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Child arrangements during separation

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The recent statistics released by CAFCASS, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, show that last month was the highest demand in April for 4 years regarding the amount of applications in private law child cases. Below is an explanation of what you can do if you find yourself in a similar situation with your children.

 

Child Arrangement Orders: What orders can I apply for in private law child cases if there is a dispute about my children?

If there is disagreement about how children should divide their time between their parents, an application for a Child Arrangements Order can be made and in my experience this is the most common application. 
 
However here are other orders to assist parents, which are less well known. 
 

Specific Issue Orders: What if I need help to determine a specific question that has arisen, or that may arise, in connection with my children? 

For example, mum would like their child to go to one school but dad thinks that a different school would be a better option. Or, dad would like their child to be raised with the beliefs of a religion but mum would prefer their child to be raised an atheist. 
 
In cases where these issues arise, anyone with parental responsibility, usually the mum and dad, can make an application to the court for a Specific Issue Order.
 

Prohibited Steps Orders: What if I need help to stop the other parent from doing something? 

For example, if a parent is concerned that the other parent could remove a child from school or nursery. Or, the parents were able to agree arrangements generally, but now one parent would like to take a child abroad and the other does not think that this is appropriate.
 
In cases where these issues arise, anyone with parental responsibility, usually the mum and dad, can make an application to the court for a Prohibited Steps Order. 
 

How do I make a decision about what to do, or which Order I need?

All applications regarding children require careful thought and sometimes urgent action.
 
At Birkett Long LLP we have a team of specialist family lawyers who are committed to dealing with disputes involving children.
 
If you have any questions please speak to one of our family law specialists for a free 15 minute chat over the phone on 01206 217301 or alternatively email me at harriet.whiteside@birkettlong.co.uk 

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