When parents separate it can be difficult to make decisions about which parent the child should live with and how much time should be spent with the parent they don’t live with.
It is strongly encouraged, by both the Government and the Courts, that parents agree these arrangements between themselves. It’s generally better for children if their parents can reach their own agreements rather than having to go through court proceedings which can be stressful, costly and time consuming.
However, for many reasons, it is not always possible for separated parents to decide what the arrangements should be for their children. There are many factors to consider such as:
- Should the child live with you or your former partner?
- Should the child spend equal amounts of time living with both of you?
- What should the arrangements be for the child to spend time with the parent they don’t live with?
- What should the arrangements be for special occasions like birthdays and Christmas?
- What should the arrangements be for school holidays and going abroad?
There is nothing more important than the decision regarding where your child should live and how much time they should spend with the other parent. Our expert Child Law team is extremely experienced in working with parents to achieve the best outcome.
Going to Court
In certain cases it may be necessary to take the matter to Court to obtain an order setting out arrangements for the children. In April 2014, the Government brought in a new term for orders which set out where a child should live and who they should spend time with. Previously known as ‘Residence’ and ‘Contact’, they are now called Child Arrangements Orders.
Legal Aid is no longer available for most disputes relating to children. However, in certain circumstances where there is evidence of domestic abuse or child abuse it may still be possible to for the Legal Aid Agency to help with your costs.