Parents’ Rights & Parental Responsibility

15Safeguarding and protecting your children is the most important thing in life for a parent and that means doing all you can to ensure that your children are properly cared for. You may also sometimes need to take action to safeguard your rights as a parent and this is never more likely to be the case than when divorce, remarriage or single parenthood are brought into play.

Tayntons’ child law solicitors, based in Gloucester, are highly experienced in handling parents’ rights and parental responsibility issues, making it as simple and straightforward as possible for parents to resolve any uncertainty or disputes over their legal relationship to their children.

For initial advice and to discuss your legal options, we offer an initial consultation of up to 45 minutes for a fixed fee of £75 + VAT.

Speak to one of our family law solicitors now by calling 0800 158 4147 or request a call back and a member of our team will be in touch promptly.

Understanding parental responsibility

What parental responsibility involves

Parental responsibility establishes your authority, rights and powers as a child’s parent, as well as your duties towards your child. This includes:

  • Providing a home
  • Having contact with or living with your child
  • Protection and maintenance
  • Discipline
  • Choosing and providing for your child’s education
  • Determining the religion of your child
  • Agreeing to medical treatment
  • Naming and agreeing to any change of your child’s name
  • Accompanying your child outside of the UK and agreeing to emigration should the issue arise
  • Your child’s property
  • Allowing confidential information about your child to be disclosed

Who has parental responsibility?

Exactly who has parental responsibility for a child will depend on the circumstances.

A child’s birth mother will automatically have parental responsibility, except where she has given her child up for adoption or the child has been taken into care.

A man who was married to a child’s biological mother when the child was born will normally have parental responsibility whether he is the child’s biological father or not.

If the father was not married to the mother, he will have parental responsibility only if he was listed on the birth certificate (where the child was born after 1 December 2003 in England and Wales).

A woman who was married or in a civil partnership with a child’s birth mother at the time of the birth will normally have parental responsibility, while male same-sex partners who use a surrogate to have a child will normally need to apply for parental responsibility through a court.

How we can help you secure parental responsibility

If you need to establish parental responsibility for a child, there are various options we can assist you with. The most common options are:

Making a parental responsibility agreement – It is often possible to establish parental responsibility by making a voluntary agreement with those who already have it. We can advise and represent you during discussions over this, helping you to reach an amicable agreement.

Applying for a parental responsibility order – If you cannot voluntarily agree to share parental responsibility, you may need to apply to a court for a parental responsibility order. This will normally involve attending a court hearing. We can help you prepare your case and represent you in court to give you the best chance of a positive outcome.

Why choose Tayntons for parental responsibility and parents’ rights?

Our family lawyers have many years of experience dealing with the law around parental responsibility and parents’ rights. We can provide experienced, specialist advice and representation to help you quickly resolve any issues related to your rights as a parent, usually without the need for court action.

Our family law team is Law Society accredited for Children Law, reflecting our high level of expertise in legal matters involving children. We have particular skill in non-confrontational dispute resolution, with several of our team being members of Resolution – an organisation committed to removing the conflict from family law.

Tayntons has been awarded the Law Society’s Lexcel accreditation reflecting the excellence of our practice management and client care.

Get in touch with our parental responsibility lawyers in Gloucester

Looking for help with any issues related to parental responsibility and parents’ rights in Gloucester, Cheltenham, the Forest of Dean or anywhere in Gloucestershire?

Please contact us today by calling 0800 158 4147, emailing us at or requesting a call back.

Get in touch

To contact us please call 0800 158 4147 or 03330 145451 or email

Contact us
  • Call us

  • Make an enquiry