Parental Responsibility

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Parental Responsibility means “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property”.

It gives the father a right to be consulted about major issues that may occur during the life of the child such as education and schooling matters, the child’s religious upbringing, medical treatment, agreement to adoption, consent to marriage or removal out of the country. Below you will find some more information on the Children Act 1989; however we would recommend getting one of experts on board from an early stage to ensure you get the best outcome for you and your child.

To help you get a full understanding of your options please contact a member of our expert Family law team for a fixed fee initial appointment, which is provided at £195.00 plus VAT to ensure you get the outcome that’s best for you and your child, at the cost that’s right for you. Full details are on our Powells Pay As You Go – Help with Family Matters page.

The law in this area is governed by the Children Act 1989.

A parent of a child can apply to the court at any time for an order that a child should reside with that parent or for a contact order. Other people connected to the child, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles or older brothers or sisters of the child need to apply to the court for the court’s permission to issue an application.

The court has to give ‘paramount consideration’ to the welfare of the child when deciding on issues of residence and contact. The court also has to pay specific attention to the following matters:

  • the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of his age and understanding)
  • his physical, emotional and educational needs
  • the likely effect on him of any change in his circumstances
  • his age, sex, background and any characteristics of his which the court considers relevant
  • any harm which he has suffered or is at risk of suffering
  • how capable each of his parents, and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting his needs
  • the range of powers available to the court. Please also note that the court is prohibited from making an order unless it is better for the child than making no order at all

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