Parental rights and responsibilities
1. What is parental responsibility?
All mothers and most fathers have legal rights and responsibilities as a parent - known as ‘parental responsibility’.
If you have parental responsibility, your most important roles are to:
- provide a home for the child
- protect and maintain the child
If you have parental responsibility for a child you don’t live with, you don’t necessarily have a right to contact with them - but the other parent still needs to keep you updated about their well-being and progress.
You’re also responsible for:
- disciplining the child
- choosing and providing for the child’s education
- agreeing to the child’s medical treatment
- naming the child and agreeing to any change of name
- looking after the child’s property
Parents have to ensure that their child is supported financially, whether they have parental responsibility or not.