What is Parental Responsibility

Parental Responsibility is often referred to when discussing family proceedings.


The legal definition of parental responsibility is ‘all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authorities which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and their child’s property.’

When does it end

When a child reaches 18 years old, the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authorities end.

What does it do

Parental responsibility allows people to have a say in decisions for the child that are to be made. Day to day decisions can be made by the person with parental responsibility whose care the child is in. However, bigger decisions such as, choice of school, child’s name, taking a child abroad, should be agreed by all those who share parental responsibility for that child.

Who has it

Mother’s gain parental responsibility when a child is born. A father has parental responsibility if he is either married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth or is named on the birth certificate.

Parental responsibility can also be granted by a parental responsibility agreement or order of the Court.