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Divorce and Family Law

Child Arrangements after Divorce

When you start to think about child arrangements after divorce, our expert family lawyers can help

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Divorce can be very hard on the whole family, and children are often the ones hit the hardest when they find themselves caught between two warring parents. They will be uncertain about their future, and may even blame themselves for the split.

However you feel about your ex at this undoubtedly challenging time, you owe it to your children to put their needs first when you start to think about child arrangements after divorce.

It is important to note that child arrangements after divorce shouldn’t have to involve the courts or legal system at all.  If there is the possibility both parties can come to a sensible arrangement about where the children will live once you are divorced, and what access and financial arrangements are necessary, then you can simply go on making joint parental decisions as informally as you did before the divorce. Working together in this way will benefit your children.

Naturally there is a great deal for you both to consider, especially if a child is over the age of nine or 10 when their wishes should also be taken into account when it comes to making child arrangements.

There are a number of recommendations we suggest divorcing couples should consider:

  • where the child or children will live – their main place of residence
  • how they’ll ensure that the children spend enough time with both parents and when and where this will happen
  • that they take into account geographic closeness to school and friends, and ultimately, what they can do to make the children happy as they deal with the upheaval that is inherent in most divorces

This really is a time to set your own differences aside and look at things as much as possible from a child’s viewpoint. You could be seeing your ex at all manner of social occasions where the wider family will be involved, such as birthdays, weddings, family parties and so on for many years to come; the sooner you decide to be amicable towards each other, the better for all concerned.

Where it isn’t possible to reach agreement between the parents, before applying to the family court for a Child Arrangement Order, you must first attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM). Once this avenue has been tried and if it is unsuccessful, you can then seek a Child Arrangement Order in the family Court.

This is a final court order that is made by the Judge and will set out details of which parent the child will live with and when the child should spend time with the other parent.

Importantly, in the eyes of the law, the starting point for all child arrangements is that the child should have contact with both parents, unless it can be demonstrated that this would adversely affect the child’s welfare. Such instances where one parent cannot see the children are, however, extremely rare.

Bearing this in mind, if you are considering making an application for a Child Arrangements Order, you may find it useful to speak to one of our experienced family lawyers first. Call 03333 058375, or email family@psg-law.co.uk

If you are considering separation or divorce and you have children, we strongly advise you to consult the services of an experienced family lawyer. Please contact our team today on 03333 058375, or email family@psg-law.co.uk We are here to help you.

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Meet the Team

  • Nicholas Clough

    Partner, Head of Divorce & Family

    Nicholas Clough

    t:07538 385956

    e: nicholas.clough@psg-law.co.uk

  • Carole Nettleton

    Consultant, Divorce and Family Law

    Carole Nettleton

    t:07958 028069

    e: carole.nettleton@psg-law.co.uk

  • Jackie Rawcliffe

    Consultant, Divorce & Family

    Jackie Rawcliffe

    t:01244 956686

    e: jackie.rawcliffe@psg-law.co.uk

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