Home > Legal Articles > Family Law: What is Parental Responsibility?

Family Law: What is Parental Responsibility?

Posted on Monday, 27th July 2015 by
mother and daughter

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Parental Responsibility means all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authorities, which by law a parent has in relation to the child and his/her property.

The birth mother of a child will automatically be granted Parental Responsibility unless it is extinguished by the making of an Adoption Order to another person.

Where the child’s father and mother are married to each other at the time of birth, they both have Parental Responsibility for the child.

Where the parties are not married to each other at the time of birth the general rule is that the mother will have sole Parental Responsibility.


However since 1st December 2003, an unmarried father will be granted Parental Responsibility for a child if he is named on the birth certificate.

Other ways in which a father can obtain Parental Responsibility are as follows:-

  • The parties can enter into a Parental Responsibility Agreement. This specific agreement has to be signed by both parents.
  • The parents can marry each other.
  • By way of a Court Order.

More than one person can have Parental Responsibility for the same child at the same time.

If you found this article helpful, we would recommend reading our previous blog, ‘What is a Child Arrangements Order‘.

Alternatively, if you would like to talk to a member of our family law team please don’t hesitate to call on 0800 999 8880.

Talk to our legal team

The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

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Lisa Dave - Family Law, Wills, LPA and Probate
Lisa Dave - Family Law, Wills, LPA and Probate
Lisa.Dave@ehlsolicitors.co.uk 01332 862 113
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