Parental Responsibility

A Parental Responsibility Order allows the parent or person who has the benefit of the order to be involved in important decisions in a childs life, such as:

  • which school the child should attend
  • which religion they should follow
  • whether they should receive a particular course of medical care/treatment

These are just a few examples but there are obviously other important decisions in a child's life that you may want to be involved in and are entitled to because you have Parental Responsibility.

A mother automatically has Parental Responsibility however a father or any other person can acquire Parental Responsibility if:

  • they were married at the time the child was born
  • if they were not married then if the child was born after 1st December 2003, and their name is registered on the childs birth certificate
  • a person has the benefit of a Residence Order for the child

The Duties of Parental Responsibility

The duties involved in Parental Responsibility will of course change. The child will become older and inevitably their needs will change with age and maturity.

Shared Parental Responsibility

It is common for more than one person to have Parental Responsibility for a child. However, it is important to remember that despite that, it is possible for an individual parent or person with Parental Responsibility to make a decision without consulting with the other parent or person.

If this happens, then the only way to challenge that decision would be to apply to the court for a Specific Issue Order or a Prohibited Steps Order.

What will the court consider ?

The court will take into consideration the following factors:

  • What is in the child's best interests
  • The wishes and feelings of the child
  • The effect on the child of any change in their circumstances
  • Any harm the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering
  • The child's, physical, emotional and educational needs

The issue of Parental Responsibility and how and/or when it should be exercised can be complicated. 

At Paul Ireland Solicitors wh have many years of experience in dealing with all aspects of childrens law. We can provide you with the expert advice that you need.

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For legal advice contact Paul Ireland Solicitors on 01925-694899
or via email