LEEDS OFFICE 
Trading as Avery Walters Ellis Solicitors 
 
HARROGATE OFFICE 
Trading as Powell Eddison Solicitors 
 

Parental Responsibility and Unmarried Fathers 

Parental Responsibility is what gives a parent (or step-parent) legal rights and responsibility for a child and therefore authorises them to make decisions about a child’s upbringing. 
The following persons automatically have Parental Responsibility of a child: 

01.  

The mother 

02.  

A father who is married to the child’s mother at the time the child is born or later marries the childs’ mother 

03.  

A father who is registered after 1 December 2003 on the child’s birth certificate 

04.  

A person who adopts a child 
A person such as an unmarried father not named on the birth certificate or a grandparent in certain circumstances can acquire Parental Responsibility by consent of those other persons with Parental Responsibility or by Order of the Court. If Parental responsibility is obtained by consent of the persons who have parental responsibility then a formal Agreement would need to be prepared and approved by the court 
 
If you have parental responsibility, your most important roles are to: 

01.  

provide a home for the child 

02.  

protect and maintain the child 

03.  

disciplining the child 

04.  

choosing and providing for the child’s education 

05.  

agreeing to the child’s medical treatment 

06.  

naming the child and agreeing to any change of name 

07.  

looking after the child’s property 
Parents have to ensure that their child is supported financially, whether they have parental responsibility or not. 
 
If you have parental responsibility for a child who does not live with, you do not necessarily have a right to contact with them - but the other parent still needs to keep you updated about their well-being and progress. 
Amanda Cuthbert 
Family Law Solicitor 

START YOUR CASE TODAY 

 
Phone: 0113 200 7480 
 
Email: ac@averywalters.com 
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