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Arrangements for Children Following a Separation

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Arrangements for Children Following a Separation

My ex and I cannot agree when I will spend time with our children. What can I do?

Following a separation, or where you are considering separating, arrangements for children ought to be agreed at the earliest possible opportunity. If an agreement cannot be reached, it is advisable to seek legal advice to discuss your options and the next steps. There is no 'one size fits all' solution, therefore, your personal circumstances need to be carefully considered when trying to find a suitable solution.

If an agreement cannot be reached, would I have to go to Court?

Not necessarily. All possible options to resolve matters would be explored before an application is made to the Court. Although invoking the Court process is a formal step, it can have some advantages in terms of creating a timeframe to determine the issues in dispute and sometimes a resolution cannot be reached without the assistance of the Court. It would be sensible to seek legal advice to find out more about the process before making an application to the Court.

My ex is refusing to give our child back. There is no Court Order, what can I do?

We would strongly suggest you obtain legal advice without delay. This will enable you to explain your circumstances and obtain advice about all possible options.

Do I have to pay child maintenance?

When two parents separate, one of them may be required to pay child support to the other parent, depending upon the circumstances in any given situation. Both parents could explore reaching an agreement as to the amount of child support payable that would be suitable for each of them, without involving an organisation such as the Child Maintenance Service.

Can I change my child's surname?

This is not necessarily straightforward and may not be advisable if the other parent does not agree with this. It would be sensible to obtain legal advice before proceeding.

Can I take my child on holiday?

In some circumstances, the agreement of both parents must be in place before one is parent is permitted to take a child on holiday. To avoid any potential pitfalls, it is suggested that you obtain advice from a solicitor before any travel takes place.

Can I move my child from one school to another?

Where parents share responsibility for their child, or children, it would be advisable for them to agree upon the choice of school for their child and, if possible, for each parent to be fully involved with their child's school experience. If parents cannot agree upon the choice of school for their child, or one parent would like their child to move schools but the other parent does not agree, the assistance of the Court may be required in some circumstances. There are many factors to be considered if a child is to move schools and it is not a step that should be taken lightly without the consent of the other parent.

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[Disclaimer - all opinions expressed are for information only and do not constitute legal advice.]

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