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"parental responsibility"....anyone know anything about it in a legal sense?

(16 Posts)
ThisBoyDerekDrew Wed 23-Sep-09 17:38:04

Just had a form home from DDs nursery asking us to provide info on who has parental responsibility for DD....along with definitions for what constitutes "Parental responsibility".

Basically - because DP and I aren't married - and DTDs were born before Dec 2003 I don't think he has any parental responsibility for them.

Now I think that this means that he cannot consent to medical treatment. I know that because we are not married he does not automatically get custody if I should die...but I didn't eralise about teh medical consent.

Secondly...I think that I can agree to him having parental responsibility. Is that just a case of us sitting in our house and me telling him he can have parental responsibility... or is it more formal than that (it isn't clear from the letter that talks about courts as to whether the court is only involved if there needs to be a court order because of disagreement).


LadyMuck Wed 23-Sep-09 17:47:17

Are you in England?

If so than he can get PR by either marrying you or by you both signing a parental responsibility order. The second page gives you details as to how you get this registered.

ThisBoyDerekDrew Wed 23-Sep-09 17:55:48


Problem is that I have no (current) photo ID...

Ho hum

ThisBoyDerekDrew Wed 23-Sep-09 20:55:50

Oh and the other important point.

My interpretation of the letter I got from nursery regarding DD3 who was born in 2006 is that DP DOES have parental responsibility because he was with me when we registered the birth. Is that correct?

mmrred Thu 24-Sep-09 23:54:02

Yes that's right. There are a few things it affects. Is that a problem?

LeninGrad Fri 25-Sep-09 00:11:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

floatyjosmum Fri 25-Sep-09 00:27:45

ur right that he has pr for 1 and not the other, you can sort it through the court really easily if you agree to him having it.

not having pr would mean he cant sign for medical stuff etc and it might sound daft but school trips etc.

dads with pr can ask school for copies of reports etc (say if parents are seperated) and school has to provide them,
dads with out pr do not have to be allowed a say in schools etc but a dad with pr is meant to be consulted (makes more sense when parents arent together)

mumoverseas Fri 25-Sep-09 04:30:49

Yes, he has PR for DD3 but not DTD's.
Very easy to rectify as others have said. You can enter into a parental responsibility agreement (far cheaper than getting married unless of course you want to get married!) You can pick up the forms from your local Court and they will give you guidance on completing them.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 26-Sep-09 00:44:56

Getting married doesn't have to be expensive:

"In England and Wales, it costs £30 per person to give notice of intent to marry or register a civil partnership. A register office ceremony costs £40. A marriage certificate costs £3.50.

In Scotland, it costs £26 per person to give notice of intent to marry or register a civil partnership. A register office ceremony costs £46.50. A marriage certificate costs £8.50.

In Northern Ireland, it costs £15 per person to give notice of intent to marry or register a civil partnership. A register office ceremony costs:
• Monday to Friday, 09.00 to 17:00: £25
• Monday to Friday, 05:00 to 20:00: £87
• Saturday, 09.00 to 17:00pm: £87
• Sundays, Bank Holidays and all other times: £125.00
A marriage certificate costs £5.50."

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 26-Sep-09 00:46:16

Sorry, link for the quote comes from here. The other link is weddings on the cheap.

ThisBoyDerekDrew Sat 26-Sep-09 10:50:00

Thanks - have only just come back to this.

I guess that it just surprised me that he wouldn't be able to consent to medical treatment. And although I don't anticipate that being a problem...what if they need emergency medical treatment and I am not available??? That was the main clause that "got" me.

Marriage isn't an option at the moment - given that we are living in a period of instability after he decided he wanted to leave a few weeks back (although he has since reconsidered we are obviously still on fragile ground as far as a long term relationship is concerned IYSWIM).

bigstripeytiger Sat 26-Sep-09 11:39:41

If your children need emergency medical treatment then they will get it, it may be preferable to have consent, but in an emergency, if you werent there your children would be treated in their best interests, they wouldnt be allowed to come to harm just because you werent available.

ThisBoyDerekDrew Sat 26-Sep-09 13:51:19


yerblurt Sat 26-Sep-09 18:48:33

As others have said if the child needed emergency medical treatment then that would be provided.

For other routine medical matters (vaccinations etc) then for the child dad doesn't have PR for he cannot consent to such medical treatment. This will also include dental treatment.

Other matters such as adoption occur, say you separate and the child is put up for adoption - as dad does not have PR he will know nothing about this (as he has no legal rights) so he would need to put an applicaiton into court for his own child.

Basically father has the same legal rights and responsibilities as the next door neighbour!

It is a simple matter to get PR and I suggest you investigate the parental responsibilty agreement route, very simple to do.

ThisBoyDerekDrew Sun 27-Sep-09 15:59:03

Thing is (point of debate now more than fact finding) - how does the dfentist for example know that he doesn't have PR? They have his surname - not mine....and they call him dad (obviously). Same with school. How do they know he doesn't have PR when it comes to signing consent forms for trips? I tend to sign all the forms cos he leaves that to me. Sometimes I think it would look a bit less odd if he did as at least it would be signed with their surname...but would they actually refuse it? Would they even notice?

He probably takes them to 2 out of 3 routine dental appointments as he is actually their main carer. He does sign a form when they go in - but not sure if that is a consent to "treatment" (i.e. a checkup) or whether it is just the NHS form for free dental care...

WRT the parental agreement thing...I have no current photo ID (passport has expired) so that will take time (and money!) to sort unfortunately.

TBH I kind of don't see it as a huge deal in some least in the short term.

pregnantpeppa Wed 30-Sep-09 00:11:53

Re photo ID, you could ask a "responsible person" such as a solicitor or doctor or policeman to sign your photo with a letter to say they know who you are, have known you for X time and certify that this is a true likeness. Court is likely to accept if you also provide letter confirming you don't have any other photo ID. Do you know such a responsible person who could do that for you? You then just go along to the court office of your local county court together, you don't need an appointment.

Re PR its really up the dentist, drs etc to satisfy themselves that adult giving consent is able to do so (and most adults with day to day care can give consent so I suppose its a reasonable assumption) rather than your worry but you may one day run into trouble when your DC need some treatment & your DH runs into someone officious.

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