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Parental Responsibility - What is it and how do I get it?

Parental Responsibility - What is it and how do I get it?

Parental Responsibility has always automatically been acquired by a mother and a married father. Since December 2003 this has included unmarried fathers who are named on the child’s birth certificate.

I don’t have Parental Responsibility

If you do not have Parental Responsibility for your child then it is possible to obtain it by re-registering the birth certificate, entering into a formal Parental Responsibility Agreement or by applying to the court for a Parental Responsibility Order.

But what is Parental Responsibility?

Parental Responsibility is defined as 'the legal rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority a parent has for a child and the child’s property. A person who has Parental Responsibility for a child has the right to make decisions about their care and upbringing'.

This means that those with Parental Responsibility can make important decisions for the child such as which religion they follow, what school they attend, consent to medical treatment. Where there is more than one person with Parental Responsibility those decisions should be made by agreement, where practicable, if possible.

If those with Parental Responsibility are unable to agree in respect of an important decision for the child, then either of them can apply to the court for them to make the decision.

More information can be found on the government website

Next Steps

If you want to obtain Parental Responsibility for a child or children, then Alsters Kelley offer a free 30-minute appointment during which we can provide practical advice to assist. We have offices covering Leamington, Coventry, Nuneaton and Southam so do not hesitate to contact us on 01926 356016 or email: to make your appointment today.

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With effect from Monday 15th June

We continue to remain open for business. Following recent updates to the Government guidelines, clients with effect from Monday 15th June will be able to attend our offices.

Please note this will be by appointment only and these must be booked in advance to ensure we are able to maintain social distancing measures.

To make an appointment please call any one of our offices: Leamington Spa 01926 356000, Coventry 02477 710200, Nuneaton 02477 710000 or Southam 01926 359355.

Alternatively, if you prefer then please email

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