Children and relationship breakdown
We understand that, as a parent, you will want to resolve
matters relating to your children as soon as possible and in their
best interests. Our family law solicitors have a wealth of
experience in dealing with a wide range of legal issues relating to
children; no matter what the problem, we can help.
Sometimes when parents separate disputes arise about the
arrangements for their children following the separation. It
is usually best for all involved, especially the children, if
matters can be resolved, as far as possible, by
agreement. Family Mediation may be of some assistance
in helping parents reach an agreement. Unfortunately, in some cases
it is not possible for parents to reach agreement and in those
cases it becomes necessary for one parent to make an application to
the court for resolution of the dispute between them.
When making a decision the court must have the welfare of each
child as their paramount consideration. The court has the
power to make the following orders:
Parental Responsibility Orders
A Parental Responsibility Order can be made by the court to give
a father or stepparent Parental Responsibility. No important
decision concerning the child's upbringing should be made without
reference to any other person who has Parental Responsibility.
A Residence Order is an Order which settles the arrangements to
be made as to the person with whom a child is to live. This
may exceptionally be someone other than a parent usually a
relative. The court can make a Residence Order which provides
for the child's living arrangements to be shared between more than
This is an order made by the court which requires the person
with whom the child lives to allow the child to have contact with
someone else. This can include sending letters, making
telephone calls and spending time together.
Prohibited Steps Order
This prevents a parent or other person from doing something
which is specified in the order. This could include preventing a
parent from taking children out of the country.
Specific Issue Order
Sometimes a dispute arises in relation to a particular aspect of
the child's upbringing between the people who have Parental
Responsibility for the child. If they cannot agree then the
court can determine that particular dispute by making a Specific
Do you need advice?
If any of the issues covered here are affecting you, you may
want to take legal advice. Our family lawyers are specialists in
helping clients with issues relating to children. Call our family
law team on freephone 0800 422 0243, or complete our contact
form and we will call you back to discuss how we may assist you
with issues relating to your children.