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familylawexpert
familylawexpert, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 311
Experience:  Substantial experience (14yrs +) in divorce, financial cases, cohabitation, pre-nuptial agreements and civil partnerships.
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how can I apply for step-parental responsibility for my husband.

Customer Question

how can I apply for step-parental responsibility for my husband. the biological father has PR but his whereabouts in unknown - even to the courts. My husband has been my daughters step father for 11 years.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

My name is Mac and I will be able to help you with your question. First I need to ask for some more information:

1. How old is your daughter?

2. When did you marry?

.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


She is 14 - turns 15 next Feb


 


We married in 2005 - been together since 2002

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.

It should be relatively straightforward. Your husband needs to make an application to the Court (using form C1, I will give you a link below). He would file that application with the local court - I suggest that you do so with a letter attached from you explaining that you do not object, and that the biological father's whereabouts have long been unknown.

The court will then set a timetable for the application to be dealt with, and let you know when you need to attend and what else you need to do. It might be a bit of a slow process, because the courts are very under-resourced, but you'll get there in the end without too much hassle I would hope.

The only cost will be the court fee (which may be discounted if he is in receipt of benefits).

//hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/c001-eng.pdf

I hope that is helpful.

.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Do we apply to the local magistrates court?


 


 


Can we apply for a change of surname at the same time?


 


Who do we address the letter to?


 


 


do we attach the fee with the application - if so, how much do we have to pay?


 


Do we have to evidence that we cannot find him - not sure how we would do this - there was a history of substantial violence during the marriage and I can't say I've tried to keep in contact.... (there is an existing court order for maintenance - and the courts have written to us saying they don't know where he is)


 

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I have addressed your additional questions below.

Do we apply to the local magistrates court?
Yes.

Do we have to evidence that we cannot find him (the bio father)?
No. The biological father does not have parental responsibility as your daughter was born before 2003 and you were not married to the father. (Correct me if that is wrong).
As he does not currently have parental responsibility, he should not be named as a respondent on the form, and therefore it does not matter that he cannot be traced.

Can we apply for a change of surname at the same time?
That is a different action. To change a child's surname is done by deed poll. It requires the consent of all people with parental responsibility of the child.
It can be done online, I attach a link:
https://secure.deedpoll.org.uk/DeedPollChild.html

Who do we address the letter to?
I generally recommend hand delivering these to the Court, so as to be sure they have been received.

Do we attach the fee with the application - if so, how much do we have to pay?
Yes. The standard court fee is £215.

Good luck!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No the biological father DOES have PR as we were married - that's the complicated part.


Deed poll may not be enough for passport name change as I may need a court order for that....same reasons - absent father with PR

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.
Okay.

So you go have to include him as a Respondent, in which case you should include details of his unknown whereabouts, and include copies of the letters you have from the court saying that he cannot be traced. I would also summarise the same information in a covering letter.

You can also apply in the same application for an order discharging the biological father's PR. How long has he been absent for?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


he has not seen her since Feb 2006 - and contact before then was very sporadic...


 


We would ideally like my husband to adopt her - but I know that it can be a very long and complicated process...so settling for step parental responsibility is okay for now.


 


She has been known by her (and mine) Step fathers surname for years now, with the exception of her passport and GP surgery - as they ask for a court order confirmation before they agree to change it - hence my previous question.


 


I read on the deed poll website that the passport office may not accept a deed poll alone and may ask for a court order.

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.
Seven years is a long time to be completely missing indeed.

I am not an expert on the passport office's requirements, I am afraid, but my reading of the situation is that they won't accept a copy, but they will accept the deed poll document itself. (There is a reference to the "Legal Copy and Archive" service in the application that seems to cover the position.) There's no harm in trying after all once you have the Deed Poll.

You are correct that adoption is a much more involved process than a parental responsibility order. I would agree with your 'one step at a time' approach.

I hope I have been helpful.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You are correct - you cannot change your daughters name officially without a Court Order - however SHE can do so the day she turns 16
The Passport Office have to accept this
If what you really want is to adopt the child then there is no reason to delay - and every reason to start sooner rather than later since it will take time and HAS to be ocmpleted before she is 18
Clare
Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I notice that you haven't yet rated my answer, is there some part of it in relation to which I could help you further?

Regards,
Mac

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