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Making Sense of Child Arrangements After Separation or Divorce

Child arrangements following a separation or divorce can take various forms, all aimed at ensuring the well-being and stability of your children. At Clarke & Son Solicitors, we recognise the importance of establishing clear and workable arrangements that prioritise your children’s best interests. In this article, we’ll explore what child arrangements entail and how to navigate them effectively.


Defining Child Arrangements

Child arrangements involve various plans to help both parents maintain relationships with their children. These may include:

Face-to-Face Contact: This involves physical interaction between your child and their parent, which may or may not include overnight stays.

Daytime Face-to-Face Contact: Visits between your children and their parents during daytime hours.

Supervised Contact: Contact sessions overseen by a neutral third party to ensure your child’s safety.

Indirect Contact: Communication methods such as phone calls, video calls, or letters.


Initiating Changes to Child Arrangements

If you’re considering changes to existing arrangements, whether due to recent separation or evolving circumstances, it’s essential to approach the situation thoughtfully. Here are some suggested steps:

Open Communication: Initiate a discussion with the other parent in a neutral setting, away from the children. Centre the needs of your children and approach the conversation with empathy.

Consideration and Compromise: Brainstorm ideas together, considering what currently works well and areas that could be improved. Prioritise the child’s needs above your individual preferences.

Mediation: If direct negotiation proves challenging, mediation offers a structured environment facilitated by a neutral mediator. Clarke & Son Solicitors can connect you with experienced family law mediators to help support positive and constructive discussions.

Legal Assistance: In cases where mediation is unsuccessful or unsuitable, seeking legal advice is crucial. Our solicitors follow the Resolution Code of Conduct, emphasising child welfare and minimising conflict.

Navigating Court Proceedings

If court intervention becomes necessary, the court will prioritise your children’s welfare above all else. Factors considered include the child’s wishes, their physical and emotional needs, and the capability of each parent to meet those needs. The court typically operates under the presumption that involvement from both parents is beneficial unless evidence suggests otherwise.


Duration of Child Arrangements Orders

Child Arrangements Orders typically last until each child turns 18, unless the Court specifies otherwise. It’s important to understand the specifics of these orders and seek legal advice if clarification is needed.


Seeking Legal Guidance

Navigating child arrangements can be complex, but you don’t have to do it alone. Our Family Law specialists are here to provide expert legal advice tailored to your situation. Whether you’re negotiating with the other parent, considering mediation, or preparing for court proceedings, we’re dedicated to helping you find solutions that prioritise your child’s well-being.


For specialist legal advice on child arrangements, contact us on 01255 320 555 or email mail@clarkeandson.co.uk.

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