Under Children Act 1989, Parental Responsibility (“PR”) is defined as all legal rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authorities a parent has in respect of their child. If you have PR for a child, you can make important decisions necessary in a child’s life relating to education, health and medical treatment, and religion etc.
A biological mother automatically has PR of the child. A father will also automatically have PR for the child, if he were married to the mother when the child is born. Unmarried fathers will have PR for the child, if they are named on the birth certificate from 1st December 2003 and jointly registered the child’s birth with the mother.
If the child was conceived by artificial insemination on or after 6 April 2009 and you were in a civil partnership your civil partner will automatically have PR for the child.
If you were married to your same-sex spouse (married lesbian couple) and the child was conceived by artificial insemination, your spouse will automatically have parental responsibility for the child.
Both names should be added to the birth certificate and your child will have no legal father.
Despite not having any legal rights to see their grandchildren in England and Wales, there are a number of options grandparents can consider if dealing with special circumstances.
In England and Wales, Grandparents do not have legal rights to see their grandchildren, nor do they have Parental Responsibility. Despite this, there are a number of options grandparents can consider. A grandparent is able to apply for a Parental Responsibility Order, or a Special Guardianship Order (in certain circumstances).
Parents have the legal right to choose who their children spend time with which includes grandparents and extended family. A grandparent can apply to the Court for permission to apply for an Order to spend time with their grandchildren.
During the breakdown of a relationship it is often difficult for parents/guardians to reach agreements about where the children will live, how much time they are going to spend with the non-resident parent, which school they should attend and even religious practice.
We have a dedicated team at Comptons Solicitors’ Family Law Portal that will assist you in negotiations to reach an agreeable solution, by leading you through your matter, taking into account the emotional sensitivity and life-altering nature of the situation.
Download our free flowchart here.
What Order can I apply for to spend time with my child, or have a child live with me?
If separated parents are not able to reach an agreement about who the child/ren should live with or how much time they should spend with the non-resident parent, an application for Child Arrangements Order (‘live with order’ or ‘spends time with order’ can be made under the Children Act 1989 (previously known as a ‘Residence’ Order or ‘Contact’ Order).
What Order can I apply for if we are unable to reach an agreement about schooling, medical care or any other issue?
If parents are unable to reach an agreement on issues in respect of their child/ren, an application for a Specific Issue Order can be made. This order is sought from the family court to determine a specific question which has, or may arise, in connection with any aspect of Parental Responsibility for a child.
What Order can I apply for if I wanted to prevent a party from doing something?
You could apply for a Prohibited Steps Order if you have concerns about your child possibly being taken out of the country, not allowing your child to spend time with a specific person, or to not allow a specific person to attend the child’s school.
Yes, you can apply for one of the following: