Family Law and Divorce – Children issues

In any divorce where there are children involved, emotions are likely to be even more heightened than normal and so it is critical that the issues are dealt with sensitively. The impact of the divorce on the lives of the children should be kept to a minimum and deciding on arrangements for their care should be the main priority for couples who are in the process of splitting up.

The law surrounding children

Divorce and family law is designed to protect the children rather than the parents, so this is something you should bear in mind when you are proceeding with a divorce case where there are children under the age of 18 involved. The law surrounding children is designed to come up with a solution that is best for the children to make sure they are well cared for in the event of a family breakdown. The Children Act, which governs the law surrounding children, makes the position clear when it says that the children’s interests are “paramount” when making any order about a child. In other words, it is what is in the children’s interests which come first – not those of the parents. Our Divorce Solicitors understand that.

Ideally, you and your spouse should try and come up with an arrangement between you, as voluntary, amicable arrangements are often the best. Something else to consider is that married couples with children both have parental responsibility. This means that each parent can contact the court about issues such as access to and the residence of their children. They also have a right to know what is happening to the children and where they are.

If the arrangement between you and your spouse means that the children live with one parent more often than the other (they often live primarily with their mothers), the other parent will still have the right to know where they are living, be privy to information such as that relating to their schooling, and to see them regularly.

What rights do unmarried fathers have?

In contrast to this, if parents who are not married split up, often it is only the mother who has parental responsibility. Whether the father also has parental responsibility depends largely on whether he is named on the birth certificate and when the child was born. In some situations, there can also be issues arising with step-parents if you or your spouse were to remarry. This is something you might want to discuss with your divorce solicitor if you think it might be an issue.

Family Law Divorce Issues surrounding children

When going through divorce, you may need to think about making arrangements for your children. For more information about the following subjects, click below:

Residence orders

Contact orders

• Specific issue orders

• Prohibitive steps orders

Parental responsibility

• Grandparents’ rights

Child abduction

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