Parental Responsibility Order

Parental responsibility is not for the benefit of the parents but for that of the child. A mother of a child automatically has parental responsibility, whereas a father will only have parental responsibility automatically if he is married or has been married to the mother at any time since the child was born.

An unmarried father can acquire parental responsibility in the following ways:

  • By being registered as the father of a child on the birth certificate if the child is born after 1st December 2003
  • By entering into a parental responsibility agreement with the mother
  • By applying to the court for a parental responsibility order
  • By being appointed a guardian either by the mother or the court
  • By obtaining a residence order from the court
  • By marrying the mother

A parent without parental responsibility will not have the legal authority to make decisions in relation to their children.

Step-parents can acquire parental responsibility by agreement with both parents with parental responsibility and people other than parents who look after a child, such as grandparents, other family members or a local authority, can be granted parental responsibility by court order.

Our experts at Chris Alexander Solicitors can provide you with legal advice and in assisting with making the necessary court application.