Parental responsibility—client guide
Parental responsibility—client guide

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Parental responsibility—client guide
  • What is parental responsibility?
  • Who has parental responsibility?
  • How do I get parental responsibility?

This document provides general guidance regarding parental responsibility for a child. Your family lawyer will be able to provide specific advice based on your circumstances.

What is parental responsibility?

Parental responsibility 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:

  1. where the child should live

  2. where they should go to school

  3. what (if any) religion the child should have

  4. what name they should have

  5. the giving or withholding of medical treatment, and

  6. dealing with their money or property