Children’s Law Solicitors
The best children’s law solicitors show patience, understanding and care when representing family law clients. Unlike consumer law or corporate law which are detached, child custody law exists to protect the most vulnerable members of our society and is deeply personal. Family lawyers who can strike the right balance between professionalism and compassion do exist, so don’t feel you have to settle for the first family lawyer you contact if you are not comfortable with them.
UK Family Law and Parental Responsibility
Family law regarding Parental Responsibility in England & Wales differs to that in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In England & Wales, married fathers will always have parental responsibility. Since 1st December 2003, unmarried fathers will also have parental responsibility if they are named on a child’s birth certificate. For unmarried fathers not named on a child’s birth certificate, parental responsibility can be obtained by:
- Both parents completing a Form C(PRA1) form and having it signed and witnessed at a family court
- By petitioning the court for a Parental Responsibility order
- By marrying the child’s mother
Having legal Parental Responsibility gives a parent the right to be involved in decisions regarding their child including where they go to school, their medical treatment and healthcare, and whether to allow their child to go abroad either temporarily, such as for a holiday, or to move permanently. Parents also have a legal duty to ensure their child receives adequate financial support, even in the case of fathers who do not have Parental Responsibility.
Respectful and Amicable Solutions
Regardless of the cause for the breakdown of your marriage, children will always benefit if parents can agree on child custody arrangements voluntarily. Family law advice is always that these arrangements should be formalised in a written family plan, but if they are agreed through mediation and discussion, it will cause less upset for everyone involved, especially children.
If a solution cannot be agreed, then your family law solicitor may recommend you start court proceedings. Both parties can present their case, and a judge will decide on a solution they believe to be in the best interest of the relevant children. As with specialist children’s law solicitors, the judges who preside over such cases are experts in family law and appreciate the sensitivity and nuances surrounding the situation.
Child Arrangement Orders
Child arrangement orders are legally binding and state where the child’s primary residence will be and how often they will see their other parent. If you are concerned your child may be at risk of domestic violence, you should obtain family law advice urgently as there are several options which can help to protect their physical and legal rights.
The Children Act 1989 governs child welfare and safeguarding, with Section 8 specifically relating family proceedings and Child Arrangement Orders. Most parents always put the welfare of their child first when divorcing but the Children Act 1989 makes sure children are safeguarded in a situation where a parent fails to uphold their duty.
Family Law Advice
Rather than see obtaining family law advice as a declaration of emotional war it should be seen as a positive act that helps to ensure family proceedings are resolved with as little emotional disruption as possible for all parties, particularly children.
Why work with us?
We will explain the process clearly and keep you informed about what is happening at each stage.
Transparent with costs
We offer a cost effective solution that's tailored to your situation; and we will provide clear information about the costs.
Direct lawyer contact
You will be assigned to an expert solicitor who will give you the best advice and compassion at this sensitive time.
Expert family law solicitors working for you
At The Family Law Experts, we work with specialist solicitors in all aspects of divorce, matrimonial, family and childcare law.
We offer an expert approach at a personal level for all our legal support. When dealing with family issues and family legal problems, our aim is to deal with each case in the least confrontational way possible, whilst still achieving the best results for our clients. We understand that when family issues arise and family relationships break down, real lives are affected, and the need for expert legal help and support is essential.