We specialise in dealing with matters of family law at Higgins Miller, so we know that few things matter more to people than the safety and happiness of their children. We deal with issues such as children disputes and working with social services and care, and we know how stressful it can be to have the legal system intervening in family life. That’s why our child custody solicitors are the best you’ll find.
We know that marriages and relationships break down for all sorts of reasons, and we understand that the trauma of such a split is only going to be amplified when there are children involved. That’s why our child custody solicitors adopt a dual approach to such issues. On the one hand they explain clearly and calmly what the legal situation is, and where the responsibilities of the various parties lie, but on the other they adopt a sensitive approach and provide support and reassurance. We know that the end of a relationship can provoke a degree of anger and bitterness, but we also know that it’s vitally important to make suitable arrangements for any children. Our child custody solicitors will handle the situation calmly, explaining things clearly and making sure that’s what happens.
In the first instance our child custody solicitors will explain the meaning of parental responsibility. If a married couple separate, then both parents share parental responsibility for the child. If the couple aren’t married, however, only the mother automatically gets those rights, although the father can obtain them if the child was born after 2003, and the father is named on the birth certificate. Whether they have parental responsibility or not, a parent who moves out of the family home still is still required to contribute financial support for any children.
The child custody solicitors at Higgins Miller have dealt with numerous cases of this kind, and our intention is always to try to keep matters out of the court and reach an arranged solution. When deciding upon child arrangements, which used to be known as residence and contact arrangements, all parties will have to work to keep the interest of the children at the centre of proceedings. Matters which we’ll help you to decide include:
- Which of the parents has the most freedom to be able to spend quality time with the children.
- Where it would be most convenient for the children to spend their time. This might have a major bearing if one parent lives much closer to a child’s school for example.
- How circumstances might change in the future. If the child is due to start a new school, then the identity of the parent who lives in the most convenient location might change.
Our child custody solicitors will also help to draw up a plan for how both parents will stay in touch with the children in future, and how they will communicate in order to discuss any issues which arise. Sometimes, partners will no longer wish to speak to each other, in which case an alternative arrangement of email or text communication might be drawn up, or, in some cases, the help of another family member acting as intermediary.
If you’re able to come to an agreement over matters such as these, we’ll help you to draw up a parenting plan, setting out exactly what arrangements have been made. A plan of this kind can help to establish a sense of stability, and can be used to refer back to in the event of any disagreements in the future. It’s also worth remembering that the details of the plan can be changed at any time, as long as both parents agree. Our experts will ensure that all the necessary details are included, and that both parties are fulfilling their responsibilities. If you want to make the agreement legally binding, our child custody solicitors will create a ‘consent order’ which covers the details of the arrangement, such as where the child will live and how much time they will spend with each of their parents. The court will charge a fee to recognise this order, and a judge should do so providing he believes it is in the best interests of the children, and that no safeguarding issues arise.
If you’d like to speak to our child custody solicitors, or learn more about how the concept of parental responsibility works, then please call us on 0161 429 7251 or email us at [email protected] We’ve recently passed our Cyber Essential accreditation, something which demonstrates our forward thinking attitude and determination to remain ahead of the competition. We offer a 20 minute appraisal free of charge, and if you want to find out more we’ll provide a first appointment for a fixed fee, so you don’t have to worry about how much our advice is going to cost. If you want to find out more about our wider charging system then please take a look here.