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 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.
Our experienced and responsive family lawyers will guide you through the divorce process when, understandably, emotions are running high. We are friendly yet professional and can help you to see light at the end of the tunnel.
A number of options are available for reaching a financial settlement following a divorce, separation or dissolution of a civil partnership. Our expert family law team will guide you through your options to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
It is becoming increasingly common for people to consider during a relationship what may occur in the event of a separation. Our team can advise you on the best way to protect assets owned prior to the breakdown of a relationship.
There is a popular misconception that if you live together with your partner for a few years, you become, “common law husband and wife”, and enjoy the same rights as a married couple. This is not the case. There is no such concept as “common law marriage”.
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