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Family Law

Children Law and Disputes Solicitors

We understand that matters relating to arrangements for children can be emotionally challenging and stressful, especially when parents are no longer in a relationship. Our dedicated Family Law Department are here to provide you with expert Child Law advice and compassionate support during these challenging times, and we are committed to helping you find the best solutions for your family’s well-being.

We have a deep understanding of the sensitivities involved in disputes affecting children, and our priority is to protect their best interests.  Our highly skilled child law specialists are experienced in handling a wide range of children disputes, including:

  • Child arrangements to include who the child/children are to live with and how much time they are to spend with the other parent: We can assist you in negotiating and formalising living and contact arrangements, ensuring that your child’s relationship with both parents is nurtured in a supportive environment.  Where required, we can assist you in making applications to the Court to resolve matters such as  where the children should live,  how much contact they should have with the other parent, schooling, and holidays through a Child Arrangements Order.
  • Relocation Disputes: If you are considering relocating with your child or wish to prevent the other parent from relocating, we can guide you through the legal process, taking into account your child’s well-being and the impact on their relationship with the non-resident parent.
  • Parental Responsibility: This is the legal status of parents to allow them to make and be involved in important decisions about their child’s life. Our team can explain and establish parental responsibility, which is crucial for making those choices about your child’s life, welfare, and upbringing.
  • Special Guardianship Orders: If you are caring for a child who is not your biological child, we can help you obtain a Special Guardianship Order, granting you the legal authority and responsibility to provide a stable and loving home for the child.
  • Child Abduction Cases: In cases of child abduction, we act swiftly to protect your child’s rights and take legal measures to secure their prompt return to their habitual residence.
  • Alternative methods of dispute resolution: our team are experienced in offering various methods of resolution with the intention to avoid the costly and lengthy Court proceedings that can be involved in child law cases. This could involve collaborative law or Family Mediation.
  • Children Act Schedule 1 Claims: Under Schedule 1 of the Children Act, it is possible to pursue financial provision for a child beyond standard child maintenance claims. Whether you are a parent, guardian, or person named in a Child Arrangements Order, our team can assist you in obtaining financial support for the child’s welfare.

Here, our team have endeavoured to answer several of the questions we are asked regularly.  Alternatively, we invite you to contact us to arrange your free initial conversation with one of our Child Law Solicitors, allowing you to discuss your particular situation in more detail, after which we will present the options to you to allow you to move forward.


Children Law and Disputes Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process for determining the living and contact arrangements for the children?

Determining where a child should live and contact arrangements involves negotiation and consideration of the child’s best interests. We can help you reach an agreement through Alternative Dispute Resolution or, if necessary, represent you in Court to ensure your child’s welfare is protected.  These discussions will result in a Child Arrangements Order, which will stipulate where a child lives, with which parent and how much time they spend with the non-resident parent.  Historically these have been called "Custody and Access" Orders or "Residence and Contact" Orders.

Can I relocate with my child without the other parent's consent?

Child relocation can significantly impact the time a non-resident parent spends with their child and it is essential to consider the legal implications when moving to another area within England and Wales or abroad. It is an offence to remove a child under 16 from the jurisdiction of England and Wales without the consent of each person with parental responsibility or a specific Court Order. We can guide you through the necessary steps and represent your interests in Court, whether you wish to relocate or prevent the other parent’s move.

How can I acquire parental responsibility for my child?

Parental Responsibility is the legal status that allows parents to make important decisions about their child’s life. Mothers are automatically granted parental responsibility and fathers can acquire parental responsibility through marriage to the mother, by being named on the child’s birth certificate (if born after 1st December 2003), or obtaining a Parental Responsibility Order from the Court. Step-parents may also acquire parental responsibility under certain circumstances.

What is a Special Guardianship Order?

Where a child lives with a third party who is not their biological parent it can often be necessary for the person with care to acquire certain legal rights to be able to make decisions about the child or children in their care.  This can apply to family members caring for grand-children or nieces and nephews.

Special Guardianship Order grants the third party, known as a Special Guardian, parental responsibility and allows them to make significant decisions for the child’s welfare.

What can I do if my child has been wrongfully abducted?

If your child has been wrongfully abducted and taken out of the UK, seeking legal advice immediately is crucial. Our Child Law Solicitors can guide you through the process of securing your child’s return through legal enforcement and relevant international treaties, such as the Hague Convention.

What is a Children Act Schedule 1 Claim?

Children Act Schedule 1 Claim is a legal process that allows a parent, guardian, special guardian, or any person named in a Child Arrangements Order as the person with whom the child lives to seek financial provision for the child beyond standard child maintenance claims. This claim is made under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.

Contact our Family Law Solicitors

Our Child Solicitors have vast experience in acting for parents, step-parents and grandparents in advising on all aspects of the law concerning children matters.  Several of the team are Resolution accredited Specialists who promote and encourage effective dispute resolution to conclude matters in a client and child focused way.

As part of our service, we offer a free no obligation initial consultation, during which a member of the team will listen to the circumstances of your situation and provide several options as to the best route for you and your children.  To book your appointment, get in touch with your local Child Law Solicitor from our offices in  AndoverRomseySalisburyTotton and Witney by using the Contact Form, emailing or calling your local office: