The Children Act gives both parents Parental Responsibility (where married or registered on the birth certificate) – legal responsibility for their children which will not be lost upon Divorce.

This means that both parents should continue to be involved in all aspects of their children’s welfare consulting upon issues such as health and education. Regrettably, there are times when parents cannot agree on these issues or generally upon the arrangements to be made for their children. In such cases there are Orders that can be made, the main ones being:

  • Residence
  • Contact
  • Specific Issue
  • Prohibited Steps

Arguing over which parent the child should live with (residence) or how much time they spend with the absent parent (contact) is extremely distressing not just for the parents but also the children. Application to the Court should be a last resort, but some issues relating to the capability of a parent to care for a child, do need to be investigated.

Why do some children cases go to court?

The Court Process will aim to resolve differences through Mediation negotiation and if appropriate, the appointment of a Child and Family Court Advisor who will meet with the parents and the children.

Sometimes parents cannot agree on where a child should be educated or whether, for example, they can go abroad on holiday with one of the parents. The Court can assist in determining these specific issues.

Occasionally parents threaten to remove their children, and in those circumstances, we can make an immediate and urgent application to the Court for a Prohibited Steps Order.

We encourage parents to resolve these types of disputes through negotiation, but if that fails we are here to fully support and represent you through the Court Process.

If you would like further advise on this area of law, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Family Department to discuss how we might help.