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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We are grateful for your work on our behalf. You ensured that the necessary process was done smoothly and efficiently and you have been a pleasure to deal with.

Mr G.

Excellent service and prompt replies to everything that we wanted. Very professional in these unusual times.

Mrs. S.

Very happy with McHale & Co dealing with my Mother’s Deed of Probate and sale of her house, very helpful during a difficult time.

Ms. C Jones

Outstanding service. A breath of fresh air!

Ms. M

I would like to thank McHale & Co Solicitors for their excellent work.
The support Helen provided me with was above and beyond, it was her professionalism and her personal and effective responses which made such a difficult time for me a lot more bearable.
I would have no hesitation in using McHale & Co again and will certainly recommend them to family, friends and colleagues.

Mrs B

On behalf of us both, I’d like to thank you Phillippa, for the support and guidance you have given us throughout this process, your service has been second to none.

Again, thank you so much.

Mr & Mrs M

I would like to thank Roberto for his help and support in dealing dealing with a recent case for my son. He was professional, caring and showed great sensitivity. He went above the cause of duty in his handling of the case. He made a very traumatic and stressful situation easy to bear. I will be eternally grateful to him. He is a great asset to McHale & Co. Once again Thank you.

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Thank you to all staff.

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Mrs G

I have dealt with Paul Fitton both by phone and email regarding advice about getting compensation from a world wide organisation. From the start Paul was professional, knowledgeable, friendly and gave very sound advice too. Plus I won the case. Thank you Paul, very much appreciated

Ms G

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