Parenting does not end with the breakdown of the relationship. Co-operating on parenting matters after a separation is a priority for most parents. We have significant experience in dealing with these matters.
Often there are differences of opinion between parents about issues such as with whom the child should live, how often the child should spend time with the other parent and other family members such as grandparents or how to finance the children’s living and education costs.
The usual rule of thumb is that there is no order made when parents separate. The court will not interfere in the arrangements between the two of you unless one of you asks it to by making an application for a judge to decide one of these issues. This means that most parents have to agree the arrangements themselves.
Our solicitors and mediators can help you and your partner to come to an agreement over the appropriate arrangements for the children or any issues arising. Often routes such as negotiation, mediation or arbitration can be useful tools to try to reach a sensible outcome, which is in the best interests of your children.
If it is not possible to reach agreement, then an application can be made to the court to determine any such issue. It is a precondition of doing so that you or your partner has been to see a mediator.
The court process involves a series of hearings. It may involve a court-appointed social worker (CAFCASS officer) or an independent social worker to produce a report on what is in the best interests of the child.
Our solicitors and mediators have significant experience in the following areas:
- Arrangements for children upon relationship breakdown;
- Exercising parental responsibility including applications for prohibited steps orders and specific issue orders;
- Grandparents’ rights;
- Relocating with children (whether international or within the United Kingdom);
- Acquiring parental responsibility;
- Adoption, Surrogacy and Fertility issues;
- Financial matters including financial provision for unmarried parents and child maintenance;
- Drawing up parenting plans for you and the other parent(s).