Divorced or Separated Couples
Note: A Guardian is not automatically entitled to have the children living with them, and any disputes between the Guardians and the surviving parent will be settled by the courts.
If an unmarried father has not obtained parental responsibility (see below), he cannot make a valid appointment of Guardians. Furthermore, the father will not automatically become Guardian of his children on the death of the mother.
Unmarried fathers can obtain parental responsibility in one of the following ways:
- By being registered as the father of the child on the birth certificate (for children born on or after 1.12.2003).
- By entering into a written agreement to share parental responsibility with the mother of the child. A Parental Responsibility Agreement form can be obtained from your solicitor.
- By applying to the court for parental responsibility.
- By being appointed Guardian of the child by the mother.
- By marriage to the mother.