Children are likely to be the primary focus for separated or separating couples. Our Family lawyers advise on the options available for clients with children and are able to help in the resolution of any contested issues.
On occasion, it is not always possible to agree on the arrangements for children, whether that is where the children live, how often they should be in the care of the other parent or arrangements for holidays. Unfortunately, other disputes can arise, such as children’s education, medical treatment and religious or cultural matters.
We recognise that parents will have to co-parent children and it is important to attempt to resolve any disputes which arise, swiftly and sensitively. It is always preferable, if possible to resolve matters without the Family Court’s intervention.
However, if it hasn't been possible to resolve the matter without the Family Court’s intervention, it may be necessary to make an application to the Court for the following Orders:
- Child Arrangements Orders: who a child should live with and when and who the child spends time with
- Prohibited Steps Orders: orders preventing something such as removing the child from the country
- Specific Issue Orders: such as which school the child should attend
Financial provision for children
Where parents of a child are unmarried, a parent can apply to the court for an order for the other parent to provide any dependent children and their primary carer with a property to live in. The prospect of success is of course dependent on the other parent’s financial position.
Both parties would be expected to provide each other and the court with full and frank financial disclosure.
In certain circumstances, the court can make an order for a parent to make additional payments to top up child maintenance payments as set by the Child Maintenance Service. However, such orders are rare and will only be made when the non-resident parent’s income is very high.
The court can also direct a parent to pay or contribute towards school fees, extra-curricular activities or additional items such as a car and furniture for the home. The amount and type of provision will depend very much on your individual circumstances and those of your former partner. Our team of lawyers regularly advise parents on their financial rights and obligations.