Child arrangement solicitors advise and support separated parents on shared parenting and care.
More than one-third of children will see their parents separate before their 16th birthday. If you are worried about how your children will cope with your separation, you are not alone.
Shared parenting and parental alienation
For couples that separate, making suitable arrangements for children to spend time with both of their parents, and other family members, is a priority.
Psychological research clearly shows that it is not divorce or separation which causes long-term problems for children but rather the effect of living with parental conflict post-separation. And this conflict takes its toll on parents too. Parental alienation can also have a negative effect on a child’s well-being, and this is something that our child arrangement solicitors can advise on if needed.
Separation and mediation services
We know that arrangements for children that work best are usually the ones you can reach by agreement with or without the help of legal and other separation services.
We know that child arrangements for children that work best are usually the ones you can reach by agreement with or without the help of legal and other separation services.
Our child arrangement solicitors will advise you about your options for discussing and resolving arrangements for your children in a constructive and sensitive way. This includes advising you about the various processes available to you including family mediation, child custody mediation and collaborative family law, together with support services that you may find helpful.
Shared care child arrangement orders
We know that each family is different and in some cases family courts do not need to intervene. This is where a shared care order for child arrangements may come in. This is a legal document that sets out living arrangements for the child, it can be a time-consuming process to get this finalised.
Whatever your family’s circumstances, our child arrangement solicitors in Newcastle and South Shields have the experience to handle your case in an effective and sensitive way. Our award-winning team of expert family lawyers will advise and represent you so that you can get the best possible outcome for you and your family. Our family team contains Resolution accredited Children’s Law specialists and members of the Children Panel.
For advice about arrangements for children or shared care child arrangement orders contact us by phone, email or complete the contact form on our website.
What is a child arrangements order ?
Child Arrangements is the general term given to the arrangements for children to spend time with their parents following separation. Such an order made by the Court is legally binding on the parents of the child. Child Arrangements can be agreed between the parties, mediation or negotiations through solicitors. We acknowledge that every family is different and what works for some families, may not work for others. If there can be no agreement between the parties about the time a child will spend with a parent, then an application can be made to Court for a Child Arrangements Order. Our specialist team can provide advice and assistance at each stage of the process from initial advice, negotiating with your ex-partner, to mediation or representing you at Court
Who can apply for a child arrangements order?
Anyone with Parental Responsibility can apply to court for a child arrangements order. However, the court requires the person who is making an application to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting or MIAM unless you are considered to be exempt from this. If you are someone without parental responsibility for example a grandparent, or other family member you would first need to seek permission from the Court, known as ‘leave’ to pursue an application. You would also need to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting or MIAM.
Can I enforce a child arrangements order?
If there is a court order in place saying when a child should spend time with each parent, it is important that you follow the order. Court orders are legally binding, whether they are made by a Judge at a hearing, or by agreement. If your ex-partner is refusing to comply with the terms of a Child Arrangements order, then it would be open to you to make an application for Enforcement.
Similarly, if you have concerns about your child’s safety which means you do not feel it is in their best interests to comply with the terms of the order, then you should make an application to court to vary/change the child arrangements order. This will prevent you from being considered to have a breached an order.
In either circumstance, we can provide you with advice in relation to your circumstances and the best way forward to resolve the dispute.
How to change a child arrangement order
If you have an existing Child Arrangements Order that is no longer suitable or is not working for you, there are ways you can change it. If you and your ex-partner agree to change the terms of the order, then it would not be a breach of the order to change the arrangements to suit you. It is important to note that the agreement is not legally binding, so if the agreement breaks down for any reason, you would be required to return to the arrangements which are set out in the original order. If you and your ex-partner cannot agree to change the order, but you think it is in your child’s best interest for the arrangements to be changed, you can make an application to Court to vary (Change) the terms of the order. Before you could make an application to Court, you would need to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting or MIAM.
Can my ex stop me seeing my child?
Your ex partner cannot stop you from having access to your child without very good reason. If there are no safeguarding concerns or Court Orders in place which stop you from seeing your child, your ex should be making the child available to spend time with you. If you are experiencing difficulties in agreeing arrangements for the time you spend with your child following a separation, then we can provide advice and assistance at each stage of the process from initial advice, negotiating with your ex-partner, to mediation or representing you at Court.