Questions we have been asked include:
‘What is Parental Responsibility?’
‘When does an unmarried father have Parental Responsibility?’
‘How do we get a form to apply for Parental Responsibility’?
‘Can a stepfather get Parental Responsibility? What do we need to do?’
‘How do I get Parental Responsibility if my child’s mother doesn’t want me to have it?’
‘I have Parental Responsibility: doesn’t that mean my children’s mother has to let me see
GENERAL INFORMATION ON PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY (including the rights it does – and doesn’t – give you)
Advice Now is an independent, not-for-profit website providing accurate, up-to-date information on rights and legal issues. Its information service brings together the best information on the law and rights from over 200 UK websites, summarized by experts and it has a very good section on Parental Responsibility.
Address: Bramah House, 65-71 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1. However, no individual advice is given and they can’t respond to email queries.
The Fatherhood Institute website also carries a lot of information about Parental Responsibility.
HOW TO GET PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY IF YOUR CHILD’S MOTHER IS HAPPY FOR YOU TO HAVE IT
Be or become married to your child’s mother.
If your child was born after1 December 2003, and you are not married to your child’s mother, your name on the birth certificate gives you automatic Parental Responsibility
If you did not do this, you can re-register the birth and put the father’s name on the birth certificate this time: this is an easy way of getting Parental Responsibility
If neither of the above applies, telephone the Family Division Principal Registry 020 7947 6936, to order a Parental Responsibility Agreement Form which you both then fill out AND MUST REGISTER WITH THE COURT. You can also download a Parental Responsibility Agreement Form
HOW TO GET PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY IF YOUR CHILD’S MOTHER DOES NOT WANT YOU TO HAVE IT
Telephone the Family Mediators Association (tel: 0117 946 7062) or National Family Mediation (tel: 0117 904 2824) to find a mediation service local to you. Even one session may help you reach agreement
If this isn’t possible or doesn’t work you will need to go to Court and apply for a Parental
Responsibility Order. To find an experienced local solicitor try:
• Families Need Fathers: Helpline 0300 0300 110 (manned 6pm-10pm); email support, website. Regular meetings in some localities. Members sometimes know good solicitors and the website has useful info & a list of local FNF support groups where solicitors sometimes come and give free advice
• Resolution (formerly known as the Solicitors Family Law Association): Provides lists of local solicitors experienced in family law work. Look on website: http://www.sfla.org.uk/find_member.php or write to P.O. Box 302, Orpington,Kent BR6 8QX (enclose a stamped addressed envelope). Tel: 01689 850227, or 0345 585671 (charged at local rate) or email: email@example.com or look in Yellow Pages under ‘Solicitors’ for box listing local SFLA solicitors
• Citizens’ Advice (formerly Citizens Advice Bureaux): Should know any local low-cost legal centres. Look in the phone book for the nearest CAB or telephone 020 7833 2181 (for referral to local branches and to answer basic questions). Also look at their website http://www.adviceguide.org.uk