Parental Responsibility is defined in the Children Act 1989 as:
“all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property”
Parental Responsibility therefore allocates powers to the child’s parents or legal guardians regarding important decisions such as residence and education.
Please click for the Legal Rights of Grandparents.
Who Has Parental Responsibility?
Birth mothers and married birth fathers automatically assume Parental Responsibility.
However, as of December 1st 2003 in England and Wales, parental responsibility defines both the mother and the father provided each is named on the birth certificate – regardless of marriage status.
Unmarried birth fathers who are not named on the birth certificate may achieve Parental Responsibility by:
- Marrying the birth mother
- Obtaining a Residence Order
- Registering on the Birth Certiﬁcate
- Obtaining a Parental Responsibility Order
- Signing a Parental Responsibility Agreement with the Mother
It is important to note that married birth fathers do not have Parental Responsibility taken away in cases of Divorce.
When does Parental Responsibility End?
Parental Responsibility is on-going from the birth of the child until the recognised threshold of adulthood is reached, known as the age of majority.
The age of majority, which can vary under certain circumstances, determines that the child has reached adulthood.
For information regarding the age of majority, or any other matter regarding Parental Responsibility such as Guardianship and Adoption Orders, contact PMC Family Law today.
We are the Family Law specialists – we will fight for the best interests of you and your family.