For use in England and Wales only. Use a parental responsibility agreement to agree and set out who has parental responsibility for a child. Recently reviewed by Adnan Mahmood, Solicitor and Head... ... Read more
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How to Make a Parental Responsibility Agreement
For use in England and Wales only.
Use a parental responsibility agreement to agree and set out who has parental responsibility for a child.
Recently reviewed by Adnan Mahmood, Solicitor and Head of Legal, UK.
This parental responsibility agreement was last reviewed on 22 March 2022.
Parental responsibility (as defined in the Children Act 1989) means the legal rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority a parent has for a child. A parent with parental responsibility has the right to make decisions about the child's upbringing and their care.
A parental responsibility agreement is an agreement made between the mother, or parent with parental responsibility, and the individual who wants to obtain parental responsibility. Both parents will need to agree to this. The parental responsibility agreement must be signed and witnessed by a justices' clerk, or court officer and it must be filed at the Principal Registry of the Family Division. The agreement must be filed, otherwise, it won't be legally binding.
Make sure you follow a proper process when, as a father, you want parental responsibility for your child along with the mother with this parental responsibility agreement. Obtaining parental responsibility means that you will be involved in decision-making and will be kept up to date about the child's well-being. This parental responsibility agreement covers your ability to make decisions for your child with regards to such matters as schooling, appropriate medical treatment, discipline and where your child should live.
Use this parental responsibility agreement or custody agreement:
This parental responsibility agreement:
You need a parental responsibility agreement if as a father you want to have a formal agreement in place to set out that you have parental responsibility along with the mother.
Principal Registry of the Family Division
First Avenue House
42-49 High Holborn
The most important roles are to provide a home for the child and protect and maintain the child. However, some other roles include:
deciding where a child lives
choosing or agreeing to a child's medical treatment
choosing and providing for the child's education
choosing which, if any, religion a child follows
giving consent for a child to leave the country, whether for a holiday or permanently
Parental responsibility doesn't affect the duty a parent has to maintain their child financially as all parents have this duty, irrespective of whether they have parental responsibility or not.
Biological fathers can get parental responsibility if they weren't married to the mother at the time of the child's birth. Same-sex partners who aren't in a civil partnership can also get parental responsibility by applying for parental responsibility if a parental agreement was made or by becoming a civil partner of the other parent and making a parental responsibility agreement.
You can acquire parental responsibility if you create a parental responsibility agreement with the other parent. It must be signed and witnessed.
If parents can't reach an agreement on whether the other parent should have parental responsibility, the parent can apply to the court for an order. The court will decide if it's in the best interests of the child for the parent to have parental responsibility. If the court grants parental responsibility, they will grant a Parental Responsibility Order.
A parental responsibility agreement can only end in these circumstances:
If parents with parental responsibility can't agree on a decision concerning the upbringing of their child, they could use family mediation. If an agreement can't be reached then either person can apply for a Specific Issue Order or a Prohibited Steps Order, although the parent doesn't need to have parental responsibility in order to do this. The court will make a decision based on what's in the best interests of the child.
Last reviewed or updated 15/06/2022
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