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Obtaining Parental Responsibility

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 1 May 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.

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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
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,
WENDY - 29-Feb-16 @ 6:53 PM
Debbie - Your Question:
I am a single parent and my children's father has not been seen for many years. I wish to share prrs with my father and step mother in case anything should ever happen to me that I would no longer be around or able to care for my children. My children have a great relationship with their grandparents. Is the a way to do this in Scotland without having to go through a court process? Can I sign joint prrs in a solicitor's office? Thank you in advance for any replies x

Our Response:
Scotland has a different application process through 'ordinary cause procedures' which you can link to via the gov.uk site here . If you are concerned about your ex having custody of your children should anything happen to you, then another way to resolve this is through appointing your parents as legal guardians. If you do wish to appoint a guardian then your last will and testament should reflect this. You must include, in as much detail as you can, the reasons why you wish your designated guardian/s to take on the role of caring for your children. However, this would need to be carried out through a solicitor as there are certain issues to be aware of/cover, should your ex decide to contest the guardianship. I hope this helps.
ProudGrandparents - 26-Feb-16 @ 11:13 AM
I am a single parent and my children's father has not been seen for many years.I wish to share prrs with my father and step mother in case anything should ever happen to me that I would no longer be around or able to care for my children.My children have a great relationship with their grandparents. Is the a way to do this in Scotland without having to go through a court process? Can I sign joint prrs in a solicitor's office? Thank you in advance for any replies x
Debbie - 25-Feb-16 @ 10:23 AM
Slinky - Your Question:
My 14 year old grandaughter has been living with me on and off for the past year or so since my daughter (who has mental health problems) parted from her husband. She is now coming to live with me permanently and I need her father to take a bit of financial responsibility for her, what is my best course of action, he has said he will not pay any money out until everything financial is sorted out with my daughter. Where does that leave me? I am a pensioner own the property I live in and live on my own. I must admit to feeling a bit used.

Our Response:
You can apply for child support via the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) if you’re: a grandparent or other guardian of the child, please see gov.uk link here. I hope this helps.
ProudGrandparents - 2-Nov-15 @ 1:52 PM
My 14 year old grandaughter has been living with me on and off for the past year or so since my daughter (who has mental health problems) parted from her husband.She is now coming to live with me permanently and I need her father to take a bit of financial responsibility for her, what is my best course of action, he has said he will not pay any money out until everything financial is sorted out with my daughter.Where does that leave me?I am a pensioner own the property I live inand live on my own.I must admit to feeling a bit used.
Slinky - 1-Nov-15 @ 1:13 PM
My daughter is single with 7 year old boy. All we are seeking is for me to be able to take my grandson to the dentist etc. It will take the pressure off ( she works as a nurse full time) if I am able to help out. I cannot find any information to this issue.Hope you can help
nanna_sue - 25-Jul-15 @ 5:02 PM
Hi.I would like to know do grandparents need some permission for grandchild if parents go away for 3nights for a holiday? Thanks
brendy21 - 1-Jun-15 @ 7:34 AM
My daughter wants my 10 year old grandson to come and live with us (his grandparents) as she can no longer cope with his special needs. I may only be a temporary arrangement or it may be longer. Can we do this with out going through a legal process?
Caz - 25-Sep-14 @ 3:35 PM
@daredevil, why do you need your parents to have parental responsibility of your child if you and your partner are still together and the child lives with you? They can help to look after the child and help raise the child without having parental responsibility.
linz - 24-Sep-14 @ 11:50 AM
Hi i have been living with my parents(the grandparents) my whole life. I am married and my wife,my parents(the grandparents) and my little boy all live in the same house. We have a little boy who will be 3 years old in 2 months and me and wife would like to share parental rights with my parents(the grandparents). This is a bit unusual but we are an extended family unit that behaves like a normal nuclear family unit and we live under the same roof. Some friends told us we need to apply for a residence order for my parents(the grandparents) to get share parental responsibility. Can you confirm this? and if so what form shall we use? and where can we get it ? and what else to we need to do this?
daredevil - 23-Sep-14 @ 6:22 PM
Can a grandparent make a grandchild a ward of court, even if the daughter is already a ward of court.
Roo - 5-Aug-14 @ 5:34 PM
Thank you this was very helpful. We want my mum to take parental responsibility of my eldest son of 13. but do we have to submit other forms ofproof or tesimonies to convience the judge why she should be granted it . The other thing is my son stays at my mum every week for at least half the week, could i just apply for a residence order based upon this fact, or should he be living there all of the time??
lorena - 17-Jan-13 @ 1:04 AM
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