Child Arrangement
Solicitors

Our child arrangement solicitors/family lawyers are sensitive to the emotions that surround child arrangement order cases and are adept at minimising tensions and finding a workable solution for both parents. We offer no-obligation consultations to help you understand what is possible.

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We are experts in all aspects of Child Law

  • Child Custody / Child arrangement orders
  • Adoption and name changes
  • Domestic violence and children
  • Grandparents rights
  • Special guardianship orders
  • Care proceedings and social services

Resolving disputes relating to access to your children

Our child arrangement solicitors will help you to resolve disputes relating to child access and specific areas of conflict. We offer no obligation consultations to help you to understand what is possible. If you have an agreeable relationship it is possible for us to produce a legally binding agreement with your ex-partner on how you will look after your children when you separate.

This can include:

  • where your children will live
  • how much time they will spend with each parent
  • how you will support your children financially

Child Custody is always at the centre of any relationship break up and is inevitably an emotional and difficult time for all concerned. The most important thing is for you both to be clear that decisions are being based on what is best for your children.

We receive many questions in relation to arrangements for children during divorce or separation. Below we answer a few. If you have a questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

From the outset it is important for your children to understand that they are never being asked to choose between you.

If your children are older you can discuss options but we wouldn’t recommend asking them to choose who they live with. That’s a decision that you as adults must make.

It is also important to parent collectively – try and agree in advance rules around homework, bed time, if they can have friends round, how long they can be on gaming machines etc. Children can look to divide and conquer making both parents fight for affection and equally feel guilty so setting rules that you both adhere to makes for a more certain and happy future.

Understandably you will need to revisit your rules as your children get older and therefore communication between both parents is key.

At Kidd Rapinet we recommend expert mediation if you are unable to reach an agreement on what is best for your children. A mediator is independent – they are not aligned with either parties solicitor. They will not tell you want to do but they will help you to seek a solution. A mediator will:-

  • Empower you to make decisions in relation to your children rather than applying to court
  • Offer a less stressful way of dealing with such sensitive matters
  • Help you improve communication and sort out future arrangements
  • Provide a quicker and more cost-effective way of resolving child custody disputes

If you have tried mediation are unable to reach a resolution you can apply for a child arrangement order through the family courts.

A child arrangement order is a legally binding court order on both parents which sets out times and days that children must live at one residence or another. It can only be applied for if mediation has been tried and failed. The court will be guided by a welfare checklist that considers:-

  • The wishes of the child/ren (taking into account their age and understanding)
  • The child/ren physical, emotional and educational needs
  • The child’s sex, background and other characteristics
  • How capable each parent is with meeting the child’s needs

The court will also assess any risks in the case of domestic abuse and any potential harm to the child/ren.

Sadly grandparents have no automatic right to be part of their grandchild’s life. At Kidd Rapinet we encourage resolution between family members after separation or divorce so children can continue to see their grandparents.

If conflict prevents this a grandparent can approach the court to make a child arrangement order – this is only likely if the court considers it to be in the child’s best interests.

If there are problems with parental responsibilities and social services have become involved it is possible for grandparents or one or more individuals to become a child’s ‘special guardian’. This is a private law order and is intended for children who cannot live with their birth parents and would benefit from a legally secure placement.

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    A written Child Arrangement Order

    A child arrangement order can include where your children will live, how much time they spend with each parent and how you will support your children financially.

    Child custody is always at the centre of any relationship break up and is inevitably an emotional and difficult time for all concerned. The most important thing is for you both to be clear that decisions are being based on what is best for your children.

    Child arrangement orders can also include child maintenance, or this can be done separately.

    Shared Child Arrangement

    Shared child arrangement, ‘shared care’ or ‘shared custody’ as it is often referred to can be very successful, but we also ask you to think if splitting the children’s time between two houses is right for them as well as fair to you both.

    Shared child custody or care is more successful when parents live close together and they can co-operate and communicate every day about simple but important every day tasks such as:- after school activities, healthcare appointments, homework and so forth.

    For many families it is often best for the children to live with one parent most of the week and see the other parent regularly.

    When considering how you will share your children’s time, please consider:-

    • who will have the most time for parenting (and on what days),
    • where will you live and who will have the most space
    • If you can get your children to and from school from your home
    • If you have more than one child will they want to see you parents together (e.g. both go to Dad for the weekend) or would they prefer to have one to one time with each parent.

    We’re here to support your next step

    Request a video call, phone call or an in-person meeting

    “Claire has been amazing. She is efficient, conscientious, sympathetic to my plight and has provided brilliant advice and top quality service throughout my divorce matter. What an incredible solicitor. The best.”
    Family law client, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
    Cameron KinrossChild Arrangements