Children Law

When spouses do not see eye-to-eye on the welfare of their children, disputes can quickly escalate, leaving both parties resentful of each other. At PDA Law, we can appoint a negotiator to help both parties come to an agreement on the custody of your children. If necessary, our family law solicitors will guide you through the process of going to court and assist you in gaining a Child Arrangements Order, Specific Issue Order or a Prohibited Steps Order.

Our family law solicitors are highly experienced in dealing with cases affecting children. Our priority is to ensure that a fair agreement is reached with the child’s welfare in mind.

If you are going through a divorce or separation and want to know more about your rights regarding your children, speak to our family law solicitors for free advice. Call us today on 01244 373 373 for a no obligation consultation.

Do I Need To Go To Court For Child Custody?

You and your spouse do not need to attend court if you can reach a custody agreement through negotiation. These discussions can be carried out with our help or through an appointed mediator, who will ensure that all decisions made are fair for all parties. However, if you cannot reach an agreement, you will need to go to court to settle the matter.

When negotiating the custody of a child, the following factors must be taken into consideration:

  • How Will The Child Be Supported Financially?
  • Where will the child live?
  • How and when should the child have contact with the non-resident parent?

Once you have reached a fair agreement, a court consent order should be signed to confirm the agreement. This will ensure that both parents adhere to the conditions they negotiated.

Looking for help negotiating child arrangements? Get in touch with us today. Call 01244 373 373.

What Will The Court Do?

If both parents cannot come to an agreement about child custody through negotiation, the case will be taken to court where a judge will make the final decision. The court will come to a decision based on what is best for the welfare of any children involved.

If the involvement of the court becomes necessary, there are three kinds of court order available:

  • Child Arrangements Order – this order indicates the amount of time a child will spend with each parent. This order typically outlines the resident parent – i.e. who the child will live with – and the non-resident parent. It will also take into account time to be spent with other parties such as grandparents and carers. A Child Arrangements Order also outlines how the child is to have contact with the non-resident parent, such as visits, overnight stays, telephone calls, emails and so on.
  • Specific Issue Order – a parent will file a Specific Issue Order if they want to resolve a particular dispute regarding their children that has not been covered in the Child Arrangements Order. This will often involve deciding where the child attends school or where they will receive medical treatment.
  • Prohibited Steps Order – a Prohibited Steps Order will prevent a parent from taking any unauthorised action with their child without seeking permission from the courts. For example, if a parent wants to take their child abroad, they must first gain the court’s permission.

Maintenance Payments

After a divorce, both parents still assume financial responsibility for their children, regardless of any custody agreements. Typically, the non-resident parent will provide financial support to the resident parent. The amount of money that should be provided depends on the non-resident parent’s income. This payment is usually arranged between parents, but if they cannot come to an agreement, The Child Maintenance Service can help families make financial arrangements.

Contact Our Child Law Team

If you want free advice on how to protect your children’s welfare during a divorce or separation, call our expert family solicitors today on 01244 373 373 or fill in our online contact form.