Parental responsibility means:
the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property; and
the rights, duties and powers which a guardian of the child’s estate would have in relation to the child and his property.
It is possible for more than one person to have parental responsibility. Any person who has parental responsibility for a child cannot act against any order made by the court.
The fact that a person may or may not have parental responsibility does not affect:
any obligation to pay maintenance or any other duty in relation to the child; or
any rights in relation the child’s property upon their death.
Parental responsibility by agreement
A parental responsibility agreement is a legal document in which a child’s mother and father agree that the father has parental responsibility for the child.
To make a parental responsibility agreement, you need to obtain a Form PRA1 – Parental Responsibility Agreement (Word doc) (PDF). This form will come with guidance notes to help you fill it out. The form can also be obtained by calling into the public counter at the Isle of Man Courts of Justice.
Children whose births have been registered after 01 November 2013 - fathers will automatically have Parental Responsibility if they are named on the birth certificate.
How do I apply for parental responsibility?
You then need to complete these forms and send it back to the High Court. You should then file and serve a copy of the application upon the named respondent.
If a step-parent wishes to obtain parental responsibility, they need to make an application to Court on the C1 form.
Who is/are the respondent(s)?
You will have to tell people that you have made an application; these people are the respondents and the other people to be notified. These might include the child’s parents/guardians or someone who is looking after the child.
How much does it cost?
You should contact the court before you put in your application and they will advise how much you need to pay. You can pay by cash or card at the public counter or if you are submitting an application by post you can pay by cheque. All cheques must be made payable to the Isle of Man Government. Information on the costs can also be found in the fees section.
Do I need an advocate or can I apply for an order myself
You can apply yourself and represent yourself in court but, if there are any parts of the application/court hearing that you do not understand, please remember that the court can not give any legal advice and always advise you to seek legal advice before putting in an application or you may contact the Citizens Advice Bureau.
I would like an advocate but can not afford it
You may be entitled to Legal Aid. You should contact an advocate’s office and they will advise if you are eligible for Legal Aid.
Please note that the court staff cannot help you to decide what to put on the forms, or give you any advice about your case. The court will always recommend if you are unsure of the relevant Acts or Rules which relate to applications, or have queries regarding the contents of applications you should seek legal advice and/or contact a Manx advocate. The names of Manx advocates who are Family Law practitioners may be obtained from the Isle of Man Law Society.