Children matters including residence and contact, parental responsibility, adoption and changes of name

Our focus

If you are facing a separation and you have children, one matter which will need to be considered is where your children will live and how often they will see the parent they no longer will be living with. Regardless of whether your children end up living with you or your spouse/partner, it is important to make sure you and your spouse/partner remain involved in important decisions about their upbringing.

Our expertise

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 and your spouse/partner 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 and your partner/spouse 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 a child is born on or after 1 December 2003 and the father’s name is on the 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.

To find out more, contact the family team on 0844 567 2222 or send an email to

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