After separation many parents are faced with the daunting task of agreeing contact arrangements for their children. In some situations, parents are able to come to an agreement between themselves, dealing with the specific arrangements for the children. These agreements are not legally binding and are often referred to as a parenting plan.
If the parents are unable to come to an agreement between themselves, they can attend Family Mediation, which allows them to negotiate with an independent third party being present. If Mediation is not appropriate for some individual cases, then solicitors can negotiate on the parent’s behalf.
Some parents then wish to legally formalise their agreement, which can be done by a solicitor who will draft the agreement into a Consent Order. The Consent Order must be agreed by both parents before it is sent to the Court. The Court can approve the Consent Order, without the parent’s attending any hearings at Court.
If parents cannot come to an agreement, then the parents can issue Child Arrangement Proceedings at Court. The Court can then make the following Orders:
- Child Arrangements Order, which determines with whom the children should live with and with whom the children should have contact with.
- Prohibited Steps Order, which is made when one parent wants to prevent the other parent from doing something, which may not be in the best interests of children. Some examples include, preventing the removal of the children from the care of the other parent, preventing the removal of the child from country and their school.
- Specific Issues Order, which is made when the parents cannot agree on certain issues, such as decisions regarding the children’s education, religious education, and the children’s medical care.
Here at Bell Lax we deal with all aspects of Private Children matters and if you would like to discuss your children matters with us, then please contact us on 0121 355 0011.