Family Law Hub

Parental Responsibility

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  • The two sisters were aged 7 and 2. Their father had parental responsibility for them both, being named on their birth certificates, but was currently serving a term of life imprisonment for the attempted murder of their mother. The mother applied for termination of his parental responsibility, and to change their surname. HHJ Vincent noted that orders depriving a father of his parental responsibility and replacing his surname for another should only be made by a court where there was a solid and secure evidential and factual basis for doing so, and where the orders were in the best interests of the children concerned. In this case, there was a risk of harm to the girls if he were to exercise his parental responsibility for them, and he continued to be assessed as a high risk to the mother and the children. To permit the mother to change their names would be consistent with their welfare and enable her to act protectively. Thus the mother succeeded on both her applications. The father would be discharged of his parental responsibility for both girls and the mother would be permitted to change their names. Judgment, 26/05/2021, free
  • Parental responsibility after the separation of an unmarried same-sex couple who were not in a civil partnership, in circumstances where the prescribed HFEA forms were not completed due to an error at the IVF clinic. This had consequences for maintenance assessments and the child arrangements order. Theis J made the declaration of parentage sought by the applicant. Judgment, 29/03/2019, free
  • A Child Arrangements Order was made in favour of the child's aunt which allowed her to spend time with the child. A PR order was also made in favour of the aunt. Judgment, 06/02/2019, free
  • Application by biological father of the child for a declaration of parentage under Section 55A of the Family Law Act 1986 after the psychological mother (who had no genetic or gestational connection with the child) unlawfully removed the child to Bulgaria. The application was successful. Judgment, 10/12/2018, free
  • In this wrongful removal case, a declaration was made that the psychological mother (who had no genetic or gestational connection with the child) was not the birth mother and should be removed from the child's birth certificate. Judgment, 10/12/2018, free

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