Home > Related Laws > Child Support Law and Parental Responsibility

Child Support Law and Parental Responsibility

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 1 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Parental Responsibilities Law Child

Parental responsibility refers to the rights and privileges that unite the relationship between a parent and their child. This can also apply to any significant adult that plays an influential part in the child’s life.

EU Law And Parents

The European Union (EU) recognises the importance of Family Law and has rules on the jurisdiction of the enforcement of parental responsibility. This enforcement is recognised by uniform procedure that ensures the courts in the child’s resident state has the jurisdiction to rule on parental responsibility.

As part of the EU’s policies parental responsibility ensures the child has the right to maintain contact with both parents, regardless of where they live within the EU member states. The enforcement of access rights also seeks to prevent child abduction within the European Union.

Parental Responsibility In The UK

Under English law parents are responsible for upholding all the duties, powers, rights, authority and responsibilities in relation to their child. If the mother and father are married, at the time of the child’s birth, they share parental responsibility. However, if the parents are unmarried parental responsibility is given to the child’s mother, unless the child is the subject of an Adoption Order.

A civil partner can acquire parental responsibility, provided the other partner is in agreement with this arrangement. Parental responsibility must also be put in writing, in the case of a step-parent. A legal guardian may also be responsible along with someone who has a residence order stating that the child must live with them.

Parents And Child Support

Parental responsibility extends to providing a comfortable environment in which a child can be supported through childhood. Providing suitable shelter, clothing, food and educational items is also the parent’s duty.

In the case of families that are separated by divorce, legal separation or lone parents with absent fathers providing assistance, the form of a maintenance payment can help reduce the financial pressures of child-rearing.

Separated parents are legally duty bound to ensure their child, or children, are properly looked after. Parents with care, of the child, may experience difficulties in financially supporting the child on their own. Child support laws in the UK therefore obligate a non resident parent to pay a periodic amount of maintenance in order to provide financial assistance for the child in their home environment.

The Child Support Agency (CSA) and Child Maintenence Service (CMS) provides parents with care with a maintenance collection and distribution service that also assists with tracing absent parents.

In practice sharing parental responsibility means that adults must put the child’s interests first in any situation. A parental responsible person must do what is reasonable in any circumstance for the purpose of safeguarding the child’s welfare. This also means promoting and maintaining a safe, welcoming environment for the child to live in.

Shared Responsibilities

Sharing parental responsibilities requires that both parents consult on matters of importance that concern their child, regardless of their own relationship with each other. Understanding that the child’s welfare comes first is of paramount importance.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Lee - Your Question:
I am a British woman and I married a British man in Zimbabwe and we have two children. We got divorced and he stopped paying maintenance and forced us to leave Zimbabwe. He remains in Zimbabwe. I am now working in the UK and my two children are in boarding school in South Africa. I am getting deeper into debt to maintain my children. How can I get maintenance?

Our Response:
The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Order (REMO) Unit helps to register and enforce child maintenance orders internationally. Please the gov.uk link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 3-Oct-17 @ 2:00 PM
Father of my child has parental responsibility he does not take any interest in my child . He also has children in Europe that he supposedly pays maintenance for although I do not know if he pays it yet he said he did but then his ex agreed that he could just buy them things if they need it. how does that affect the claim as the other country takes money into account after tax and NI but I know here it is taken on gross payso How is it decideed the amount of maintenance received for my child and do the children get equal amount of money.
Anon - 1-Oct-17 @ 9:41 PM
I am a British woman and I married a British man in Zimbabwe and we have two children. We got divorced and he stopped paying maintenance and forced us to leave Zimbabwe. He remains in Zimbabwe. I am now working in the UK and my two children are in boarding school in South Africa. I am getting deeper into debt to maintain my children. How can I get maintenance?
Lee - 29-Sep-17 @ 10:14 PM
I have a foster child an it's goin through court however the father ignored the child for first year of his life then was given contact an for nearly another year he's had little to do with him but court keep giving him more chances to walk into child's life every couple months which is upsetting the child
davey - 28-Sep-17 @ 3:01 PM
Annonomus- Your Question:
My partners childs (My un-official stepdaughter) father Is a convicted pedofile (currently in prison until Nov 2018)And we are trying to apply to have his parental responsibility rights removed. What is the best way to do this and How likely are we to succeed?

Our Response:
You would have to refer the matter through the courts for the courts to decide what it thinks is in the best interests of the child.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Sep-17 @ 12:13 PM
My partners childs (My un-official stepdaughter) father Is a convicted pedofile (currently in prison until Nov 2018) And we are trying to apply to have his parental responsibility rights removed. What is the best way to do this and How likely are we to succeed?
Annonomus - 11-Sep-17 @ 11:52 PM
Daisnanc - Your Question:
My daughter's father left us when she was 14 months old. He started a new life in Australia and has since got married. He has always paid 200 a month for his daughter. Throughout his absent years he has had next to none contact 2 days over Xmas and then limited Skype time (if and when he chooses) he has no contact with me what so ever any contact she has with him is through her paternal grandmother. The last 4 years he has refused to pay any more money for her i.e nursery fees swimming lessons birthday party's school uniforms. I simply get he doesn't want to. I was looking for some advice in regards to proceeding forward with csa and how this works with him being in Australia. I know he is paying bear minimal as he has a well paid job in Australia. Also he denied having children on his visa application. Tired of him dictating to me what he wants when I've been raising out daughter for 5 years single handely.

Our Response:
The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Order (REMO) Unit helps to register and enforce child maintenance orders internationally. You can speak directly to REMO via the link here. You can also see the list of REMO countries here.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Sep-17 @ 4:46 PM
tina - Your Question:
My twins father has not seen them for almost 9months. Hes been told by the police to go through the courts for access. Hes been abusive to the mother, and subsquently a harrassment case is ongoing I want to see if I can apply to remove his parental rights. I was subject to sexual and emotional abuse whilst I was in a relationship, hes not a healthy role model, and slates me everytime my kids were with him. Last visit which was 9months ago he told my 10 year old girl he was goner throw me through a window, which caused my girl to be very distressed. Any advice given would be very appreciated

Our Response:
Only in extreme circumstances will a court take away the non-resident parent's parental responsibility. If your ex takes the matter to court, Cafcass will get involved and write a report.It’s their job to interview both parents in the case, as well as the children, and any others who might be needed, which could mean social workers, medical professionals, or even relatives. From the interviews they conduct, the reporter will determine two things: whether there should be contact allowed, and, if so, how much. It’s a measure of how important the Cafcass recommendation is that the court will almost invariably adhere to it.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Sep-17 @ 12:12 PM
My daughter's father left us when she was 14 months old. He started a new life in Australia and has since got married. He has always paid 200 a month for his daughter. Throughout his absent years he has had next to none contact 2 days over Xmas and then limited Skype time (if and when he chooses) he has no contact with me what so ever any contact she has with him is through her paternal grandmother. The last 4 years he has refused to pay any more money for her i.e nursery fees swimming lessons birthday party's school uniforms. I simply get he doesn't want to. I was looking for some advice in regards to proceeding forward with csa and how this works with him being in Australia. I know he is paying bear minimal as he has a well paid job in Australia. Also he denied having children on his visa application. Tired of him dictating to me what he wants when I've been raising out daughter for 5 years single handely.
Daisnanc - 11-Sep-17 @ 12:04 AM
My twins father has not seen them for almost 9months. Hes been told by the police to go through the courts for access. Hes been abusive to the mother, and subsquently a harrassment case is ongoingi want to see if i can apply to remove his parental rights. I was subject to sexual and emotional abuse whilst i was in a relationship, hes not a healthy role model, and slates me everytime my kids were with him. Last visit which was 9months ago he told my 10 year old girl he was goner throw me through a window, which caused my girl to be very distressed. Any advice given would be very appreciated
tina - 10-Sep-17 @ 8:58 AM
kt - Your Question:
If the father of your child has remarried and had a baby with them and is now the stay at home dad and his wife goes to work - can I claim child support from them as technically he has chosen to give up work and care for their child?

Our Response:
If your ex has chosen to be the stay-at-home parent of his child and is not earning a wage, then you will be unable to make a claim from him directly (unless he has an income - including benefits). However, you cannot make a claim from his partner ( as the main earner), as she does not have parental responsibility of your child.
ChildSupportLaws - 1-Sep-17 @ 12:27 PM
If the father of your child has remarried and had a baby with them and is now the stay at home dad and his wife goes to work - can I claim child support from them as technically he has chosen to give up work and care for their child?
kt - 31-Aug-17 @ 7:06 PM
Mo - Your Question:
My sons name is not on his baby's birth certificate his x partner put father unknown s why does my son have to pay child support he's not allowed to see her and has been paying child support for 5 years can he stop paying because of the above reasons Thankyou all this his heartb Thankyou

Our Response:
Child access and child maintenance are not dependent upon each other and are completely separate issues. If your son's mother named your son as the child's father (regardless whether he is named on the birth certificate), then by law your son is repsonsible (as his son's biological father) to pay child maintenance to his ex towards his son's day-to-day care, regardless of whether he sees him or not. If your son wishes to gain access to his son and his ex refuses, then it is up to the courts to decide whether your son should see his child or not (if your son chooses to apply to court). This takes the decision making process out of the mother's hands. The court will decide what it thinks is in the child's best interests.
ChildSupportLaws - 10-Aug-17 @ 1:50 PM
My sons name is not on his baby's birth certificate his x partner put father unknown s why does my son have to pay child supporthe's not allowed to see her and has been paying child support for 5 years can he stop paying because of the above reasonsThankyou all this his heartb Thankyou
Mo - 10-Aug-17 @ 2:01 AM
Bjo - Your Question:
My sons dad just got in contact he hasnt seen him from he was a new born (hes 9 now) offered to help with child care payments and wants contact but lives in another country! What rights does he have? I dont want him taking my son out of the country.hes not on the birth certificate and chose not to have any contact all these years

Our Response:
Your son's dad has no rights if he hasn't seen him in a while and it is unlikely a court would allow him to take your son out of the country without your consent. You can either discuss between you whether your son's dad should have any specific level of contact, or allow your son's father to apply for mediation or through the court process if he chooses (he would have to apply for parental responsibility too if he wanted any specific rights). If that happens, first and foremost the court will always decide what it thinks is in the best interests of your son.
ChildSupportLaws - 7-Aug-17 @ 2:42 PM
My sons dad just got in contact he hasnt seen him from he was a new born (hes 9 now)offered to help with child care payments and wants contact but lives in another country! What rights does he have? I dont want him taking my son out of the country..hes not on the birth certificate and chose not to have any contact all these years
Bjo - 6-Aug-17 @ 1:44 AM
Tony - Your Question:
Hi I'm a dad and I've been paying maintenance, I had a private arrangement with the ex, but in December asked the csa to take the money because I wouldn't go back. This woman has destroyed my life and destroyed my kids! Social services are involved the kids hate me because the mum makes up so much about me! She recently told them that she's dieing of cancer at the same time as telling them I'm having a baby! She's taken away parental rights and it's been over a year since seeing them. I'm getting to the point of giving up! But is there anything I can do about the maintenance as she doesn't spent on the kids it's about her drinking getting tattoos and spending on her!! What can I do? And please don't say go to court because I can't afford it!

Our Response:
By law you are responsible for paying child maintenance to your ex for your children, regardless of whether you see your children or not. Your ex does not have to justify what she spends the money on. I'm afraid to say, your only option is to take the matter to court if you wish to seek access to your children. If you cannot afford the court fees, you can self litigate. Litigants in person must be treated equally before the law and have equal access to justice. Judges have a duty to ensure a fair trial by giving them due assistance to achieve this. I cannot comment on your ex's behaviour. If you go to court, the judge is only interested in what it thinks is in the best interests of your children and will make decisions based upon this.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Jul-17 @ 2:58 PM
Hi I'm a dad and I've been paying maintenance, I had a private arrangement with the ex, but in December asked the csa to take the money because I wouldn't go back. This woman has destroyed my life and destroyed my kids!Social services are involved the kids hate me because the mum makes up so much about me! She recently told them that she's dieing of cancer at the same time as telling them I'm having a baby! She's taken away parental rights and it's been over a year since seeing them. I'm getting to the point of giving up! But is there anything I can do about the maintenance as she doesn't spent on the kids it's about her drinking getting tattoos and spending on her!! What can I do? And please don't say go to court because I can't afford it!
Tony - 27-Jul-17 @ 5:50 PM
Kelz - Your Question:
Hi my sons biological dad hasn't seen him in 10 years or been in contact and has paid no money, does he have any rights? I have no idea where he is but I am always worried about this. Thanks in advance

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether he has parental responsibility or not. If he has, then he still has certain rights, please see link here. Regardless of whether he pays child maintenance or not, he still has these rights. However, he does not have rights to access or contact unless you agree. His option if you don't, would be to apply to court. But given the length of time he has been away from your son and the lack of contact, dependent upon the reasons why, the court would take this into consideration. Also, the court will always decide upon what it thinks is in your son's best interests and is unlikely to concede to unsupervised access after such a length of time. Your son's own opinion would also count, if he is over the age of 11.
ChildSupportLaws - 25-Jul-17 @ 3:13 PM
Hi my sons biological dad hasn't seen him in 10 years or been in contact and has paid no money, does he have any rights? I have no idea where he is but I am always worried about this. Thanks in advance
Kelz - 25-Jul-17 @ 6:14 AM
Greybeard - Your Question:
A few weeks ago a family member got pregnant due to faulty contraception. She later discovered an internal hemorage whilst also finding out about the baby. After talking with the father they went to a clinic for an agreed abortion. Due to the hemorage she was advised to wait it out or go in for surgery.Due to complications and health risks this didn't happen and the two agreed on seeing through the pregnancy and putting the child up for adoption. she has now decided to raise the child herself.The father has been consistently adamant that he does not ever want children and it has been agreed he doesnt want contact or his name on the birth certificate. In the eyes of the law where does he stand a) in the future if he changes his mind and b) financially?

Our Response:
If your family member has the child and if the father does not want any parental 'rights' to the child, then he can obtain this by refusing to have his name on the birth certificate. This will mean he has no parental responsibility to the child. However, because he is the father of the child, the mother will still be able to claim child maintenance and the father will be, by law, obliged to pay until the child leaves full-time education.
ChildSupportLaws - 21-Jul-17 @ 12:44 PM
A few weeks ago a family member got pregnant due to faulty contraception. She later discovered an internal hemorage whilst also finding out about the baby. After talking with the father they went to a clinic for an agreed abortion. Due to the hemorage she was advised to wait it out or go in for surgery. Due to complications and health risks this didn't happen and the two agreed on seeing through the pregnancy and putting the child up for adoption.. she has now decided to raise the child herself. The father has been consistently adamant that he does not ever want children and it has been agreed he doesnt want contact or his name on the birth certificate. In the eyes of the law where does he stand a) in the future if he changes his mind and b) financially?
Greybeard - 20-Jul-17 @ 11:37 PM
Hannah - Your Question:
Hi my ex has not been incontact to see the children for nearly 6 years now. Never paid a penny for them no maintenance nothing!! can have his rights taken away? He has been an absent parent for so long now through his own choice. The thought of him having any rights still makes me feel sick to the stomach. He is a stranger to my children an doesn't deserve any rights surely

Our Response:
It is very rare parental responsibility is taken from a parent. You are eligible to claim child maintenance from him if he is the father of your children and has an income. If he does not see your children and has no access rights or contact arrangement in place, then as it stands currently he has very few rights.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Jul-17 @ 2:31 PM
Hi my ex has not been incontact to see the children for nearly 6 years now. Never paid a penny for them no maintenance nothing!! can have his rights taken away? He has been an absent parent for so long now through his own choice. The thought of him having any rights still makes me feel sick to the stomach. He is a stranger to my children an doesn't deserve any rights surely
Hannah - 14-Jul-17 @ 8:03 AM
Hi the father has stopped seeing our son he has a new girlfriend who he wanted me to allow to look after our son when he has him over night and he's at work I disagreed as I don't know her. I have now found out she is a child sex offender was a teacher and had sexual relationship with 15 year old pupil. She got banned from teaching for life was done for serious sexual mis conduct. He was allowing our child contact with her knowing this, when I found out I said I don't want her round my son, he kicked in my door went to court and was fined but restraining order was denied he hasn't payed maintenance since November last year.now he's taking me to court,I don't want him to have contact
Jessy - 20-Jun-17 @ 9:49 PM
I have had to pursue my Ex through REMO as he moved to Belgium and the CSA closed our case. He promised he would continue to pay maintenance as per our CSA agreement, however when it dropped to such a low amount I became suspicious and made the application to REMO to enforce the agreement he made originally. The court has agreed that he is not paying what he should (less then half) but are asking me to provide legal legislation regarding what happens when your child (16 gets a Saturday job) etc I don't know where to get the information from for them and the CSA are less then helpful. Where can I find the legal aspect to the CSA regulations?
A - 13-Jun-17 @ 1:07 PM
Jean - Your Question:
My son is 6 years old.we still leave with his father has we are homeless. We got nowhere to go the council dismissed my homeless application a year ago. Now I'm stuck here at his home. Everyday is a livong hell for me. Im my son mother and father at the same time. My son father doesn't involved in his life even his living under the same roof. He doesn't give money for his son. He takes him to school when he please. My son goes to karate' on Mondays that every practice and grading is me not once.he goes swimming on Saturday again it's me. He doesn't know what going on in his son education. He doesn't when there parents evening activities sport day nothing.He son have to mentioned to him. Homework he does with him when he feel like it. My son going to year 2 in September not once his dad have opened and sit with him into read.no holiday. Please advice what should I do?

Our Response:
Even if you are living under the same roof as your ex partner, you may be able to claim child maintenance from him via CMS if he will not help to support your children financially. You don't say whether you are married and/or living together as you may have a claim on the home you are living in, even if your ex owns it. I can only suggest you seek legal advice. However, there is little you can do regarding forcing your ex to physically play a greater part in your son's life.
ChildSupportLaws - 13-Jun-17 @ 11:52 AM
My son is 6 years old.we still leave with his father has we are homeless. We got nowhere to go the council dismissed my homeless application a year ago. Now I'm stuck here at his home. Everyday is a livong hell for me. Im my son mother and father at the same time. My son father doesn't involved in his life even his living under the same roof.He doesn't give money for his son. He takes him to school when he please.My son goes to karate' on Mondays that every practice and grading is me not once .he goes swimming on Saturday again it's me. He doesn't know what going on in his son education. He doesn't when there parents evening activities sport day nothing .He son have to mentioned to him. Homework he does with him when he feel like it.. My son going to year 2 in September not once his dad have opened and sit with him into read.no holiday.Please advice what should I do?
Jean - 12-Jun-17 @ 4:34 PM
If parents have shared parental responsibility who claims the child benefit and can I apply for working tax credit if I'm on a low income. I have my daughter for three nights a week
Lil - 25-May-17 @ 5:37 PM
Can I get sole parental responsibility as a lone parent.my daughter is 12 in august.i split from her dad when she was 18months old.we went through court for him to get access at the time but he made a big scene and gave up.we had no contact from him for nearly 2years.he then suddenly made an application for contact when I started seeing my current partner(of 8years) the court battle latest nearly 2 years while they sorted it all out.he was granted 1 Saturday per fortnight.since that time he would regularly not turn up and generally cause a nuisance.until 18 months ago when he split from his wife,dumped her and the child they have together.he hasn't had contact with my daughter or his other daughter since January 2nd 2016.hes gone,moveed away and has nothing to do with any of us.doesnt pay any matinance.no contact at all.NOTHING.i want to apply to have sole responsibility.is it possible??
Zara161185 - 22-Apr-17 @ 6:40 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:
Latest Comments
  • Blakie
    Re: Child Maintenance Payments: Your Entitlement
    Hi, I'm a father of two children. I have religiously paid child maintenance each and every month to the…
    21 October 2017
  • Millie
    Re: How the CSA Works
    Hi please can someone out there help me My child father had a very good highly payed job . Now I have asked for child support for my 16 year boy…
    21 October 2017
  • Flump
    Re: Enforcement of CSA/CMS Payments
    The amount of men complaining about having to pay for their child is disgusting....dont have kids if you aren't willing to…
    21 October 2017
  • FathersforJustice
    Re: What Rights Does My Ex Have With Regards to Our Children?
    Became a dad recently, got thrown out after 2 weeks for not helping out enough, (apart from…
    21 October 2017
  • Cath
    Re: What Counts as Earnings?
    Hi, I’m a single mum and have two children (10 & 5) with my ex who has paid 3 months - £360 over the last 5 years and manages to buck…
    21 October 2017
  • ChildSupportLaws
    Re: Child Custody Rights
    Catalonianuksp - Your Question:I had a short relationship with a British girl that lead in a child who's most of the time with me as my ex is…
    20 October 2017
  • ChildSupportLaws
    Re: The EU and Common Child Support Laws
    Lostcsaanswers - Your Question:I had a 1night stand with an African girl I met on the internet 2 years later I get a…
    20 October 2017
  • ChildSupportLaws
    Re: Can I Get Back Pay for Child Maintenance?
    charley - Your Question:My dad owes supposedly owes 6000 according to my mum, I'm not too sure what for possibly…
    20 October 2017
  • ChildSupportLaws
    Re: Child Maintenance Payments: Your Entitlement
    Cathy - Your Question:My daughters husband pays nothing towRds his 4 children apart from a non regular £7 s…
    20 October 2017
  • ChildSupportLaws
    Re: How the CSA Works
    Laura - Your Question:Hi I have a daughter with my ex partner who hasn't been involved he also has another baby in same position the mother has…
    20 October 2017
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 ChildSupportLaws website. Please read our Disclaimer.