Whenever possible, it is advisable for parents to try and agree on the arrangements for their children between themselves. In English law, when it comes to matters relating to children, the welfare of the child is always considered to be paramount. If the parents are unable to reach an agreement, it may be necessary to go to court in order for a judge to decide what is in your children’s best interests.
The decisions about the arrangements for your children are often the most difficult and distressing aspect of dealing with the breakdown of a relationship. Our specialist team of dedicated child and family law solicitors understand the complexity that can arise when children are involved and the emotional distress that this can cause to everyone.
The rights of the father
There is a common perception that in child matters, the court has a tendency to favour the mother. In deciding the case, the court will look at the nature of the relationship that the child has with both parents, and the mother’s case may be strengthened here if she is the main carer.
When you and your co-parent are not married, it is important to establish who holds parental responsibility. If this applies to both parents then you each hold equal parenting rights, therefore if the court is making a decision on the custody of your children, the fact that you are not married will not matter.
No legal right to custody?
If you do not hold parental responsibility, this means that there is no automatic legal right to custody or even contact with your child. If you are concerned that you do not hold parental responsibility, your specialist child law solicitor can advise you on applying for parental responsibility so that you can play a part in the decisions that are being made about your child’s future.
Joint custody of Children
Joint custody means that the children divide their time between both parents. It works well for couples who have experienced a fairly amicable separation and are able to maintain a working relationship in the interests of their children.
It is usually the case that everyone who holds parental responsibility will need to give consent before a child can be taken abroad. Where parents have maintained an amicable separation, this may not be a problem, since they may make reciprocal allowances in order to take the children on foreign holidays.
Court Orders Relating to Children
It is only necessary to apply for a court order if you and your former partner are unable to reach an agreement between yourselves. The most common court orders relating to children are:
- Child Arrangements Order
This sets down all decisions of the court regarding where your child will live, the arrangements for spending time with each parent and the form that contact will take.
- Specific Issue Order
This refers to specific aspects of the upbringing of a child and will reflect the decision of the court relating to matters such as education, medical care including vaccinations and religious participation.
- Prohibited Steps Order
This is used to prevent one of the parents from making important decisions without consulting with the other.
Our solicitors have a broad understanding of the court and can assist you with your case.
If you and your co-parent share parental responsibility for your children, they cannot be taken abroad without your consent. If your former partner has taken your children overseas without your permission, this is classed as child abduction.
Inform the authorities
The first step is to inform the police, who may put in place a Port Alert to stop your ex-partner from leaving the country with your children. If it is too late to prevent them from leaving, our expert child and family lawyers here at Stirling Ackroyd Legal will work with you to protect your children and take action to bring them safely home.
Speak to a Solicitor today
As a Mortgage Broker, we’ve been delighted to work with Stirling Ackroyd Legal to serve our clients who always exceed expectations. – Rainstone Money
As an investor who’s been purchasing properties, I’m glad to say that on this occasion Stirling Ackroyd Legal have been delightful to work with. – Terry Long
I was surprised they have a Polish conveyancer to help with my mum’s property purchase. Made life very easy. – Mateusz Dabrovski
I’ve used Stirling Ackroyd Legal a few times before. The staff are attentive and always advising me on the pertinent issues regarding my matter. – Sally O’brian
I’ve been with Stirling Ackroyd Legal for over 4 years who have managed my commercial and litigation matters. – Syed Ahmed
14Thank you to Stirling Ackroyd Legal’s Corporate team for helping set up my company’s employment contracts. An excellent service. – Alex Bower
Family Law Blog
It may come as a surprise to know that in the UK, 71% of divorcees do not discuss pensions. Given that retirement plans are usually the greatest asset in marriage, this is often very damaging and rather nonsensical. It is therefore important couples have a good…
The Government’s latest reforms to family law have focused on ending the blame game in divorce; or in other words, ending the no fault divorce. Previously, couples were obliged to list the reason for the marriage breaking down such…
It is becoming more common for people to issue and deal with their own divorces. The process can involve obtaining the relevant forms from the internet such as from government websites and completing the forms themselves.
Be open, honest and frank with your solicitor:
Your solicitor will be able to advise you adequately from the outset if you are forthcoming with information however sensitive that information may be.
Instruct a specialist family law solicitor who…
Preparation for the first meeting.
If possible, go along to the first meeting with your solicitor with a list of the matrimonial assets and liabilities that you are aware of which will help to streamline the first meeting. Raise any concerns you have with your…
Amicable divorces or ‘peaceful divorces’ are the majority of the time, seen as a bit of a myth. Many losses are experienced towards the end of a relationship, loss of home, security, finance, comfort, intimacy which can cause hostility and upset during the…