At the heart of all the work undertaken by our dedicated family team is the welfare of any children involved. We understand the distress and trauma that so often forms a part of child related disputes and we are committed to working as hard and diligently as possible to minimise upheaval during what is inevitably a trying time for everyone concerned.
Something we have found is that in most cases, issues can be avoided or resolved just by better communication, and this is always what we will endeavour to promote.
As parents, you share responsibility for your children. You have a duty to make every effort to agree how you will bring them up, and we are right here to support you in this process. Every situation is different, and presents different options and paths to follow. The good news is that with guidance from Pickering & Butters, you won’t have to make any decisions or follow any paths alone.
Whilst our primary focus is always on routes involving amicable means of resolution, it will sometimes become necessary to involve the Court. Where a child should live, and who they should see are the most usual questions referred to Court. Rest assured you can always rely on our experts to advise the best way forward and take care of any applications, which may include:
- Parental Responsibility Order
- Child Arrangements
- Prohibited Steps Order
- Specific Issue Order
Parental Responsibility is defined as, ‘All the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property’.
Where both parents have Parental Responsibility, they have equal responsibilities and rights in respect of the children. Both have the right to be consulted in respect of major steps in the children’s life.
Mothers always have Parental Responsibility by default and can only lose it if their child is adopted. Fathers on the other hand do not always have Parental Responsibility and whether you do will be determined by the law. If you do not have Parental Responsibility for your child our specialist lawyers can advise you as to how to obtain it.
It is better, even after the parents’ relationship has broken down, if they can continue to work together for the benefit of the children so that the effect of a parental split is reduced, and the absent parent can continue to fulfil a parenting role. Sadly, however, we appreciate this is not always possible and in cases where it isn’t, we will work closely with you to try and find a solution that focuses on the well-being of your children whilst working around any issues that are present.
Prohibited Steps and Specific Issue Orders
Prohibited Steps Orders prevent various acts in respect of children, for example removing them from their parents’ care or taking them out of a particular school, etc. Specific Issue Orders deal with particular issues in respect of a child, for example which school they should attend. If we feel an application for a Prohibited Steps Order or a Specific Issue Order is appropriate for you then we’ll talk you through how it all works in practice.
In making any decision, the children's best interests are the Court’s primary concern. There is often a presumption that it is usually in the children's best interests to see the absent parent. In deciding what constitutes the children's best interests however, the Court will consider various factors which our lawyers are here to advise you on.
If you are facing issues concerning children, we’re here to listen, and to help. Our experts are specialists in the specific laws relating to children matters and have substantial experience and understanding of all the systems and processes. Your family will be in safe hands with Pickering & Butters.