Children - where a child lives and who they spend time with

In April 2014, a new law was introduced replacing legal orders such as ‘residence’ and ‘contact’ with ‘child arrangements orders’.

On this page we also explain how we can help divorced and separated couples who would like a parental responsibility agreement.

Where children live
Our specialist solicitors are experienced in advising parents, children, grandparents and guardians on child custody and residence issues.

When reaching a decision about child residence a court will consider, among other matters:

  • The effects of a change of circumstances on the child
  • The child’s wishes and feelings
  • Their physical, emotional and educational needs
  • Any harm the child has suffered or the risk of harm.

We will make every effort to ensure you achieve the best possible outcome and can offer trained mediation experts to help resolve problems without the need for court action.

How often children see parents and other family members
Our children law solicitors have extensive experience in helping resolve access, contact and visitation issues.

If it is not possible to reach an agreement at first, our solicitors have extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution methods such as collaborative law, ensuring that court action is the last resort.

Where cases have to go to court our solicitors are experienced in representing children, parents and other family members. Any contact order made by the court will outline the type of contact you have, including where the contact will take place and how often.

Parental responsibility
We can provide specialist advice if you are you separated from the mother or father of your child and can’t agree about important decisions relating to their life.

In a marriage both the mother and father are considered equally responsible for important decisions relating to their child.

However, the rules differ if your child was born to unmarried parents before 1 December 2003. Unmarried fathers of children born prior to this date will not have parental responsibility unless by court order or by agreement with the mother which is then registered with the court.

Without parental responsibility you cannot have input into where your child lives, choosing their name, how they are educated, medical treatment, religion, travel and living abroad.

We are experienced in providing advice to divorced and separated couples who would like parental responsibility agreements.

If you are the father of a separated unmarried couple, we can apply to the court to gain parental responsibility so that you receive recognition.

Contact us to find out how we can help.

Seeking help from Boys & Maughan
Call us today on 01843 234010 or use our contact form on the right hand side of this page for advice.

Since April 2013, with a few exceptions, legal aid is no longer available to pay for lawyers in cases where you:

  • Are asking for or opposing contact between a child and a parent
  • Can’t agree about which parent a child should live with, or
  • Want to apply for parental responsibility.

We offer fixed fee services to clients in these circumstances.

Legal aid is still available for mediation. However, you will only qualify for legal aid for mediation if your income is below a certain level.