Parental Responsibilities

Both parents will automatically have parental responsibility for a child if you were married when the child was born. This means that each of you is recognised as having all the rights and duties that parents normally have and that both of you will have to be consulted about all major decisions in relation to the child’s life, including education, medical treatment and any proposed change to the child’s name.

A father who is not married to the mother now has automatic parental responsibility if the child was born after December 2003 and he was named on the birth certificate as the father. A father who does not have parental responsibility can make an application to court.

As a parent you will have to make difficult decisions about your children whilst you go through a separation or divorce. Often it is difficult to agree on the best way forward with your partner. We have many years of experience in helping parents to resolve their disputes in the best possible interests of the children.

If you and your partner cannot agree which of you your children should live with, or how often each of you should see the children, or how parental responsibility should be exercised, then either parent may apply to the court for a decision.

Sometimes one parent wants to take the children abroad to live. The consent of the other parent is needed to do this. If this becomes an issue, the parents may need help from the courts.

If you and your partner cannot agree about financial or other arrangements that affect your children, either of you can apply to the court to decide any issue about the children’s care and well-being. For example, you may disagree about which school your child should go to, or whether your child should have a particular course of medical treatment.

To speak to an experienced family solicitor, telephone 01922 645 429 or complete our enquiry form.