Parental Responsibility means all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority that a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property by law.
A child’s mother will always have Parental Responsibility for her child.
A child’s father usually has Parental Responsibility if he is either registered as the child’s father, or was married to the mother when the child was born.
Both parents keep Parental Responsibility for their children if they divorce.
You can obtain Parental Responsibility if you do not automatically have it.
If you’re a father who wants Parental Responsibility for your child, and the mother agrees, you can fill in a Parental Responsibility Agreement (available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/687726/c_pra1_-eng.pdf).
Take this form, along with evidence of your identity showing a photograph and signature (for example, a driving licence or passport), and the child’s birth certificate, to your nearest court where it can be witnessed. A solicitor cannot witness your signature. Send 2 copies of the form to the address below:
Principal Registry of the Family Division
First Avenue House
42-49 High Holborn
If you want parental responsibility but the mother won’t agree, you can you can apply for a court order. The form you need to complete is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/687733/c1-eng.pdf. It should be sent, with a fee of £215, to the court nearest to where the child lives.
If you would like any help or advice in relation to obtaining Parental Responsibility, you can contact our Polly Barklem on 0203 519 3919 or by email: [email protected]