When parents (married, unmarried or same sex) separate, consideration needs to be given to the arrangements for any children such as where and with whom they are going to live, whether they need to change school and how often they will see the other parent. These arrangements should be agreed between the parents wherever possible.
What if you cannot agree?
Faradays can apply to court on your behalf for a Child Arrangement Order. Assistance should be sought from a trained Family Mediator, who maybe able to help you and your ex-partner reach agreement, it is compulsory that mediation has been attempted before making an application, except in certain situations where there is domestic abuse, child protection concerns or in an emergency.
Who can apply for a Child Arrangement Oder?
A mother, father (with or without parental responsibility), step-parent (including those in a civil partnership) and any person with whom the child has lived for three out of the last five years.
There are a few other significant people, such as a grandparent, who are entitled to make an application, but only if they are initially granted permission from the court to do so.
What will the court take into consideration?
The court will consider a number of factors when deciding whether or not to make an order such as:-
- the wishes and feelings of the child concerned, taking into account the age and understanding of the child
- The physical, emotional and educational needs of the child
- The age, sex, background and any characteristics of the child which the court considers relevant
- any harm the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering
- how capable each parent, or any other person, is of meeting the needs of the child
The court will always consider the best interests of the child when making any decision but generally the involvement of each parent in the life of the child will be considered to be in the child's best interests, unless the contrary is shown.
To contact our family law solicitors, please phone our office on 0207 281 1001. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org