Child Law Solicitors in Gloucester
As a parent, your children will always be your top priority, no matter what. So, when family difficulties occur, such as divorce or separation, you will understandably want to ensure that every possible step is taken to secure their future and to look after their general welfare.
Legal matters involving children can be very contentious, with emotions often running high, and have the potential to cause widespread disruption to the lives of everybody involved. At Tayntons, our child law solicitors in Gloucester are available to work alongside you, helping to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your children.
Our team have years of experience in helping parents to navigate some of the most difficult child law matters, putting appropriate arrangements in place that are carefully tailored to suit the needs of you and your children.
We have strong expertise in non-confrontational dispute resolution, which means that we will always look to explore the possibility of reaching a voluntary agreement where this is preferred to court action.
For initial advice and to discuss your legal options, we offer an initial consultation of up to 45 minutes for a fixed fee of £75 + VAT.
How we can help you with children law matters
Our child law solicitors have a wide range of expertise and can work alongside you to help make arrangements following a divorce or separation, as well as advise on other relevant matters such as parental responsibility.
Child residence and contact
Following a divorce or separation, deciding on where your children will live is often one of the most problematic and difficult issues to resolve. Both parents will likely want to continue living with their children, which means a compromise may need to be reached that is in everybody’s best interests – especially those of your children.
In most instances, child residence and contact arrangements (also referred to by the courts as ‘live with’ and ‘spends time with’ orders) can be made voluntarily between both parents. Our team can support you in this process, exploring options such as mediation and various other non-confrontational approaches such as round the table methods. If a voluntary agreement is successful, we can then help you apply for a Consent Order to make it legally binding.
If a voluntary agreement is not possible, we can then explore the possibility of applying for Child Arrangement Orders (discussed below).
Child Arrangement Orders
Child Arrangement Orders are a type of court order which are used to specify certain elements of your child’s life. This may include how much time they will spend with each parent, what contact the non-resident parent is afforded and general decisions about their upbringing.
As with child residence matters, voluntary agreements can usually be arranged for these matters, including ‘lives with’ and ‘spends time with’ orders. However, if reaching a voluntary agreement is unsuccessful or is simply not possible, we can provide advice on making specific Child Arrangement Orders that set out how certain matters are dealt with, including Specific Issue Orders and Prohibited Steps Orders.
Specific Issue Orders can be used to deal with specific matters about children’s upbringing, while Prohibited Steps Orders are used where there are concerns about a parent’s fitness to be involved in making certain decisions.
Parents’ rights and parental responsibility
Parental responsibility establishes your legal authority and powers to raise your children. Whether or not you have parental responsibility will affect your ability to make major decisions for your children.
If you need to establish parental responsibility for a child or simply need advice on your parental rights, our team can assist you with exploring various options, such as making a Parental Responsibility Agreement or Parental Responsibility Order.
Why choose Tayntons Solicitors for child law advice?
Tayntons child law team regularly work with parents in Gloucester and throughout Gloucestershire, including Cheltenham and the Forest of Dean, on a wide range of issues.
We provide an empathetic, highly practical approach with a strong focus on good communication, aiming to make the process of resolving these often-contentious issues as easy as possible.
Tayntons child solicitors are accredited by the Law Society for Children Law, recognising our particular expertise in this area. Several of our team are members of Resolution – an organisation committed to taking a non-confrontational approach to family law.
As a firm, we have been awarded the Law Society’s Lexcel accreditation reflecting the excellence of our practice management and client care.
Commonly asked questions about child law
What happens if I cannot reach an agreement with my former partner?
In the majority of scenarios, you and your former partner will have the opportunity to resolve matters involving your children on a voluntary basis. However, where this is not possible, or you simply cannot make a suitable agreement, it may be necessary for the court to issue a Child Arrangement Order.
In certain scenarios, the court will intervene if there is an important issue related to the protection or welfare of your children.
Which Court Order should I apply for regarding my children?
If you and your former partner are unable to come to a voluntary agreement, then it may be necessary to apply for a court to issue a Court Order. The most common Court Orders related to child law cases are:
Child Arrangement Orders
Child Arrangement Orders are issued when the court reaches a decision regarding where your child will live, how much time they will spend with both parents and the type of contact that will be allowed for the parent who is not caring for the child.
Specific Issue Orders
Specific Issue Orders are used where you want to deal with a specific matter related to a child’s upbringing. This could include deciding where they will go to school, whether they will receive a religious education and whether they should receive particular medical treatments.
Prohibited Steps Orders
A prohibited Steps Order can be put in place to prevent the other parent from being able to make certain decisions regarding your children’s upbringing without consultation.
How long does it take to get a Child Arrangements Order?
In order to get a Child Arrangements Order, you need to make an application to court. This means that it can often take several months to finalise and, in some scenarios, can take over a year. Ultimately, the time it takes will depend on your individual circumstances.
In situations where there are immediate concerns about a risk of injury to your child, or if they may be removed to another country outside of the UK, you can apply to make an emergency Child Arrangements Order application. An urgent hearing is usually heard around 10 days from the date the application is issued.
How do I know if I have Parental Responsibility?
The person who gives birth to the child will automatically receive Parental Responsibility. In addition to this, the following people will also have automatic Parental Responsibility:
- Fathers who were married to the birth mother at the time of birth
- Female partners who were in a civil partnership with the birth mother at the time of birth under certain circumstances
- Unmarried fathers and female partners who are registered on the child’s birth certificate on or after 1 December 2003
How can I get Parental Responsibility?
If you do not have automatic Parental Responsibility, you can still attain it through several methods. An unmarried father could gain Parental Responsibility by:
- Marrying the birth mother
- Having his name put on the birth certificate
- Entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement
- Getting a Parental Responsibility Order from the court
- Being named the resident parent under a Child Arrangements Order
Unmarried same sex second parents can also obtain Parental Responsibility by:
- Getting a Parental Responsibility Order
- Marrying the mother or entering into a civil partnership then making a Parental Responsibility Agreement
- Being named as a resident parent under a Child Arrangements Order
Get in touch with our child law solicitors in Gloucester
Looking for legal advice and support with Child Arrangement Orders in Gloucester, Cheltenham, the Forest of Dean or anywhere in Gloucestershire?