When it comes to the law, matters regarding children can take a high emotional toll. We believe that resolving family matters in a non-confrontational way is best for everyone concerned.
The RVS Approach to Child Arrangement Orders
At RVS Solicitors, in any case involving the lives of children, our absolute focus is on their welfare. To achieve that aim, we take the time to listen to you, to understand your situation, and discuss all of the options available in a caring and jargon-free manner. We make ourselves available to you when you most need it, and we make your case, our case.
We are part of the Resolution network of family lawyers, who all share the same view; that resolving family matters in a non-confrontational way is best for everyone concerned.
We believe that going to court should only ever be a route of absolute last resort. Our approach considers the requirements of the whole family, with the needs of any children taking paramount importance.
By taking this approach, we know the overall outcome is more harmonious and works in the long-term.
Our team comprises of best family lawyers with expertise in child law including matters such as:
- Child arrangement and contact orders;
- Alienation of non-residential parent
- Father’s rights
- Prohibited Steps and Specific Issue orders
- Grandparents rights
- Parental abduction
- Do I need a child law solicitor?
- My ex-partner and I agree on the arrangements for our children, what next?
- Do we need to go to court if we cannot agree on arrangements for our children?
- What Orders can the Court make in respect of my child?
- How are Child Arrangement Orders enforced?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Do I need a child law solicitor?
If you have split from your partner with whom you have children, you will need to make proper arrangements for where your children will live, how much time they will spend with each of you, and the type of contact you will both enjoy.
Ideally, you would be able to agree on this with your partner. However, this is not always possible and even in situations where parties are on amicable terms and wish to collaborate, things can change later on. To prevent this and ensure that the best interest of your child is always at the centre of whatever arrangement you make, it is always advisable to get the help of specialist family lawyers.
Our family lawyers have years of experience in all aspects of child law. That kind of knowledge and experience is indispensable when you are attempting to compile an arrangement that essentially amounts to planning your child’s life for years to come.
Our specialist family lawyers have a clear understanding of what aspects need to be discussed and agreed upon, what mechanisms to put in place so that any future disagreements do not turn into conflicts that can devour years of your life, leave your child confused and hurt, and cause you significant financial losses. Being part of the Resolution network means we work in a collaborative manner and try to ensure that all the work that we do is aimed at eliminating conflict.
Therefore, no matter whether you already have an agreement in principle about what you wish the child arrangement to look like or if you cannot seem to agree about anything with your ex-partner, having strong legal support is paramount in cases involving children.
My ex-partner and I agree on the arrangements for our children, what next?
If you can agree with your ex-partner on these arrangements, then you do not need to go to court. However, we do recommend ensuring that what you have agreed is properly captured in a legally-binding ‘consent order’.
Our expert child arrangement lawyers will help you draft a consent order which faithfully captures your wishes for your children’s arrangements, and with our extensive experience of such cases, we can prompt any questions which may not have been raised between you and your partner.
We can also facilitate round-table negotiation if there are any final sticking points on which you cannot agree. Our team care deeply about the welfare of our clients and will provide a supportive and warm environment in which you can finalise the arrangements for your children.
Do we need to go to court if we cannot agree on arrangements for our children?
The family law system in England and Wales encourages parents, in so far as possible, to resolve family matters between themselves rather than go to court. If you and your partner are unable to agree on arrangements for your children, then the intervention of the court may be necessary.
Prior to making an application to the court, in most circumstances, you and your partner will need to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). A MIAM will explain how the mediation process works and help you decide whether it is the right option for you.
If you then proceed to mediation, and this is successful, then the matter need not proceed to court. With RVS Solicitors you can be confident that you will have the support of the top family solicitors through the mediation process, providing you clear advice on whether attending a MIAM is appropriate and mandatory given the facts of your case.
What Orders can the Court make in respect of my child?
If you are unable to agree on all the important issues for the arrangement of your children, then you will need to ask the court to make a Child Arrangement Order.
A Child Arrangement Order will stipulate where and with whom the child lives, when and where they have contact with a non-resident parent, and certain other matters relating to the child’s welfare. When making a Child Arrangement Order, the court will always put the welfare of the child first.
At the first hearing to decide a Child Arrangement Order, the judge will establish the common areas of agreement and disagreement, and may then recommend further mediation, or attendance of a course called a ‘Separated Parents Information Programme’, which is designed to help couples find common solutions for the benefit of their children.
The judge may also request a report from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), who can represent the child and their wishes to the court.
If an agreement cannot be reached at this hearing, the judge or magistrates will schedule one or more further hearings. These hearings may involve the filing and giving of evidence and the consideration of evidence from expert witnesses.
At the final hearing, the court will make the Child Arrangement Order.
Apart from Child Arrangement Orders, the courts may also make the following orders:
Specific Issues Orders – these orders are used to get the court’s intervention in respect of specific issues, for instance, which school the child will attend, changes to the child’s name, what medical treatment the child can have etc.
Prohibited Steps Issues –these orders, as the name suggests, are meant to ensure that the other parent will not take certain steps. These may include removal of the child from their current residence, with intent to move them permanently to another location whether within the UK or overseas, removal from education institution with the intent to enrol in a different one, prohibiting certain people from contacting the child etc.
If your matter does require the intervention of the courts, our friendly family and children lawyers will guide, support, and represent you throughout the process. You can be assured that we will take as much of the pressure off your shoulders as possible.
We will always make ourselves as available as possible if you need us; we know how important it is that you can ask questions when you need to, and receive accurate, considered, and timely responses based on the latest facts of your case. We don’t provide an off-the-shelf service; we tailor our approach for every client, to ensure that your emotional and legal needs are met.
How are Child Arrangement Orders enforced?
When making a Child Arrangement Order, the courts are required to attach a Warning Notice. This is designed to encourage parties to comply with the order and lists the consequences if they fail to do so.
Our family law solicitors can help you enforce a Child Arrangement Order. We understand the stress and frustration parents feel when an order is repeatedly breached. We act quickly and competently, ensuring the court has the necessary evidence to assure itself that an enforcement order is necessary and proportionate.
By instructing us, you can be confident your any legal matters relating to your children will be dealt with quickly and sensitively.
To find out more about how we can assist you with making arrangements for your children after a separation or divorce, please contact our London office on 020 3372 5125 or complete our online enquiry form to make an appointment.