For a glossary of terms you might come across during this process, please click here.
Arrangements for children
Have you separated from the other parent? Are you struggling with agreeing the division of the children’s time? We can assist you.
Whether you are married or unmarried, you will need to make arrangements for where the children live and spend time.
To be able to make decisions about your children, you will usually need to have Parental Responsibility (PR) for those children. Sometimes, a parent might not have PR. If you do not have it, you may need to apply for it.
Even if you have come to an arrangement for the children, it would be sensible to take advice on whether the agreement is in the best interests of the children. For some people, mediation and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution will be appropriate (click here for an overview of Alternative Dispute Resolution) but for others there will be no option but to go to Court.
We deal with children issues in a sensitive and effective way, always bearing in mind that the children’s interests are the most important.
Sometimes it may be necessary to make an emergency application known as a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent your child or children being removed from your care by your partner. Without this, for example, a school cannot refuse to hand over the children to the other parent, however unpleasant that parent may be.
You may need to consider combining such an application with other injunctions or protective measures. Click here to read about these options.
Relocation and taking children out of England and Wales (‘Leave to Remove’)
Do you want to take your children to another country or is your former partner threatening to take them to live abroad? Is your former partner stopping you taking your children on holiday?
To take a child out of this country you need the permission of everyone who has Parental Responsibility or, failing that, the Court. Without that permission, your overseas holiday could be classed as child abduction. We can assist you with obtaining the Court’s permission. We can also assist you in preventing your children being removed from the country without permission.
For some people, the issue may be about stopping the other parent taking the children to live in another part of England and Wales.
These applications and cases require a lot of planning and timely, specialist legal advice – all of which we can provide.
What if your former partner has already taken your children abroad without your permission or brought them to England and Wales against your wishes?
This is child abduction.
Again, you need specialist advice and lawyers who have an understanding of international matters and who are not afraid to fight your corner.
The ‘Respondent’ in these cases is not entitled to Legal Aid but we can support you or act for you in a way that best suits your needs.