We understand how difficult it is for families going through a divorce or separation, especially where there are children involved. It is important for this process to be as undisruptive to children as possible. Whilst courts prefer to see parents negotiate and set out contact arrangements outside of a court room, we understand that this may not always be possible. Read on to see how we can help.
Children’s rights are a subset of human rights and provide particular attention to the protection and care needed by minors. Children’s rights include their right to a personal and meaningful relationship with both of their parents, as well as basic needs such as, physical protection, food, education, and health care amongst other things.
All organisations working with children must work in a way that is best for children including courts, social workers, and schools. When a Family Court considers making a decision regarding a child, the court will always look to make an order that is in the best interests of the child. It is very unusual for the Family Court to make an order that doesn’t make provision for both parents to spend time with and care for their children.
In short, no. The Family Law Act 1975 is gender-neutral and does not make assumptions about parenting roles based upon someone’s gender. Both biological parents have equal rights when it comes to responsibilities, decisions and contact with a child, regardless of whether they are married, in a relationship or separated. Parents will continue to share parental responsibility for a child until that child turns 18 years of age.
In the event that parents are unable to discuss arrangements regarding children with each other direct, there are a number of alternative options available.
Before a court will consider a children application, they expect to see that both parties have at least attempted to resolve the situation. This can be done via a Family Mediator, a parenting plan or one of the many communication apps available. The court will request that parties attend at least one mediation session before escalating the issue to a hearing.
A child has the right to maintain a relationship with both parents, regardless of the parents’ feelings towards one another.
In all cases we will seek to set out and agree contact arrangements between parties outside of the court room where possible, as reaching an agreement this way has been proved to be a healthier way for everyone moving forward.
If an agreement cannot be reached, the next step would be to refer parents onto a Family Mediator who will sit down with both parties separately and attempt to reach a middle ground. Failing this, we would look to make an application to the court, who will ultimately decide, setting down by way of an order, how the child’s time is shared between the parties and the division of holidays. This can be arranged through a Child Arrangement Order, aSpecific Issue Order or a Prohibited Steps Order.
Call our office today on 01302 349 480 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and arrange a consultation with one of our experienced Family Lawyers.