Parental responsibility is a legal concept that consists of the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority that most parents have in respect of their children. It includes the right to give consent to medical treatment.
Normally the consent of all those with parental responsibility is needed before a child’s name can be changed or they are taken out of the country. A parental responsibility agreement gives those rights. An unmarried father often does not have such rights.
A parental responsibility agreement is particularly useful:
- For unmarried fathers where the child was born before 1st December 2003.
- In cases where an unmarried father of a child born after 1st December 2003 is not on the birth certificate for some reason.
- Where couples marry and the other party already has a child.
- In all civil partnerships where either party already has a child, or gives birth or the couple become civil partners.
What is included in the fixed fee?
Our fees: £420.00
VAT on fees: £84.00
You will be provided with email and a telephone number to enable you to have ready contact with your lawyer.
Your lawyer will:
- Draw up the agreement
- Make an appointment for you at your local Magistrates Court for formal signing.
- Explain how the document is signed and witnessed.
- Send the agreement to the Family Division of the High Court to be registered.
- Send sealed copies to you when we get them.
- Advise for up to 30 minutes on the issues that can arise such as those below.
Provided the case is straightforward and all parties are in agreement there should be no additional costs. However, you should be aware that sometimes issues do arise in relation to decisions that can be taken independently by one parent without any consultation or notification to the other parent:
- How the children are to spend their time living during contact
- Personal care for the children
- Activities undertaken
- Religious and spiritual pursuits
- Continuance of medicine prescribed by GP
- Decisions where one parent would always need to inform the other parent of the decision, but did not need to consult or take the other parent’s views into account
- Medical treatment in an emergency
- Booking holidays or to take the children abroad in contact time
- Planned visits to the GP and the reasons for this.
- Decisions when it is necessary both to inform and to consult the other parent prior to making the decision
- School where the children are to attend, including admissions applications. With reference to which senior school a child should attend, this is to be decided taking into account the child’s own views and in consultation and with advice from existing teachers
- Contact rotas in school holidays
- Planned medical and dental treatment
- Stopping medication prescribed for the children
- Attendance at school functions so they can be planned to avoid meetings between the parents wherever possible.
- Age when the children should be able to watch films/videos, i.e. film/video is recommended children over 12 and 18
These issues may require additional, and sometimes detailed and complex negotiation. If your lawyer is involved then they will advise you in advance of any additional charge for this work.
Why pay a fixed fee?
By paying a fixed fee at the start of your case you have certainty about the costs involved. The alternative is to pay an hourly rate for the time your lawyer spends on your case. We believe you should pay for the work that needs to be done, rather than the time it takes to do it.