Our areas of expertise include:
- Child Access - When the decision is made to separate, the issue of who takes custody of your child or children can be both complex and distressing. If you are unable to reach an amicable and agreed arrangement outside the courts, you may need to formalise your child access rights at a legal level.
- Child Abduction - the vast majority of child abduction cases centre on custody disputes between parents, we can help you to deal with the unauthorised removal of a child.
- Child Disclosure of Whereabouts - If one or more of your children have been removed from your guardianship without your consent, or you suspect they may have been removed from the UK entirely, under the terms of the Family Act 1986, the courts may at any time and for any reason demand that the whereabouts of a child are disclosed by any person who knows their location.
- Child Mediation - Mediators bring impartiality to settle important issues including child matters throughout the separation process.
- Prohibited Steps Orders - a Prohibited Steps Order prevents a child’s parents or guardians from taking a specific action, such as the unauthorised removal of a child from the UK or almost any action or decision.
- Child Arrangement Orders / Child Custody Orders - When the parents of a child are unable to agree on important issues regarding the child’s custody and upbringing, a child arrangement order sets out what will happen.
- Child Maintenance - The long term financial well being of a child is an important consideration, we can help you ensure the arrangement is fair and affordable.
- Family Law - Our team of family solicitors can help with advice on separation, divorce, financial settlement, prenuptial agreements and any other aspect of family law.
What are my rights to see children?
In the eyes of the courts, it is never about the rights of the parent, but instead the rights of the child – i.e. what’s best for your children. Family Law in the UK allocates formal parental responsibility to the mother of the child, though there are instances where the father may obtain parental responsibility if the father is named on the birth certificate.
Separating couples are generally advised to enter into a formal agreement for parental responsibility and visitation rights, without court intervention. Mediation and arbitration may be necessary, but it is usually possible to formalise an agreement without bringing the matter before the courts.
Your rights to see your children will be determined by the courts on the basis of multiple factors – children being paramount – after which the decision of the court will be final and legally binding. Hence, it is better to come to a mutually-amicable agreement with your partner, if possible.
What can I do if my ex-partner is difficult about me seeing our child?
If you are unfairly being denied access to your child after a separation, you are entitled to make an application for a Child Arrangement Order. This involves bringing the matter before the courts, in order to formalise your access rights and enable you to see your child. As always, the decision of the court will be final and legally binding, so it is advisable to first attempt to reach an acceptable agreement with your ex-partner.
The level of contact you are entitled to (and maybe allocated) will be assessed in accordance with your individual circumstances, those of the other parent and the best interests of the child. It is extremely rare for a court to rule that one parent has no legal right to see their child, though it is equally rare for both parents to be satisfied with the final ruling laid out by the courts.
Consider independent mediation and arbitration as a more practical, agreeable and affordable alternative.
For more information on any of the above or to discuss the financial implications of the COVID-19 crisis in more detail, book your obligation-free consultation with a member of the team at Aristone Solicitors today.