Child Arrangements

Children deserve to have the best experiences. These range from excellent parenting, to giving them opportunities to develop their skills and talents. An enjoyable childhood leads to a successful adult.

Children will, however, only achieve their potential if all those involved in their lives share in this vision. Sadly, it is not always the case.

Robertsons Family Law provides professional and dedicated child law advice and information to parents and caregivers on child and family law in England and Wales. It can range from private law matters (such as disputes between parents or other family members) to international issues (such as relocation or child abduction).

It is vital for us to give proper child law advice to parents, grandparents, guardians, and other family members to ensure that children’s legal rights are respected and their voices heard. In addition, we strive to give families the ability to understand their situation and be fully appraised of their options moving forward.

Child Law Advice & Child Arrangement Orders

What is a child arrangement order?

This is a court ruling on where a child will live and with whom after the parents separate. Such an order can be granted to cover many different circumstances and with various different schedules.

The terms of a child arrangement order can differ according to individual circumstances. For example, in some cases, the court will order that a child lives with both parents equally, although at different times. Alternatively, the child can spend time with the non-resident parent on alternate weekends and school holidays.

However, negotiations can get complicated (or even impossible) if a parent wants to relocate further away or live abroad. Robertsons Family Law can help negotiations along with mediation, or represent you in court where needed. We aim to give expert and sensitive legal advice to get the best outcome for your family.

Fundamental Principles of the Children Act 1989

The 1989 Act is based on the presumption that children are best looked after within their families with loving parents. Every effort has to be made to support this.

Parents have responsibilities, and local authorities must provide services to support children and their families. The Act made children’s law less confusing and easier to apply. It placed new duties on Local Authorities and charged councils to provide better services for children.

In a nutshell, good social care has to do with timeous intervention, the enabling of parents so that they can be closely involved in their children’s lives, the continuity of relationships, and the awareness of the dangers of a change of home to a child’s welfare. The Act emphasises the importance of the child’s welfare and that they must have a say in what happens to them.

Robertsons Family Law supports the intention of the 1989 Act, and we want to encourage parents to exercise their responsibilities for their children’s welfare in a constructive way. We feel where compulsory intervention is needed, it should support the parental role and not undermine it. You may also you want to consider grandparents rights or stepparents rights.

FAQs On Child Law Advice

What issues can family courts decide about?

Child law issues can spring from parents divorcing, separating, or applying for a civil partnership dissolution. Family courts will usually issue a child arrangement order to determine how the child will spend time with each parent. The Children Act 1989 places value on the child’s welfare, wishes, and psychical, emotional and educational needs in childcare arrangements.

Do children have rights in terms of contact with parents?

Yes, a child does have the right to have contact with one or both of his/her parents. However, it is not a parental right. Instead, it is based on the child’s wishes. Research suggests, however, that children who adjust best after family separation are those who can have a relationship with both parents.

Do I have to get my ex’s consent if I want to travel with my child within the UK?

There is no legal requirement to ask your ex if you want to travel domestically with your child within the UK. It will only be considered ‘abduction’ if you should take or send a child outside the UK without prior consent.

However, the situation can become complicated if you travel with your child within the court-ordered contact time of the other parent without alternative arrangements. The parent left behind can decide to enforce your child arrangement order if the child was unavailable during the contact time.

Does my child have a say in child arrangement or other child law issues?

Yes, as far as it is reasonably practicable, the child’s feelings and wishes must be considered by the court. However, it would depend on how old the child is and how much they understand. The ideal is for children to take ownership of what is happening to them and understand the purpose of the service or support being offered. You can also consider the Child Law Advice charity.

Robertsons Family Law is a trading name of Robertsons Legal Limited registered in England and Wales under company number 9645024. The registered office is 6 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3RS. VAT No: 359 409132.

Robertsons Legal Limited is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (No 625915).

Cardiff Office

26 Windsor Place, Cardiff, CF10 3BZ

029 2000 2595

Bristol Office

101 Victoria Street, Bristol, BS1 6PU

0117 325 9181