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The basic definition of parental responsibility is that it is a list of legal rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority, which you have in relation to your child or children and their property. If you already have parental responsibility, you will be entitled to voice your opinions in all crucial matters affecting a child’s upbringing. For example, this could encompass making decisions on a child’s medical treatment, education, and whether or not a child can be removed from the jurisdiction.
Please note that parental responsibility is different from the decisions about who the child spends time with and where the child lives.
A mother automatically has parental responsibility for her child from birth. The other parent will only automatically have parental responsibility if:
Therefore, if a father falls within the above categories, he can only lose parental responsibility in exceptional circumstances. These include:
It should be noted there is no provision in Child Act 1989 that gives the court jurisdiction to revoke a father’s parental responsibility where it was acquired by virtue of marriage at the time of the child’s birth. The Court can however restrict a parent’s exercise of parental responsibility.
If you do not have automatic parental responsibility, Kew Law can help you to achieve this objective.
This could include:
In addition, if there are doubts about whether you are the father of the child, we can ask the Court to order genetic tests by comparing DNA samples between you and your child.
Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 987 8156 and one of our solicitors will be happy to discuss your matter with you.
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