Children Law and Parenting Issues
Whilst many parents are able to agree the arrangements for their children issues can still arise in respect of living arrangements or decisions in relation to their upbringing.
If these issues cannot be agreed directly, then many parents obtain the help of other services, including discussions between solicitors, family mediation or counselling to enable them to reach a suitable outcome for them and their children.
If matters are more complicated, or there is a fundamental disagreement that cannot be resolved then in some circumstances parents apply to the Court to assist them in reaching a resolution.
The starting point is that the Court will not intervene in the arrangements for the children unless there is a positive need or benefit to do so. However, when considering whether to make such an order, the Court will take into account a range of factors including the child’s physical and emotional needs, any harm they may be at risk of suffering, how capable each parent is of looking after the child, and the child’s wishes and feelings (taking into account their age and understanding).
The most common order made by the Courts is a Child Arrangements Order, which will set out with whom the child is to live or how much time they will spend with each parent. However, there can also be other orders made in relation to the exercise of Parental Responsibility, which is “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent has in relation to the child and their property”. These will relate to the important decisions in relation to their upbringing such as their education, medical treatment, religion and whether a child can be taken abroad to live.
We can provide sensitive and constructive advice, assistance, guidance and representation when dealing with issues involving children.
We have extensive experience of representing individuals in Court in relation to these matters and all of our team are also members of Resolution, the association of family lawyers that promotes a constructive approach to family dispute.
Associate Solicitor Jackie Mensah has also been accredited by Resolution as a specialist in children law, whilst all members of the department have been awarded the Government’s Help And Support For Separated Families Kitemark.