Parental Responsibility Agreement – Derby Solicitors Parental responsibility basically means having the legal power to take the decisions for your children. These can be important decisions such as where they live, go to school, or religious or medical matters or more mundane issues such as what time they go to bed. You automatically have parental responsibility if you are the mother or you are the father and named as such on the birth certificate or married to the mother. Grandparents or anyone not coming within those categories do not have any parental responsibility. In other words they have no say on decisions and can only get it by entering into a parental responsibility agreement or by a court order. Once you have parental responsibility it is not lost simply because you get divorced. Unmarried parents An unmarried father can only get legal responsibility for his child in 1 of 3 ways: jointly registering the birth of the child with the mother (from 1 December 2003) getting a parental responsibility agreement with the mother getting a parental responsibility order from a court Parental responsibility is not concerned with the day-to-day care of the child however case-law has established that in certain circumstances parents are under a legal duty to consult and caselaw suggests differentiating between 3 different sorts of decisions: (a) Decisions that could be taken independently and without any consultation or notification to the other parent (b) Decisions where one parent would always need to inform the other parent of the decision, but did not need to consult or take the other parent’s views into account (c) Decisions that you would need to both inform and consult the other parent Though there is no absolute agreement, the rule of thumb is that the following matters require the consent of all those who have parental responsibility for the child: Change of surname (even where there is no residence order) Removing the child from the jurisdiction (i.e. England and Wales) for more than one month Committing to a serious and irreversible operation (except in an emergency) Change of school So if you do not have Parental Responsibility but want the legal right to have a say we can help you get this either by drawing up an agreement or applying for a court order. We can draft an agreement for a fixed fee as below: Our Fixed Fee – uncontested case Our fees: £300.00 VAT on fees: not applicable Total: £300.00 We will: Draft the agreement Make an appointment for you at your local Magistrates Court for formal signing Explain how to execute the agreement Lodge the agreement with the Court Why Pay a Fixed Fee? Unlike other solicitors who charge by the hour we work for a guaranteed fixed fee so you don’t need to worry about costs escalating out of control. For more information on our family law services click on the drop down menu or go back to divorce.