parental responsibility

What is parental responsibility?

Every parent has some duties and responsibilities toward their children. These duties, rights, and responsibilities fall under the term parental responsibility. Whether you are a natural parent or has adopted a child, you have to fulfill your parenting responsibility. It ensures the safe and secure future of your kids. They also enable the parents to make decisions for their kids until they reach adulthood and competent enough to make decisions for themself. To understand what is a parental responsibility, you need to understand below rights and obligations that it gives to you as a parent:  

  • Choosing the name for your kids
  • Ensuring proper housing for your children.
  • Making sure to provide a safe and healthy environment for kids
  • Deciding about means of education or your kids.
  • Right to make decisions for medical treatments of children
  • Disciplining and preparing children for social interactions.
  • Safeguarding the assets and property of kids.

Parents’ legal responsibility provides rights to parents for taking all decisions that impact their children’s life. These may include the decisions related to religion, cultural upbringing, residence, and other vital aspects of their social and family life.

Parties that can have parental responsibility for a child

Generally, three parties can have a parental responsibility lets checkout these parties below:-

  • Natural mother – The natural mother of a child automatically gets parenting responsibility at the time of the birth of her child. The mother always bears these responsibilities but, things can be different in the case of the father.
  • Father who is registered in birth certificate – Married or not, the father has to fulfill parental duties if he is on the child’s birth certificate. If you are a father but not married to the mother of a child or not registered as the father on a birth certificate, you do not have any parental responsibilities.
  • Civil partners of the mother mentioned as a parent in birth certificate – If the mother has a civil partner or same-gender partner who is a legal parent on the birth certificate, the civil partner has an obligation of fulfilling his parental responsibility.
parental responsibility

The Child can live with people like step-parents and relatives, but this does not mean that they have parental responsibility for the child. The parents cannot pass on parental responsibility to anyone else until the below conditions are applicable:-

  • When you choose to adopt the child legally
  • When the court makes a residence order
  • Being made guardian with parental responsibility.

Does parental responsibility apply if you do not live with your children?

If you are separated from the mother or father of your child and are not living with them, legal parental responsibility still has a role in your life. You must have heard about child maintenance which a parent has to ensure for the wellbeing and education of the child. The parent with custody of a child has to consult the other parent for decisions affecting the child’s life, like deciding to move abroad. However, it does not mean that it requires the consent of both parents for even minor routine decisions.

Legal parenting responsibility is not for forever

Male or female parents are not liable to bear the parental legal responsibility of their child for a lifetime. There are conditions which when applicable, can end the parental responsibility of parents. Below are those conditions:-

  • As per the laws in the different states of the country, parents are liable to perform their legal responsibility for the parent only till they cross the age of 18 years. Though, some exceptions can increase these age guidelines to up to 21 years in some states.
  • An adoption order from the court ends your parental responsibility, transferring it to the new parents. Order from transfer all right and duties for child’s upbringing to parents with granted parental responsibility.

If you have any kinds of doubts or questions related to your parenting responsibilities, it is wise to take the help of a family lawyer. To prevent any parenting conflicts and legal issues, you should understand the legal parenting responsibility that applies to you.

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