Just because a person is a parent does not always mean that they would have the right to appoint a guardian for the kid/s. A parent must hold Parental Responsibility for the child in order to be able to assign a guardian for them. A parent with parental responsibility can appoint a guardian without any impediment from the other parent when that other parent does not hold Parental Responsibility.
Due to increasing numbers of unmarried parents and correlating situations of child illegitimacy changes were made to the law under the Family Law Reform Act 1987 so that it does not matter if couples are married or not in order for them to have parental responsibility.
In relation to The Children Act 1989 and the concepts of parental responsibility laid out within it, the following rules apply:
In England & Wales a mother would automatically assume parental responsibility upon the birth of her child. In the case of the father the acquisition of parental responsibility upon the birth of their child it is not necessarily automatic.
When it comes to births registered in England & Wales for the parental responsibility to be automatic for the father then he must be married to the child’s mother at the time of the birth. Should the parents later divorce then both of them would still retain parental responsibility.
When the mother and father are not married then the father would not gain an automatic right to parental responsibility. For births listed in England and Wales from December 2003 onwards if the father is to get parental responsibility it would be necessary for the father to be jointly listed on the English or Welsh birth certificate at the same time as the mother. Short of this parental responsibility could be acquired by either drawing up a parental responsibility agreement with the mother or by applying to the court for a parental responsibility order. If you’re a father with parental responsibility yet following a separation or divorce you can’t agree terms with the mother as to your parental rights to be with your child you can within England & Wales apply to the local county court or family proceedings court for a Child Arrangements Order to resolve the matter.
When a couple independently have kids they may wish to assume the position of step parent to their partner’s child or children and assume parental responsibility for them. This can be achieved by:
Marrying the parent and then creating a parental responsibility agreement with that parent.
Subject to agreement with the parent make an application to the court for parental responsibility.
In the situation where the woman is already pregnant before the couple get together the man could get parental responsibility for that baby by marrying the woman and jointly registering the birth with her. Other than this one of the first two options needs to be used.
Within England and Wales in the case of a couple who are in a civil partnership they would both assume parental responsibility if during the pregnancy and at the time of the birth they were both already in a civil partnership with each other. In the event of same sex partners who are not in a civil partnership with each other then the second intended parent would need to seek parental responsibility through either:
A. Becoming the civil partner of the parent and then creating a parental responsibility agreement with that parent,
B. Becoming the civil partner of the parent and jointly registering the birth with them
C. Subject to agreement with the parent make an application to the court for parental responsibility.
When a couple within England & Wales have both adopted a child together they would both then gain parental responsibility once the adoption goes through to completion. Any legal guardians such as adoptive parents will have the power to appoint a guardian.
Choosing The Right Person To Be Executor.
Why Have Multiple Executors?
Appointing An Executor.
Rules Surrounding Guardianship
Selecting Your Guardian
Appointing A Guardian
Money For Child And Guardian