Arrangements for children on separation

Arrangements for children on separation

If there are children involved in your divorce there are a number of important arrangements that need to be made.

The court won’t allow your divorce to be finalised until you can agree:

  • where your children will live
  • how much time they’ll spend with each parent
  • who will pay child maintenance

Involving the Court

The Children Act 1989 contains a principle that the court will not make an order in relation to a child unless it is in their best interests. Their preference is always that parents agree arrangements themselves, without the need to get involved. If you are unable to reach an agreement with your partner there are other alternatives to court available, such as mediation or collaborative law. Mediation can help you overcome your own issues and focus on reaching an agreement about your children. 

If you are unable to reach an agreement through any of these channels, you may need to start court proceedings. 

How divorce can affect your children

If you are already in the process of divorcing, you may be worried about the impact the divorce is having on your children. If you are struggling to deal with the divorce, it is likely your children will struggle too. Our expert team have dealt with a large number of difficult cases, so we can offer you support and advice on your situation – we can also help you obtain professional help from your GP or a counsellor if necessary. 

The best advice we can give you is to think about how your relationship with your partner is affecting your children. There are a number of ways you can reduce any negative impact:

  • put the needs of your child before your own
  • don’t argue with your partner or criticise them in front of your child
  • your child is not equipped to provide you with emotional support – don’t involve them in your arguments
  • make sure your parenting and discipline methods are consistent

It is really important to be aware of any damaging behaviour you may be demonstrating, as this could be causing your child unnecessary pain or distress. 

Free, expert advice

If you have any questions about your situation, or need some advice on what to do, you can contact us on 0800 840 4929. You’ll get honest advice from one of our experienced family law solicitors.

 

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0800 0384 384

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