Most of us would expect to have the right to have a say in making decisions about important matters that affect our children, particularly matters such as their education, medical treatment and religious upbringing. The legal term for this is having “parental responsibility”.
The mother of the child will automatically have parental responsibility, as will the father if the parents were married at the time of the child’s birth. Unmarried fathers who are on the birth certificate will also automatically have parental responsibility.
You will have parental responsibility if you are the father of a child who was born after 1st December 2003 and your name is on the Birth Certificate. However, if your name is not on the Birth Certificate or if the child was born before 1st December 2003, then you will not have automatic parental responsibility even if you are the natural father.
See this page for more information on unmarried father's rights.
If a father does not have parental responsibility automatically, then he can acquire it in various ways. The mains ones are:-
Ordinarily, we would encourage parents to try to agree all arrangements for their children, and that includes arrangements for parental responsibility. However, if the mother refuses to agree, then father is able to apply to the Court for a Parental Responsibility Order. In making a decision, the Court will take into account the best interests and the welfare of the child, but ordinarily the father is likely to be successful if he can show that:-
Angela Moores can assist you in exercising your shared parental responsibility. This could be by helping to negotiate and draw up a shared parental responsibility agreement with the mother or by an application to the Court for a Parental Responsibility Order.
We have a wealth of experience in dealing with such matters for parents in the Harrogate area and also across the whole of the north of England. Contact us to arrange a meeting or a telephone consultation to see how we can help.