Often issues about where the children are to live and how much time they are to spend with each parent can be the most fraught and sensitive to deal with.
If following negotiation or mediation, issues cannot be resolved, then a Court application may prove to be necessary for residence or contact orders.
A Mother will acquire parental responsibility for a child automatically. A Father will require parental responsibility if he is married to the child’s Mother or if he is named on the child’s birth certificate for children registered after the 1 December 2003 or if he has entered into a parental responsibility agreement with the Mother. However, if a Father does not have parental responsibility, then a Court application may be necessary in the absence of agreement.
Step-parents are also now able to apply for parental responsibility for children.
Parental responsibility can cover issues such as education, medical matters, holidays and permission to leave the country permanently. If there is an issue regarding the exercise of parental responsibility, then an application for a Specific Issue Order or a Prohibited Steps Order may be necessary.