Parental Responsibility often referred to as ‘PR’ is defined in law by the Children Act 1989 as:

‘…all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property.’

People with parental responsibility are entitled to have a say in major decisions about the child, such as where a child should live, where they should go to school, what (if any) religion a child should have, what name they should have, the giving or withholding of medical treatment and dealing with their money or property.

A child’s mother automatically has parental responsibility and does not lose it if she and the child’s father separate, whether or not they were married. For fathers the position is more complex and depends on whether he was married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth or after and depending on when a child was born, whether they are on the child’s birth certificate. PR can be gained by agreement or by making an application to the court.

Carers of a child can in certain circumstances prescribed by law can gain Parental Responsibility even though not a parent.

Guidance on whether you have PR or can gain it by agreement or an application to the court and support throughout the process is provided in accordance with your particular circumstances.


If you would like more information and/or a written guide in relation to this please contact us.