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Child Law solicitors in Horsham, Reigate & Haywards Heath

We are here to help

Following the break-up of a relationship between couples with children there are often difficult and challenging issues to resolve.

We can provide you with experienced, expert advice and guide you on the options available and the best approach to take.

As members of Resolution, we always seek to resolve disputes relating to children in an amicable and constructive manner. We also acknowledge the rights and responsibilities of each parent, whilst focusing on the interests of the children in considering both the short and long 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 start court proceedings.

The court may make the following orders:

  • Child Arrangements Order
    • Lives with – previously called a residence or custody order, the court can specify with whom a child lives. This can include an order specifying that a child lives with both parents (either for an equal or unequal amount of time).
    • Spending time with – previously called a contact or access order, the court can specify the arrangements for a child to spend time with the parent with whom they do not live. This can include visiting or overnight contact, school holiday contact, and telephone contact. Orders can be made in favour of other family members, including grandparents, if this is in the best interests of the child.
  • Parental Responsibility – mothers automatically acquire parental responsibility for their child on birth. Married fathers acquire parental responsibility on birth and unmarried fathers will acquire parental responsibility upon being registered as the father on the birth certificate. Fathers without parental responsibility may apply for a Parental Responsibility Order which confirms the rights, duties, obligations and responsibilities which they have in respect of their child. This includes being involved in important decisions relating to a child’s health, welfare, and education.
    It is possible for others, including family members and step-parents, to apply for parental responsibility.
  • Prohibited Steps Order – an order restricting the rights of a parent or preventing a specific act without the permission of the court. For example, the order may prohibit the removal of a child from a particular area in which he or she lives or from being taken abroad without the consent of the other parent.
  • Specific Issue Order – an order to resolve specific matters relating to a child’s upbringing. For example, the court may determine where a child goes to school or issues relating to the medical treatment of a child. Such an order may also provide for permission to remove a child from the jurisdiction for a holiday.
  • Leave to remove from jurisdiction – an order to permit a parent to remove a child from this jurisdiction to a foreign country on a permanent basis. Such an order may be essential if you wish to emigrate with your child in circumstances where the other parent does not consent.

Ryan Yates
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Ryan Yates | Partner

Tom Brook
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Tom Brook | Associate Solicitor

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