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Obtaining Parental Responsibility

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 17 Jul 2018 | 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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My daughter died 3 weeks after giving birth her partner could not cope with the new baby so we looked after him for between 4-5 nights a week for the past two years. His dad now says that he can only visit usfor 2 nights a week now he has a new girlfriend where do we stand legally he cries every time we have to take him home to his dad.
Nanny little - 17-Jul-18 @ 2:42 PM
Beck - Your Question:
My 9yr old Grandson has been living with me permeanantly for 14 months (His choice) his Mother agreed, he also has a half sister, whom spends half the week with her dad, Mum works, but is now heavily pregnant. Ive been Awarded his child benefit etc. He is coming along well in the local school, his teachers have noticed a massive improvement, compared to reports from his previous schools this past year. He sees his mum once or twice a fortnight (but doesn't like going) My son he sees one weekend out of four, and is named on his birth cert. My Son lives and works in England, he took my grandson to live there "briefly" Alas his long term relationship broke down, resulting in Both coming back to me in Wales (where the rest of the family live) Having to change schools etc again. My son was only back here in Wales a few weeks, before moving back to England, while my Grandson stayed with me. We both recently moved into our new home, which my Son was meant to share with us, before his decision to move back. Long Story Short.His Relationship is back on,,,, now my Son says its time for him to be a father and says he's taking my grandson back to England. Grandson wants to stay with me, doesn't want to move cpl hundred miles from all his family and friends. What can I do? I've had him every weekend and school holidays since birth, they were never married but lived together firstly with me until grandson was 8 months old, then in their own place.The school is behind me, with my decision of his security and to reside with me. Thanks for any help

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. However, as your son is the father he does not have to ask permission to take his son as he has parental responsibility. Your only option is to apply to court if you feel it is not in your grandson's best interests and if you have a provable reason why your grandson should not go to his father. I suggest you seek legal advice.
ProudGrandparents - 17-Jul-18 @ 12:15 PM
My 9yr old Grandson has been living with me permeanantly for 14 months (His choice) his Mother agreed, he also has a half sister, whom spends half the week with her dad, Mum works, but is now heavily pregnant. Ive been Awarded his child benefit etc. He is coming along well in the local school, his teachers have noticed a massive improvement, compared to reports from his previous schools this past year. He sees his mum once or twice a fortnight (but doesn't like going) My son he sees one weekend out of four, and is named on his birth cert. My Son lives and works in England, he took my grandson to live there "briefly" Alas his long term relationship broke down, resulting in Both coming back to me in Wales (where the rest of the family live) Having to change schools etc again. My son was only back here in Wales a few weeks, before moving back to England, while my Grandson stayed with me. We both recently moved into our new home, which my Son was meant to share with us, before his decision to move back. Long Story Short...His Relationship is back on,,,, now my Son says its time for him to be a father and says he's taking my grandson back to England. Grandson wants to stay with me, doesn't want to move cpl hundred miles from all his family and friends. What can I do? I've had him every weekend and school holidays since birth, they were never married but lived together firstly with me until grandson was 8 months old, then in their own place. The school is behind me, with my decision of his security and to reside with me. Thanks for any help
Beck - 16-Jul-18 @ 5:09 PM
My daughter has just had a baby but does not want to bring it up she is 16 years old and her and her boyfriend( baby father ) don't want to bring the child up but she is my granddaughter my daughter has agreed that I can bring her up how do I stand legally pls
Jf2009 - 4-Jul-18 @ 4:31 PM
I'm moving to America and want to give parental responsibility to my mother so daughter can stay there while I sort things over in the states. I've been looking online to download the forms but can only find them for...Father, step parent and second female parent, there aren't any for grandparent but every piece of advice I have looked at regarding this issue says that grandparents can get parental responsibility by entering into a parental responsibility agreement with the childs mother even this site says it. So any ideas please on where to get the forms or a link for where to download them please. Thanks
G - 5-Jun-18 @ 12:30 PM
Lewtra - Your Question:
My Grandaughter has lived with us since birth 12years on a mural agreement between her mother and us ( father is unknown). We now need to apply for parental responsibility for dental, doctors reasons etc, we have the consent of her mother but what is the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to go about it please.

Our Response:
You would have to apply for a Child Arrangements Order (formerly a residence order). A Child Arrangements Order sets out with whom a child is to live, that person will then be granted Parental Responsibility which is on an equal level to that of the parent(s), please see link here . Please also see the ChildLaw Advice link here , which will help you further explore your options.
ProudGrandparents - 27-Feb-18 @ 10:44 AM
My Grandaughter has lived with us since birth 12years on a mural agreement between her mother and us ( father is unknown). We now need to apply for parental responsibility for dental, doctors reasons etc, we have the consent of her mother but what is the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to go about it please.
Lewtra - 26-Feb-18 @ 2:54 PM
nannyagain - Your Question:
My granddaughter has been living with me for 5 months, mum and dad split up. Dad works long hours and mum has serious health issues. My grandaughter has settled well and is attending the local school 100% attendance and doing very well. Both mum and dad are happy with this arrangement and I try to ensure regular contact with both parents ie weekends school holidays etc. However, school, doctors and dentist are all asking for proof of parental responsibility. Can this be done by a Parental Responsibility Agreement between us without the need for court. I have been part of my grandaughters life since she was born, but mum and dad do not live close to us.

Our Response:
As specified in the article, grandparents do have the option of going through the court and being granted PR. You can see more via the Grandparent Plus link here, on how to obtain this.
ProudGrandparents - 11-Jan-18 @ 11:20 AM
My granddaughter has been living with me for 5 months, mum and dad split up. Dad works long hours and mum has serious health issues. My grandaughter has settled well and is attending the local school 100% attendance and doing very well.Both mum and dad are happy with this arrangement and i try to ensure regular contact with both parents ie weekends school holidays etc. However, school, doctors and dentist are all asking for proof of parental responsibility. Can this be done by a Parental Responsibility Agreement between us without the need for court.I have been part of my grandaughters life since she was born, but mum and dad do not live close to us.
nannyagain - 10-Jan-18 @ 11:30 AM
Nanny - Your Question:
I have looked after and supported my granddaughter since she was born. She has spent limited time with her mother due to her mother's lifestyle and state of living arrangements. I know my daughter neglects my grandchild, myself and my husband and my own mother have been down several times to clean the house so it's safe for my grandchild to be there. My daughter spends all her money on alcohol and disappears for days then when she comes back she demands my granddaughter back. Social services have been involved before but it's still continues. My daughter also has mental health issues. I just don't know what to do. I fear for her safety.

Our Response:
You would really have to get advice from Social Services (depending upon the breadth of the involvement) and try to work alongside them. You can see more via the Family Lives link here.
ProudGrandparents - 4-Jan-18 @ 12:42 PM
I have looked after and supported my granddaughter since she was born. She has spent limited time with her mother due to her mother's lifestyle and state of living arrangements. I know my daughter neglects my grandchild, myself and my husband and my own mother have been down several times to clean the house so it's safe for my grandchild to be there. My daughter spends all her money on alcohol and disappears for days then when she comes back she demands my granddaughter back. Social services have been involved before but it's still continues. My daughter also has mental health issues. I just don't know what to do. I fear for her safety.
Nanny - 3-Jan-18 @ 8:00 PM
@Binni, is your son on the birth certificate ?? If so, they share PR for your grandson. If ex is making life difficult, then mediation or/and court would be the way forward, citizen advice can advice or there are some free online services that can offer advice, it's so sad when parents use the children as weapons against each other and as grand parents we have to sit back and watch, often loosing out on our grandchildren.
Curly top - 26-Dec-17 @ 5:48 PM
My son had a baby boy with his now x partner, she has refused to give us access to him and not replied to any of our messages, just choosing to ignore everything, first she told him he could have him 2 days a week, my son went and brought all the necessary baby equipment, he’s only 7 months,then when the time come, she didn’t reply, and had her previous x threatening my son to keep away. we as grandparents also want to see our grandson to get a relationship with him, and my son also wants this too, we have a good family background and can give the boy extra love from our side, what’s the best way forward, can I as a grandma make a application to see him on behalf of my son? Because if the way she treated my son, he doesn’t want to look at her or talk to her, and I am happy to do the talking just to get access to our grandson occasionally would be great. Any advice would be good.
Binni - 26-Dec-17 @ 1:44 PM
@Tony - if you are a close family member who has had a good deal of input into your grandchild's life, then social services will consider you, yes.
Naia - 17-Nov-17 @ 2:28 PM
I am a single male of seventy years. Seeking to get custody of my one year old grandson. The parents are hoping this is possible. My son is going through de-tox for alcohol and mental problems. His partner has two older children who now live with their father, social services have been involved for a number of years with her. Do I have any chance of reaching my goal. Any advice would be deeply appreciated. I have spoken to an independent social worker but feel my age is a barrier to his long time care, was hoping my son can move in and help when he finishes his de-tox. Thanks
Tony - 14-Nov-17 @ 9:50 PM
Needhelp - Your Question:
My daughter and granddaughter have lived in a separate annex of my house for just over 3 years. She has sadly passed away and my granddaughters father wants her to live with him but give me as much access to my granddaughter as I want. But its 150 miles away. He and his partner both work from home and can offer a good quality of life for my granddaughter who is 6 years old. I am 65 and my partner is 70. What chance is there of getting a court order to stay with me.

Our Response:
I am very sorry to hear this. Much depends upon how much input your granddaughter's father has had in her life to date, whether the father is registered on the birth certificate and has parental responsibility and/or whether your daughter made provision in her will nominating you as a preferred guardian. You would really need to seek legal advice regarding this matter. If you do decide to challenge this and your grandfather's daughter objects, then it could end up in court, if your solicitor thinks you have a case. However, as in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. Likewise, you as a grandparent and your granddaughter's father should try to work together with the same objective of putting your granddaughter's best interests first.
ProudGrandparents - 30-Oct-17 @ 9:54 AM
My daughter and granddaughter have lived in a separate annex of my house for just over 3 years. She has sadly passed away and my granddaughtersfather wants her to live with him but give me as much access to my granddaughter as I want.But its 150 miles away. He and his partner both work from home and can offer a good quality of life for my granddaughter who is 6 years old. I am 65 and my partner is 70. What chance is there of getting a court order to stay with me.
Needhelp - 29-Oct-17 @ 11:07 AM
@Nanna - don't go against what social services have recommended, even if the allegations against your son are not true. You could end up having your grandkids removed from you.
KateH - 24-Oct-17 @ 10:36 AM
Is there someone can help me.socail service have placed 3grandchildren with me and my husband my husband is 70yrs and im y7yrs now the kids are my sons and they ave stopped him from coming to my house his partner went to a refuge and said it was domstic abuse which wasnt true have they right to stop him thank you
Nanna - 23-Oct-17 @ 1:55 PM
Pezza - Your Question:
Hi basically I have had my 8yr old granddaughter for over a year living with me it was a informal agreement between her mother my daughter I have played a active part since she was born I have supported her emotionally & financially also, now my daughter wants her back & reported me to the police saying I feed her alcohol which of course is untrue the police had no problem & left I have since found things out about how my daughter was treating my granddaughter verbally emotionally & physically I have seemed legal advice & have sent a letter to her , I have been in contact with social services the pastoral manager @ school where I registered her from February she is really settled 100% attendance and has progressed 100%. My granddaughter has had to write a letter saying that she is happy living with her Nan & does not want to go back to her mums there are other issues but could you please give me some advice please thank you

Our Response:
You would have to continue through the courts, if you cannot agree with your daughter on who should care for your granddaughter. Your daughter obviously has the right to have her child living with her as she has parental responsibility. Much depends upon the reason why she now lives with you and how much social services have been involved. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. However, it also will where it can allow the child to live with her biological parent, unless there is a very good reason why the court should not allow this.
ProudGrandparents - 13-Oct-17 @ 3:37 PM
Hi basically I have had my 8yr old granddaughter for over a year living with me it was a informal agreement between her mother my daughter I have played a active part since she was born I have supported her emotionally & financially also, now my daughter wants her back & reported me to the police saying I feed her alcohol which of course is untrue the police had no problem & left I have since found things out about how my daughter was treating my granddaughter verbally emotionally & physically I have seemed legal advice & have sent a letter to her , I have been in contact with social services the pastoral manager @ school where I registered her from February she is really settled 100% attendance and has progressed 100% . My granddaughter has had to write a letter saying that she is happy living with her Nan & does not want to go back to her mums there are other issues but could you please give me some advice please thank you
Pezza - 12-Oct-17 @ 11:47 PM
Fran - Your Question:
I've had my 2 grandsons living with me Mon/Fri and some weekends. While seeing there mother yesterday they have not been returned to me. Over night she has moved house, taken the kids and I don't know where she is. What should I do next?

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether you have a care order, or whether this is an informal arrangement. If the arrangement is informal and you hold no parental responsibility for the children and/or there is no court order in place, then there is little you can do except to seek legal advice to see whether you have any rights.
ProudGrandparents - 9-Oct-17 @ 12:26 PM
I've had my 2 grandsons living with me Mon/Fri and some weekends. While seeing there mother yesterday they have not been returned to me. Over night she has moved house, taken the kids and I don't know where she is. What should I do next?
Fran - 7-Oct-17 @ 7:29 PM
Hilly - Your Question:
I want my parents to have parental responsibility as well as me and her dad. How do I do this? What good reasons can I use to get him to agree to this as we are not together and he likes to go against me just out of spite

Our Response:
In order to apply for PR for your child or children, the person needs to be connected to the child, eg as their father, step-parent or 2nd female parent.
ProudGrandparents - 7-Sep-17 @ 12:01 PM
I want my parents to have parental responsibility as well as me and her dad. How do I do this? What good reasons can I use to get him to agree to this as we are not together and he likes to go against me just out of spite
Hilly - 6-Sep-17 @ 6:41 PM
Andie - Your Question:
Hi our daughter lives with us and her 2 sons, 20 months and 6 months. I've more or less brought up the older one, as he as many conditions, including cerebral palsy. I do all his appts as she has never really bonded with him. When she got pregnant with her second son, she decided she couldn't lift the eldest one or do anything with him. We do everything for him. She's now talking about moving out and leaving the eldest boy with us. We want it in writing, as she has a temper and would threaten to take him is she didn't get what she wants. Can it go through a solicitor or does it have to go to court. Preferably we're seeking residency.

Our Response:
If it is an agreed decision then you can make an agreement through a solicitor, or mediation. However, only a court order is enforceable by law, should your daughter change her mind somewhere down the line. If you do not have parental responsibility, you have few rights. You may wish to seek legal advice regarding this matter.
ProudGrandparents - 4-Sep-17 @ 3:33 PM
Hi our daughter lives with us and her 2 sons, 20 months and 6 months. I've more or less brought up the older one, as he as many conditions, including cerebral palsy. I do all his appts as she has never really bonded with him. When she got pregnant with her second son, she decided she couldn't lift the eldest one or do anything with him. We do everything for him. She's now talking about moving out and leaving the eldest boy with us. We want it in writing, as she has a temper and would threaten to take him is she didn't get what she wants. Can it go through a solicitor or does it have to go to court. Preferably we're seeking residency.
Andie - 2-Sep-17 @ 7:51 PM
Jan - Your Question:
I would like to get an urgent residents order for my 7 year old grandson who is on the autism spectrum. I know he is suffering physical, emotional and financial abuse so I consider this an urgent matter and believe him not to be safe where he is. He lives with his dad who is very crafty and manages to con social services and other agencies into believing what he says.

Our Response:
You would have to seek legal advice regarding this matter. It is much more difficult for a grandparent to be awarded a residence order as you do not have parental responsibility. Therefore, you would have to prove the father is incapable of looking after your grandson. Speaking to Social Services is also advised.
ProudGrandparents - 31-Aug-17 @ 12:39 PM
Could my husband and I get sgo for my 5 year old grandson, if mother and father named on birth certificate, agree ?? Other siblings have fathers who have stepped in as mum not coping and all kids on CPP, social care pushing for residence orders but my solicitor seemed to think it was more a question of them looking for 'cheaper' option ??
Curlytop - 30-Aug-17 @ 9:00 PM
I would like to get an urgent residents order for my 7 year old grandson who is on the autism spectrum. I know he is suffering physical, emotional and financial abuse so I consider this an urgent matter and believe him not to be safe where he is. He lives with his dad who is very crafty and manages to con social services and other agencies into believing what he says.
Jan - 29-Aug-17 @ 6:05 PM
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