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Parental Rights and Responsibilities Legal advice for unmarried couples regarding finances and children from solicitors in Milton Keynes

Parental responsibility refers to the rights, duties, powers and responsibilities which a parent has in respect of their child and the child’s property.

It includes naming a child, providing a home, protecting and maintaining a child, ensuring they receive an education, providing medical treatment where necessary, providing discipline, and looking after their property on their behalf.

Parents with parental responsibility have the right to be consulted about major decisions and some actions cannot be taken without their consent, for example, taking the child abroad to live, changing their school or agreeing to a serious medical procedure.

At Heald Solicitors our family lawyers represent parents in enforcing their parental rights as well as obtaining parental responsibility for those who may not automatically have this. We understand how important issues relating to your children are and we will support and advise you to ensure that you have the assistance you need during your separation.

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At Heald Solicitors we represent parents in enforcing their parental rights as well as obtaining parental responsibility for those who may not automatically have this.

Who has parental responsibility?

Birth mothers automatically have parental responsibility along with the father if they were married at the time of the birth.

Unmarried fathers will generally have parental responsibility if they jointly register the birth of the child with the mother and are named on the birth certificate.

Same-sex civil partners will both have parental responsibility if they were civil partners at the time of the treatment, e.g donor insemination or fertility treatment.

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Obtaining parental responsibility

If you do not have parental responsibility, you can obtain this by entering into a voluntary agreement with the child’s mother by signing a parental responsibility agreement or by applying to the court for a parental responsibility order.

It is also possible to gain parental responsibility as a biological father by marrying the child’s mother or by re-registering a birth in both parents’ names.

As a father, if you obtain a child arrangements order that says that your child will live with you, this will also grant you parental responsibility.

If you wish to make a court application for parental responsibility, you need to be closely connected to the child, for example, be their father, step-parent or second female parent. The court will look at a number of issues, including the following:

  • The level of commitment the applicant has shown towards the child, for example, by way of financial support, contact and involvement in the child’s life;
  • Whether the status of the birth father is in dispute;
  • The amount of attachment between the applicant and the child;
  • The reason for the application.

Parental responsibility is often applied for at the same time as a child arrangements order.


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Keshini Rajendra

For expert advice regarding parental responsibility

For expert advice regarding parental responsibility and other child arrangement issues, such as residence and contact, get in touch with our team of family solicitors. Our family law team are experts in dealing with issues relating to parental responsibility and can advise you of your options as well as your rights.

While our office is in Milton Keynes, we are experienced in working with clients throughout England and Wales, often remotely, meaning that you can expect the same expert legal advice and excellent client care wherever you are located.

If you would like to speak to one of our family law solicitors, please get in touch with our legal expert Keshini Rajendra .

01908 662 277
[email protected]
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Why choose Heald Solicitors to be your Milton Keynes family law solicitors?

Our family law services are designed to help people in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas to easily handle their legal issues.

Our highly experienced family solicitors advise on all matters, including divorce, marriage and civil partnerships, cohabitation agreements, pre-nuptial agreements, children’s issues such as parental responsibility and child contact arrangements, and financial provision after a relationship breakdown. We also advise on other related aspects of family law, such as adoption, surrogacy and domestic violence injunctions.

We understand that dealing with family law matters can be daunting and emotionally challenging for our clients, and we work hard to find the best solution for their circumstances.

Heald Solicitors is a law firm dedicated to helping our clients achieve the best possible outcome when it comes to family law issues. Our solicitors will work hard on your behalf, offering comprehensive legal advice at every step to ensure you receive the support you need during this difficult period.

Our family lawyers are in Milton Keynes, but our leading reputation means that we also deal extensively with clients from the surrounding areas and beyond, communicating remotely where necessary.

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Our Legal Expert Keshini Rajendra

Get to know us wih a call back, at a time that suits you. Let us offer some guidance and direction to start your journey with Heald Solicitors today.