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Where a marriage or relationship breaks down, the impact on a child from a separation can be huge and a major concern for any parent. We will strive to work towards a calm, sensible and positive outcome for the family unit.


Advice offered will cover:

  • Arrangements as to where a child will live and how much time they will spend with the other parent

  • Issues around holidays and relocation out of the UK or to a different part of the UK.

  • Grandparents' rights

Sadly, children often are in the middle when a relationship breaks down. There are a number of areas which we can assist with. These may include making decisions about where a child will live, or how often that child sees a parent who does not live in the home any longer. These are called Child Arrangement Orders. It may also concern whether a parent has or wishes to acquire parental responsibility. 

It is always preferable for matters to be resolved without the need for court involvement. We can discuss with you the different options which are available and give you expert advice regarding each one - including likely costs.

Sometimes, certain issues will arise requiring a specific kind of court application. These are known as Specific Issue Applications, or Prohibited Steps Applications. They can cover events such as wanting to take a child on holiday where this can't be agreed, or perhaps where a child is removed abroad by one parent without the consent of the other, and the return of the child needs to be dealt with by way of court involvement.

The involvement of CAFCASS in your case

If a case does proceed to court, then CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) is on hand to assist. 

A CAFCASS welfare officer will contact you by telephone before the day of the first hearing to discuss your case and prepare a short letter for the court. After that, they may have further involvement if the court feels a more detailed report is needed.

Child Arrangement Orders

These can be granted to more than one person and if an order states that a child will live with a person then that person will have parental responsibility for that child. Contact can be direct or indirect - we can provide advice on the following:

  • Child Arrangements: where a child lives and when they see the other parent

  • Moving abroad or temporary moves for the purpose of a holiday

  • Grandparents' rights

  • Parental responsibility

It is important that we provide clarity and reassurance at what can be a confusing and upsetting time. The central part of children matters is the Children Act 1989 and an understanding of the welfare checklist. The Act sets out the principles which legal representatives and judges must apply and it is these guidelines which we encourage parents to follow.

For more information, or to book an appointment, call 01325 804751 or email​

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