Q&As

Does a father have parental responsibility where the mother and father married and divorced outside the jurisdiction, the mother has remarried and returned to the UK, and the father has not been involved in the child's life since?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 24/10/2016

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:

  • Does a father have parental responsibility where the mother and father married and divorced outside the jurisdiction, the mother has remarried and returned to the UK, and the father has not been involved in the child's life since?
  • Case study

Case study

The parents of a child married and divorced in Turkey. The mother remarried and returned to the UK with the stepfather and the child. The father does not play a meaningful part in the child’s life. The stepfather wishes to make an application for adoption, change of name or parental responsibility. An issue has arisen as to whether the father has parental responsibility and whether the court will require him to be served with the applications.

It is often the case that a stepfather will wish formally to adopt the child of his new partner. This will enable both the grant of parental responsibility to the stepfather and the extinguishing of the parental responsibility of the biological father. For that reason adoption is powerful and draconian.

It is not clear in this scenario whether the biological father was married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth. The question of parental responsibility for a child born abroad and who moves to England and Wales is not straightforward. In principle England and Wales recognises that a party has parental responsibility if they obtained it in another county, pursuant to the Hague Convention on Parental Responsibility and Meas

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