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Parental responsibility for married and unmarried fathers: should the distinctions remain in 2023?

Date:31 JUL 2023
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Chloe Branton Parklane Plowden Chambers Leeds

In this article Chloe Branton considers the current position regarding parental responsibility for married and unmarried fathers and outlines some recent and historic cases that have examined this issue. Key cases covered include the recent decision in F v M [2023] EWFC 5 Re D (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 315 and Smallwood v United Kingdom (29779/96) (1999) 27 EHRR CD 155.

Chloe looked at ss 2 3 and 4 of the Children Act 1989 including how parents can acquire or lose parental responsibility depending on whether they are mother or are married or unmarried fathers. 

Chloe also considers the 2022 census data on families and family types within the UK from the Office for National Statistic. Chloe concludes by considering whether despite the European Court of Human’s Rights decision in Smallwood remaining ‘good law’ such different treatment of fathers based on their martial status should continue and is justifiable in the 21st century.

The full article will be published in the August issue of 

Read the full article here.