When facing a legal situation involving your children, you need support from family solicitors who can provide you with the best information and advice. Our team can give you specialist advice about the arrangements for your children if you are separating. We can tell you about your legal rights and responsibilities as a parent, what to do if you are seeking to relocate with the children or to oppose relocation.
We also have a public law team that can advise and assist you if Social Services have got involved with you about your children. Our solicitors can represent you in care proceedings and have specialist knowledge with respect to Special Guardianship. We also provide legal representation for adoption. Our dedicated family team are here to support you and offer free 30 minute initial consultations.
If you are experiencing the breakdown of your relationship, then the wellbeing and security of your children is a priority. There may be concerns or disputes about where your child will live and how much time they will spend with the other parent. We understand that the choices made will affect your entire family, and so will give you the legal advice and support you need to make decisions which minimise the impact on everyone involved.
If possible you should try to reach an agreement informally with the other parent if you feel confident in doing so. The following points can be helpful to begin an initial conversation:
It can be difficult for parents to reach a practical and workable arrangement informally. Therefore, many parents find attending mediation or agreeing arrangements with a family solicitor’s advice has helped finalise matters.
Our family team are members of Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers committed to dealing with family matters in an amicable manner. Using alternative methods to court such as mediation or collaborative law can be particularly beneficial when trying to keep proceedings calm when there are children involved. You can read more about these options here.
If one parent is not engaging with discussions or is not willing to compromise, you may need further advice on what options are available from the court. A Child Arrangements Order is a binding legal document which specifies who the children will live with and who they will spend time with, including holidays. You can read more about Child Arrangements Orders here.
In situations where you are facing the involvement of Social Services, seeking legal advice as soon as possible is vital. Members of our team have the experience and expertise to offer you the support you need. Two of our solicitors sit on the Childcare Panel. We offer legal aid in cases which involve the local authorities.
If you are considering adopting, you need to ensure that you are informed about the process and your legal responsibilities. Our team have experience in this specialist area of law and can offer you the support you need. From general background guidance about adoption, to expert ongoing legal advice. For an overview, we recommend the information provided by the BAAF (British Association for Adoption and Fostering).
For general information on your legal responsibilities as a parent, we suggest that you visit the website of Coram Children’s Legal Centre.
Please contact one of our family specialists in our Newbury, Thatcham or Maidenhead offices below to discuss your situation.