Goodhand & Forsyth Solicitors Guildford

call: 01483 679 373

out of hours: 07540 725 348

How can we help you?


Parental Responsibility is defined under the Children Act.

All the rights powers and duties which by law a parent of a child has in relation to a child.

In practice it confirms a parent's responsibility and duty towards a child in all aspects of their upbringing, including day-to-day care and important decisions.

For example, a parent who has parental responsibility can receive school reports and attend parents' evenings at the child's school. A parent who has parental responsibility can give a hospital the necessary permission if a child requires medical treatment.

Who has Parental Responsibility?

A child's mother always has parental responsibility. The father also has it if he was married to the mother at the time of the child's birth or marries her any time after the birth.

If the father is not married to the mother, he could have parental responsibility if he is named as the father on the birth certificate and the child was born after 1 December 2003. A father can acquire parental responsibility by a Parental Responsibility Agreement or by obtaining a Court Order.

Step parents can now acquire parental responsibility if they are married or enter into a Civil Partnership with a person who has parental responsibility. This can be done by agreement or Court Order.

When the parents both live with the child they will make decisions about the child's upbringing and in doing so exercise parental responsibility.

How does separation impact upon Parental Responsibility?

When the parents are separated day-to-day decisions are usually made by the resident parent and the other parent who has parental responsibility can expect to be consulted about important decisions. It is best if these can be made jointly. Any issue can be referred to the Court if it is an important one.

We have specialist family lawyers who can assist you in drafting a Parental Responsibility Agreement or assisting you in an application for a Parental Responsibility Order.

What are the benefits of using Goodhand & Forsyth?

Our lawyers have:-

  • specialist legal knowledge
  • many years' experience
  • the ability to provide clear and concise advice without using legal jargon
  • good understanding of your needs, approaching your case with compassion

We are able to:-

  • correspond with the mother of the child in relation to Parental Responsibility
  • draft a Parental Responsibility Agreement for signature and presentation at the Court
  • draft the application for a Parental Responsibility Order and represent you in the Court proceedings


For more information or to make an appointment contact our Family Department directly on 01483 679 373.