News & Legal Updates
Sign up to news & legal updates
Parental Rights and Responsibilities (PRRs) can be defined as 'all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which a parent of a child has by law'. In simple terms, this means that anyone with PRRs has:-
1. A duty to look after the child and his or her well-being. This can entail providing a home, ensuring a proper education and protecting the child from harm;
2. The legal authority to carry out these parental responsibilities. This means someone with PRRs can make decisions on the child's behalf without having to seek permission. This can entail consenting to medical treatment, naming the child and agreeing to emigration.
Who has parental rights and responsibilities?
But who, exactly, has Parental Rights and Responsibilities? Indeed, it is a complicated area of the law, and we are often asked by fathers, grandparents, step-parents and guardians as to whether or not they too enjoy these rights and responsibilities.
The first point to clarify is that all mothers are automatically bestowed wit PRRs, although this is not to say that they necessarily have the right to contact and residence. They are different issues entirely and can be rescinded if the court believes this to be in the child's interest.
The second issue is that of fathers; this is where it becomes a little more complex. If a father is married to the mother at the time of conception or anytime thereafter, he will automatically enjoy PRRs. The same is true if a child was born after May 2006 and the father is named on the birth certificate. Otherwise, a father must take it upon himself to obtain PRRs, should he so wish. This can be achieved by filling in a form called the Parental Responsibilities and Parental Rights Agreement, although this can only be done if the mother agrees. Alternatively he can apply to the court for Parental Responsibilities Order.
The third and final factor to highlight is that people other than a child's father can obtain PRRs. This can include anyone who has an interest in the child, such as grandparent's, step-parents or guardians. This must also be done through the courts.
How can you get Parental Rights and Responsibilities?
If you wish to get Parental Rights and Responsibilities over a child, you must consider what options are available. If you are the father, it may be possible to reach an agreement with the mother. If not, or if you are another party such as a grandparent, you will need to apply for a Parental Responsibility Order. This can take some time, as the court must look at all the information and evidence that is available, often commissioning special reports and calling a number of hearings to establish what impact such an order might have. The court will then either grant or deny your application, depending upon what is best for the child.
Where can I find legal advice in Dundee and Edinburgh?
If you would like more advice on obtaining PRRs in Scotland, contact us today on 01382 229 222 (Dundee) or 0131 222 8000 (Edinburgh) and speak to one of our family solicitors. Alternatively complete the online enquiry on the right.
The opinions expressed in this site are of the author(s) only and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Blackadders LLP.
Blackadders takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the content of this site is accurate and up to date. The site is not, however, intended as a substitute for seeking legal or other professional advice but rather as an informative guide to the services provided by Blackadders and topical legal developments. Site visitors should always seek advice tailored to their specific situation. Consequently, Blackadders accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by anyone acting or failing to act on the basis of information contained on this site. Downloading of material contained on this site is at the user’s own risk and all necessary virus checks must first be carried out by the user. Blackadders is not responsible for the material found on any web sites linked to this one and links to this site may only be made with Blackadders prior consent.
Blackadders owns the copyright in this blog and all material contained on it. The material on this site may be downloaded for personal use only and must not be altered. Otherwise, Blackadders’ written consent is required before any material on this site is reproduced, copied or transmitted in any way.
Information passed to us via this site is kept confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties except if authorised by you or required by law.
© Blackadders LLP 2020
Members of the Law Society of Scotland.
Blackadders Solicitors is a trading name of Blackadders LLP, a limited liability partnership, registered in Scotland No SO301600 whose registered office is 30 & 34 Reform Street, Dundee, DD1 1RJ. Reference to a ‘partner’ is to a member of Blackadders LLP.Back to News & Legal Updates