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Parental Responsibility

Claiming and exercising your legal rights

It is important for every parent to know what legal rights and responsibilities they have in relation to their children and this can become particularly important when parents separate.

When a parent has “Parental Responsibility” for a child they have the right and responsibility to be involved in the important decisions that relate to that child.

A mother automatically has Parental Responsibility from birth. But what about the father?

Here the situation can be slightly more complex as a father does not acquire automatic Parental Responsibility in the same way.

If a father doesn’t have Parental Responsibility for his children, then he should certainly take steps to acquire it

  • By reaching an agreement with the mother or
  • By making a court application

We can advise and assist with this and also when either parent has an issue in relation to actually exercising their Parental Responsibility.


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iGuide: 1996 Hague Convention

The Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Child was concluded on 19 October 1996 (“The 1996 Convention”).

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Frequently asked questions ­about Parental Responsibility

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