Children & Family
You want to ensure that your children are safe and secure especially when a relationship breaks down. We can help you on a wide range of children cases, including those with an international element and where speed is often crucial.
Our Specialist Solicitors
Child Arrangement FAQs
We get asked many questions daily by our clients in regards to their own circumstances and what they can/cannot do, as well as how laws work, We’ve listed some of the most common below for your convenience. If you have any further questions do not hesitate to contact us.
The living arrangements for the children will need to be carefully considered when parents separate. In a lot of cases the parents are able to reach an agreement about what time the children will spend with each of them. This might not be easy but remember that although you have rights, more importantly, the children have a right to see their parents and to spend time with each of them. Where parents cannot agree matters then the court can assist. This can be by way of a child arrangements order (previously a residence order and/or a contact order). In some cases the child arrangements can be shared. A judge can appoint a welfare officer (known as a Cafcass officer) to prepare a report to assist the court in reaching a decision. What is most important is the welfare of the children and what is in their best interests. There are many books available to help discuss divorce and separation with your children. Have a look at our reading list [hyperlink].
Yes, the fact that you are not married can make a significant difference. There is no such thing as a ‘common law’ husband or wife. The legal rights and remedies might be limited to the family home and how this is owned. Where there are children, however, it might be possible to make an additional claim for financial provision for a child under Schedule 1 Children Act 1989. Child maintenance will also need to be considered.
Good preparation will help you. Some useful points to consider are: Prepare a short chronology of your relationship noting any relevant dates and events Prepare a summary of assets, liabilities and income of the family’s finances as best you can Prepare a list of any questions or points you wish to raise or which are a concern for you This will allow your family law solicitor get to grips with the relevant issues straightaway; it will also save time and allow you to get the most out of your first meeting. At the end of the meeting you can consider your list of questions and raise any points which may not have been dealt with. You can also ask your solicitor to summarise (in writing too) the points of advice and the next steps to take. It is important that you are able to form a working relationship with your solicitor and that you can work together as a team. We offer a Roadmap service for our clients at the first initial consultation
Yes – is the short answer. People often do this to save costs or because they cannot afford legal costs. Only 20% of family cases actually progress to court however. There can be three elements to a case; divorce, financial settlement and children. The relevance and complexity depends on the individual case. It can be very difficult to pursue the correct course of action without specialist legal advice. For more information, read our guide on representing yourself in family court here.
At Maguire Family Law, we offer a fixed fee initial consultation that takes into account all the details that are personal to our clients and their case. We offer a roadmap service that involves a consultation, guidance and then the divorce proceedings themselves. We can then provide you with cost information moving forward and advice about how to save legal costs.
Most separating and divorcing couples will resolve the financial and children issues amicably between themselves or with the help of a family solicitor. However there are times when Court proceedings are necessary for a number of reasons. Whether you choose to represent yourself or you have instructed a solicitor or barrister, you can find more advice about how to prepare and plan to appear in court here.