Father's Day is this Sunday (17th June 2018) and some fathers in Scotland will be wondering whether they have the right to see their child on that day. 

After all, the name of the day would suggest that it is a day for fathers to spend with their child. In Scotland, if both parents have parental responsibilities and rights (PRRs) in relation to their child then, in the absence of a court order, each parent has an equal right to see their child on any day of the year, including Father's Day.

Many separated parents manage to agree the care arrangements for their child, which often includes the child spending certain holidays and special days with one parent or the other. This may include a child spending Father's Day with their father.

In situations where separated parents cannot agree the care arrangements for their child, the parents may decide to attend mediation in the hope of reaching a mutually acceptable outcome. If mediation is not fruitful or not appropriate, then some parents may end up going down the court route - but that should be a last resort.

When considering any matter regarding a child, it should be borne in mind that the paramount consideration is what is in the child's best interests.

How does a father acquire parental responsibilities and rights?

Well there are various ways. A father automatically has PRRs if he is married to the mother at the time of the child's conception or subsequently; or if the child is born on or after 4th May 2006 and the father is named on the child's birth certificate. If a father does not fall into either of these categories then it is possible for him to acquire PRRs by either entering into a PRRs agreement with the mother, or by virtue of a court making an order conferring PRRs on the father.

For more information on PRRs, or anything else in this article, please contact any member of the family law team at Brodies.