Children

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 We deal with private law children issues. This means that we carry out the legal work necessary to resolve disputes between private individuals concerning the upbringing of children. 

As in all areas of family law we will endeavour to resolve disputes without taking the matter to Court. But unfortunately it is not always possible for the individuals at the centre of the dispute to reach an agreement; in which case the Court will make an Order based on the best interests of the child.

The areas must commonly encountered are as follows:

Residence Order. This settles the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom a child is to live.

Contact Order. This requires the person with whom the child lives to allow the child to visit or stay with the person named in the Order (typically the other parent).

Specific Issue Order. This determines specific questions which those people with parental responsibility cannot agree, such as a name change or the school to be attended.

 

 

Court Application procedure

After the appropriate application is sent to the Court the Court will set a Hearing to determine what evidence is required to enable it to reach a decision.

Very often the Court will expect the parents to attend a meeting with CAFCASS officers (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) before a Hearing to see if the issues can be resolved by negotiation. Usually the Court will direct that the child and parties are seen by the CAFCASS officer who will then prepare a report for the Court.

Review Hearing. In certain cases, usually where the parties have been able to make some progress from an initial stalemate, the Court will schedule a Review Hearing after the CAFCASS report has been received.

If matters still cannot be resolved then there will be a fully contested Court Hearing at which parties will provide evidence and be cross examined before a Judge imposes a Court Order thereby concluding the application.