A common question I am asked is whether a parent has Parental Responsibility for their child and what this means for them as a parent. 


This is a good question!


As a parent, it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities.


Parental Responsibility is used to describe the range of rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which parents have in relation to their children.


This includes things like providing food, clothing and shelter, making decisions about their child’s welfare, emotional support, and ensuring they receive an education.


But what if you don’t have Parental Responsibility; what are your options?

How Can You Get Parental Responsibility?


If you’re wondering how to get parental responsibility for your child, you’re not alone. 


Many parents find themselves in this situation, either because they’re unmarried or because they’re in a same-sex relationship. 


Whatever the reason, gaining parental responsibility can be a challenge.


But with the right information and support, it’s possible to get the legal recognition you need to care for your child. 


If you want to establish parental responsibility for a child, there are a few legal options available to you. 

  • You can either request an authorization from the child’s other parent to grant you parental rights; or
  • File a Motion with the Court for an order granting you responsibility. When filing a Motion you must submit proof that you should be established parental rights. 


But what happens if you’re a grandparent and want to request parental rights?


This is a little different. 


Generally speaking, the Courts prefer that the children live with their parents. If a grandparent is seeking parental rights of their grandchild, the following situations must apply:

  • Child’s parents are deceased;
  • Child’s parents have been deemed unfit to retain custody
  • Child’s parents consent to the grandparents request for custody.
  • Child lives with grandparent(s) for a year or more. 

What If There’s A Question On Who the Biological Father is?


In today’s society, there are many unplanned pregnancies. 


As a result, there are also many situations where the question of who the biological father is, comes into play. 


This can be a difficult situation for all involved. 


So what is the best course of action? 


First a determination of paternity must be established. This is done by a DNA test.


Once paternity is established, the biological father must take an action that recognizes him as such. 


Without this being done legally in a Court of law with all associated documentation and proceedings filed accordingly by both parties involved, there can be no assumption or recognition for any rights relating themselves towards each other’s child. 


Parental responsibility laws are in place to ensure that children are adequately taken care of and have the resources they need to thrive. 


If you are a parent, it’s important to be familiar with these laws and what they mean for you and your child. 


Knowing your rights and responsibilities as a parent will help ensure that both you and your child are protected under the law. 


Are you dealing with a situation where parental responsibility was an issue? Contact me today. I’m here to help!