Most parents have ‘parental responsibility’ for their children, which includes a duty to protect and maintain them and provide them with a home. It also encompasses various rights relating to the upbringing of a child covering issues such as schooling or medical treatment.
All mothers automatically have parental responsibility and fathers also have this if they are married to the mother or are listed on the birth certificate. Once parental responsibility has been established, it does not cease upon divorce or separation.
If you would like to obtain parental responsibility and the other parent agrees, you can use a parental responsibility agreement which needs to be signed and witnessed at your local family court.