Guide to Parental Responsibility

Hodge Halsall Solicitors can assist you with all legal aspects concerning your children following relationship breakdown.  We can help you achieve agreement in relation to where the children will live and how much time they spend with the other parent, financial provision for children and obtaining Parental Responsibility for your child, if you do not already have this.

We always promote an amicable and conciliatory approach to negotiations, where possible, as members of the national association, Resolution.

What is Parental Responsibility? 

The strict legal definition for this is ‘all the rights, duties, power, responsibilities and authority which by Law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property’.  

You will need Parental Responsibility in order to make decisions in relation to your child’s education, medical treatment and religion.  Once you have parental responsibility for your child, should you not be able to agree certain issues concerning the upbringing of a child, we can also assist you with these difficulties.  Scenarios might include, the best school for a child to attend or whether one parent may relocate to a different part of the Country or abroad with the child. 

The mother always has Parental Responsibility for the child.

If you are the father, you will automatically have Parental Responsibility, provided you were married to the mother at the time of birth or you are registered as the child’s father and the child was born after 1 December 2003.

If you are a father and are not able to immediately meet the above criteria, we can assist you in obtaining Parental Responsibility in any one of the following ways:

  1. Negotiating and preparing Parental Responsibility Agreement with the child’s mother on your behalf;
  1. Obtaining a Parental Responsibility Order from the Court; or
  1. Obtaining a broader Order from the Court in relation to with whom the child should live and time spent with each parent, which provides for you to also have Parental Responsibility for the child;

We have close links with local Family Law Mediators and also counselling services to assist you throughout the process.  We would agree the best approach to suit your case at the outset and ensure that you are clearly informed of the next steps at all times.

If you would like any further Child Law advice, please contact one of our Solicitors, who will be happy to talk through your options.

< Return to Family Law