Children’s Issues

Children’s Issues – Family Law Solicitors

If you’re experiencing a relationship breakdown and there are children involved then it’s important to know your rights as a parent. Cohabiting couples with children may have different rights to married couples and those in a civil partnership particularly if your children were born before December 2003.

When it comes to children arrangements, you can apply to the courts under the Children Act 1989, but it’s much more advisable that you try and come to an agreement using our family mediation service. 

It costs a lot less in the long-run and we find the majority of families resolve their disputes this way. Your children will also be given the opportunity to have their wishes and feelings heard of they so wish through this process.

However Children bring a number of issues, these can be relating to arrangements, finances or Child protection. You don’t have to be a parent to consider on going arrangements to see a child. If you already have a relationship with a child such as a grandparent or step-parent.

Whilst you may not have immediate rights this wont prohibit you from instructing a lawyer to act on your behalf or to issue an application to court.

To speak to one of our expert family solicitors, you can either call us on 0151 647 7372 or fill in our contact form and we will call you back.

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OK, I'm being stopped from seeing my child – what can I do?

Here's our step-by-step guide to secure your parent-child relationship

1

Seek initial advice from one of our Family Law experts

Speak to our legal experts for a fixed fee (no obligation to proceed) to seek some immediate answers to your questions and understand your legal rights
2

Consider your options

Once you understand your legal rights, you can then decide the steps you wish to take to seek an early resolution to your problem
3

Referral to Mediation

Your Mediator will seek the most amicable form of resolution with co-operation from your ex
4

Seek amicable negoation

If Mediation is not an option then we will try to engage with your ex to advance proposals and begin negotiating for you
5

Application to Court

If your ex fails to cooperate, our next step will be to make an application to Court
6

Safeguarding Report prepared by CAFCASS

CAFCASS will undertake checks with police and social services to advise the Court of any safeguarding issues in advance of any Court hearing
7

First hearing dispute resolution appointment (FHDRA)

Steps will be taken to try and mediate a resolution to the dispute with the assistance of a judge (where appropriate) and we will look to seek a "Final Order" at this stage
8

Finding a fact hearing

Where substantive allegations are made AND ARE in dispute; then a hearing will be listed to gauge their legitimacy and the future conduct of your case
9

Final directions hearing

Attempts will be made at every step to try and seek an amicable conclusion, but in the absence of this, the Court will use this hearing to make sure your case is ready for a "Final Hearing"
10

Obtaining Final Order

Here, evidence will be given before a judge who will then adjudicate on your case and make a final Children’s Arrangement Order

CHILDREN’S ISSUES – MORE INFORMATION

Below are a list of commonly asked questions asked by our clients

Will my child have to go to Court?
The immediate answer is no. However, the Courts are looking at ways in which they can be improved and this may include inviting your child to meet with a judge so that their wishes and feelings can be heard. At 174 Family Law, we believe court ought to be the last resort when trying to resolve children arrangements and will always promote mediation where appropriate. We can also offer Child Inclusive mediation where your child is invited to meet with the Mediator and have their voices heard.
Will Social Services become involved?
Social services only become involved with children where a child is at risk. These are the minority of cases. Social services would become involved prior to any legal action being taken and are there to safeguard children. However, if you look to make an application to court for arrangements relating to your children then CAFCASS may be directed to prepare a report making a recommendation having met with both parents and your child or children.
Can I force a parent to have a relationship with a child?
Whilst it is open to you to make an application to court to pursue such a relationship it is incumbent upon the court to do what is in a child’s best interests and our laws do state this is to have a relationship with both parents. However a court cannot force a parent to have a relationship with a child.
What does it cost to seek advice about my children?
This will depend upon a number of factors and the work which needs to be done to undertake, whether this be a referral to mediation or an application to court. However, we would recommend an initial meet with one of our Family Law experts who can chat this through with you and advise on the areas of work which are necessary. This initial meet will be a fixed fee and is none committal so you can take this advice and do nothing. Although this is not something we would necessarily advise. Legal Aid may also be available to you.

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To speak to one of our expert Family Law solicitors, you can either call us on 0151 647 7372 or fill in our contact form and we will call you back.

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