A divorce can be particularly hard for parents, as understanding the legal obligations can be a minefield to navigate.
Here at Forbes, we specialise in helping parents bring about a positive solution to their family law issue, keeping in mind the best interests of their children at all times. In addition, we also offer advice to those who want to better understand the legal obligations placed upon them once a divorce has been settled and custody has been awarded.
With the aim of providing parents and guardians with a better understanding of the steps they must take in the event of a divorce, we have provided a short list outlining the process.
If you divorce, separate from your partner or end your civil partnership you will need to make arrangements for your children. These arrangements can be agreed with either the help of your partner or the help of a mediator.
In the event that you cannot agree terms, some of these terms can be decided in court, with the help of Forbes solicitors. If you decide to go to court, you must prove that you have considered mediation. In some cases, this rule regarding mediation will not apply, for example, if there is evidence of domestic abuse.
These agreements may include things like:
Mediation can often be the best way to agree terms with your ex-partner, as they offer impartial and independent advice and discuss problems with you and your partner to find the best solution.
Not necessarily, but in the cases where the mediator believes mediation is not appropriate or a solution cannot be agreed upon by both parties you may have to. In this case Forbes solicitors can represent you.
If you do need to go to court, you will need to fill in a 'C100 Form' to prove that you have considered and consulted with a mediator. This form can be particularly difficult to understand, but there is no need to worry, as any of our family law specialists will be able to help you with this.
Parents and guardians can apply for any amount of court orders, but this will depend on what you have been unable to agree on.
Court orders may encompass a variety of arrangements including:
In addition, parents can apply for a 'prohibited steps order' that will stop the other parent from making decisions about the child's upbringing and the points highlighted above.
Grandparents can also apply for court orders after they have obtained permission from the courts, but anyone with parental responsibility such as the child's mother or father can apply for a court order.
You can apply on your own, but if you wish to ensure the best possible outcome for your child you should seek the help of a qualified and experienced solicitor.
If you decide to file a court application, the court will arrange a 'first case management hearing' and in addition you will be contacted for safeguarding checks to be carried out by a family court adviser from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) at the hearing. If you choose to instruct Forbes, we will help you every step of the way as you will be required to try and work out the following with a judge or magistrate:
If there are no concerns about your child’s welfare and you can reach an agreement the judge or magistrate can end the process there and then.
If you cannot agree terms you will need the expert help of a team of family law solicitors to help you achieve a positive outcome.
At the end of the day you may find that you do not in fact feel that you need a solicitor, but to ensure the best possible outcome for your child we would recommend that you seek advice from an experienced legal team. They may be able to highlight any potential discrepancies in your case and can help you increase your chances of maintaining the best interests of your child.
We understand how devastating a divorce or separation can be, on both parents and the children involved and handle all family law cases with the utmost compassion, sympathy and understanding. Your best interests are at the heart of everything we do and we will fight fearlessly to ensure those interests are upheld.
Contact a member of our team today on 0800 689 1058 for initial advice.