Upon the breakdown of a relationship, it is in the child or children’s best interests that you and your partner reach an amicable agreement for the care and support of your children.
We can advise on many topics that involve the children, such as:
- Where the children will live
- How often the non-resident parent will have contact with the children
- What the best arrangements are for ensuring contact works well
- Schooling issues
- Holiday issues
- Financial arrangements
- Parental responsibility
- Moving abroad (removal from the jurisdiction)
We will work with you to try to reach an agreement through negotiation or mediation and we pride ourselves on always being understanding of both your and your children’s needs and wishes. If an agreement cannot be reached through negotiation or mediation then we will advise you on making an application to the Court for assistance.
PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY (PR)
This is defined as all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities, and authority that by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property.
PR covers all the decisions and responsibilities that a parent may make on behalf of their child during their childhood and can include:
- Consenting to medical treatment, access to medical records
- School to be attended, access to school reports
- Teaching a child about the family’s religion or culture
- Providing suitable food, clothing, and discipline
- Choosing, registering, or changing the child’s name
- Deciding where a child shall live
- Consenting to taking the child abroad for holidays or extended stays
A mother of a child will automatically have PR for the child irrespective of her marital status.
A father will automatically have PR if he was married to or in a civil partnership with the mother at the time of the child’s birth or subsequently marries the mother of his child.
HOW CAN AN UNMARRIED FATHERS GET PR?
- Marrying or entering a civil partnership with the mother of his child
- Entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement with the mother and having it registered at Court
- Registering or re-registering the child's birth jointly with the mother’s consent (after 1 December 2003)
- Getting a Parental Responsibility Order from the Court. In granting or rejecting the application the Court ultimately considers the best interests of the child. Where the mother disputes the father’s parentage, the Court will order a DNA test to confirm this
- Getting Child Arrangements Order from the Court
Being appointed guardian upon the death of the mother
WHO CAN GET PR
When a child is adopted, the PR is lost, but it is subsequently acquired by the adoptive parents.
A stepfather or stepmother does not acquire PR over the stepchild by marrying the child’s parent.
Grandparents do not automatically have PR.
Our Family Team:
- Trainee Solicitor
Amersham telephone: 01494 729024
Aylesbury telephone: 01296 596969
Prestwood telephone: 01494 862226
Wendover telephone: 01296 620443
To arrange an appointment to discuss with our specialist lawyers please contact the Family Department using any of the details above.