In any type of family law matter, the welfare of any children takes priority.
If you are divorcing or separating, you still remain a parent and you must make whatever arrangements you consider appropriate for your children. The court is always of the view that it is in a child’s best interest if their parents can agree arrangements themselves, without the court becoming involved.
However, due to the emotional issues that arise upon the breakdown of a relationship, it may be difficult to resolve matters concerning your children. You may find it helpful to use mediation to overcome any issues and focus upon reaching an agreement.
If a solution cannot be reached, or if there are welfare concerns, the court may need to be involved.
You can apply for a number of different orders from the court:
- Residence Order – to determine where your child will live. It can be shared between both parents and it will specify the times your child will spend in each household
- Contact Order – requires the parent with the Residence Order to facilitate contact between the child and the other parent.
- Parental Resposibility Order – gives you the ability to make and be involved in important decisions concerning your child and/or their property.
- Prohibited Steps Order – prevents the other parent from taking a particular action in relation to your child, such as taking them out of the country.
- Specific Issue Order – resolves a point of dispute between you and the other parent over a particular issue, such as which school your child should attend.
The Judges Decision
The Judge will base the decision on the welfare of your child, taking into account:
- their wishes and feelings (in view of their age)
- their physical, emotional and educational needs
- the likely effect of any change in circumstances
- their age, sex, background and any other relevant characteristic
- any harm they have suffered, or are at risk of suffering
- how capable each parent is of meeting their needs.
Breach of Court Orders
Any breach of an order can lead to a fine or imprisonments. The court may even consider a change of residence if there are repeated breaches. This decision will be based on what is in the best interests of your child and not just as a punishment to a parent.
To arrange a discussion with one of our experienced family law solicitors, contact us free on 0800 840 4929.
We’re available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
Call us free on:
0800 0384 384
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