One of, if not the main issue when couples are separating is the impact upon the children and being able to agree the arrangements for them spending time with each of their parents.
When there are difficulties in being able to agree the arrangements, this can be a extremely emotional and difficult time.
Parents often find it beneficial to speak to a solicitor to understand their options and all attempts are made to try and agree arrangements without the need to go to court.
"If you’re having difficulties in making the arrangements for the children following a separation.” Call 01482 225566 and chat to our family team.
There are a number of ways of making arrangements for children, including by agreement between the parents. If this is not possible, then the parents may wish to attend at mediation to discuss the arrangements and to hopefully reach an agreement. If an agreement can still not be reached, then consideration can be given to making an application to the court for a Child Arrangements Order.
A Child Arrangements Order is a court order which regulates with whom a child is to live and how a child is to spend time with each parent. Such orders are governed by Section 8 of the Children Act 1989, with the primary consideration being what is in the best interests of the child(ren). This will of course vary from family to family.
To determine what is in the best interest of the child(ren), the Court considers points within the ‘welfare checklist’ which can be summarised as follows:
If a parent breaches this order, they will be in contempt of court. A departure from the terms of a Child Arrangements Order would not be a breach if this is agreed by both parties. It will be necessary for the Court to vary the order for such changes to become legally binding.
If both parents have parental responsibility, then both parents will need to consent to a child being taken abroad unless there is a court order enabling a parent to do so.
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