To all the fathers who are celebrating Father’s Day, you will be pleased to know that the law does recognise you and the role you play in the lives of your children.
When considering what rights you hold in respect of your child the Court will firstly determine whether you hold Parental Responsibility (PR).
Let’s first look at the definition of PR as provided by the Children Act 1989 – “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property”.
Effectively holding PR allows you to make important decisions about your child’s live including their education, schooling, their name, medical treatment, holidays, religion, the location where they live, including day to day care.
PR however is not an automatic right.
So who has automatic parental responsibility?
- The biological mother of the child
- Fathers who are married to the mother of their child
- Fathers who are named on the child’s birth certificate
If you do not fall within one of the above categories you can obtain PR in one of the following ways:-
- Entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement with the mother of your child
- Obtaining a Parental Responsibility Order from the Court
- Obtaining a Child Arrangements Order from the Court confirming that your children live with you
You must remember that ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. If you hold PR you are responsible for ensuring the safety of your child which could also extend to financial support.
As a specialist Family Law firm we can assist you to make an application for Parental Responsibility. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org