There is nothing in the law which can make a parent be invlolved in their child’s life if they simply choose not to be. But parental responsibility laws still apply. If your child is not spending any time with their other parents, it can be even more important to reach out for help from people around you.

Whilst nothing can force a parent to be involved in their child’s life, there are parental responsibility laws which mean that each parent should fulfill certain responsibilities.

These are:

  • All mothers have parental responsibility for their child. Fathers may also have parental responsibility, depending on their circumstances.
  • All parents must support their children financially, even if they do not have legal parental responsibility. This could mean paying child maintenance.

There is support available through specialist organisations for single parents who are feeling isolated or stressed, or need some advice on explaining the situation to their children. A few examples of these organisations are listed below.

Looking after a child on your own can be tiring and hard work. If you start to feel isolated and stressed, reach out for help.

  • Ask your friends and family for support- this could be lending a shoulder to cry on, or help with childcare.
  • Join a group where you can meet other people in your situation. These groups offer opportunities to share your experiences and learn from other single parents.
  • Tell your children what’s happening, in a way that suits their age group, and reassure them that it’s not their fault.

Where can I go next?