Docklands Solicitor

Latest legal news from Docklands Solicitors, Kaslers Solicitors LLP.

Monday, 8 June 2009


Parental Responsibility. What does this mean in practical terms?

When a decision has to be taken about a child, all those with parental responsibility for the child are allowed to have a say in that decision. The decision will have to be about the upbringing of the child. Day to day decisions should be made by the resident parent or the person with whom the child lives without interference from other parental responsibility holders.

In practical terms parental responsibility means the power to make important decisions in relation to a child, for example:

whether a child should receive medical treatment;
decisions about where a child is to live;
what religion the child should follow;
which school they should attend ;

Who has parental responsibility?

Mothers - automatically have parental responsibility. This is not affected if she is divorced.
Married fathers - automatically have parental responsibility. This is not affected if he divorced.
Unmarried fathers - do NOT automatically have parental responsibility.

The law changed so that unmarried fathers who registered (or re-registered) their name on their child’s birth certificate AFTER 1st December 2003 will have parental responsibility for their child.


If an unmarried father has a child after 1st December 2003 and he is registered on the birth certificate he WILL have parental responsibility.

If a child was registered before 1st December 2003 and the father was not named on the birth certificate, the child can be re-registered to include the father’s name. Once this has been done, the father WILL have parental responsibility.

If an unmarried father’s name is already on the birth certificate and the child was registered before 1st December 2003, the law has not changed this situation so the father WILL NOT have parental responsibility. (Unless obtained by other means.)

However, an unmarried father without parental responsibility will still have rights, for example:

he has an automatic right to apply to the court for certain court orders in respect of his child
a right to have reasonable contact with his child, if for example, the child is in the care of the local authority

Do I have any responsibilities even though I do not have parental responsibility?

The law regards the issues of parental responsibility and maintenance for children as being completely separate. An unmarried father who does not have parental responsibility still has a duty towards his child to provide child support maintenance.

Can young people make their own decisions?

Parents are able to decide what religion their child should be bought up with, however, once the child reaches a certain age ( generally around the age of 15) and is competent enough to be able to decide what religion to follow, he or she is able to make decisions in his or her own right. This would depend on the maturity and understanding of the individual young person.

Can I take my child abroad?

Parents should be reasonable about this and provide the other parent with plenty of notice and remember to always act in the best interests of the child.

If the resident parent has a residence order, they are able to take the child abroad for up to a month without the consent of the other parent. If they intend to take the child for longer than a month, they will need written consent of every person with parental responsibility.

Where the parent with whom the child lives does not have a residence order, he or she can take the child on holiday, but should inform the non-resident parent that he or she intends to do so. It is not necessary to obtain the non-resident parent's positive agreement, but the resident parent should carefully consider any reasonable objections, If the non-resident parent will need to apply to for a court order if he wishes to prevent the resident parent taking the child on holiday.

If contact is agreed, there is no reason why the child cannot be taken abroad during that time. However, the resident parents often do object and may refuse to allow the child to go. In such a case, the non resident parent will need to seek a court order permitting him or her to take the child away.

For further details call Michelle Brennan on 07795 821 793 or contact by email:

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Thursday, 4 June 2009


Auctioneers liability

If an item is sold at auction and it is then discovered to be worth much more, the auctioneer may well be liable. This is because he was supposed to have exercised the degree of skill and care expected of him. However, he should be judged according to whether he is a specialist or non-specialist in the category of goods concerned. In other words, a higher degree of skill and care will be expected of, say, Sothebys than from a non-specialist out-of-London general auctioneer.

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Monday, 1 June 2009


Defence costs for company director

A company can lend money to a director to fund the defence of civil, criminal or regulatory proceedings

If the director is exonerated from wrong doing at the end of those proceedings, the company may also waive repayment of the loan and indemnify the director in respect of those costs

If he is not, then the loan must be repaid immediately if the proceedings were civil or criminal, but this is not obligatory if the proceedings were regulatory or brought by a third party

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Call Michael Breeze on 07900 195 195 or call 0845 270 2511 to if you need legal advise about any of these issues

Kaslers Solicitors LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England under LLP no. OC310653; authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under reg no 408936; governed by professional rules set out in the Code of Conduct click here to visit and has its registered office / main trading address at Suite 3, 10 Churchill Square, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4YU - tel: +44 (0)845 270 2511; fax: +44 (0)845 270 2513; DX 92863 West Malling.
The LLP Members are Michael D Breeze LL.B (Hons) (SRA reg no 110184) and Simon McCree Scott LL.B (Hons) (SRA reg no 298202).