What is Parental Responsibility?

Kelly Grigg, a family lawyer at Richard Nelson LLP, explains what parental responsibility is in the UK and the laws surrounding which parent automatically has parental responsibility. Grigg also outlines how unmarried fathers can acquire parental responsibility.

Richard Nelson LLP is a leading firm for 2021, part of the legal 500. Our family lawyers have been accredited by the Law Society for Family Law and Children Law.


What is parental responsibility?

Section 3 of the Children Act defines Parental Responsibility as “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority that by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property.”

Who has parental responsibility?

A mother of a child will automatically have PR for the child irrespective of her marital status. A father will automatically have PR if he was married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth or subsequently marries the mother of his child.

Otherwise, Unmarried fathers have to acquire PR and this can be done in a number of ways, including:

  • Being registered as the Father on the child’s birth certificate
  • Entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement with the child’s mother
  • By Court order


Work with a family law specialist

Get in touch with Kelly to discuss parental responsibility in greater depth:Tel: 0333 888 40404


Or contact Richard Nelson LLP online.

Kelly Grigg is a family solicitor with a wealth of experience helping a wide range of clients on family law matters.

With years of experience comes the understanding that every family is different. Kelly offers assistance and representation at court on family law matters including divorce and separation; pre- and post-nuptial agreements; children matters; unmarried couples; financial matters; and domestic abuse and protection orders.

At what is a stressful and emotional time, Kelly prides herself in avoiding legal speak. She will clearly explain your options and the processes involved, so you feel in control every step of the way.

Kelly understands that family life can be hectic at the best of times and is happy to make arrangements for out of hours appointments where needed.


“I really can’t thank you enough for all you have done for me with my divorce. The process has been made easier by your understanding of my situation and the care you have provided. I breathe a sigh of relief that it’s nearly over and my future is a whole lot happier and brighter.”

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“Kelly is a professional, friendly and supportive Solicitor. She helped my son gain access to his daughter, advising him every step of the way. I would highly recommend Kelly.”

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