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Children & Child Custody

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What to do if your arrangements aren't working

What to do if your arrangements aren't working

If you are looking for leading legal advice and representation for any child law advice Guildford issues, then we are here to help.

Here at Gregorian Emerson Family Law Solicitors, our team of experts will provide you with our unique joint legal and psychological approach to your situation and offer you both professional and sensitive advice unique to your case.

We can offer you full support with any queries you may have for the following situations:

  • Child abduction
  • Child arrangements
  • Parental responsibility
  • Child relocation and holidays
  • Grandparent contact
  • Personality disorders including narcissism/NPD
  • Substance abuse e.g. alcoholism and drug abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Maximising opportunities for agreement involving communication and dispute resolution expertise and litigation case building

Gregorian Emerson Family Law Solicitors can help with any child law advice Guildford issues.

If your current child arrangements aren't working, for instance if you feel you aren't sharing enough contact with the children, then you should first speak to your ex-partner regarding your concerns.  You can suggest going through the original agreement with them to see which areas you feel are no longer working for you.  You may simply be able to agree to a mutually acceptable change in the arrangements, either between the two of you, or through the use of mediation.  This could include things like; how often you see the children, or where and when you see them.  However in some cases parents will not agree to a change and you will need to follow the Court route.  If your children are over 16 years of age the courts will not usually make a decision, so you should try to negotiate between you to reach a satisfactory agreement.  If you find it difficult to speak with your ex-partner about these issues and have concerns about them keeping to any arrangements already made, then we would suggest you start to keep a diary of times the arrangements have been broken i.e. if they bring the children home later than agreed without a good reason.  Don't be petty here and keep count of times they are 5 minutes late, as if you go to court it will just make you look inflexible.  However if there are concerns the existing arrangements aren't working then the courts can use the diary to see exactly where these issues are and make alterations accordingly. 

Before you start court proceedings you should try attending mediation together.  This can be cheaper and less combative than attending court and will give you both a chance to reach a suitable agreement together in a calm and controlled environment, whilst ensuring everyone has their say.  Once your case is in the courts hands it will be up to them to decide the terms of an agreement and you will need to abide by this, even if you do not agree with it.  So therefore it is in all parties interests to try to resolve any issues between themselves, whilst they still have an active say in the proceedings.  It will be looked upon unfavourably by the courts if either party fails to attend mediation appointments.

If you have tried to discuss things with your ex-partner, tried mediation and all things have failed to resolve any issues then the next step is to involve the courts.  You will need to advise the courts of any original agreements between you and the reasons you feel it is no longer working for you.  You will have a chance to tell them what new arrangements you feel would work for you.  You will need to appear in court, but can request to be kept seperate from your ex-partner.  Obviously where there are domestic violence concerns, or a genuine reason to need or want to be in a different room these will be accommodated.  As leading child law solicitors we are here to help you and ensure you fully understand all aspects of your case and any decisions you are required to make.

Currently, with the Coronavirus pandemic ongoing, some courts are either closed or changing the way they deal with cases.  You may find your case is delayed, or that it can still go ahead by using modern technology and being heard 'virtually' by way of Skype, Zoom or other similar means.  Your local court will advise you of their arrangements at this time.

The court will always make the children's welfare their top priority and any decisions they make will be based on the children's best interests above anything else.  You can ask them to make a 'child arrangements order' which will decide;
Where the children will live and with whom.
Contact arrangements for the non-resident parent (i.e. how often and where contact is to take place)
Anyone else the child can spend time with i.e. grandparents, friends, other relatives and where this contact can take place.

We understand just how upsetting it can be when dealing with any legal issues surrounding your children, but as experienced child law advice Guildford solicitors we are here to help you through the process, as quickly and painlessly as we possibly can. 

As fully qualified and expert lawyers in all areas on child law advice, we can help you to a successsful resolution of your litigation. 
Please contact us to discuss how our specialist solicitors can help you and provide you with an unrivalled advantage through our joint legal and psychological approach.

Need expert family law advice ?  Find out how we can help you today. 
Call us on 01483 826 470
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