Today the Government have announced there will be new legislation in divorce law. This new law will update the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 in due course. It will mean that, in the future when the legislation comes into force, divorcing couples will no longer have to ‘blame’ each other for the breakdown of their marriage. It is hoped the new law will help reduce family conflict.
When children are involved in a legal case it can be an extremely stressful time for all concerned.
There are a number of options for families, carers and children to resolve disputes without having to take matters to Court. Family mediation services are available as well as the option to work out issues through the collaborative law process. Our family law experts will work with all parties concerned to find the best solution for your family situation.
When you deal with Hughes Paddison your family matters will be treated sensitively and professionally. We will look to provide you with practical advice and solutions for you and your child or children’s needs.
We are accredited members of Resolution (previously the Family Law Association). We are also very experienced in dealing with a wide range of Courts and also complex cases, for example those under foreign jurisdiction.
Some of the more common issues involving children’s needs and rights are:
- Arrangements following a family breakdown (commonly referred to as custody, access, residence, contact, child arrangements). This may be for parents, step-parents, grandparents or carers.
- Financial support and maintenance for children.
- Providing for children in Wills and Trusts.
- Domestic abuse and how this may affect children or the parties involved in making arrangements for the children to see their parents.
- Removal or abduction of children overseas (the Hague Convention).
- Relocation disputes (within the UK or removal from the jurisdiction).
Below are some frequently asked questions and answers in respect of matters relating to children upon a relationship breakdown.
Frequently asked questions
My ex is being difficult about access to our children. What can I do?
It is important to obtain legal advice at an early stage and our experienced Family Law Solicitors can discuss with you the options available to resolve the situation. This may be through mediation or a collaborative approach or a strongly worded letter. In certain circumstances it is appropriate to bring court proceedings. We can also advise you what steps you can take in the meantime to maintain your relationship with your children, such as maintaining letters/emails, phone calls or social media contact.
Do the kids have a say?
It is important that children are not exposed to conflict and asked to choose between their parents.
Older children may want their voices to be heard when arrangements are being made on their behalf. This can be achieved by parents listening to their children and adapting arrangements, by children being involved in the mediation process, or the children being involved in the court process in a child-focused and age-appropriate way. For further advice tailored to your family’s circumstances, please contact one of our experts.
I want to move away with our children. Can I do this? Can my former partner stop me?
A possible relocation, whether within the UK or abroad, is invariably an emotive proposal and the other parent will naturally be concerned about how this will affect their relationship with the children. There is no easy answer to this and much will depend upon the circumstances of the case and whether agreement can be reached with the other parent.
If agreement is not possible then it may be necessary for the Family Court to become involved to make a decision about a proposed relocation. The welfare of the children will always be the Court’s paramount consideration. Case law has developed to provide guidance to the Court when considering relocation applications but each case will be decided on its own facts. Specialist legal advice from Hughes Paddison at an early stage can help you consider your proposal to relocate and provide strategic guidance for your case.
Call 01242 574244 or contact us to find out how our family law team can help you.