fbpx

Our team of Child Law Solicitors are dedicated specialists who pride themselves on being highly approachable, sensitive, and supportive during what can be a difficult and emotional time.

For a lot of our clients, the first and foremost consideration when separating from their partner is their children. Where the law is concerned, the welfare of a child and the needs of a child are paramount. Unfortunately, sometimes situations arise in which one parent can behave in a manner which does not put the needs and welfare of their child or children first. When this happens, it can be necessary for the other parent to consider seeking the help of child law solicitors. 

Responsibility for the children

Parental responsibility is the legal term used for the obligations and rights parents have in respect of their children. Having parental responsibility means having the right to make decisions about a child’s religion, medical treatment, education and the arrangements for where they live and whom they spend time with.

All mothers automatically have parental responsibility for their children. A father has parental responsibility if he is married to the child’s mother, named on the birth certificate, has a court order, or has entered into a parental responsibility agreement stating that he has parental responsibility.

Same-sex partners will both have parental responsibility if they were civil partners at the time of the treatment leading to contraception. For same-sex partners who aren’t civil partners, the second parent can get parental responsibility by either applying for parental responsibility, or by becoming a civil partner of the other parent and making a parental responsibility agreement, or by jointly registering the birth.

Arrangements for the children’s care

Usually, it is considered to be in the child’s best interest to have a relationship with both parents. In very rare circumstances, having no contact with one or both parents will be in the best interest of the child.

Where there are no safety concerns or there are concerns which can be effectively managed, children spending time with both parents should be arranged and encouraged. Some parents are able to make these contact arrangements without the assistance of child law solicitors. Being able to openly discuss a sensible working plan for contact going forward is a great way of creating a flexible working relationship between the parents where the child is at the centre. They may choose to record this in a Parenting Plan or Agreement, which our family lawyers can assist them in drafting

In some cases, a helping hand from child law solicitors is needed for parents to make workable arrangements for contact. A mediator with experience in children matters could also assist parents in coming to a workable agreement. Mediation is often cost effective for the parties and also creates a flexibility that a court order would not.

In the event that the parents cannot reach an agreement between themselves, a Child Arrangements Order may be necessary. A Child Arrangements Order is an order made by the court, which sets out who the child or children are to live with and on what terms they will spend time with the other parent. Although these orders can be less flexible than an arrangement parents come to between themselves, they are useful in cases where it is necessary to ensure that all parties know when contact should be happening. It can also be useful where one party often fails to stick to arrangements for the children because there are remedies for breaching such an order.

> Agreeing child care arrangements following separation flow chart 

Specific issues

We also deal with clients who have specific disagreements concerning their child’s life and welfare which they cannot resolve with the other parent. For example which school they should attend, whether they can relocate to live elsewhere or a change to the child’s name. In the event that agreement cannot be reached it is possible to make an application to the court to ask for this specific issue to be resolved.

Abduction and taking preventative action

If you fear that your children are at risk of being removed from the country by the other parent, it is important that you seek help and advice as quickly as possible from child law solicitors so that action can be taken before they are removed. Our family lawyers can assist you in applying for a Prohibited Steps Order which prevents the removal of a child from England and Wales.

A Prohibited Steps Order can also be used to stop the other parent exercising other elements of their parental responsibility, by for example stopping g them removing a child from their school, or stopping them from changing the child’s name.

The family team at Herrington Carmichael pride ourselves on providing simple and constructive advice and information to help parents put their children at the forefront of the process. If you would like more information on whether we can help you, please contact a member of the team.

Free 15-minute consultation

Request a video call or phone call with a member of the family team...


    Parental Alienation

    Have you wondered why your child expresses a strong and unjustified dislike towards you?

    While there are numerous reasons for this, a more common but unknown cause is parental alienation.

    Recent Experience

    Short Marriage settlement negotiated out of court

    Acting for and advising a high net worth client on a division of the matrimonial assets following a short marriage. The case settled out of court and we were able to successfully negotiate a settlement whereby the majority of the assets (including high value properties held by a business in which the client had a shareholding) were retained by our client.

    Business divorce

    Acting for and advising high net worth overseas clients on the successful negotiation of a matrimonial settlement, including property abroad and in the UK and business interests.

     

    International divorce

    Acting for and advising high net worth overseas clients on the successful negotiation of a matrimonial settlement, including property abroad and in the UK and business interests.

     

    Children dispute

    Advising a client concerning a dispute involving children whereby the unmarried ex-partner made a claim for capital, top up of child maintenance and payment of school fees under Schedule 1 Children Act 1989.

    Family Team

    • All departments
    • Agricultural Law
    • Brexit
    • Careers
    • Co Co - Employee Share Schemes
    • Co Co - Recovery & Insolvency
    • Co Co - Restructuring
    • Co Co Corporate Governance
    • Co Co Corporate lending
    • Co Co Financial Services
    • Co Co Franchising
    • Co Co GDPR
    • Co Co in-house legal support
    • Co Co International Contracts
    • Co Co M&A's
    • Co Co MBOs & MBIs
    • Co Co Partnership and LLPs
    • Co Co Regulatory, Compliance & Competition
    • Co Co Shareholders Agreements
    • Co Co Terms and Conditions
    • Co Co- Intellectual Property
    • CoCo - Banking and Finance
    • CoCo - New Businsess
    • CoCo Competition Law
    • CoCo Consumer Law
    • CoCo Data Protection - Marketing
    • CoCo Data, IT & Technology
    • Commercial Law
    • Commercial Property
    • Construction
    • Corporate & Commercial
    • Corporate Law
    • Debt Recovery
    • Dispute Resolution
    • Disputes - Business
    • Disputes - Declarations of trust
    • Disputes - Probate and inheritance
    • Disputes - Professional negligence
    • Disputes - Restrictive Covenants
    • Disputes - Shareholders & Partnership
    • Disputes - Tenants in Residential Property
    • Disputes - Wills, trusts & probate disputes
    • Disputes and Small Claims
    • Disputes Construction
    • Disputes with Co-owners
    • Divorce
    • Employee - Termination
    • Employer - Termination
    • Employment
    • Employment - Business protection
    • Employment - Collective consultations
    • Employment - Contracts, services, consultancy
    • Employment - Employee benefits
    • Employment - Employee Procedures
    • Employment - Equality, discrimination and harassment
    • Employment - Family Friendly Rights
    • Employment - GDPR and Data Protection
    • Employment - Post employment obligations
    • Employment - Redundancy & Reorganisation
    • Employment - Settlement Agreements
    • Employment - Tribunal Claims
    • Employment - TUPE
    • Employment - Wages, holiday and sick pay
    • Employment - Workers rights
    • Employment Tribunal claims
    • Estate Administration
    • Expat Legal Services
    • Family Law
    • Financial Services
    • GDPR
    • Help to Buy
    • Immigration law
    • International Legal Services
    • Key Property Contacts
    • Land and Property Disputes
    • Land, development and construction
    • Lasting Powers of Attorney
    • Leasehold
    • Licensing Law
    • Money, Tax and Inheritance
    • New Build Conveyancing
    • Private Wealth and Inheritance
    • Professional Negligence
    • Property Finance
    • Property Law
    • Residential Property
    • Residential Property - Completions
    • Residential Property - Shared Ownership
    • Trainee Solicitor
    • Wills, Trusts & Probate

    Latest news & insights

    Award winning legal advice

    We are solicitors in Camberley, Wokingham and London. In 2019, Herrington Carmichael won ‘Property Law Firm of the Year’ at the Thames Valley Business Magazines Property Awards, ‘Best Medium Sized Business’ at the Surrey Heath Business Awards and we were named IR Global’s ‘Member of the Year’. We are ranked as a Leading Firm 2023 by Legal 500 and Alistair McArthur is ranked in Chambers 2022.

    Camberley
    Building 2  Watchmoor Park, Riverside Way, Camberley, Surrey  GU15 3YL
    +44 (0)1276 686 222

    Reading (Appointment only)
    The Abbey, Abbey Gardens, Abbey Street, Reading RG1 3BA
    +44 (0)1276 686 222

    Ascot (Appointment only)
    102, Berkshire House, 39-51 High Street, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7HY
    +44 (0)1344 623388

    London (Appointment only)
    60 St Martins Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4JS
    +44 (0)203 326 0317

    Wokingham (Appointment only)
    The Workstation Wokingham, Markham House, 20 Broad Street, Wokingham, RG40 1AH

    +44 (0)118 977 4045

    Email: info@herrington-carmichael.com

    Our Services

    Corporate Lawyers
    Commercial Lawyers
    Commercial Property Lawyers
    Conveyancing Solicitors
    Dispute Resolution Lawyers
    Divorce & Family Lawyers
    Employment Lawyers
    Immigration Law Services
    Private Wealth & Inheritance Lawyers
    Startups & New Business Lawyers

    © 2022 Herrington Carmichael LLP. Registered in England and Wales company number OC322293.

    Herrington Carmichael is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with registration number 446245.

    Pay Online

    Privacy Policy   |   Legal Notices, T&Cs, Complaints Resolution   |   Cookies 
    Client Feedback   |  Diversity Data