When parents separate, the children can become the focus of the anger and hurt between them.
The Law states that it is the child who has the rights in these matters, the right to have a close relationship with both of their parents and the priority of the Courts will always be the needs of the child.
Seeking early advice about what a Court is likely to see as reasonable with respect to how your child’s time is shared between you and your ex-partner could save a great deal of heartache for you and your children.
Here we have listed our areas of specialism concerning matters involving children:
The above list is not exhaustive. If there is an area of law not listed above that you would like advice on, please do not hesitate to contact us.
When a relationship between parents comes to an end, arrangements for the children will need to be considered and agreed. Arrangements for the children can include where your child should live and how your child should share their time with you.
Arrangements can be agreed upon informally between separating parents and without the involvement of the Courts, however, we appreciate that in some cases this is simply not possible.
In fact, the Court only needs to be involved with the arrangements for your child if there has been domestic abuse within your relationship, there is Social Services involvement or safeguarding concerns, or of course, you simply cannot come to an agreement between you.
If you are having difficulties in making arrangements for your children following a relationship breakdown, we can help and guide you through the process.
A Child Arrangements Order is legally binding upon both parents. In circumstances where an existing Child Arrangements Order is being breached, it is possible to apply to the Court to enforce the Order. Once the application has been submitted a hearing date will be set for the Court to consider whether the circumstances of the breach were in fact reasonable/unavoidable, and also whether CAFCASS involvement will be required. As always, the Court’s main focus will be on the welfare of the child involved.
It may be that the Court feel that mediation would be beneficial for the parents. Alternatively, the Court may issue a Contact Enforcement Order, a fine or commit the parent breaching the order to prison.
If both parents have parental responsibility, then unfortunately the Police/Social Services will not be able to assist you in returning your child. In these circumstances, we advise that you contact a Solicitor.
An urgent application will need to be made to the Court to request that the child be returned. We always recommend that a Prohibited Steps Order be applied for at the same time. A Prohibited Steps Order is legally binding and will assist in preventing this situation from happening again. Where there is a Prohibited Steps Order in place, the Police will be able to assist in returning the child should this happen again as the parent will be in breach of the Court.
If the parent refusing to return the child does not have parental responsibility, then the police should be able to assist you in returning your child.
Regardless of whether the parents have parental responsibility, where there are safeguarding concerns for the child the police should be informed immediately.
The mother of a child automatically has parental responsibility. The father of a child will only have parental responsibility if they are named on the birth certificate or if he was married to the mother of the child at the time of birth. Alternatively, it may be that the father has successfully applied to the Court for Parental Responsibility.
At Andrew Isaacs Law our dedicated Family Lawyers have many years of experience in dealing with Children’s matters and will support and guide you through the difficult decisions that need to be made.
Contact us today to arrange a consultation.