As a parent, you have certain rights and responsibilities, including safeguarding and promoting their health, welfare and development. Rights include having a say how they are brought up, as well as acting as your child’s representative and the right to have contact with your child. Fathers can often be uncertain about their legal rights in relation to their children, which can often mean they lose out when it comes to making decisions about their child’s welfare, where the child resides (known as residence but often referred to as custody) even on having regular contact with them.
The Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 introduced new legal rights for unmarried fathers. Before this law was introduced, fathers who were not married to their child’s mother had no automatic parental rights and responsibilities in relation to their children, even if they were named on the child’s birth certificate. After the 2006 Act came into force, unmarried fathers who are named on the child’s birth certificate automatically have parental rights and responsibilities. A father who is married to the child’s mother at the time of birth or any time thereafter will also automatically acquire parental rights and responsibilities for the child. A father who is not married to the child’s mother and who is not named on the birth certificate will not have parental rights and responsibilities for the child, unless he is granted them.
Acquiring Father Parental Rights
For fathers who have not acquired parental rights and responsibilities for the child automatically, there are essentially two ways to obtain these rights and responsibilities:
(1) By entering into a formal written agreement with the child’s mother or guardian;
(2) By obtaining a court order, granting parental rights and responsibilities.
If you or someone you know wishes to obtain parental rights and responsibilities for a child, we can help. It may be possible to negotiate an agreement with the child’s mother. If this not possible, we can raise the appropriate court proceedings to seek an order under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, granting parental rights and responsibilities. It is important to note that when deciding to make such an order, the paramount concern for the court will be what is in the best interests of the child.
In many cases, we will be able to act on legal aid funding. Whatever your circumstances, it is important that you act quickly. Our expert family law solicitors can offer the friendly, professional advice that you need. Speak to one of our team to find out how we can help.
Contact our Family Lawyers Glasgow, Coatbridge, Airdrie, Shetland
If you are looking to discuss any legal issues surrounding parental rights, contact one of our team today. Our solicitors pride ourselves in providing high quality and cost-effective legal advice, and have a strong commitment to achieving positive results for our clients. We tailor solutions specifically to you and your family’s needs and circumstances; delivering cutting-edge advice and skilful court representation where needed. Contact us now via our online contact form, or give us a call on 0141 404 6575.