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Children in Divorce
or Separation 

 

The government and the courts encourage parents to make decisions about their children together.  This includes decisions about where the children will live and how they will divide their time between their parents.  It can include decisions about the upbringing of a child including schooling, medical treatment, change of name and religious practice.

The law provides (and most sensible parents agree) that decisions must be made in the best interest of the child.  

Flexible arrangements for children can work well where there is a high level of co-operation between parents.  For many parents certainty is needed at the outset to lessen the chance of conflict whilst everyone settles into their new roles.  Some parents will prefer to record arrangments in writing to avoid misunderstandings.  In some circumstances and for major decisions, such as medical treatment, changing names, schools or moving abroad, it is highly advisable to record decisions clearly in writing.

It is not necessary to have an Order of the court where arrangements can be agreed (although in circumstances where compliance with agreed arrangements is in doubt the court may consider an Order).  

Where parents simply cannot agree what should happen an application can be made to the court to determine the question in dispute.  Even then Parliament provides that when deciding an application the court must first consider whether it is necessary to make any Order at all.  In part this is because the rigid structure of an Order can discourage arrangements being reviewed to meet the changing needs of the children as they grow. 

If you need help with agreeing arrangements, recording those arrangements in writing or may need to obtain a court order please speak to me.

 

 

 

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