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Parental Responsibility

Parental Responsibility is defined in The Children Act 1989 as “the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to a child and his property”.

Mothers have parental responsibility automatically, but the position is different for fathers. Fathers only have parental responsibility if they were married to the child’s mother at the time the child was born, or if they are named on the birth certificate and the child is born after 1st December 2003. Fathers do not have automatic parental responsibility if their child was born before 1st December 2003 and they were not married to the mother at the time.

If you do not have parental responsibility, then you can sign an agreement with the mother of your child to remedy this. If the mother will not agree to sign an agreement, then you will need to make an application to the Court to obtain parental responsibility.

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