When cohabitants with children break up, the legal responsibilities of the parents as regards the children are governed by the Children Act 1989.
If amicable arrangements as regards the children cannot be made, the Family Court will rule on matters such as with which parent they will live and the access arrangements for the other parent.
Where a child's father is not named on the birth certificate, the father will not have legal parental responsibility for the child unless he agrees or, in the absence of agreement, a court order is obtained.
Where property is an issue, the Court will not normally order the transfer of a property into the sole name of the mother or children. However, in order to provide a home for the family, the property may be put into trust for the children until the youngest child reaches the age of 18 or ceases full-time education.