The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown which it provoked introduced a massive range of problems into people’s lives. Here at Higgins Miller we’re specialist family lawyers, and so we’re used to dealing with clients during periods of high stress and anxiety, coping with issues such as divorce, wills and probate and domestic abuse. During the lockdown – something which has led to many separated couples needing to completely revise their child care arrangements – there have been many cases which have called for the expert advice of a child custody lawyer, and we’ve been happy to carry on providing that advice.
A child custody lawyer at Higgins Miller will combine up to the minute knowledge of the legislation surrounding child custody issues with an attitude which is calm, empathetic and supportive. We know that the pandemic lockdown has thrown up a wide range of issues for separated parents to have to cope with, from a child being placed under lockdown with a person whom the other partner feels is not suitable, to individuals claiming that the economic impact of the pandemic means that they are no longer able to meet existing child support payments. In some cases, the somewhat ambiguous nature of the rules has been used by people to disregard current child custody arrangements, and in all of these cases our child custody lawyers are the perfect people to come to for advice and support.
We make it our business to be aware of even relatively small changes in the law, and so our child custody lawyer will be able to explain exactly what the legal situation is regarding the custody of a child, and what course of action can be taken by any parent who feels that they or their child are being treated unfairly. We will explain all of this in the kind of language which anyone would be able to understand, free from legal jargon and technical terminology, so that any client knows exactly where they stand and precisely what we can do for them.
In the first instance, our child custody lawyer will set out that child custody matters hinge on the idea of ‘parental responsibility’, which was introduced in the Children Act 1989. This legislation states that when a married couple separate they both automatically have parental responsibility. Among other things, this means that even a parent who no longer lives with the child still has to support them financially. The chances are that both parents have already come to an agreement dealing with issues such as where the child lives and how often they will visit each parent, and that it is this arrangement which has been disrupted by the lockdown. A child custody lawyer will be able to explain that, despite the disruption which a situation like the pandemic is bound to cause, any child custody arrangements which are already in place are still legally binding and should be kept to, unless there is a reasonable fear that doing that might put the health and well-being of the child concerned in danger. The role of a child custody lawyer in a situation such as this is to explain exactly what the legal position is, and to act as a calming influence able to remove some of the anger and bitterness which is bound to bubble to the surface during this period. Our child custody lawyer will also explain that when the lockdown eventually begins to be lifted and existing child custody arrangements are easier to apply again, the courts will not be overly impressed by any parent who they view as having taken advantage of the situation to bend or break the rules. At all times our child custody lawyer will work to remove the conflict from the situation and reach a resolution which is based, above all else, on what is best for the child in question.
If you’d like to speak to a child custody lawyer, or have questions about child custody issues in general, please call us on 0161 429 7251 or email us at [email protected] We’re carrying out no contact consultations wherever possible in light of the current crisis. We’ve recently passed our Cyber Essential accreditation, something which demonstrates our forward thinking attitude and determination to remain ahead of the competition. Our first 20 minute appraisal is provided free of charge, and we’ll give you a fixed fee first appointment, so you don’t have to worry about how much our advice is going to cost. If you want to explore our wider charging system then please take a look here.