Research shows that parents who put on a united front help their children adapt quicker to changes in their circumstances. A Parenting Agreement can help to smooth the transition whilst also minimising disputes both now and further down the line.
The Parenting Agreement will be drawn up in collaboration with you and the other parent, allowing each of you to consider and agree what is the best way forward. We can begin with a free 30 minute consultation.
Mothers automatically have parental responsibility for their child, while fathers will share parental responsibility if married to the mother or if they are named on the birth certificate of a child whose birth was registered after 1 December 2003.
There are other circumstances in which fathers, and others including step parents, can obtain parental responsibility for a child. These depend on individual circumstances.
Parental responsibility is the legal status of parenthood and gives an individual the right to make decisions relating to the child’s upbringing. If you are not sure if you have parental responsibility or need to take steps to obtain it, please call to speak to us and arrange a free 30 minute consultation if that would assist.
Child Agreement Orders
A Child Arrangements Order defines with whom a child shall live; with whom they shall spend time and for how long they spend time with that person.
We appreciate how difficult it can be to try and reach agreement direct, and can offer options to resolve your issues in a sensitive and non-confrontational way. Where appropriate, we can adopt a collaborative approach or offer mediation to help you agree the arrangements.
Sometimes however, Court applications are necessary and we will deal with these in the most child-centred, cost-effective and efficient way.
Permanent Move Abroad With A Child
If you share parental responsibility for your child with another person, neither of you can take your child out of the Country without the written consent of the other or an Order allowing you to do so.
If there is a dispute about a permanent move overseas with your child, we can assist and advise you through negotiations. Our aim is always to secure an agreement without having to make an application to Court. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, we will manage the legal process of obtaining an Order, either allowing or preventing the child’s relocation. If a removal from the Country is allowed, then negotiations will include arrangements for the child to spend good quality time with the parent left behind.
Internal Relocation Within The UK
Moving away with a child is stressful for the whole family but for children whose parents have separated, there are important considerations such as leaving a parent, family members and friends behind.
If you wish to move with your child, or you oppose your child being relocated with the other parent, we will negotiate on your behalf to secure an agreement that best meets the child’s welfare. If a settlement cannot be reached and an application to Court proves necessary, we will handle the process in a sensitive way and non-confrontational way.
Grandparents often fulfill an important role in the life of their grandchild, particularly if the parents have separated.
If you are a grandparent who is experiencing difficulties in maintaining a relationship with your grandchildren due to a separation or family rift, we can assist and advise you in negotiations with a view to securing a settlement without having to make an application to Court.
If it does prove necessary to seek a Court Order defining arrangements, we will deal with the legal process to secure an outcome in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
If a child is unable to live with either of its parents but adoption is not considered appropriate, a Special Guardianship Order may be the best option of securing the child’s welfare. This gives a selected third person parental responsibility and enables them to make important decisions for the child without removing any of the parents’ rights.
If you are taking over the care of a child and need help or advice on how to obtain a Special Guardianship Order, book a free 30 minute consultation with us.
Change Of Surname
Do you need to change a child’s surname? We can assist with the practicalities of preparing such a Deed.
If there is a dispute with a second person who has parental responsibility, we can negotiate on your behalf or, if necessary, apply to the Court for an Order allowing or preventing a change of surname.
Appointing A Guardian & Making A Will
If your child is a minor, you will need to make a Will and appoint a Guardian in the event of your death. This ensures that your wishes relating to the child’s care will be followed should you die.
If you pay for your child to attend school, a Top Up Order may be required.
Maintenance & Dealing with the Child Maintenance Service (formerly CSA)
If you and your former partner are not able to reach a maintenance agreement, an application to the Child Maintenance Service may be required. We can advise if this is necessary.
Involvement of Social Services (Public Law)
If the Local Authority is involved with your family concerning the care of your children, we can assist you throughout the legal process.
‘Care’ proceedings are extremely stressful for the whole family and we will deal with your case sympathetically.
We can assess your entitlement to Legal Aid to ensure that you receive advice, assistance and representation throughout the case.