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Children Disputes

Due to our unique combined legal and psychological approach, we are extremely successful in advising on disputes involving children upon divorce and separation.

Due to our personal experience and unique legal and psychological approach, we are pre-eminent in resolving disputes which involve “residence” and “contact” (now referred to as child arrangements), specific issues and other disputes involving children, such as education and medical treatment and leave to remove (international relocation of children).Our approach results in successful dispute resolution/mediation/litigation on behalf of our clients because they are based in child-centricity and collaboration.  Our approach minimises the potential for  escalating acrimony and the resultant emotional and psychological harm to the children and parents which often follows from  conventional legal advice. The importance of early advice is explained in “Why act now".

Whilst the law provides the legal framework for disputes involving children, it is typically of such general application that neither it nor the facts determine the successful outcome of any dispute resolution, mediation, or litigation involving children.  Rather, the following aspects of our joint legal and psychological approach ensure that we maximise the chances of reaching successful outcomes whether by way of agreement or litigation:

  • The proper understanding of the case history between the parents and their relationship/separation not just from a factual perspective (which simply involves regurgitating them into evidence with little, if any, added legal value), but from a “psychological” perspective and, particularly, from the children’s perspective. Every marriage or relationship breakdown and parenting dispute is unique not because of the facts (every permutation of which the courts have, in all likelihood, seen before) or the law (which is generalised and easy to distinguish).  A client’s case is unique because it reflects the unique decision-making, communication styles, interaction, approach to conflict resolution and behaviour of each parent. 
  • This understanding is essential to facilitating more positive communication between the parents which, in turn, maximises the chances of agreement and minimises the potential impact on the children. It is a complete opposite to the lawyer led aggressive blaming approach of communication which increases acrimony and legal fees, whilst leaving the client feeling as if they are neither engaged in their case nor being listened to.
  • In difficult cases of separation involving children, we can also advise and guide clients as to how best to inform and support their children through the process of separation and possible litigation.
  • However, where litigation cannot be avoided, our unique joint legal and psychological approach ensures that a client’s case is properly formulated and presented to the other side’s lawyers, child-centric agencies, such as CAFCASS and social services and, ultimately, the judge. The only way that a parent’s case can truly be persuasive is to ensure the judge adopts the reality of one parent’s case over the other.

In the course of parenting disputes, issues of “alcoholism”, other forms of addiction (e.g. cocaine or gambling addiction), psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depressive disorders and abuse between the parents (whether physical and/or emotional or psychological) and their impact on the children may be encountered. Such abuse may or may not be symptomatic of other underlying issues such a personality disorder (e.g narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) or borderline personality disorder (BPD)). With our in-house psychological/mental health expertise, we are not only able to manage and present a client's case to best effect and support them if they have been subjected to such behaviours (or unfairly alleged to have such behaviours) but also “speak the same language” as any court expert who may be appointed in order to obtain the most thorough and favourable report for our clients. 

It is also important to know when not to rely upon such expert reports, which can, if unfavourable, do great damage to a client's case. It is only through a thorough understanding of such mental health issues that a case involving these issues can be correctly formulated and presented.

At Gregorian Emerson Family Law Solicitors, through our combined joint-legal psychological skill set, we not only have the capacity to provide the very highest quality of legal advice but, uniquely, are able to formulate and present a strategy to achieve the best results for our clients.

For further information, please see our articles in the Blog section of this website.

Contact our Child Law Solicitors Guildford and Cobham, Surrey and London

Based in Guildford and Cobham, Surrey and Central  London. If you have a family dispute that needs resolving, we are here to help and look forward to your call. Please click here to contact us, or call us on 01483 826 470

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