Unfortunately, the effects of a relationship breakdown are often extended to the children involved.

The most common issues which arise in terms of children are parental contact with the child and indeed which parent the child will live with on a day to day basis. These issues are known as residence and contact.

The legal issue here is parental responsibility, which is legally defined as “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities, and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property”.

As the law currently stands, a mother has automatic parental responsibility, irrespective of her marital status. Whether the father of the child also has parental responsibility depends upon whether he was married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth. A father only has parental responsibility if he is married to the mother when the child is born or has acquired it via one of the following routes:

  • (from 1 December 2003) by jointly registering the birth of the child with the mother
  • by a parental responsibility agreement with the mother
  • by a parental responsibility order, made by a court
  • by marrying the mother of the child

Either parent may apply to the Court for an Order known as a Residence or a Contact Order. A person does not necessarily need to have Parental Responsibility to apply for such an Order.

Where the courts are concerned, with any dispute where children are involved, the welfare of the child is of paramount importance. Ultimately, decisions will be made based upon what is best for the child.

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If you would like to know more about how our tailored services can best suit your needs, do not hesitate to get in touch. Although based in Greater Manchester, we can provide high-quality legal assistance to those who need it around the UK. Call us today on 0161 928 3848, or fill in the online contact form.

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I am very glad that I found your office and especially Helen Green. I enjoy dealing with people who know what they are doing.

Mr S

Grace Kennedy was friendly, professional and knowledgeable. Updating our wills was a very smooth and efficient process.

Mr W

The service and communication provided by Michaela throughout the process of dealing with my mum’s estate has been exemplary.

Mr E

Excellent customer service and attention to detail by Mr Hartley. Would certainly recommend to family and friends.

Ms Y

Pleasure to do business with McHale & Co. Everything is thoroughly explained, whatever questions we asked. Easy to make contact, we as a family have dealt with your company before and cannot fault any part of our dealing with yourselves.

Mrs L

Helen was excellent. Very clear in her explanations of options and implications of decisions made in our wills.

Mr & Mrs T

A big thank you to Grace Kennedy who went the extra mile and provided me with lots of information regarding making, signing and checking the process for me and after signing a list of use points and information. Excellent customer/client care.

Mr S

I feel that the people employed within this firm really listen and respond accordingly

Mrs S

Many thanks for your assistance with everything (Helen Green), you’ve made it all seem a lot more manageable at a difficult time.

Ms W

Helen, can I just thank you for the professional and thorough way in which you have dealt with this matter and your advice has been very welcome at times. Worth every penny for peace of mind.

Mr L

Extremely helpful and considerate. Very attentive . Nothing was too much trouble from the first phone call to receiving a hard copy of the will. Couldn’t have asked for more. I would not hesitate in recommending you to friends and family. A fantastic service all round. Thank you Michaela.

Mr M

I would like to thank you (Paul Fitton) for your most professional guidance and advice, I appreciate the effort and time you devoted to my issues on this subject.

Mr S

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