Child matters.When couples have children their needs are always at the heart of every decision they make. However, when a relationship breakdown occurs the impact on the children is a primary cause of concern. Our child law experts have expertise in handling all types of cases involving children, including representing parents and children in difficult disputes.
Our family law team handle cases with sensitivity and discretion especially where the interest of a child is involved. We endeavour to provide emotional support and specialist legal advice to help you establish all the necessary arrangements, without the requirement of going to court.
Arrangement for children during divorce
The arrangements that best suit your children and you are one of the most contentious issues to resolve during a divorce. Our family law team will ensure they make the process as amicable as possible, which is ultimately in the best interest of the children and the parents.
Some if the assistances we provide will include help with agreeing on the following:
• Where your children will live;
• The amount of contact each parent will have with their children and
• How they will be supported financially.
Child arrangement order
When parents decide to separate, they must also make a decision on the important matter of where the child should stay and how much time they will be required to spend with the other parent. However, this is not always as easy as it is said as there can be some disagreements with respect to this matter between the parents. In such circumstance before making an application for a court order a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) must be arranged. This can be avoided in domestic violence cases or the non-availability of a mediator. The aim of the mediation is to make one final attempt to resolve matters before attending court.
The courts starting point will always be to aim for children to spend time with both parents unless in doing so would adversely affect the child’s welfare The family courts take into consideration the following points when making a decision:
- The wishes and feelings of the child, taking into account their age, level of understanding and maturity;
- The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs;
- The likely effect that any change of circumstances will have on the child;
- The child’s age, sex, background and any other characteristics that the court thinks are relevant;
- Any harm that the child may have suffered or is at risk of suffering;
- How capable the parties in the case are of meeting the child’s emotional and physical needs; and
- All of the powers that the court has under the Children Act, which could be used within the proceedings.