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Children and Childcare Arrangements

It is only normal for separationdivorce or the breakdown of any relationship to cause distress for any children involved.  At OTS Solicitors, our family law team have years of experience helping parents work out the best arrangements for their children.  We help parents come together to reach an agreement that will withstand changing circumstances (such as one parent meeting a new partner), and the vicissitudes of everyday life.

To speak to our top family law solicitors based in London, please contact us on 0203 959 9123, or contact us through our online enquiry form.

For more on how our Family team can help you, visit our dedicated Family Law site.

At OTS Solicitors, our family law team possess a wealth of experience advising and representing clients in disputes over childcare arrangements.  We provide caring, practical advice in a friendly, sensitive manner.  Our primary aim is to look after your best interests and those of your children.

Our head of Childcare Department is Ms. Jordana Adams. She works very closely with Resolution, an organization whose members follow a Code of Practice that promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems.

Our team of child care Solicitors will advise you on any of the following child care Arrangement matters, but not limited to:

  • Contact rights for fathers
  • Contact rights for mothers
  • Taking child away/abroad without permission
  • Reasons to stop father/mother seeing child
  • Child arrangement order not working
  • Parenting plan
  • Parenting agreement
  • Parental responsibility
  • Parental responsibility order
  • Stop parent taking the child abroad
  • Specific issue order
  • Prohibited steps order
  • Change of surname
  • How to change a child's surname
  • Cafcass report
  • Cafcass
  • S7 report
  • Penal notice
  • Step-parents’ rights
  • Children Act matter
  • S8 order
  • Child residence order
  • Live with order
  • Spend time with order
  • Child relocation
  • Right to see child
  • Enforcement of child arrangements order
  • Enforcing child contact order
  • Special guardianship order
  • Welfare checklist
  • Not paying child maintenance
  • MIAM
  • Children mediation meeting
  • FHDRA
  • Fact finding hearing
  • Child abduction
  • Shared care order
  • Child access
  • Ex-partner denies access
  • Mother/Father denies access
  • Child custody forms
  • Child legal problems
  • Child legal advice
  • How can I stop contact
  • Taking child on holiday
  • Parent refusing to give child’s passport
  • Do I have to go to mediation

The Law Around Arrangements for Children After a divorce

When the court is considering any matters concerning the upbringing of a child, the child’s welfare is the paramount consideration.

When filing for divorce, a Statement of Arrangements must also be submitted to the court. This outlines the care arrangements you and your partner have agreed to for your children.  Knowing that amicably agreed childcare arrangements are more likely to stick and thus provide stability for the children, the judiciary will only get involved in sorting out child arrangements as a last resort.

Our experienced family law team can assist you to work out a childcare agreement with your partner.  We have a wealth of experience in this area of family law, and a high success rate of negotiating arrangements amicably and quickly.

Disputes Surrounding child care Arrangements

If you cannot agree with your estranged spouse on arrangements for your children, you will come under the Child Arrangements Programme.  This programme, introduced in 2014, removes the terms ‘custody’ and ‘access’ and replaces them with a ‘child arrangement order.'  It is designed to assist families to reach safe and child-focused agreements for their child, where possible outside the court setting.  If parents/families are unable to reach an agreement, and a court application is made, the Child Arrangement Programme encourages swift resolution of the dispute through the Court.

The Role of Mediation in a child care Arrangement Dispute

If you are unable to agree on living arrangements for your children, the court will ask you both to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to see if mediation proceedings will help you reach an agreement.

There are situations where couples are exempt from attending a MIAM, for example, if there is a history of violence and/or abuse in the relationship.

During mediation, it is important for the welfare of your children to work with the Mediator to decide:

  • where will the children primarily reside?
  • how, when and where the parent with whom the children will not primarily reside, will see them
  • how they will be supported financially
  • where they will spend school holidays
  • who will pay for school fees (if applicable)

Mediation has proven to be an effective process, allowing many couples to work out arrangements for their children between themselves, without the stress and expense of having to go to court.

Our experienced family law solicitors can support you through the MIAM and/or mediation process, or advise you as to whether an exemption to a MIAM applies to your situation.

Our Approach to Child Arrangement Matters

We fully believe that in cases of separation and divorce, the child’s welfare is paramount.  By dealing with cases sensitively and firmly, we have proven time and time again that our family law team can bring estranged couples together in an amicable way to work out the best arrangements for their children.

Our Family Solicitors strive to, where possible, negotiate arrangements that not only meet the needs of the children but also provide both parents with the means to adjust to their new situation, without undue disturbance.  Normally we succeed in achieving this through negotiation and/or mediation.  But sometimes parties cannot or should not (due to factors such as domestic violence) reach agreement through these methods, and litigation is inevitable.

If this is the case, we can represent you on an application for a Child Arrangements Order, which is made by the court.  A Child Arrangement Order may include restrictions on your child being removed from the UK if you are concerned that your partner may try and abduct them.   If there has been a history of violence and/or abuse in the relationship, the Child Arrangement Order may make provisions for any contact to be made under the supervision of a third party.

We will ensure both you and your children’s voices are heard by the judge and that proceedings are run in a calm, respectful manner.

Parents trust us to assist them with working out arrangements for the care and comfort of their children; a responsibility we take very seriously.  By approaching each case in a bespoke manner, we ensure every family who comes to us feels fully supported throughout the process.

International Adoption

At OTS Solicitors, our family law team have years of experience in inter-country adoption.  We help prospective parents navigate the often-complex laws around adopting a child from overseas.  We are an award-winning law firm and are highly-ranked in the Legal 500. Please check our Subsections below for further details on international adoption or to speak to our top family law solicitors based in London, please contact us on 0207 936 9960, or contact us through our online enquiry form.

For a more detailed discussion regarding arrangements for your children, or to book an appointment with a member of our family law team, please call us now on 0203 959 9123.

Your Questions and our answers about Children and Childcare Arrangements

Thank you for getting in touch with us.
Your enquiry is being reviewed by our team and one of our solicitors will contact you shortly.
In the meantime, you can also call us on 0203 959 9123 or contact us here

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Thank you for getting in touch with us.

Your enquiry is being reviewed by our team and one of our solicitors will contact you shortly.

In the meantime, you can also call us on 0203 959 9123 or contact us here.

Essentially no parent can stop the other from seeing their own children unless there are safety concerns, risk of harm to the child or if they are victims of domestic violence (DV) or may be subjected to such. Indeed any assertions from the alleging party will have to ensure there is a determination made by the court or authorities before any ties or contact can be terminated or suspended altogether. In the process of this investigation contact may sometimes be limited or suspended.

If a compromise or agreement cannot be reached between the parties for contact to take place, the parent prevented from seeing or spending time with the children will have to make an application to the court for a Child Arrangements Order (CAO). If discussions with your partner have failed or broken down, and you have exhausted all attempts and avenues to compromise, you may then apply to the court to issue proceedings for a CAO; for contact.

Unless there are exceptional exemptions like DV, the Application would have to attend mediation first to try and resolve issues before they can make an application to the court. The other party is encouraged to attend but if they choose not to, the Applicant may then issue proceedings. This is on the assumption that the Applicant parent concerned has parental responsibility which gives then a bundle of rights to exercise this privilege.

Please make an appointment or feel free to give us a call to chat first on 02039 599 123 and see how our expertise in children matters may assist you further. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

Your enquiry is being reviewed by our team and one of our solicitors will contact you shortly.

In the meantime, you can also call us on 0203 959 9123 or contact us here.

Thank you for getting in touch with us.
In general, grandparents have (limited) rights but will need permission from the court if they are considering making an application to the court to see their grandchildren.
It is necessary to obtain permission first since grandparents to not have automatic rights or parental responsibility unlike a parent of the child.
We would be happy to advise you on the law relating to grandparents’ rights – please give us a call on 0203 959 9123 for a brief chat to see how we can help you.

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

Your enquiry is being reviewed by our team and one of our solicitors will contact you shortly.

In the meantime, you can also call us on 0203 959 9123 or contact us here.

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

Your enquiry is being reviewed by our team and one of our solicitors will contact you shortly.

In the meantime, you can also call us on 0203 959 9123 or contact us here.

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

Your enquiry is being reviewed by our team and one of our solicitors will contact you shortly.

In the meantime, you can also call us on 0203 959 9123 or contact us here.

Thank you for getting in touch.
From the information provided, it would seem that the father does not hold parental responsibility at the moment however, he can apply to the court for his name to be placed on the birth certificate thereby acquiring parental responsibility. In respect of contact, there is the option of attending mediation to try and resolve any contact issues or there is also the option of applying to court for a Child Arrangements Order to resolve any disputes.

We can certainly advise and assist you with your children act matter. There are actually a few imminent issues to deal with here; not just on custody/parental responsibility but I am confident you will benefit more with some initial advice first.

Please feel free to email or call us on 0203 959 9123 at your convenience to see how we may be able to help you further. Alternatively, please let us know what times are good for us to call you back – if you prefer this.

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

Your enquiry is being reviewed by our team and one of our solicitors will contact you shortly.

In the meantime, you can also call us on 0203 959 9123 or contact us here.

Thank you for your enquiry.

There are options for you to consider in respect of your baby and raising your concerns in respect of her safety if the father was to have contact. One of which is mediation whereby an independent 3rd party can assist you in reaching an agreement with the child’s dad and will also give you the opportunity to address your concerns about his girlfriend. If you are unable to reach an agreement you may wish to pursue court proceedings in order to regulate contact and also raise your concerns about the safety and wellbeing of your child while in the father’s care. Should you wish to seek further advice or instruct us in respect of your family matter, please feel free to contact us and we would be happy to assist.

You can call us on 0203 959 9123 or contact us here.

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