Parental Responibility

Parental responsibility is the legal recognition of a person’s status as a parent.  A person with parental responsibility (PR) has all the rights, responsibility and obligations for the upbringing of the child.  We will be happy to advise you on the legal implications of having parental responsibility.

The mother of a child at its birth automatically acquires parental responsibility.  A father can acquire PR in the following ways:-

  • Marriage to the mother (at any time)
  • Both parents entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement
  • Court Order
  • For a child born after 1 December 2003, the father will automatically acquire parental responsibility if with the mothers consent he is named as the father on the birth certificate.

A step parent, may, following recent changes in the law also acquire parental responsibility with the agreement of those with it already or otherwise by Court Order. However, it is always worth bearing in mind any person with parental responsibility may delegate it to another at any time.  This can be done by a simple letter to evidence this and is often used for grandparents acting as child minders.

Key Parental Responsibilities

If there is more than one person with parental responsibility, there is a duty upon each of them to consult on any issue concerning a child's upbringing which in the event of dispute may require an application be made to the Court for a Specific Issue Order.

Key roles include:-

  • Providing a suitable home for the child
  • Having contact with/living with the child
  • Protecting and maintaining the child
  • Disciplining the child
  • Choosing and providing for the child's education
  • Determining the religious upbringing of the child (if any)
  • Agreeing to a child's medical treatment
  • Naming the child/agreeing to any change of name
  • Accompanying the child outside the United Kingdom/agreeing to the child's emigration should the issue arise
  • Being responsible for the child's property
  • Appointing a guardian for a child if necessary (for example in a will)
  • Allowing confidential information regarding a child to be disclosed

We understand how worrying legal costs can be so we have a range of payment options available to suit your budget and needs.  We offer fixed fee packages alongside our traditional fee system.  Our fixed fee packages run alongside our Legal Aid Contract as part of our commitment to provide legal services to the community at an affordable cost.

Our Hardings Solicitors Guarantee:-

  • Free Initial Consultation
  • Home Visits (if required)
  • A Personal Service by Specialist Solicitor
  • Affordable ‘Fixed Fee Service’
  • Discount on Will Services when instructing us in any other matter


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