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Child Law Solicitors

Putting arrangements for children in place that are in the best interests of your family

For couples going through a divorce or separation, one of the main sources of anxiety often relates to children. You will need to put new arrangements in place so that they split their time between both parents. Our child law experts can work with you to find the right solution for you and your children.

At Bell Lamb & Joynson, we provide child law advice and representation for a full range of issues, including making new arrangements, dealing with negotiations, support during mediation and court action.

Our family law team have in-depth child law expertise and includes members of the Law Society’s Children Panel and Resolution, the family law body committed to dealing with disputes constructively and without hostility.

Our child law advice and services include the following:

  • Advising you on your options for child arrangements
  • Negotiating child arrangements with their other parent’s solicitor
  • Advising and supporting you through the mediation process in the event of contact disputes
  • Agreeing on child arrangements and having the agreement sealed by the court into a binding child arrangements order
  • Representing you in the event that a court hearing is required
  • Advice and representation in respect of disputes or where a court order is breached
  • Specific issue orders to resolve disagreements over particular matters
  • Prohibited steps orders to prevent a parent from taking certain actions

We understand that your financial situation may be uncertain at this time, and to help with the costs, we offer fixed fee packages and payment plans to suit your circumstances.

Get in touch with our child law solicitors in Liverpool, Runcorn and Warrington

For an informal chat about how we can help you, contact us in one of the following ways:

Call 03444 124348 | Ask us a Question

We’re happy to speak to you by phone, email or via WhatsApp, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and Microsoft Teams.

Or if you prefer, please feel free to come into one of our offices in Liverpool, Runcorn or Warrington, where we will be happy to assist you further.

How our child law solicitors can help you

We will take the time to understand your situation and what you want to happen in respect of your children. Wherever possible, we work to agree on matters amicably without the need for court hearings. Our team are strong negotiators and have extensive experience in agreeing on arrangements for children, meaning we are often able to resolve matters without litigation.

You will find our team sympathetic and helpful, and our advice to you will be clear. We are always happy to talk through a situation, and we will make sure we are available to discuss your options with you and answer your questions.

The types of issues we cover include:

  • Who a child will live with on a day-to-day basis
  • How often they will spend time with their other parent
  • How they will stay in touch with their parents while they are not together
  • Who else will be in the child’s life
  • Which school they will attend
  • Whether one parent can relocate with the child
  • Whether the child’s surname will be changed
  • Which religion, if any, the child will be taught
  • Other issues, such as medical and health matters

Answering your questions about children law and child arrangements

How do you make child arrangements for divorce?

Putting in place new arrangements for children can be daunting. If the court is asked to decide, it will always prioritise the child’s best interests when making child arrangements orders, and so this should always be a starting point when negotiating.

An experienced child arrangements solicitor will be able to go through the options with you and help work through any difficulties that may arise. They will also be able to negotiate with the solicitor for your child’s other parent to try and find a solution that is acceptable to both of you.

If you cannot agree on the new arrangements or if there are some points on which you cannot agree, the next step is to consider mediation. This is a legal requirement in most cases before you can ask the court to intervene.

You will need to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting or MIAM, at which the mediation process and its advantages will be explained to you. You can either go through mediation to try and find an amicable solution or decline mediation and apply to the court for a child arrangements order.

If mediation is not successful, you can still apply to the court. Where you are able to reach an agreement, your solicitor will put this before the court and have it sealed into a binding child arrangements order.

Will I need to go to court to decide where my children will live?

Court is only necessary if you cannot agree upon terms with your child’s other parent. In reaching its decision, the court will always look at what it believes to be in the child’s best interests. It will also take into account the following points, known as the welfare checklist:

  • The wishes and feelings of the child, taking into account their age and understanding
  • Their physical, emotional and educational needs
  • Any likely effects on the child of proposed changes
  • The child’s age, sex, background and other relevant characteristics
  • Any harm that the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering
  • How capable the parents are of meeting the child’s needs

Can you take children abroad without both parents’ consent?

Where both parents have parental responsibility for a child, and there are no court orders to the contrary in place, then either parent must obtain the written consent of the other before taking the child abroad.

If you have a court order stating that your child is to live with you, then you can take your child abroad for up to 28 days without the consent of their other parent. You are also entitled to take your child overseas if you are the only person with parental responsibility.

However, to keep matters as amicable as possible, it is recommended that you let the other parent know what will be happening, including dates, contact information and a note of where you will be staying.

Get in touch with our child law solicitors in Liverpool, Runcorn and Warrington

For an informal chat about how we can help you, contact us in one of the following ways:

Call 03444 124348 | Ask us a Question

We’re happy to speak to you by phone, email or via WhatsApp, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and Microsoft Teams.

Or if you prefer, please feel free to come into one of our offices in Liverpool, Runcorn or Warrington where we will be happy to assist you further.