We recommend mediation first as a way of keeping costs down by avoiding having to go to court. This can also keep relations amicable and cause less stress to children involved.
If you have parental responsibility for a child, then you can apply for a child arrangement order. If you don't already have parental responsibility then you will need to request this from the court before you can apply for the arrangement order.
Child arrangement orders generally last until the child is 16 years of age and in some cases 18 years of age.
It's a great idea to try and come to an agreement yourselves and put your children first by putting any feelings of animosity to one side.
If both you and your partner agree about the arrangements for your children, you may not need any official contract. Bear in mind however, that this will mean your agreement is not legally binding.
Our experienced team of family solicitors can help you to create the relevant paperwork.
To make your agreement legally binding you will need to create a consent order and this will need to be done by a qualified solicitor.
A court can help you to determine the terms of the arrangement order if you think that you and your partner cannot agree. You will however, need to show that you have attended a mediation meeting to see if mediation is right for you. In cases where there's been domestic abuse or violence then it may not be necessary to seek mediation prior to a court hearing.
Courts can help you to decide who the child will live with and where the child will spend her time based on what is best for the child.
In most cases a court will encourage both parents or guardians to have contact with the child as well as considering the feelings of the child if mature enough and any effects that changes and circumstances might have on the welfare of the child.
There may be specific education or needs for the child and these will also be considered. Bear in mind that each case is different.
If both parents agree then they can make changes to how the child is looked after outside the terms of the order. However, if it is a case of making wholesale changes then it's a good idea to get this formally changed so that it is legally binding.
To get legal advice and determine the correct cause of action for you and your family, speak to our experienced family solicitor now.
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