Court Orders For Children Solicitors
When separating parents cannot agree on the most important aspects of how to raise their children, they may seek a court order for a judge to decide. Court Orders are the last resort and are only issued for aspects of a child’s care which are in dispute. Family law solicitors can assist with questions about Court Orders, and the Court Order process.
Common Types of Court Orders
There are four main types of Court Orders family solicitors handle on a regular basis. All of these come under Section 8 of the Children Act 1989, so are frequently referred to simply as Section 8 Orders. Unless someone with Parental Responsibility petitions the court again, a Section 8 Order will stay in place until a child turns 16.
An early decision separating parents will make is where their child will live, and how much time they will spend with each parent. Family law advice is to give this decision adequate consideration and to make arrangements on what is in the child’s best interest. For example, it may suit parents to have their child alternate weeks at each house, but this may be confusing and tiring for their child. When parents are unable to reach an agreement about their child’s primary residence, they can apply for a Residence Order.
Contact Orders relate to how much time children spend with the parent they do not reside with. It formally sets out days and times, whether children are allowed to sleep over at the other parent’s house, and any other conditions or restrictions. Both parents are responsible for ensuring they adhere to the terms of the contact order. If one parent breaches the Contact Order with no reasonable cause, the other parent can ask the Court to issue an Enforcement Order which carries a penalty of up to 200 hours of community service. Regular flouting of a Contact Order can also lead to a fine and imprisonment.
Specific Issue Order
Specific Issue Orders relate to a particular aspect of a child’s life, such as where they will attend school and medical treatment like if a child will be immunised.
When one parent wants to prevent the other parent from a particular action, they can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order. This Order can prevent a parent from changing the child’s surname, taking them abroad for a holiday or permanently, stopping a parent from moving a certain distance away, or prevent the child from associating with a particular person such as a parent’s new partner who has a criminal history.
Alternatives to Court
A Court Order should be as a last resort, and the court will not look favourably on any request where parents have not tried to resolve the dispute either through mediation or the collaborative law process.
Applying for a Court Order
Talk to your family lawyer about obtaining a Court Order. They can support and guide you to ensure you are aware of your rights and responsibilities and help the process go smoothly.
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.
Advice from top solicitors
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.