Home > Raising Grandchildren > Obtaining Parental Responsibility

Obtaining Parental Responsibility

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 7 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Parental Responsibility residence Order

Though they are blood relatives grandparents have no automatic, legal rights or responsibilities to care for their grandchildren. If such rights and responsibilities are desired, however, grandparents do have the option of going through the court and being granted these privileges. Adopting the children or making them a ward of the court could result in grandparents legally assuming a role in the children’s upbringing, but these are drastic measures. More commonly grandparents assume legal rights and responsibilities toward their grandchildren through Residence Orders or Parental Responsibility Orders.

Residence Orders

If a child has been living with his or her grandparent for three years then the grandparent is able to apply for a Residence Order. A Residence Order establishes that the child is living with the grandparent, and also provides the grandparent with Parental Responsibility for the child. Depending upon his or her circumstances, the grandparent may also become eligible to be paid allowances for his or her grandchild from the local authority. If a child has not been living with his or her grandparent for three years the grandparent can still ask the court for permission to apply for a Residence Order.

Parental Responsibility Orders

If a grandparent is awarded a Residence Order for his or her grandchild then the grandparent automatically assumes Parental Responsibility for the child. However, Parental Responsibility can also be obtained by entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement with those who already have Parental Responsibility, usually a biological mother and/or father (more than one person can have Parental Responsibility for a child at any given time) or by seeking it from the court. If Parental Responsibility is granted by the court, it is done so in a Parental Responsibility Order.

Obtaining Parental Responsibility

Whether a grandparent is attempting to be granted a Residence Order or Parental Responsibility Order for their grandchild, most of the time a solicitor is employed to help navigate the legalities of this process. However, obtaining Parental Responsibility can also be done without the aid of a solicitor. Citizens’ Advice will be able to provide information on these processes, as well as where to find no or low cost legal assistance. One reader was unable to wait the weeks it would have taken to be seen by a solicitor and decided to take matters into her own hands. She simply obtained copies of necessary forms for applying for a Residence Order (C1, C1A and C2) and filled them in with the help of the court counter clerk.

Upon paying the £350.00 (total) fees, she then lodged the forms. Before her case was heard in court, however, she was able to obtain a free meeting with a solicitor by way of Citizen’s Advice who checked over the application to make sure that she had not missed anything vital. She also gathered a number of letters of support for her application from families and friend, and sent them via registered post to be filed with her application. By supplying these letters early, she left plenty of time for the judge to read them before the case was called. In the end, this reader was delighted when her application was successful.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Ess1 - Your Question:
Hi My Ex husband wants to sign over his parental rights to my mother. My Son has been uncontrollable so I sent him to live with his dad in Europe.My Ex husband and my mother have secretly made plans to send my son to live with her back in the UK, with him (ex) signing his rights over to my mother.this has now been brought to my attention.With that said, I do not agree with their plans I feel it is best my son remains with his father untill we can see a change in his behaviour, the other option he returns back to me his mother.Can they achieve their plan without my permission?Thanks

Our Response:
Your ex cannot 'sign' his parental rights over to another person unless you both agree. If your ex sends your son to live with his mother in the UK and you disagree, then as you have parental responsibility you can prevent this. Mothers automatically have PR as they are listed on the child's birth certificate. A father will automatically have PR if he was married to the mother at the time of the birth or was listed on the birth certificate. However, if a person takes the child without permission from someone without PR, the police will be able to intervene. A solicitor would be able to help you here, a letter outlining your rights as the mother may prevent this.
ProudGrandparents - 8-Aug-17 @ 10:11 AM
When my daughter was born in 2015 my partner and I decided to move and live with my mother in law to save for a deposit for a house. Whilst we lived with my mother in law, my mother has taken care of my son. We live approx 2 hours drive away. This has been the situation for 2 years. My partner and I haven't decided that we will move abroad to study for 3 months and want my son to stay with mother until we have found somewhere permanent to live. I would like for myself and my ex (sons father) to agree to give my mother parental responsibility whilst I am away is objecting to all of this. I am aware I will need to go to court. What order should I apply for?
Flojo - 7-Aug-17 @ 2:55 PM
Hi My Ex husband wants to sign over his parental rights to my mother. My Son has been uncontrollable so I sent him to live with his dad in Europe. My Ex husband and my mother have secretly made plans to send my son to live with her back in the UK, with him (ex) signing his rights over to my mother...this has now been brought to my attention. With that said, I do not agree with their plans I feel it is best my son remains with his father untill we can see a change in his behaviour, the other option he returns back to me his mother. Can they achieve their plan without my permission? Thanks
Ess1 - 5-Aug-17 @ 10:26 PM
Prill - Your Question:
It's a very very long story! My mother hasParental responsibility of my late brothers daughter His daughter has always been 'a problem' she is extremely aggressive and as she has got older and bigger it's uncontrollable, she us now abusing my mother physically and mentally. The police are continually being called and unfortunately because of her horrific attitude and aggression no one in the family can take her as it will b e putting the other children at risk. This is not grief, she has had anger issues since she was 3. Her father was the only who could talk her down. My mother is 69 and is completely broken, she wants to relinquish pr How do we do this

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Referrals to social services can happen in a number of ways. You can request help yourself by calling your local social services - you can find your local social services here. Referrals can be made by other professionals who are working with your family or children, including schools, GPs, health visitors, and more, please see link here. However, any relinquishing of PR would have to be dealt with through the court.
ProudGrandparents - 3-Aug-17 @ 12:23 PM
It's a very very long story! My mother hasParental responsibility of my late brothers daughter His daughter has always been 'a problem' she is extremely aggressive and as she has got older and bigger it's uncontrollable, she us now abusing my mother physically and mentally. The police are continually being called and unfortunately because of her horrific attitude and aggression no one in the family can take her as it will b e putting the other children at risk. This is not grief, she has had anger issues since she was 3. Her father was the only who could talk her down.My mother is 69 and is completely broken, she wants to relinquish pr How do we do this
Prill - 2-Aug-17 @ 6:14 PM
Mo - Your Question:
I have had my grandson since he was a tiny baby he will be 10yrs old in October I got custody of him in 2008 and he's been with me ever since. His mother wants him back he doesn't want to go to his mum she now has 3 children and one that was taken off her and is adopted out. Shes taking me to court. Where do I stand please.

Our Response:
I'm afraid it is a difficult question to answer. The court will always decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of the child and is generally unwilling to move a child who is settled and stable, especially after such a length of time. Your grandson's opinion will also be taken into consideration. Therefore, both of these points will work on your favour. In cases such as this Cafcass will get involved. It’s their job to interview parents and guardians involved in the case, as well as the children. Plus, any others who might be needed, which could mean social workers, medical professionals, or even relatives. The court will generally adhere to the Cafcass report.
ProudGrandparents - 31-Jul-17 @ 12:34 PM
I have had my grandson since he was a tiny baby he will be 10yrs old in October i got custody of him in 2008 and he's been with me ever since. His mother wants him back he doesn't want to go to his mum she now has 3 children and one that was taken off her and is adopted out. Shes taking me to court. Where do i stand please.
Mo - 28-Jul-17 @ 8:08 PM
Bambi - Your Question:
Hi my I have 3 daughters 1 from a previous relationship. She has a very close bond with my mother but not with me. She is now 6 and have had full custody of her from birth. I live hundreds of miles away from my mother and my 6 year olds fathers side of the family. My mom has asked for my daughter to liver with her and I agree as she is missing out on seeing her fathers family and her grandma. I am willing to give my mom custody of my daughter how do I go about it

Our Response:
Mediation may work in this instance. This would allow you to draw up an agreement which would be approved by the courts.
ProudGrandparents - 28-Jul-17 @ 2:20 PM
Hi my I have 3 daughters 1 from a previous relationship. She has a very close bond with my mother but not with me. She is now 6 and have had full custody of her from birth. I live hundreds of miles away from my mother and my 6 year olds fathers side of the family. My mom has asked for my daughter to liver with her and I agree as she is missing out on seeing her fathers family and her grandma. I am willing to give my mom custody of my daughter how do I go about it
Bambi - 27-Jul-17 @ 12:43 PM
My grandaughter lives with her mum and nanny and grandad in mothers side. Im nanna on the fathers side. Both parents are special needs . I m looking to get pr for my grandaughter can i do this.
Kat - 22-Jul-17 @ 6:32 PM
Welshdragon- Your Question:
My daughter wants me to have equal parental responsibility with her as she is a single parent of a autistic child the father of the child has waived his parental responsibility how do we go about this please and how much does it cost

Our Response:
In order to be allowed to apply for parental responsibility, you would need to be connected to the child as their father, step-parent or 2nd female parent.
ProudGrandparents - 30-Jun-17 @ 12:04 PM
PP - Your Question:
Our daughter would like me and her father to have shared parental responsiblity for our grandson who is 1 year old. She has mental health issues and has been sectioned in the past. She is very concerned that if this should happen again, her baby would be taken into care. His father is named on the birth certificate but is incapable of caring for himself, let alone a small child. We cannot find the relevant forms to file.

Our Response:
You can see more about Special Guardianship Orders via the Family Lives link here which might apply.
ProudGrandparents - 29-Jun-17 @ 12:07 PM
Just a quick question my daughter was told by social service that they were going to take her children away because of DV so she signed all p r rights to methrough solicitor5 month onthe ss put kiddy on a full care order I was told this shouldn't of happened as the kiddy were out ofthe situation and living with me there maternal grandparentsthey have been with us for 3 yrs nowso I really need to know if this was legalas I'm not happy with ss
Dee - 1-May-17 @ 9:56 AM
My daughter who is 19 has epilepsy and gave birth 3months ago since then I've given up work to look after baby and her . The father and her self have a very toxic relationship he's smoking and on the cocaine was given a chance wit my help to look after he's child at night but decided to try Choke him as he wasn't taking he's bottle quick enough hasn't been at house now for 5 weeks to see son .. daughter having regular seizures bit boyfriend still asking for her meet up with him and sometimes take baby with her ( which she can't as to be with someone else help her ) daughter threatens to run away with baby whom as a hitus hernia and needsmedical attention unfortunately has go Manchester for this . Can I get anythinv in place with the best intrest of baby to keep baby resident here with us .. daughter can have a big seizure and then dad is under impressionhe will get the baby for he's mother to look after even though they have only seen him in hospital she wants to be able come off jsa and go on income support as baby will be under 5 . I'm supporting baby financially daughter gets child benefit she was able to get the maternity grant too bit I've put that in a account for baby for any necessities or when he's 18 .. dad wanted half of it for a tattoo . Dad is on birth certificate and doesn't pay anything towards baby with exception of few nappies and 1 box milk that the dad claims she should breast feed instead . I'm doing all can to help baby Inc get up through night feeds through day .
Glamar - 25-Apr-17 @ 5:40 PM
Hi the grandparents. Of my x girl friend has my son i know they have a parent. Responsibilities order for him.As his mum is ill with depression i have try to right letters to the grandparents and make phone calls to ask if they would do a dna test done as there daughter used me as a sprem bank to have a child and hoped i would walk away.But this is not the case i tryed for 5 years tracking down her grandparents and found she didn't put me on the birth certificate At the time of his birth so am a bit stuck. The grandparents. Words was we are not giving you a dna test done as we found his reel father this i found out to be a lie then there words was we spent to much time and money into the child just to give him up.All i was asking for is so he could have my number and address so he could get in contact when hes ready but still am looking at the brick wall and dont know how to get over this one.. My question is can i force the grandparents to give me that dna test for the boy by the courts
Stupot888 - 5-Mar-17 @ 9:09 PM
hi i have been refused custody of my grandchildren becouse i was involved with social services 23 years ago with my children but it never came to anything like having bthem taken away or anything do you think i can do anything about it my daughter and partner agree that bi should have her please please please need help thanks
nothappy - 12-Jan-17 @ 3:40 PM
My grandchild is in care with grand parents at the moment her mum still has parental rights,her mum hasn't done anything wrong but will not leave the babies father who has a bad lifestyle so social services have took her of them. Can she still come and take her out because she has got legal rights
Vic - 11-Jan-17 @ 12:40 PM
M4nn13 - Your Question:
Hi there. I would really like my mother (my daughters grandma) to have parental responsibility of my daughter aswell as myself since she has no father on the birth certificate. I'm just wondering how I would go about it and if it is possible?Thanks

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk site here which will give you further details.
ProudGrandparents - 14-Dec-16 @ 2:51 PM
Hi there. I would really like my mother (my daughters grandma) to have parental responsibility of my daughter aswell as myself since she has no father on the birth certificate. I'm just wondering how I would go about it and if it is possible? Thanks
M4nn13 - 14-Dec-16 @ 1:02 PM
Kizz - Your Question:
Trying to get parental responsibility for my mother as well as myself and the children's father. I have a very busy life schedule and live with my mother I would like her to have parental responsibility as she already takes on a lot of the kids day to day lives. She is very involved in their lives and it makes sense for her to be able to sign for school trips and drs appointments. However their father has decided after originally agreeing to withdraw just as I was setting everything up with a parental agreement order. Would I be able to grant her parental responsibility or would we have to attend court? Any advice on how to proceed would be great

Our Response:
You would have to apply to court if the father has PR and disagrees.
ProudGrandparents - 9-Dec-16 @ 12:12 PM
Trying to get parental responsibility for my mother as well as myself and the children's father. I have a very busy life schedule and live with my mother I would like her to have parental responsibility as she already takes on a lot of the kids day to day lives. She is very involved in their lives and it makes sense for her to be able to sign for school trips and drs appointments. However their father has decided after originally agreeing to withdraw just as I was setting everything up with a parental agreement order. Would I be able to grant her parental responsibility or would we have to attend court? Any advice on how to proceed would be great
Kizz - 9-Dec-16 @ 12:34 AM
My case is exactly the same as 'Lallys' the mother is a coke and cannabis user and her mood swings are very up and down, I too am debating wether to apply to the courts for full custody but the risk of losing would mean we lose the 3 day a week we already have him but it's awful sending him home and he's so upset. The same risk is with informing social care that she will get them on sidee with her lies again and will stop our access which is the child's only saviour.
Penny - 22-Aug-16 @ 9:44 AM
My case is exactly the same as 'Lallys' the mother is a coke and cannabis user and her mood swings are very up and down, I too am debating wether to apply to the courts for full custody but the risk of losing would mean we lose the 3 day a week we already have him but it's awful sending him home and he's so upset. The same risk is with informing social care that she will get them on dude with her lies again and will stop our access which is the child's only saviour.
Penny - 22-Aug-16 @ 8:51 AM
Lally - Your Question:
I have been looking after my 3 year old granddaughter 4/5 full days a week for 7 months, previously I was looking after her for 3 days a week but not on a regular basis. All the time I have looked after my granddaughter she has never wanted to see mummy or go home with her, at times her mother has had to leave my granddaughter with me because she has been so distressed it's easier to just leave her, she has always been taken home later in the day, still unhappy but by using gentle persuasion & reassurance it has been achieved. Her mother has now decided that because my granddaughter has such a bond with me she wants me to stop caring for her as in her own words " I can't be doing with the hassle". I worry that my granddaughter will be emotionally affected by this decision. Her mother has no emotions herself so will not understand this. My granddaughter was put on the At Risk Register before she was even born because she left my son (my granddaughters father) while pregnant to go back to her drug dealing violent ex partner. My son, his father & myself have spent tens of thousands of pounds in legal fees to get DNA results & provide a home for my granddaughter & her mother but everything we do is thrown back in our faces. My son sees his daughter one day on a weekend & 3 hours during the week split over 2 days, again my granddaughter doesn't want to leaver her daddy, she has said she wants to stay with him forever. I am thinking of going to court to try & get parental responsibility, my son is in favour of this, should I try or will it be a waste of time? I would have no problem with character references & social services have always been very keen for me to take an active role in my granddaughters life. Any advice would be welcome.

Our Response:
You would have to seek legal advice regarding this. It is a tricky situation as it is unlikely you will be given parental responsibility or guardianship of your grandchild through a court, unless absolutely necessary i.e there was no alternative and the court ruled it was in the best interests of the child to remove her from her mother's care. Regardless of whether you think your grandchild's mother is not a 'good' mother, she is still her mother and she has parental rights. The fact that Social Services has encouraged you to be a part of your grandchild's life will be viewed as a positive, but to take that to the next step of a court agreeing to award PR to you when the mother may not agree, is a big step.
ProudGrandparents - 18-Aug-16 @ 11:59 AM
I have been looking after my 3 year old granddaughter 4/5 full days a week for 7 months, previously I was looking after her for 3 days a week but not on a regular basis.All the time I have looked after my granddaughter she has never wanted to see mummy or go home with her, at times her mother has had to leave my granddaughter with me because she has been so distressed it's easier to just leave her, she has always been taken home later in the day, still unhappy but by using gentle persuasion & reassurance it has been achieved. Her mother has now decided that because my granddaughter has such a bond with me she wants me to stop caring for her as in her own words " I can't be doing with the hassle" . I worry that my granddaughter will be emotionally affected by this decision. Her mother has no emotions herself so will not understand this. My granddaughter was put on the At Risk Register before she was even born because she left my son (my granddaughters father) while pregnant to go back to her drug dealing violent ex partner. My son, his father & myself have spent tens of thousands of pounds in legal fees to get DNA results & provide a home for my granddaughter & her mother but everything we do is thrown back in our faces. My son sees his daughter one day on a weekend & 3 hours during the week split over 2 days, again my granddaughter doesn't want to leaver her daddy, she has said she wants to stay with him forever.I am thinking of going to court to try & get parental responsibility, my son is in favour of this, should I try or will it be a waste of time? I would have no problem with character references & social services have always been very keen for me to take an active role in my granddaughters life. Any advice would be welcome.
Lally - 17-Aug-16 @ 3:56 PM
Donna- Your Question:
My daughter died 16 months ago of cancer aged 26, she left behind my 3 year old granddaughter. She left a will stating that she wants myself and her father to raise her but this wasn't signed by a solicitor as her death happened a lot quicker than expected. My granddaughter lives with me the majority of the time about 70 percent of the time with us and 30 percent with her father whom still lives with his parents. My daughter stayed with me for 6 months before she died and I have been with my granddaughter every day of her short life. The child's father is named on her birth certificate and he has main custody. But I am the closest thing she now has to a mother. I'm only 45. My granddaughter crys when she has to go to her fathers. We take her on trips abroad. I pay for all her clothing, school uniform. school funds.school trips. Her school contacts me first in emergencies even though her fathers named as contact. He is now laying down the law to me that he's the father and I'm only her grandmother. I'm seriously thinking about going to court. What are my chances realistically for getting my granddaughter.

Our Response:
I am very sorry to hear this. I think in this case you need to seek legal advice. As your daughter's ex has parental responsibility and you do not, he can by rights keep his daughter at any time. It is a precarious situation and one in which you should tread carefully and respect his legal rights as the father. The fact that you have had your granddaughter for so long will stand you in good stead with the courts. However, you do not want to provoke her father into making any rash decisions, as he currently has all the legal rights to keep and care full time his daughter, if he so wishes. Unfortunately, if your daughter's will has not been concluded it has very little influence. That said even if it had been signed your daughter's ex could contest it and it would still be left to the court to decide.
ProudGrandparents - 15-Aug-16 @ 2:18 PM
Watto 57 - Your Question:
Please could someone advise , our daughter is currently in prison first offence and will serve three years, however, we have our 8 year old granddaughter living with us, our daughter is happy for her to be in our care but in order for our grandchild to move schools what do we need to do. Our daughter does not wish for a residence order

Our Response:
If your daughter is in agreement for your granddaughter to move schools, as she has PR, she can give her consent. You can also see the PACT link here which we hope will help further answer your question.
ProudGrandparents - 15-Aug-16 @ 12:31 PM
My daughter died 16 months ago of cancer aged 26, she left behind my 3 year old granddaughter.She left a will stating that she wants myself and her father to raise her but this wasn't signed by a solicitor as her death happened a lot quicker than expected.My granddaughter lives with me the majority of the time about 70 percent of the time with us and 30 percent with her father whom still lives with his parents.My daughter stayed with me for 6 months before she died and I have been with my granddaughter every day of her short life.The child's father is named on her birth certificate and he has main custody. But I am the closest thing she now has to a mother. I'm only 45. My granddaughter crys when she has to go to her fathers. We take her on trips abroad. I pay for all her clothing, school uniform. school funds.school trips. Her school contacts me first in emergencies even though her fathers named as contact.He is now laying down the law to me that he's the father and I'm only her grandmother.I'm seriously thinking about going to court.What are my chances realistically for getting my granddaughter.
Donna - 14-Aug-16 @ 10:19 PM
Please could someone advise , our daughter is currently in prison first offence and will serve three years, however, we have our 8 year old granddaughter living with us, our daughter is happy for her to be in our care but in order for our grandchild to move schools what do we need to do. Our daughter does not wish for a residence order
Watto 57 - 14-Aug-16 @ 3:34 PM
WENDY - Your Question:
I have had a residence order for my grandaughter sinse she was 3yrs old she is now 17, I have received no help financially apart from the usual tax credit, I was working at the time but had to give up my job to care for my mother, I have struggled financially for many years, a few years ago I heard from another lady who was also bringing up her grandaughter and she was helped financially by social services, I had a friend who worked with children at social services and she said because they didnt come to me to ask would I take on my grandaughter and I arranged solicitors and fought for custody myself and the fact social services were never needed during me bringing up my grandaughter I actually wasnt entitiled to any funds, I only get carers allowence and child tax credit, and my grandaughter has started collage, I have to find £15 pr week for bus fares plus daily dinner money, this makes a big difference when I already was finding it difficult supporting her before she started 6th form, my council dosnt help anymore with travel expenses or dinner passes anymore and I was told it was down to me.I really think this is unfair when im doing my best to ensure my grandaughter receives a decent education.also its the issue with cloths and shoes that all her friends have and she wants the same, I do my best and leave myself short or skip paying bills to provide her with what she needs,

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. I can only suggest you see if there are any extra benefits via the Turn2Us website here . I hope this helps.
ProudGrandparents - 1-Mar-16 @ 2:17 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ProudGrandparents website. Please read our Disclaimer.