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Parental Responsibility is defined in the Children Act 1989 as:‘All the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, a parent of a child has in relation to the child and their property.’

Parental Rights & Responsibilities: Who has them?

Having Parental Rights over a child, is the recognition of having the power to make appropriate decisions concerning the upbringing of the child for including for example; their education, religion, residence and healthcare. With parental rights come parental responsibilities; essentially the duty to care for and protect your child. Parental Rights are legally distinct from being recognised as a child’s mother or father.

Who has Parental Rights?

The mother of a child-

  • Automatically has parental rights

The father of a child-

  • Does not automatically have parental rights.
  • If the father is married to the mother or subsequently marries her, he obtains parental rights.
  • The Family Law Scotland Act 2006 provided that a father has automatic Parental rights if he is on the child’s birth certificate.

How to obtain Parental Rights?

  • Fathers with no Parental rights, Grandparents, Step-Parents, aunts and uncles etc. can apply to Court to be granted Parental Rights over a child;
  • By entering into a voluntary Parental Responsibility Agreement with the mother.

In court when faced with an application for Parental Rights, the interests of the child are always honoured as the most important factor in the application.

Applying for Parental Rights

At Miller Samuel Hill Brown we provide clear expert advice on all aspects of family law. Let us help you. Please contact our family lawyers, specialists in Parental Responsibility Rights, Edward Laverty or Charles Brown on 01412211919 or fill in our online contact form.

Get Legal Advice, call: 01412211919

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