As a parent we all of us want to have the right to make - or be involved in the making of - important decisions regarding the well being of our children. However it is not always the case that things are cut and dry when it comes to the making of such decisions especially if the parents are (a) not married or (b) no longer living together as the result of a marital breakdown.
There are ways in which this problem can be alleviated and providing both parties agree they can both enter into what is known as a Parental Responsibility Agreement.
What is a Parental Responsibility Agreement?
A Parental Responsibility Agreement is - for want of a better description - a contract entered into by both parents and witnessed by two independent witnesses and a clerk of the court. This agreement allows both parents to have responsibility for the well being of their child or children or can give authorisation to allow the unmarried father to have responsibility for his child in the absence of the mother. Likewise the father also has the right to be consulted when it comes to making decisions with the mother which may have a major impact on the child's (or children's) well being.
Why is a Parental Responsibility Agreement Necessary?
Unfortunately the law is not really in favour of fathers who are not living with the mother of their children and as such it is necessary to having something set out legally telling those in authority that the child's (or children's) father does indeed have the right to make decisions as to their well being either in the mother's absence or jointly with her.
The law in the United Kingdom is usually always in favour of the mother when it comes to decisions relating to the children unless there are issues of neglect or abuse which render her incapable or not allowed to look after them. To this end a Parental Responsibility Agreement also ensures that the father can - if needs be - take legal action if he thinks the child (or children) are not receiving suitable care under the mother's guidance.
How Do We Make a Parental Responsibility Agreement?
Providing both parties are happy to do so the process is actually quite straightforward. If you have access to the Internet you can download copies of the forms from HM Court's Service website. If you do not have access to the Internet you can obtain them from your local family court - or ask a solicitor to obtain them for you. Once the forms are filled out and signed by both parties , and witnesses for both parties, they must be returned to the family court where they should be signed by a Justice of the Peace (JP) or registrar with the appropriate permissions.
Once this has been done the forms are then sent to the Principal Registry for the Family Division where they are copied and returned - one to each parent stamped. The agreement proper does not commence until the date on which both parents have received their stamped copies of the agreement.
Can I Cancel a Parental Responsibility Agreement?
You can make an application for the agreement to be cancelled but this has to be done by the court and reasons as to why the agreement should be cancelled must be proffered in person. Or an application can be made on behalf of the child (or children) named in the agreement if there is suitable grounds to think that neglect or abuse is taking place.
Otherwise the Parental Responsibility Agreement will continue to stay in operation and remain legal until the child (or children) have reached the age of adulthood which is eighteen.
starts acting out at school and my mum turns around and tells people he's violent. During arguments she will randomly scream out to make it out to neighbours that he is hitting or threatening her when he's not. she has contacted family services and tells them he hits her when he doesnt and just stands up to bullying and trying to move her out of the way when he tries to escape she barricades the door with her body so the only method of escape is to shove her out of the way . I know this to be true as i myself suffered this and much worse while growing up with her . unfortunately we didn't tell my dad the full extent of her torture till after we grew up. I m just afraid now that she will get a court order and exaggerate twist stories and put on a act to display the concerned mother act. and since they will see he has been clothed and fed and no marks on his body they will rule in favor of her even though he is terrified to go back and terrified of her. He has expressed to me if he has to go back he'll kill himself and this is a 14yr old boy. He is happy living with me his dad and our other brother. and we have a safe home and my dad is on his birth certficate so does that mean he will automaticaly have parental responsibility. We are not stopped her from seeing her but she is capable of anything if she doesnt get her own way as she treats her kids as her slaves who should obey her commands . What will happen in the court and if he himself says he doesnt want to live with her all after being there nearly 14years will courts force him to go back? as i fear next time something serious might happen where he or she could get hurt knowing her unstable and unpredictable torture methods which forces someone to get physical in order to escape her mental brutality
raisa - 16-Jun-16 @ 7:52 PM
Hi I am a 30years old and an older sister. My younger brother is 14 at this point and has undergone alot of mental torture and abuse by my mother who has a serious undiagnosed personality disorder.3 years ago I approached social services who said I was a third party therefore unless there are scars and neglect that you can see with naked eye that they can't do anything. i reported her to the GP who said they cannot force her to get medical help since she is very disturbed and can get violent and aggressive when we discuss or try to suggest she get help as she is arrogant and in complete denial. The GP atleast contacted social services who did visit on the GP's advice and in one sitting when my younger brother was 11 made the decision everything was fine. Even though child abuse emotionally is very serious as it can affect a child's development and personality and cause serious damage to their life it is not taken seriously by authorities. When she has her episodes i tried calling the police who in turn scold me as as soon as they arrive she changes her face and acts like a old innocent woman who turns around and plays the victim instead. I contacted our dad who lived abroad as her abuse got worse and who came over here and settled down and both me and my other 27year old brother live with him now as we had to establish a second place to live in order for somewhere for my younger brother to go to . Eventually after years of emotional torture he finally ran away with little but clothes on his back to our house where he s been living for past two weeks. We get her coming around shouting and banging on door alot of abuse and threats and have reported this to the police a few times. They have recommended we call the raid team. However eventually if she does take our a court order i'm wondering what will happen as he has finally stood up and escaped a very mentally damanging and abusive situation will he be forced to go back since he has lived with her since birth. She has had contact with my dad regularly for last 3years and both me and my brother lived with him in her house till he was 11 to try and protect him from her but it was really difficult and we had to get out of the house.It broke my heart to leave him there but I had no choice as i wasn't able to protect him much in the house atleast when i contacted my dad we have set up this home near to her house where he can run to if he needs. She starts bullying and picking on him everyday and throws him out of the house in the middle of night on a weekly basis because of her anger mental issues and then when my younger brother tries to escape she'll lock all doors takes his key and grabs and smashes phones if he tries to call police and therefore he is literally imprisoned in a mentally abusive environment being belittled and put down and broken down for hours and hours. her abuse lasts for hours and mostly at night and with not being able to get sleep or peace he sometimes starts acting o
raisa - 16-Jun-16 @ 7:40 PM
When my ex-husband and I initially separated in November 2008 it was only upon the written agreement we had made between ourselves and the understanding that if I was to allow our Son, Harvey to remain living with his father and not be uprooted then I would always have unquestionable and unsupervised access to our Son on a 50/50 basis.
Matters were fine for two years, there was no Court involved things were all fine and I was seeing Harvey three times a week unsupervised, and our Son was very happy, but then all of a sudden my ex met a new woman so I was 'no longer required'.Sadly she cannot have children so she has now taken my Son and become his new Mother as I was given the title 'Naughty Mummy' and she is 'Nice Mummy'.
She tried to dispose of me by hitting me with her car which was witnessed by a on-looker as my name is on the deeds of the property in which she is living with my ex and my Son
It has almost been 3 years since I last saw my Boy - I dread to think what he could be getting told, I just hope that he knows how much I Love him and I will NEVER give up.
Alderney - 6-Apr-16 @ 3:53 PM
@cheetahclub. You haven't said how old your daughter is so we cannot really advise.
LawAndParents - 8-Jul-15 @ 12:17 PM
My daughter wants to leave home, social svs are sorting this out, she is verbally abusive all the time towards me, records all conversations on a mobile phone. tells me she knows her rights all the time.she doesn't eat the food properly so wastes half of it, social svs say I must give her money to buy food (her child benefit £20) isn't enough to buy food for a wk, but parental right is to feed her, keep a roof over head. she ran off last wk and the police had to bring her back. ive told social svs I want no part of this (we had a cin in place).what are my rights as a single mother
cheetahcub - 3-Jul-15 @ 11:24 PM
when my children where born i signed a parental agreement does that mean they are legitimated
jess - 5-Oct-12 @ 7:18 PM
My little boy was born in'06. At the time I gave birth his father and I were not on very good terms at all. I was advised not to have him at the birth by the domestic violent team from the police.
Therefore he was not on the birth certificate, he later took me to court and was given parental responsibility and I was given a residence order.
Over the years my son visits his dad at his paternal grandparents once a fortnight. His father is often in trouble with the police, has no permanent address and no income.
I've recently been given the oppourtunity to move to the UAE. My sons father has agreed this is in our sons best interest and we have signed an agreement. I am to make our sons as available as I can taking into account work and school commitments. He will be able to contact him on the phone. I have given the address I'm moving to and advised I will come back to the uk at least once a year.
My sons father has asked to be put on the birth certificate. My questions are, could this affect us getting a visa? Would it affect my son in the future (I.e job wise) as his father has a criminal record? Would he have more rights? Could this affect us badly in anyway? Please help.
Andre3000 - 20-Jun-12 @ 10:57 PM
Hi..My ex husband has had no contact with our two children for the last five years,I have recently found out that he has been to their school to ask about their education,is it right that he can not only continue to do this throughout their education,but he can turn up at their school and take them away,even though he gave up his contact rights five years ago in a solicitors letter?? Is there anything that I can do to protect my children from such a thing from happening??