The breakdown of a relationship can be hard enough, but it can be even more complicated if children are involved. It is extremely difficult to work out issues of contact and residence where there is hostility between parties. This is where we can help.
If no agreement can be reached, then an application to the family court will be necessary. The court will make an order deciding who the child should live with, and the frequency and type of contact. The court can also make orders prohibiting a parent from doing something, such as removing the child from the country. The courts main consideration is the best interests and welfare of the child.
If you wish to make an application to the court in respect of a child, you will usually need to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) with a trained mediator.
If you have a dispute over your child and are unable to agree arrangements, contact us for a free initial consultation.
What is parental responsibility?
All mothers and most fathers have legal rights and responsibilities as a parent, known as “parental responsibility”. If you have parental responsibility for a child you don’t live with, you don’t necessarily have a right to contact with them – but the other parent still needs to keep you updated about their well-being and progress.
These responsibilities include:
- Provide a home for the child
- Protect and maintain the child
- Disciplining the child
- Choosing and providing for the child’s education
- Agreeing to the child’s medical treatment
- Naming the child and agreeing to any change of name
- Looking after the child’s property
Parents have to ensure that their child is supported financially, whether they have parental responsibility or not.