Q&As

A father has signed a declaration of parentage, and there is no dispute as to paternity, in relation to a child where he was not married to the mother and has not met the child. The mother is the child’s carer and has made a claim under Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989. If the mother were to die, could another person make a claim under Sch 1? If a guardian is appointed by the mother, will they have parental responsibility and assume the care of the child in the event of the mother’s death, or will care fall with the father if still living?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 14/08/2018

The following Family Q&A Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A father has signed a declaration of parentage, and there is no dispute as to paternity, in relation to a child where he was not married to the mother and has not met the child. The mother is the child’s carer and has made a claim under Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989. If the mother were to die, could another person make a claim under Sch 1? If a guardian is appointed by the mother, will they have parental responsibility and assume the care of the child in the event of the mother’s death, or will care fall with the father if still living?

Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989) enables the court to make orders for financial provision for the benefit of a child against the other parent. ChA 1989, Sch 1 is ordinarily utilised where the parents are not married and, therefore, on separation, there is no scope for an application for financial remedies pursuant to the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The powers of the court are more limited in a ChA 1989, Sch 1 application, but the court can make orders for periodical payments, lump sums, or the settlement or transfer of property.

ChA 1989, Sch 1(1) provides that an application may be made by a parent, guardian or special guardian of the child. A guardian for these purposes is a guardian under ChA 1989, s 5.

ChA 1989, s 5 allows an individual to make an application to the court for an order that that individual be appointed the child’s guardian. The criteria in ChA 1989, s 5(1) are that:

  1. the child has n

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