Often when relationships breakdown, disputes arise over children such as where they will live, with whom and how often they will spend time with each parent. Regardless of whether your children end up living with you or your spouse/partner, it is important to make sure you remain involved in important decisions over the children’s upbringing. It is also sadly becoming commonplace that where parents have agreed the arrangements for their children, these arrangements break down, even when the arrangements are in a Court Order.
At Leeds Day we always approach such matters in a sensitive and constructive way; even though your relationship has broken down, it is important that you can agree what is best for your children so as not to disrupt them during what will already be a time of change in their lives. We also strive to ensure that you remain involved in the control of the decision making process as whilst a Court will try and do what is best for the children, it is no better placed at knowing what is best for them than the parents themselves and should always be seen as a last resort.
If you cannot agree on the arrangements for your children, we can provide you with advice and representation in applying to a Court to help in the decision making process. A Court’s priority will be the children’s welfare and often will call on assistance of CAFCASS to facilitate discussions between you and your spouse/partner with the aim of reaching an agreement which is best for your children.
The most commonly made Orders are as follows:
- Child Arrangements Order: This Order settle the arrangements for where the children will live and how much time they will spend with each parent.
- Parental Responsibility Order: All married parents of children (whether born before or after the marriage and including adopted children) automatically acquire parental responsibility. Likewise if the father’s name is on the child’s birth certificate. An unmarried father can acquire parental responsibility (and in certain circumstances other people who are not the child’s biological parents) either by signing a Parental Responsibility Agreement with the mother or by applying to a Court for a Parental Responsibility Order.
- Enforcement Order: If there is already a Child Arrangements Order in place which is not being adhered to by one party, it is possible to apply to the Court for an Enforcement Order to reinstate the arrangements and in some cases, the court may decide that the parent who breached the Order and had no reasonable justification for doing should, for example, be required to carry out unpaid work.
To find out more, click on the link of any of our family solicitors to their profile which will have their direct dial number, contact 0844 567 2222 or send an email to email@example.com.