- 23 November 2023
Our specialised Children’s Law Team can advise you regarding arrangements for your children following a relationship breakdown. We also advice grandparents and other family members who wish to spend time with children following relationship breakdown.
We are able to provide advice on the following:
Parental responsibility is the set of rights, duties and obligations which a person, often a parent, has regarding a child. You can make important decisions about a child’s upbringing which can include:
Generally, the parents of a child will have parental responsibility. Where the other parent is not named on the birth certificate or is not married to the child’s birth mother, they will not have parental responsibility. In those circumstances, you could enter into a parental responsibility agreement or make an application to Court for parental responsibility. At THB, our specialist Resolution accredited family team can advise on what path is most applicable to your circumstances and provide assistance in preparing the relevant documents to obtain Parental Responsibility. We also can provide advice on Step-Parental Responsibility.
If parents separate and are unable to agree on the arrangements for their children, one of the parties can apply to Court for a Child Arrangements Order. A Child Arrangements Order (formerly known as Residence and Contact Orders) sets out the arrangements for the upbringing of your child, such as who your child will live with and spend time with.
When making decisions about children, the Court will make sure that any arrangements ordered are safe for the children. They make decisions based on the ‘welfare checklist’ as set out below:
The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned considered in the light of their age and understanding.
The range of powers available to the court under the Children Act in the proceedings in question.
A court will only make an order in relation to the child where it is considered necessary to do so. If you are able to agree the arrangements for children, there is no need for an application to be made to the Court. There are alternative options to Court, such as mediation, in order to try and agree arrangements for the children.
Extended family members are also able to apply for a Child Arrangements Order that they spend time with a child or that a child lives with them. They usually require leave of the Court to make this type of application and our experienced Children’s Law team are able to guide you through the process.
If you are unable to agree certain arrangements for your children, such as medical treatment or where the children are to go to school, you may make an application for a Specific Issue Order. These orders ask the court to decide on a particular issue relating to your child, such as what surname your child should be known by; or which school they should attend. These can also be dealt with in a Child Arrangements Order and the Court will take the ‘welfare checklist’ into account.
A Prohibited Steps Order can stop a particular person, usually a parent, from doing a certain action in relation to your child. For example, it could prevent a relative from removing your child from the area or from changing the child’s surname. These types of orders can also be made within a Child Arrangements Order, dealing with other matters relating to the child, such as whom the child is to live with.
Where parents of a child are not married, financial claims can be made on behalf of children under the Children Act 1989, such as lump sums and property claims. These claims can only be made on behalf of the child and the parent should not benefit in the long term. For example, a claim can be bought for occupation of a property to provide a home for a child. These types of orders can be made until a child is 18 (or finishes full time education) when the occupation of the property would end. Claims can also be made for lump sum for specific items or costs, such as a car, computer, school fees and expenses.
If you need further advice or assistance call your nearest office or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Please continue to explore our website which provides more specific detail in relation to specialised areas of Family/Children law.
- 23 November 2023
- 23 November 2023
- 16 November 2023