Often when a relationship breaks down disputes can arise in respect of who the children will live with, and what time they will spend with the parent they do not reside with.
We are here to help with disputes of this nature. As with other family problems, our aim is to try and reach an agreement without having to issue court proceedings. However, if an agreement cannot be reached amicably, it is sometimes necessary to issue court proceedings, so as to avoid delays, which could be detrimental to your child/children.
The court can make an order called a Child Arrangement Order, which deals with where the child will live and what time they will spend with each parent, and any other forms of contact which will take place, such as telephone calls or letters. Child Arrangement Orders replace the old Residence and Contact Orders.
The court’s primary concern when dealing with children matters is what is in the child’s best interests.
If a dispute arises relating to a particular issue in a child’s upbringing, either parent can apply to the court for a Specific Issue Order. This may happen for example where there is a dispute over which school the child will attend, or which religion the child will follow. In such cases the court will ultimately decide what is in the child’s best interests.
Similarly, if one parent plans to make an important decision in a child’s life which the other disagrees with, they can apply to the court for a Prohibited Steps Order. In this case the court has the power to prohibit a parent from doing something they find is not in the child’s best interests. This may happen for example where one parent intends to take the child to live in another country, without the consent of the other.
What does Child Parental Responsibility mean?
Parental Responsibility is a legal term which was first defined in the Children Act 1989 as “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property. “
All mothers have Parental Responsibility, as do fathers who are married to the mother, or are listed on the birth certificate for children born after 1st December 2003 (this date differs in different parts of the UK).
Fathers who do not have Parental Responsibility can gain it by entering into a Parental responsibility Agreement, which must be approved by everyone else with Parental Responsibility. If agreement is not possible, an application can be made to the court.
Our Solicitors are here to help you when it comes to the disputes involving children. Give us a call today on 0151 242 5111.