We can help you to make arrangements for your child(ren) if your relationship has broken down. It is always better to come to a family arrangement if at all possible. You will need to think about where your child(ren) will live, how often they will see the other parent and for how long, how you will make important decisions for them and whether one parent will pay maintenance to the other.
If you need help to come to an agreement, you could try mediation. A mediator can help you to make arrangement without having to go to court. It is usually cheaper, quicker and less stressful. The Ministry of Justice has recently launched a voucher scheme which will provide up to £500 towards the mediation costs for eligible cases. Please see their website for info.
Family Court Proceedings
If your arrangements aren’t working, and mediation was also unsuccessful, you can go court and ask for a Judge to decide what arrangements are best for your child(ren). Contact Orders and Residence Orders were phased out in 2014 and the Family Court will instead make a Child Arrangement Order’ which says who your child(ren) will live with and/or spend time with. The Family Court will usually order safeguarding checks are conducted and Cafcass may be involved. Please see their website for info.
If you would like to speak with an adviser about child arrangements, please get in touch.
AdviceNow – Survival Guide to Sorting out Child Arrangements https://www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/survival-guide-sorting-out-arrangements-your-children
Cafcass - https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/
Centre for Separated Families – Guide to making a Parenting Agreement https://www.separatedfamilies.info/home/parenting-apart/parenting-agreements
Child Law Advice - https://childlawadvice.org.uk/
Gov.uk Child Maintenance Calculator - https://www.gov.uk/calculate-child-maintenance
Gov.uk Family Mediation Voucher Scheme - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/family-mediation-voucher-scheme