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It is only normal for separation, divorce or the breakdown of any relationship to cause distress for any children involved. At OTS Solicitors, our family law team have years of experience helping parents work out the best arrangements for their children. We help parents come together to reach an agreement that will withstand changing circumstances (such as one parent meeting a new partner), and the vicissitudes of everyday life.
To speak to our top family law solicitors based in London, please contact us on 0207 936 9960, or contact us through our online enquiry form.
At OTS Solicitors, our family law team possess a wealth of experience advising and representing clients in disputes over childcare arrangements. We provide caring, practical advice in a friendly, sensitive manner. Our primary aim is to look after your best interests and those of your children.
Our family lawyers in London are headed by Rakhi Singal. Rakhi has over five years’ experience in family law and litigation. Rakhi and her team believe in resolving family law disputes in a non-confrontational manner. As with all the best family lawyers, we are committed to helping couples work out arrangements for their children in a peaceful manner, reaching workable solutions that will survive inevitably changing circumstances in the future.
Rakhi is a member of Resolution, an organization whose members follow a Code of Practice that promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems. Members encourage solutions that consider the needs of the whole family - and in particular, the best interests of children when negotiating arrangements. The group also lobbies for changes in family law to ensure it is meeting the needs of the community.
The Law Around Arrangements for Children After a divorce
When the court is considering any matters concerning the upbringing of a child, the child’s welfare is the paramount consideration.
When filing for divorce, a Statement of Arrangements must also be submitted to the court. This outlines the care arrangements you and your partner have agreed to for your children. Knowing that amicably agreed childcare arrangements are more likely to stick and thus provide stability for the children, the judiciary will only get involved in sorting out child arrangements as a last resort.
Our experienced family law team can assist you to work out a childcare agreement with your partner. We have a wealth of experience in this area of family law, and a high success rate of negotiating arrangements amicably and quickly.
Disputes Surrounding child care Arrangements
If you cannot agree with your estranged spouse on arrangements for your children, you will come under the Child Arrangements Programme. This programme, introduced in 2014, removes the terms ‘custody’ and ‘access’ and replaces them with a ‘child arrangement order.' It is designed to assist families to reach safe and child-focused agreements for their child, where possible outside the court setting. If parents/families are unable to reach an agreement, and a court application is made, the Child Arrangement Programme encourages swift resolution of the dispute through the Court.
The Role of Mediation in a child care Arrangement Dispute
If you are unable to agree on living arrangements for your children, the court will ask you both to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to see if mediation proceedings will help you reach an agreement.
There are situations where couples are exempt from attending a MIAM, for example, if there is a history of violence and/or abuse in the relationship.
During mediation, it is important for the welfare of your children to work with the Mediator to decide:
- where will the children primarily reside?
- how, when and where the parent with whom the children will not primarily reside, will see them
- how they will be supported financially
- where they will spend school holidays
- who will pay for school fees (if applicable)
Mediation has proven to be an effective process, allowing many couples to work out arrangements for their children between themselves, without the stress and expense of having to go to court.
Our experienced family law solicitors can support you through the MIAM and/or mediation process, or advise you as to whether an exemption to a MIAM applies to your situation.
Our Approach to Child Arrangement Matters
We fully believe that in cases of separation and divorce, the child’s welfare is paramount. By dealing with cases sensitively and firmly, we have proven time and time again that our family law team can bring estranged couples together in an amicable way to work out the best arrangements for their children.
Our family solicitors strive to, where possible, negotiate arrangements that not only meet the needs of the children but also provide both parents with the means to adjust to their new situation, without undue disturbance. Normally we succeed in achieving this through negotiation and/or mediation. But sometimes parties cannot or should not (due to factors such as domestic violence) reach agreement through these methods, and litigation is inevitable.
If this is the case, we can represent you on an application for a Child Arrangements Order, which is made by the court. A Child Arrangement Order may include restrictions on your child being removed from the UK if you are concerned that your partner may try and abduct them. If there has been a history of violence and/or abuse in the relationship, the Child Arrangement Order may make provisions for any contact to be made under the supervision of a third party.
We will ensure both you and your children’s voices are heard by the judge and that proceedings are run in a calm, respectful manner.
Parents trust us to assist them with working out arrangements for the care and comfort of their children; a responsibility we take very seriously. By approaching each case in a bespoke manner, we ensure every family who comes to us feels fully supported throughout the process.
For a more detailed discussion regarding arrangements for your children, or to book an appointment with a member of our family law team, please call us now on 0207 936 9960.
Children and Childcare Arrangements subsections
Child Care Proceedings
Child – Private Law
Adoption and Guardianship
Surrogacy and Parental Order
For a more detailed discussion regarding your case, or to book an appointment with a member of our divorce and Family Law team, please call us now on 0207 936 9960