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If your marriage or cohabitation has broken up, we will work with you to achieve the best arrangements for your children.
A mother automatically has parental responsibility for her children. This means they have the right to determine where the child lives, which school they attend and how, when, and if they have access to medical treatment.
A father only has parental responsibilty automatically if:
- He is married to the mother;
- The child was born after 1 December 2003 and he is named on the birth certificate.
A father who does not have parental responsibility can obtain it by:
- Marrying the child's mother;
- Entering into a voluntary Parental Responsibility Agreement with the mother;
- Obtaining a Parental Responsibility Order from the court.
What Orders can be made?
Courts are able to grant a number of Orders which can assist in many family disputes. These are as follows:
- Residence Order;
- Contact Order;
- Specific Issue Order;
- Prohibited Steps Order;
- Parental Responsibility Order;
A Residence Order determines who a child is to live with and automatically gives the person awarded the Order, parental responsibility of that child should they not already have it. A Residence Order can be granted to more than one person, even if they do not live together.
The Order entitles the person to determine the day-to-day management of the child's life, with limited interference from the other parent.
A Contact Order can be obtained by a non-resident parent to define the contact arrangements they have with the child. A Contact Order can also be obtained and applied for by Grandparents, step parents etc. The Order will either be specific in terms of times, dates and arrangements for contact, or be more open and allow arrangements to be made by the parties themselves.
Specific Issue Order
A Specific Issue Order can be applied for if both parents cannot agree on an issue involving the child. This may be if one parent wishes to take another child on holiday and the other parent refuses or both parents cannot agree which school the child should go to. Grandparents and other relatives may also seek the leave of the court to proceed with an applicaion, only if it is believed to be in the child's best interests to remain close to the family.
Prohibited Steps Order
In some instances one parent may feel worried that the other parent will remove the child from their care or remove the child from the jurisdiction. If this is the case you can make an application to the courts for a Prohibited Steps Order prohibiting the removal of the child from the jurisdiction. The appplication will be dealt with by a Judge who may or may not grant your application.
Parental Responsibility Order
If you want parental responsibility but can't agree on arrangements with mother, you can apply for a court order.
Should you require further advice in regards to the above, please fill in the form on the right hand side of this page and we will contact you as soon as possible. Alternatively contact us on 01904 642727 for your FREE 30 minute consultation at our York, Leeds or Harrogate offices.