Parental responsibility is defined as all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority that by law a parent has in relation to the child.
A mother automatically has parental responsibility. A father who was married to the mother at the time of the birth of the child also has automatic parental responsibility.
If a father is not married to the mother, he automatically has parental responsibility if he is named on the birth certificate and the child was born after 1st December 2003. If a child was born before this date, an unmarried father does not have parental responsibility automatically even if he is named on the child’s birth certificate.
An unmarried father can obtain parental responsibility by making a Parental Responsibility Agreement with the mother; applying to the court for a Parental Responsibility Order; or by obtaining a Residence Order. If parental responsibility is obtained by an agreement or an order of the court, it automatically ends when the child reaches the age of 18.
Our legal team can help and guide you through your options.