Child Law

Child Law

Child LawA relationship breakdown is never easy, and our family law solicitors understand the added complexities and emotional strain when children are involved. Child law is an extremely sensitive area, as issues such as where the children should live and whom they should spend time with often give rise to intense emotions.

It’s natural for children to want their family to stay together, but it’s often possible to ease the impact of your relationship breakdown by minimising any ongoing parental conflict. The welfare of your children is always at the forefront of our solicitors’ minds. They will work closely with you and your ex-partner to resolve the issues arising from your separation as quickly and amicably as possible, enabling you and your children to concentrate on adjusting to your new norm.

Please call us now on 01603 672222 for a no-obligation conversation today or Click Here To Make An Online Enquiry.

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Our family law solicitors, with their vast experience in all aspects of child law, are perfectly placed to support you with any child law issue, including the following:

• Child Maintenance

Child maintenance is the financial support your child needs for day-to-day expenses, such as housing, clothing, and food. The parent who does not live with the child must contribute to their child’s ongoing financial stability.

It is always preferable for the parents to agree on how much maintenance the non-resident parent should pay. You are best placed to understand your incomes, expenditures and your child’s needs. ‘Family Based Arrangements’, as they are known, facilitate flexible child maintenance payments based on your family’s circumstances. You can agree on a plan that reflects the reality of your family life, which might be weekly payments, monthly payments, payments of significant outgoings such as the mortgage, or one-off payments at important milestones in the child’s life.

If you and your ex-partner are unable to reach a Family Based Arrangement, the Child Maintenance Service will step in to decide the amount the non-resident parent should contribute to the child’s financial needs. The Court will only intervene in very limited circumstances, such ordering one parent to contribute towards school fees.

• Where Your Child Should Live

Where your child should live is often one of the most emotive aspects of a separation. Both parents are usually accustomed to living in the same house with their child and seeing them every day. Similarly, the child has, until now, had one home and lived with both parents. Deciding where your child should live is an incredibly sensitive topic and must be approached with the child’s best interests in mind.

Again, you and your ex-partner are best placed to decide on the living arrangements that suit your circumstances. You can agree on an arrangement that reflects the reality of your family life and allows for flexibility as your child grows and your circumstances change. If you need a little external help in reaching an agreement, there are several methods that may assist, such as the Collaborative Family Law Process. Our family law solicitors will talk you through your options and help you decide on the one best suited to your family. Once you have reached an agreement with your ex-partner, you can formalise it in a Court Order.

If you cannot agree on where your child should live, you may need to seek the Court’s intervention. However, before doing so, you and your ex-partner must attend a ‘Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting’, often referred to as a MIAM. The purpose of a MIAM is to ascertain whether mediation might assist in resolving the issues and to avoid the parties having to undergo the stress of litigation. At a MIAM, a highly trained mediator will listen to your concerns and those of your ex-partner and assess the suitability of your case for mediation. Only if the mediator believes that mediation is unlikely to resolve your issues can you proceed to Court.

The Court has wide discretion when determining where a child should live. The Judge’s focus will be on the child’s best interests, which usually means that the child should spend time with both parents. When the Judge has made their decision, they will draw up a ‘Child Arrangements Order’, to which you and your ex-partner must adhere.

• Child Relocation

As difficult as deciding how your child should split their time can be, the issue can often be resolved satisfactorily when the parents live close to each other. However, matters can become considerably more complex if one parent wishes to relocate and take the child. In these circumstances, emotions can run very high, and it’s crucial to have experienced family law solicitors, like ours, on your side to help you navigate the issue. Sometimes, the non-resident parent may be reluctantly amenable to the move on strict conditions, such as frequent visits and payment of their travelling costs. Our family law solicitors will fight hard to protect your interests and those of your child and negotiate an agreement that is in everyone’s best interests.

If the relocating parent is intent on relocation and the other is intent on blocking it, either can apply to the Court to permit or prevent the move. Again, the Court’s primary concern will be the child’s best interests, which the Judge will assess based on issues such as the motives for the move and how the child feels about it.

How We Can Help

If you need help with any issue related to child law, our family law solicitors are here to provide the support you need. They understand that clients often come to them when under significant stress, and require not only first-class, decisive legal advice, but also a personal touch. They will guide and support you through whatever issues you face, fighting your corner every step of the way and working tirelessly to achieve a fair outcome for you and your family.

Please call us now on 01603 672222 for a no-obligation conversation today or Click Here To Make An Online Enquiry.

“Very informative and clear. The Solicitor fully understood out requirements. Everything was completed to our satisfaction in a suitable timeframe. The service and the delivery of the service was exemplary. First class from all concerned. It was apparent from the first meeting that we had chosen well in approaching Simper Law. First class knowledge and customer care at all times. Very attentative, helpful and efficient.”