Parental Rights and Responsibilities Explained
Both parents of a child, and anyone who has been formally appointed as a guardian, usually have Parental Rights and Responsibilities (PRRs) in respect of that child. Mothers will automatically have PRRs, whereas fathers will have them in circumstances where they are either married to the mother, or where (since May 2006) they are named as the father on the child’s birth certificate. Otherwise, PRRs can be acquired either through the appointment of a guardian in a Will or, in certain circumstances, by court order.
PRRs include the right to take decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, their health, development and welfare, and to maintain a relationship with them even if they are not the parent with whom the child lives for the majority of the time.
Divorce and Children
It is sometimes the case that in the wake of a separation, parties struggle to agree the arrangements for their children or other matters relating to their welfare. In those circumstances, we have experience guiding parents to resolve matters by way of direct discussion, mediation, or through solicitors if required, with a view to having those arrangements formalised in a Minute of Agreement.
Where resolution cannot be reached, our team is experienced in making applications to the court in respect of arrangements for your children as appropriate. The court’s primary consideration in any application in relation to children will be to determine what is in their best interests, and it is this principle that our team also bears in mind when giving advice or negotiating as required. It is important to note that courts are not prepared to make orders unless they are considered necessary, and we can advise you as to whether or not your circumstances warrant an application to the court or if an alternative method of dispute resolution might be more appropriate. You can find more information on alternative methods of dispute resolution here.
Our solicitors have particular experience with relocation cases, within the United Kingdom and abroad, in terms of making or opposing an application to the court to be allowed to relocate.
International Child Abduction
If the worst should happen, our team’s size and experience means that we are well-placed to take immediate action in urgent situations. We can raise actions immediately following one parent taking a child abroad and failing to return them. We can advise clients who are concerned and wish to take certain precautions, or who wish to retrieve a child who has been relocated without permission.