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Arrangements for Children

Child arrangements are one of the biggest challenges facing parents who have separated. If you are going through this process, we understand your main priority will be to protect your child’s wellbeing. This means finding the right solution early so that everyone can settle sooner after this tumultuous time

We often find that mums and dads, or other adults who may be involved, prefer to come to an arrangement themselves rather than taking the matter to court. This is often the best solution as everyone has had an input, understands their role and it saves time, money and potential bitterness. This can be done by negotiations between yourselves, solicitors or Mediation. Mediation is where a third party facilitates the negotiations. Mediation is also a pre-requisite to issuing Court proceedings.

Do you have the following issues? If you and your partner cannot agree, you can apply to the Family Court to help decide:

  • Where will your child live
  • When your child will spend time with each parent
  • When you can contact your child when they are not with you
  • What school will your child attend
  • Whether your child should have a religious education
  • Whether your child’s name should be changed.

In reaching a decision, your child’s physical and emotional wellbeing will be the court’s priority, rather than what may best suit either parent. Depending on what the court needs to rule on, they can make a Child Arrangements Order (relating to contact) or a Specific Issues Order (where the Court agrees with a specific issue) or a Prohibited Steps Order (where the Court prevents a specific issue from taking place or being considered).

If your matter has proceeded to Court and a Court order is in place, if you break the conditions of an order, you could find yourself in trouble with the law sanctions brought against you, or yourself being found in contempt of Court. If the other parent breaches the Court Order, we can help you take steps to have this enforced.

Only a birth mother automatically gets Parental Responsibility. Are you the other parent that needs assistance in getting parental responsibility? We are able to help you with speaking to the mother to obtain parental responsibility by either negotiating to have you registered on the birth certificate, a parental responsibility agreement or an Application to the Court whereby the Court can have this formally recognised.

Are you a grandparent who seeks a relationship with your grandchild(ren)? We are able to assist grandparents in having contact with their grandchild(ren). We can give advice on how to proceed with talks between the parents and yourself, we can help to facilitate negotiations, or we can support with a mediation referral. It’s important to remember that court is not the only option, but it can be considered if need be.

We have helped parents and families make arrangements for children following a relationship breakdown. We will make sure that everyone involved understands their legal rights and responsibilities, whilst ensuring your and your children’s views are considered.

You and the children have practical needs as well as emotional ones and it can sometimes be difficult to focus on the best practical solutions when a relationship has broken down. Our family solicitors will bring clarity to your situation and explain what options are available to you. Our solicitors will clearly explain what arrangements for children need to be considered and help you put things in place to create a more stable and happy future for you and your children.

Want to know more?

Call for Our Free Initial Assessment that gives you the chance to talk with one of our experts so you can find out how we can help. There’s no charge and no obligation whatsoever.

We offer fixed fee initial consultations for half an hour at £99 plus VAT. Call us on 0121 514 5279 to find out more.

Team members

Lauren Foote
Family Law Advocate

News and media

  • Blog
    • Posted on December 10, 2020
      With the festive period almost upon us, many separated couples will have to think about how best to share the time with their children over the Christmas break. This can be stressful as parents sometimes find it hard to agree who the children should be with and when, particularly on the all-important Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This year things may be even more difficult given the current pandemic.

      Under the current rules, children under the age of 18 can continue to move between their parents' homes for the purposes of contact and this applies regardless of which tier families find themselves in. Between 23 and 27 December this year up to three households can meet to form a Christmas bubble. This should come as welcome news as it means that children moving between their parents' homes between this period will be able to spend time with extended family members/friends on both parents' sides.
    • Posted on March 20, 2019
      Parental responsibility is all the rights, duties, powers and responsibilities a parent has in relation to the child and in relation to the child’s property.

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