Local members of the family justice body Resolution have welcomed new research which shows most people back a change in the law to give cohabiting people more rights. Currently, cohabiting couples have few or no rights in the event of a relationship breakdown meaning that unlike married couples there is no mechanism for splitting assets.
The welfare of a child is the primary consideration when a family breaks up. We provide advice on disputes concerning children and our aim is to assist parties to achieve an outcome which in the best interests of the children.
Talk to one of our friendly and experienced team on 01442 872311
We advise on issues relating to Child Arrangements Orders, Parental Responsibility disputes, child abduction, domestic and international relocations.
We assist our clients with resolutions without the need of the courts intervention through alternative dispute resolution such as mediation, collaborative law and amicable negotiations. Where necessary our experienced lawyers can assist you through the family court. Some Orders available to the court are: (Can the following link to a new page please).
Orders available to the court are:
Child Arrangement Orders
This sets out who a child is to live with and spend time with. The Order can set out the duration and frequency of the time that the child will spend with each parent. It can also include provisions for indirect contact, such as by telephone or video platform.
Prohibited Steps Orders
This order prohibits a specified action by one parent. For example, it can be used when one parent is proposing to relocate with the children to a different area and the other parent does not agree.
Specific Issue Orders
This order deals with a specific issue that is at dispute. It can resolve issues such as which school the child should attend, a change of surname or whether they should have an operation. It can address issues that are not agreed between parents in the child’s upbringing or welfare.
Leaving the UK
Where both parents have parental responsibility of a child permission is required before a child can be removed from England & Wales.
If a Child Arrangement Order is in place stipulating who the child should live with that parent can take the child out of England & Wales for up to one month without the consent of the other parent. If they seek to remove the child for longer than one month, they will require the consent of all parties with parental responsibility for that child or a further Order of the Court.
Where no Child Arrangements Order is in force, a person seeking to remove a child from the jurisdiction of England & Wales will require the consent of all people who have parental responsibility for that child, regardless of the duration of time they are seeking to remove the child for. If consent is refused, the person seeking to remove the child must make an application for a Specific Issue Order so that the Court can determine whether the child can be removed from the jurisdiction. If a parent seeks to remove a child from the jurisdiction without consent of the other parent, that parent can make an application for a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent the child from being removed.
Parental Responsibility Order
Parental Responsibility means all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property. It gives the parent responsibility for making important decisions in the child’s life like education, religion, medical care etc. It enables the parent to make day to day decisions.
You will automatically have parental responsibility for a child in the following circumstances:-
- Mother of the child;
- Fathers who are married to the mother at the time a child is born;
- By being registered as the father on the child’s birth certificate with the consent of the mother
- By marrying the mother;
- Entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement with the mother;
- Applying to the court for a Parental Responsibility Order;
- If you have a Child Arrangements Order naming you as the person with whom the children live, the Court should make a Parental Responsibility Order at the same time;
- Becoming the child’s guardian;
- Adopting the child.
What is a Parental Responsibility Agreement?
A parental responsibility agreement is particularly useful:-
- For unmarried fathers where the child was born before 1 December 2003;
- Where an unmarried father of a child born after 1 December 2003 is not named on the birth certificate;
- Where a couple marry and the other party already has a child;
- In all Civil Partnerships where either party already has a child or gives birth after the couple become civil partners.