Handling Divorce with Children – UK Law

Here at Higgins Miller, we specialise in dealing with matters of family law. This means that we deal with issues such as domestic abuse and wills and probate. What many issues of this kind have in common is that they impose huge emotional stress on the people involved. Our expertise and experience mean that we’re uniquely qualified to help clients cope with this stress, at the same time as providing the legal advice they need to deal with their issues. This includes advising people how to cope with divorce with children UK

Divorce of any kind is always going to be a difficult process to go through, but divorce with children UK is particularly tricky since both parents will be driven by a desire to protect their children from distress as much as possible. This is always going to be easier to achieve if the parties can sit down and come to an amicable arrangement, but we know from experience that divorce with children UK doesn’t always work out like that. When a marriage comes to an end it can sometimes be an angry and bitter process, particularly given the existing divorce laws which hinge upon one party being attributed with ‘blame’ for the divorce. Divorce with children UK is no different, and this anger can sometimes overflow into the discussions about the future of the children, which is why it is vitally important that anyone coping with divorce with children UK should seek expert advice as early in the process as possible. 

The issues which need to be settled when working through a divorce with children UK include questions such as where the children will live in the future, where they will go to school, how often each parent will see the children and the maintenance that needs to be paid. In all cases of divorce with children UK, we try to encourage both parents to sit down and discuss what would be best for their children in a calm and respectful manner. In some cases expert, impartial mediation could play a role in this process, and the aim is always for the best interests of the child to be placed front and centre. The arrangements following a divorce with children UK might involve the child living with one parent and having regular contact with the other parent. In this case, the arrangement would detail how often this contact would take place and how it would be arranged. Other couples might decide to set up arrangements in which the children live with a different parent at different times, such as on alternate weekends or months. No matter how committed both parents are to reaching an agreement it sometimes isn’t possible, however, and this ultimately means a divorce with children UK involving an application to the court. The Family Court will issue a child arrangements order which sets out the kind of details that the parents were unable to negotiate between them. This will include:

  • Who the child lives with and when it lives with them. 
  • Who the child will have contact or spend their time with, and when that contact will happen. 
  • The court can stipulate that the child lives with either one parent or both parents, and exactly when it will live with each parent.
  • If the court decides that the children should live with one particular parent, they can also set out when they will spend time with the other parent, as well as whether this contact will be face to face, indirect (i.e. through phone calls, texts etc.) or supervised. This last would mean the contact taking place in the presence of a suitable person or at a contact centre. 

The court may also include an order stating that the children should see one parent for a specified number of hours, or make an order for staying in contact, which means the children staying with the parent overnight or for more than one night (i.e. during school holidays). 

In specific circumstances, the court may add conditions to the child arrangements order following a divorce with children UK. This could cover issues such as a child not being allowed to drink alcohol in the presence of the children, although in some cases it might go further and compel the parents to attend a course designed to help deal with the issues facing divorced parents.

Once the child arrangements order is in place a parent failing to comply with it – without a good reason for doing so – could face the threat of an enforcement order to undertake unpaid work or, in exceptional circumstances, a prison sentence. If circumstances change either parent can apply to the court to have the child arrangements order varied.   

The key point for anyone wondering about divorce with children UK is to start dealing with the issue of how the children will be looked after as soon as possible. Ensuring that you have fair and full access to your children in 2022 is vitally important, not just for you as a parent, but also for the well-being of the children themselves.

If you want to ask about divorce with children UK 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. The first 20-minute appraisal is provided free of charge, and we’ll give you the 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 explore our wider charging system then please take a look here.

divorce with children UK