Child maintenance & support
When a relationship breaks down, both partners have to make sure the children's ongoing needs can be met. You might need to put financial support in place for them for many years, and alter the arrangements as their circumstances change.
We can help with everything from maintenance payments through to paying school fees or planning ahead for higher education.
If your relationship has broken down we know your priority will be to ensure your children are protected as much as possible. We can help make the divorce and separation process as painless as possible, looking at everything from parental responsibility to living arrangements for the children. We can also help with other important considerations such as children's education or medical care, as well as advising on grandparents' rights.
Sometimes cases can involve highly unusual issues such as relocating a child to another country, or even child abduction. We have experience in bringing children home, and can act to get a rapid response, applying for an emergency order if needed.
I want to adopt a child
Adopting a child is an emotional journey and complex, legal process. We can advise you every step of the way, working hand in hand with you and your family.
Protecting a child from an abusive parent
If you are worried about the safety of your child or children, we can help. We understand the enormous sensitivity of these types of situations, and will work tirelessly to make sure appropriate legal safeguards are put in place. If the situation is deemed critical, we can apply for an emergency order to prevent the offender having any access.
Contact with my children, grandchildren, step children
If you have been denied access to your child or children, you can apply for a Child Arrangement order. It would be useful to have support from a lawyer as you'll need to persuade the court that your relationship has significant benefit to their lives.
Step-parents and grandparents may be able to apply to the Court for time with their stepchildren, but talk to us, as this can be complicated.
We can support you through the whole process and offer honest, unbiased advice about the options open to you.
Want to change your or your child's name
All British Citizens over the age of 16 and resident in the UK can change their name by Deed Poll. If you have sole parental responsibility for a child or have the agreement of anyone holding joint responsibility, you can change a child's name but if the person who shares parental responsibility with you denies your request, you would need to ask for the court's permission.
If this is something you are considering our family team can help talk you through the process.
Want to move abroad with your child or children
If you're divorced and have family living outside the UK and you want to move abroad to live closer to them, are you allowed to take your children out of the country? Unfortunately there is no easy answer to this question. Courts will want to look at the quality of life the child may expect to have if they move abroad, as well as look closely at the relationship they have with the parent at home in the UK.
If this is a decision you're trying to make, or if this is a situation you're facing, we can talk you through your options.
What happens to my children if I die? Guardianships
Legal guardianship, where a child loses both parents, is a difficult topic but one that really should be addressed when drawing up your Will or thinking about the future of your children. If you have remarried following the death of a previous partner, it doesn't follow that your new spouse will have any legal rights to bringing up your child or children should you die whilst the children are still young.
Becoming a legal guardian is a fairly complex process and instructing a lawyer who specialises in family law and has contacts with Social Services is advisable.