Children (Contact and Residence)
Sittingbourne Solicitors for Child Contact and Child Residence
Whether you are married, in a civil partnership or living together, the priority when a family breaks up is the welfare of the children.
Separation is an upsetting time for everyone involved and the last thing that anyone needs is for the children involved to be any more worried or upset than entirely necessary. We strongly believe that the child’s welfare is paramount.
It is always possible for the family involved to come to an agreement between themselves or by employing Ratcliffes to speak to the other solicitors involved in the case, or through mediation. We will only resort to taking the case to Court when our initial efforts have already been tried and have failed.
As a parent you will need to think about:
- Who should have parental responsibility – who should make the main day-to-day decisions about the child/children
- Who should the child/children live with
- How often should the child have contact with the parent that they do not live with
- What about contact with extended family such as step-parents and step-brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles
- Where will the child/children go to school
If you are involved in a separation and are worried about the welfare of your children we are here to help. We will advise you about the best steps to take and prepare and guide you through the necessary paperwork. If the worst comes to the worst and a decision is needed to be taken by the Court then we will be on your side.
Having a stable and safe living environment is key to a child’s development and wellbeing. Child residence, also sometimes known as ‘child custody’, is one of the most important decisions to make during a family separation.
Different factors will influence the decision. Typical considerations include the child’s wishes, the parent’s availability and capacity and existing day to day care arrangements. In some cases, shared residence can be arranged, where the child will move between parents’ homes, provided that this is not too disruptive to them.
At Ratcliffes, we can support and advise you through this often challenging process, to ultimately achieve the best outcome for your child.
Where possible, after a separation it is generally agreed that it is in the best interests of the child to have regular contact with both of their parents. Planning a schedule for regular contact with the non-resident parent is vital to avoid potential issues or confusion both for the parents and the child in the future. Contact may include daytime, evenings or weekend visits, plus extended stays.
Family solicitors can help support parents in the negotiation of child contact, navigating a suitable schedule that is in the best interests of the child. Should further mediation be required, we can also support parents with court proceedings where issues will be resolved by a Family Judge.