. Natural fathers have Parental Responsibility on birth of a child to mothers they are married to at the time of the birth.

How can unmarried fathers get Parental Responsibility?

1. They marry the mother after the child is born
2. They enter into a properly prepared and registered Parental Responsibility Agreement with the mother
3. The obtain a Court Order for a Parental Responsibility
4. They obtain a Residence Order in respect of the Child
5. They are appointed by the Court as the child’s Guardian
6. If the child is born after 1 December 2003:
a. Being recorded as the father on the child’s birth certificate
b. Re-registering the child’s birth with the mother

People other than birth parents can also obtain Parental Responsibility.

A Step parent, whether by virtue of marriage or by Civil Partnership to any child born or adopted by their spouse or partner can now obtain Parental Responsibility for their step child by the following method:

a. Having a Residence Order in respect of the Child
b. Entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement with all the other holders of Parental
Responsibility – usually the birth mother and father
c. Obtaining a Parental Responsibility Agreement from the Court.
d. People other than Step parents (e.g. grandparents, other relations and unrelated
parties) can obtain Parental Responsibility by
a. Obtaining a Residence Order from the Court in respect of the Child
b. Adopting the child

Application to Court by fathers and other interested persons

Any Applicant for Parental responsibility has to satisfy the Court that they have sufficient involvement in the child’s life and commitment of time (commitment of financial resources helps too) and good reasons for making the application. Above all the Court must be satisfied that on balance the making of a Parental Responsibility is in the best interests of the child.

Parental Responsibility can in some circumstances be removed. If the Parental Responsibility was conferred by Court Order, it can be removed by Court order. If the Parental Responsibility was automatic or acquired by any other means, it can be also ended by an Order of the Court.

Rebecca Oakley Family Law Solicitors can assist with all types of Parental Responsibility acquisitions by all categories of applicants.