How do I get parental responsibility?
You may have found yourself in a situation where you need parental responsibility in order to properly care for a child. Parental responsibility can be obtained in a number of ways, depending on your relationship with the child.
What is parental responsibility?
Parental responsibility simply means all the rights, duties, powers, responsibility and authority parents normally have in relation to their children. It includes being consulted in relation to all major decisions in a child’s life such as education, religion, medical treatments and the change of a child’s name.
Who has parental responsibility for the child?
A child’s mother will always have Parental responsibility for her child.
If the child’s parents are married or in a civil partnership when the child is born, both of them will automatically have Parental responsibility. If they aren’t, only the mother automatically has Parental responsibility.
How can a father get parental responsibility?
If a father does not automatically have Parental responsibility, he can obtain it by:
- Marrying or entering into a civil partnership with the mother.
- Entering into a Parental responsibility agreement with the mother and filing it at the Central Family Court.
- Obtaining a court order giving him Parental responsibility.
- Being named in a Child Arrangements Order as a person with whom the child is to live, or being named in a Child arrangement Order as someone the child is to spend time with and the court decides it would be appropriate to make a Parental responsibility order in his favour.
- Being registered as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate.
- Becoming the child’s guardian.
- Adopting the child.
How can my partner get parental responsibility for my child?
A step-parent can obtain Parental responsibility if they are married to or are the civil partner of a parent of the child who has Parental responsibility, and either:
- Enter into a Parental responsibility agreement with the parent / both parents if they both have Parental responsibility and file it with the court; or
- Obtain a court order giving them Parental responsibility.
A step-parent can also obtain Parental responsibility automatically if they are named in a Child Arrangement Order as a person with whom the child is to live. If they are named in a Child Arrangement Order as a person with whom the child is to spend time with, the court may grant Parental responsibility but it is not automatic.
I am not a parent of the child – can I still get parental responsibility?
Individuals other than parents can get Parental responsibility. Similar to an unmarried father, to get Parental responsibility they could:
- Adopt the child.
- Become the child’s guardian.
- Be named on a Child Arrangement Order as a person with whom the child is to live. If they are named on a Child Arrangement Order as someone the child is to spend time with, the court will decide whether to grant Parental responsibility.
How many people can have parental responsibility for a child?
More than one person can have Parental responsibility for a child at the same time. If more than one person has Parental responsibility, each person can act independently unless there is a statutory requirement to consult the others.
If you are looking to apply for parental responsibility, George Green’s Family Law Specialists are available to help. Please get in touch using our online enquiry form or by calling 01384 410410.