Fathers could be held legally liable for their children’s behaviour until they are 18 – even if they are divorced or separated.
David Cameron and Nick Clegg are considering the proposals by a government advisory body following its report into social issues caused by absent fathers.
Rob Williams, chief executive of the Fatherhood Institute, believes the measures will stop fathers shirking their responsibilities.
He told the Sunday Times: ‘If parents know when they separate they will both be in trouble if their child starts misbehaving it will transform the drift of fathers away from their children.
‘We need to recognise that non-resident parents have responsibilities for their children.’
Official statistics show that around one million children have little or no contact with their fathers.
The Fatherhood Institute, which is part funded by the Department of Education, wants changes to the law over court orders issued to parents of unruly children.
Mr Williams, a former deputy children’s commissioner, said 80 per cent of the orders go to mothers because the child lives with them and not the father.
He added: ‘If you change the law, the dad is going to have to respond.’
Currently, a mother must register her name on a birth certificate, at a GP surgery and with a school. Fathers are not required to be registered.
The proposals would exclude one in six violent fathers who should be kept away from their children and help fathers who are prevented from seeing the children by the mothers.
Ian Duncan Smith, the Work and pensions secretary, is backing a proposal from labour MP graham Allen for a nationwide parenting programme which has been successful in America.