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Children

“Seeking to resolve disputes in an amicable and constructive manner”

Following the break up of a relationship between married or unmarried couples with children, quite often there are very difficult and challenging issues to resolve. We can provide you with experienced, expert advice and guide you as to the options available and the best approach to take. As accredited members of Resolution, we shall always seek to resolve any disputes relating to children in an amicable and constructive manner. We will also acknowledge the rights and responsibilities of each parent, whilst focusing on the interests of the children in considering both the short term and longer term arrangements.

We will discuss with you the benefits of attending mediation or seeking to resolve any disputes through Collaborative Law. However, in some cases, it does become necessary to issue proceedings through the court to obtain orders relating to the following:-

  • Residence – this is an order to confirm with which parent the child/children will live. Orders can be made on an interim or permanent basis.
  • Contact – this is an order which sets out the arrangements for contact with the parent with whom the child/children does not live. This may include arrangements for visiting or overnight contact, contact during holidays, or telephone contact. Contact orders may also be made in favour of grandparents or other family members depending on the circumstances.
  • Parental Responsibility – this is an order which confirms the rights, duties, obligations and responsibilities which a parent has in respect of their child/children. This includes being involved in important decisions relating to a child’s health, welfare or education. Both parties automatically acquire parental responsibility if married at the time a child is born. Similarly, unmarried mothers automatically acquire parental responsibility on the birth of the child as do unmarried fathers (who are registered on the birth certificate as the father) in respect of any child born on or after 1st December 2003.
  • Prohibited Steps – this is an order which can prevent or restrict the rights of a parent from doing a specific act without the permission of the court. This could, for example, prevent a child from being removed from a particular area in which he/she lives or from being taken abroad without the consent of the other parent.
    Specific Issue – this is an order made by the court to resolve specific matters relating to a child’s upbringing. For example, the court may be required to determine where a child goes to school or issues relating to medical treatment on behalf of a child.
  • Leave to remove from jurisdiction – this is an order that, if granted by the court, will enable a parent to remove a child from this jurisdiction to a foreign country on a permanent basis. It may be essential to obtain such an order if you are seeking to emigrate with your child/children in circumstances where the other parent does not consent.