Whether you're divorcing, separating, or ending a relationship with an unmarried partner, you don't stop being a parent. Life can get more complicated when you're on your own, especially if you have a child or children. It's even more complicated if violence has been involved or is threatened.
Sometimes when a relationship breaks down, you're simply not in the right place to sit down with the other parent and agree a suitable arrangement. A solicitor helps you do that. Not all cases automatically go to Court, and indeed we try to avoid that as much as possible.
You can apply for a number of different orders. The most common ones are:
- Residence Order - this directs where the child will live. It may be in respect of one parent or sometimes it may direct that residence is shared between both parents in which case it will normally set down how this arrangement is to work.
- Contact Order - this requires the parent who has a Residence Order to allow contact with the other parent and the child.
- Parental Responsibility Order - this gives someone the right and power to be involved in decisions regarding a child.
The Court can also make a Prohibited Steps Order which prevents a parent from a particular of action eg removing a child from the country, or a Specific Issue Order which makes a ruling on a matter in dispute eg the choice of school for a child.
In some cases, Social Services have become involved because they are worried about a child's welfare. It's essential that if this happens, you take legal advice as soon as possible. We understand how worrying this can be, and we will ensure that your side of the case is put across in the best possible manner.
Costs and Fees
If you need advice about child law issues, cost should not be a barrier. If you want to know more about our fixed fee costs for child law issues, please request a call back in the box above. We provide a number of payment options, which allow you to pay as your case progresses.
Legal Aid is available for child law issues in many cases; contact us to find out whether you're eligible either in full or in part. Don't forget that if you are taken to Court by Social Services, you will be entitled to Legal Aid regardless of your circumstances.
Remember we don't want the costs to be a barrier to you getting the right advice and representation. So we will work with you as much as possible.