The breakdown of a relationship, marriage or not, is rarely easy, and your children are among the first considerations. The law presumes that both parents should spend time with the children unless there are safeguarding concerns. These situations can be very stressful and many people turn to a family solicitor for help.
The breakdown of a relationship naturally affects the children and it is important to minimise adverse effects by maintaining parental relationships. I encourage parents to resolve disputes as quickly and amicably as possible, whether through mediation or solicitor negotiation, or by applying to the court for a Child Arrangements Order.
Common issues between parents include:
- Where and with whom your children should live (formerly known as custody or residence). This is often one of the main conflicts between parents and for the wellbeing of the child needs to be resolved efficiently.
- How much contact your children will have with each parent (formerly known as contact or access).
- Specific issues such as the name of your child, where your child will go to school, or who will hold your child’s passport.
- One parent wishing to move the children elsewhere in the UK or abroad, and the other parent does not consent to the move.
- Prohibiting a parent from taking a specified action concerning a child.
- Parental responsibility for unmarried fathers.
As a Family Solicitor, my approach is both sensitive and cost-effective, and I aim to work in a constructive way, to reach a settlement at an early stage of the process wherever possible and help my clients move forward with their lives.
I can provide strategic legal advice to help you resolve issues regarding your children sensitively. However, if parents cannot agree on arrangements for the children, the family court has the power to make a Child Arrangements Order, which can dictate living arrangements, sharing of care, where a child should go to school and which country the child should live in.