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Parental Responsibility

What is Parental Responsibility?

Parental Responsibility is the right and duty given to a parent, and others with a close connection with the child, to take major decisions concerning a child’s life.­ Responsible parenting is to endeavour to reach these decisions with the other parent.­ If this is not possible, the court will decide.­

A mother always automatically has parental responsibility.­ There are a number of ways for a father and others to acquire Parental Responsibility for a child. These are:

  • A mother and father both have parental responsibility if they are married to each other at the time of the child’s birth or subsequently.
  • By both parents entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement.­ This is a straight forward document (one for each child) that is completed by both parents and lodged at the Family Court (PRFD) in London.
  • By an order of the Court.
  • For children born after 1 December 2003 of unmarried parents, the father has parental responsibility if he was present when the Birth was registered and his name is on the Child’s Birth Certificate as the child’s father.

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