A traditional firm with a modern approach
Child Law Solicitors
When getting divorced or separating from someone you have children with, it is important to be able to reach a fair agreement over where your children will live and what contact you will both have with them, as well as being able to make any other decisions related to their upbringing in a way that protects your children’s best interests.
Our specialist child law solicitors aim to help parents whose relationships have ended to achieve practical workable solutions to children’s issues. We can guide you towards workable arrangements for most aspects of your children’s upbringing in a way that minimises the effect of the separation on your children’s wellbeing.
We advocate family mediation or the collaborative approach (where possible) to achieve resolution, but are experienced and skilled in pursuing court applications particularly in emergency situations. Whatever approach is required, we will always offer the clear, practical legal guidance and empathetic personal support you need to get the right outcome for you and your children.
For sensitive, expert advice on all areas of the law involving children, please contact our local teams in Winchester, Sunningdale and Alresford. Alternatively, you can get in touch wilth our child law solicitors by filling in our online enquiry form.
How we can help you with child law
Child residence & contact
We can assist with you getting arrangements in place for where and with whom the children will live and the arrangements for the non-resident parent to see the children, where required. However, in most cases now shared care is more normal, with the children spending some days each week with either parent.
In almost all cases, it is possible for parents to agree child resident and contact arrangements amicably between themselves, but where necessary we can support you in applying to a family court for a decision about such arrangements.
As of April 2014, the court cannot make contact orders. However, they can make arrangements about who a child is to spend time with. These are called child arrangement orders and are essentially contact orders by another name.
The court can require a parent with care of a child to permit the child to stay with or visit the other parent (or another individual), and can regulate the times and dates when this should happen. These child arrangements orders can be very detailed, with times and places for collection and delivery being specified.
Making decisions about your child’s upbringing
There are likely to be a number of one-off issues you need to make decisions about during your children’s upbringing, including arrangements for their schooling, religious upbringing and family holidays. Our child law solicitors can help you find positive ways to make these decisions wherever possible, or apply for the relevant court orders where required.
Changing your child’s name
If you wish to change your child’s name following divorce or separation, you will normally need the permission of everyone with parental responsibility for the child. You will then need to apply to a court for a change of name deed.
Our solicitors can help you reach an agreement over changing your child’s name and apply for the change of name deed, making the process as swift and stress-free as possible.
Relocating with your children following divorce or separation
Moving to another part of the UK or abroad after a divorce or separation can give you and your children the chance for a fresh start, but can also create difficulties, especially if the other parent objects. If you wish to take your children abroad, you will normally need the permission of everyone who has parental responsibility for your children.
Our child law solicitors can help you to agree a plan with your children’s other parent amicably where possible. We can also assist you with applying to a family court for leave to remove your children if your former partner does not agree with this decision.
Applications on behalf of grandparents
Sadly, grandparents often lose access to their grandchildren following a divorce or separation. While grandparents do not have any legal right to be involved in their grandchildren’s lives, it is often possible to agree access with the parents voluntarily and it may be possible to make an application to a family court depending on the circumstances.
Our team can help you explore your legal options, as well as advising on issues such as becoming your grandchildren’s legal guardians where their parents are unable to care for them.
Establishing who is the biological father of a child can be very important. It can allow a mother to claim financial support from the father, as well as helping a father to establish parental responsibility for their child.
We can assist you with applying to a court for a declaration of paternity, which will include a paternity DNA test being carried out to show whether you/the suspected father is in fact the child’s biological parent.
Parental Responsibility Agreements
Establishing parental responsibility is often critical to make sure you have the right to stay in your child’s upbringing. While birth mothers will automatically have parental responsibility, other parents may or may not, depending on the circumstances.
We can advise you on whether you are likely to have parental responsibility for a child and, if you do not, what steps you can take to secure it. This will often include making a parental responsibility agreement with your former partner – something we will be happy to assist with.
Our child law fees
We are able to offer fixed fee deals for many of our child law services. This means we agree a price at the outset for carrying out a specific piece of work for you, giving you certainty over the costs involved.
We also offer hourly rates, usually for more complex work. This means we will provide exactly as much support as you need to achieve your objective, with all billable work agreed in advance, so you always stay in control of the costs involved.
Speak to our child law solicitors now
To discuss any legal issues involving your children in compete confidence, please contact our local teams in Winchester, Sunningdale and Alresford. Alternatively, you can use the links below to get in touch.