The short answer is probably yes.

If you are married you automatically share “parental responsibility” with your spouse or former spouse.

The same applies to the majority of unmarried couples where both are named on the birth certificate.

In these circumstances no person may:

  • Cause the child to be known by a new surname.
  • Remove the child from England and Wales.

without the consent of the other parent or a court order.

Parental responsibility as a concept includes important issues such as where a child is educated. The courts have often said that consultation on choice of school is required. In practice this means schools will want to see the involvement of both parents.

If there is a dispute regarding choice of school the initial step would be to consider mediation. If that is unsuccessful the last resort will be an application for a “specific issue” order using Form C100. The issue to be decided by the court is which school serves the best interests of the child.