Children Disputes and Issues
At Rogers & Norton we are experienced at helping parents whose relationship has ended achieve sound, practical solutions to the arrangements for their children.
It is important that parents agree workable arrangements with the best interests of their children at the forefront of the decision-making process. Sometimes, it is not always possible for parents to agree and issues relating to the children may have to be resolved within the Court arena.
Clients should be aware that since the introduction of the new Family Proceedings Rules 2010 (which came into force in April 2011) parents must first attend Mediation before an application to the Court can be made (subject to a few exceptions).
Parental Responsibility (PR)
A person with Parental Responsibility is responsible for the care and well-being of a child which includes arranging the child's education, religion, medical treatment, choosing names, appointing guardians etc. All mothers have PR for their child. Fathers have PR if they are or have been married to the mother or if, for births since 1 st December 2003, they are named on the birth certificate. Fathers (and step-parents) can also acquire Parental Responsibility by Court Order or a legal agreement with the mother.
At Rogers & Norton our experienced team can advise in relation to children disputes including the frequency of contact, where a child should live and with which parent, which school a child should attend and change of a child's name. As members of Resolution our team works sensitively and collaboratively in attempts to reach an amicable agreement. It is however sometimes necessary for an application to be made to the Court where agreement cannot be reached. Under the Children Act 1989 the Orders available for the Court to make include:
Child Arrangements Order
An order which makes provision for where and with whom a child will live. To include days, times and arrangement for transportation (where necessary).
Prohibited Steps Order
This is an Order prohibiting a parent from doing something in connection with the child such as removing the child from the care of the resident parent or travelling abroad with the child.
Specific Issue Order
Sometimes the Court is asked to make decisions in relation to a child where his/her parents are unable to do so. The Court may stipulate where a child should go to school, what religion a child should follow and the name by which a child should be known.
It is not only the natural parents of a child who can apply to the Court for an Order in relation to the child. In some cases a grandparent may apply to the Court for orders relating to children, for example where there is dispute regarding their contact with the child. At Rogers & Norton we can advise you as to an application to the Court if you are not the child's parent. Our team is particularly experienced at representing grandparents in connection with Contact applications relating to grandchildren.
A couple or single person may apply to adopt a child. The effect of an Adoption Order is to make the adopters the legally-recognised parents of the child and to extinguish any legal right the biological parents may have over the child.
At Rogers & Norton we can advise you in relation to a proposed adoption application and provide you expert representation within the Court process.
There is no such thing as "common law husband and wife." There is no legal status for unmarried couples. However, for unmarried couples separation is no less painful, particularly where children are involved. Our team is experienced at advising cohabitees upon separation to include advice in relation to the arrangements for any children, including child maintenance, and property. It may be necessary for an unmarried party to apply to the Court for orders relating to children (Children Act 1989) and/or property (Trust if Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996).
We can advise you in relation to your share of jointly-owned property or property owned in your ex-partner's name in which you may have acquired an interest. If your cohabital home is owned in your sole name we can advise you in connection with your former partner's claim against your property.