We identify our clients’ needs and tailor our work to each set of circumstances, providing high quality, cost effective advice. We are a multi-disciplinary practice and work collaboratively to provide a comprehensive service across all of our practice areas.
When family relationships change, children are affected in many ways. If there is separation, parents will need to reach agreement about a whole range of issues concerning the children – particularly where, and with whom, will they live, and how often the other parent will see them and remain involved.
Parents may disagree on particular issues such as schooling, which need to be resolved, or may threaten to do something which they should not. In such circumstance, the court has a range of powers to resolve such disputes such as those set out below:
Child Arrangements Orders
This is an order which lays down the arrangements by which the care of your children is shared. With whom and where should mainly live (a “live- with” order) or which sets out the time they spend with each parent (a “contact order”)
Specific Issue Orders
This is an order which determines a question which the parents have been unable themselves to decide; examples might include the change of a child’s name, where a child should be educated and whether a child should undergo a particular form of medical treatment.
Prohibited Steps Orders
This is an order to prevent another person – usually a parent – from doing something which is inconsistent with the child’s welfare; examples include preventing a child from being abducted, or preventing a child’s name from being changed. In some circumstances, these orders can be made on an emergency basis as a means of preserving the current position until the court can make an informed decision about an issue in a child’s life.
Such applications are now quite often made on behalf of grandparents or stepparents, and we have that experience as well.
We never lose sight of the fact that at the heart of these disputes are children. An adversarial process may not be the best way to resolve them, and we have long experience of addressing them through discussion, mediation or arbitration, and the Court process used only as a last resort. We also have extensive links with relevant therapeutic practitioners such as psychotherapists, family therapists, couples counselors and independent social workers.
Surrogacy & Adoption
If you would like to become a parent through surrogacy, adoption or assisted conception, then we can provide advice on the process and the issues you need to consider. There is considerable regulation in this area as well as being one requiring huge emotional investment. Early advice and careful planning is essential. This is particularly relevant when considering entering into a Surrogacy Agreement in which a person has agreed to act as a host mother for your child, and where there are very clear guidelines in place for regulating such an agreement. Where immigration advice is required, we can signpost you to firms with whom we have worked in this area.