Making arrangements for children after separation

If a couple is unable to come to an arrangement about their children after a separation or divorce, our specialist family solicitors can help you reach an agreement that works for you and the children, avoiding the need to go to court wherever possible.

How a relationship breakdown and resulting separation or divorce will affect your children is important. They will remember how you and your partner behaved towards each other. If you can agree the arrangements for how they will spend time with you and your partner, then the court will not need to be involved. This way you are likely to be able to preserve an amicable relationship, after all, your relationship with your partner will continue even after the children have grown up.

We have a detailed understanding and experience in childcare law and our family team can help you through negotiations if you are unable to agree the arrangements between yourselves.

We will also explore the collaborative process or mediation to reach an agreement – a court application is usually a last resort. Should a court application be necessary, rest assured we’ll be there to advise you every step of the way.

The most common application to the court is for Child Arrangement Orders (CAO). CAO’s regulate a child’s living arrangements and contact arrangements.

Once an application has been made to the court, often a Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) officer is appointed by the court to provide a preliminary indication about how to progress your application. A Cafcass officer is independent and has experience in working with children and families. When assessing the situation, the officer will take into account various factors such as:

  • The childrens’ ages
  • Their wishes and feelings (considered in light of their age and understanding)
  • Their emotional and educational needs
  • The likely effect on them of any change in circumstances

The court can follow the recommendation of the Cafcass officer unless there is good reason not to.

If either you or your partner decide not to accept the recommendations of the Cafcass officer, the court will then expect you and your partner to prepare witness statements. You will both then be expected to give evidence at a hearing when the court will decide what is in the interests of your children.

It should be noted that if there are allegations of abuse against children and/or threats to snatch a child, the procedure can be more complicated and the court may make an Order preventing a parent from removing a child from the parent they live with.

Get in touch

To discuss your situation following a break-up, contact our family law team.

Contact the team below, or alternatively call on +44 (0)116 262 4225

Get in touch

We’re situated in the heart of Leicester’s commercial quarter, just minutes from the city centre. Get in touch with any queries you have, or alternatively, call us on 0116 262 4225.

Get in touch