Relationship breakdowns can be a highly emotional time for all members of the family. Parents may need help resolving the parenting and childcare arrangements, including whether parenting will be shared and sorting out an agreement on when the children spend time with each parent.
If a parenting agreement cannot be reached between separated or divorced parents, an application can be made to Court for a Child Arrangements Order. Whether you need help with Solicitor negotiations to reach a childcare agreement or representation in Children Law Court proceedings, our experienced Family Law Solicitors can help you reach agreement or guide you through the Court process.
Initial Telephone Discussion
Our Family Law team understand that it can be frustrating and upsetting if you are unable to have regular contact with your child. This can be even more distressing if an agreement or Court Order has been made but it is not being followed by the other parent.
Our Family Law experts help by listening to you, understanding your concerns and the childcare and contact arrangements you want to achieve.
We can assist in:
- Guiding you on parenting agreements reached directly with your former partner.
- Legal support during the Family Mediation process.
- Solicitor led negotiations to help you reach a parenting agreement.
- Representation in Court proceedings for a Child Arrangement Order.
- Reviewing existing childcare arrangements and negotiating changes or applying to Court to vary an existing Child Arrangement Order.
- Enforcement applications if a Child Arrangement Order is not being complied with. For example, you may be concerned about parental alienation and want to pursue enforcement action.
In most situations, we can help you reach an agreement without you needing to make an application for a Child Arrangement Order or respond to an application. We believe it is best for you and your family if you can reach an agreement and avoid Children Law Court proceedings as that saves you time and money and is less stressful for you. In addition, with a negotiated agreement, you reach your own solution rather than have a Judge impose a decision on you after a contested Court hearing.
A Child Arrangement Order sets out
- Where your children will live – this could be shared care, equal parenting, or the Court could order that the children have one home base and reside with one parent
- The contact arrangements – this could include overnight contact, weekend contact, holiday contact and special occasion contact, such as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas or birthdays
When making a Child Arrangement Order the Judge will decide what Order is in the best interests of your children. The Court will take into account a range of factors to help it reach a decision. These factors are referred to as ‘the welfare checklist’.
A Child Arrangement Order will last until your child is 16 or, in exceptional circumstances, until your child is 18, or until the Order is varied or brought to an end by another Court Order.
Other types of Children Law Orders
The Court can make a range of other Orders, such as:
- Holiday Order – if one parent wants to take a child abroad on holiday and the other parent will not agree, the parent will need to apply for permission unless they already have a Child Arrangement Order saying the child lives with them and the planned holiday is for less than 4 weeks.
- Prohibited Steps Order – to prevent a parent from acting in a certain way
- Relocation Order – if one parent wants to move overseas with the child and the other parent will not give their consent.
- Specific Issue Order – to resolve a specific issue in dispute between parents, such as the religion a child should practice or choice of private school.
Whatever the nature of your Children Law issue, our approachable Family Law Solicitors can help you reach a resolution.
Where possible we will offer a fixed fee, so you will know what the costs are from the start. For more complex or uncertain projects, we will provide you with an estimate of the likely fees involved and keep you updated throughout the matter.
How to get in contact
Our Family Law Solicitors are on hand to provide expert advice and assist you wherever you are based. Please call us for a no-obligation, initial discussion on 01256 460830 or email [email protected].
Our offices are based in Basingstoke and we assist clients across the country.
We aim to keep legal jargon to a minimum and guide you through the process in a manner that is easy to understand.
Our highly-skilled solicitors offer tailored, strategic solutions to even the most complex matters, ensuring you receive the guidance and support you need.
We will be by your side throughout every stage of the process and will provide you with regular updates and advice along the way.
We communicate thoroughly with you from the outset to ensure that we fully understand your individual needs. This allows us to accurately quote for your matter leaving you without any unexpected surprises and fees further down the line.
We provide our clients with a concise and transparent breakdown of costs from the outset of the matter and throughout any subsequent stages. This enables you to build faith and trust in us early on to form a lasting relationship.
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