Grown-ups get divorced or separate, children don’t and they can so easily get caught in the middle.

Helen Jackson and Nigel Rostance can help you protect your children from being harmed by your divorce, dissolution of Civil Partnership or separation.

As members of Resolution, we know that an aggressive, litigious approach to family disputes can do more harm than good and is very often no more effective in protecting your children than a firm but constructive approach.

In some cases Court proceedings will be necessary to keep your children safe, to preserve your relationship with the children or to control and protect the time that you or your former partner spend with the children.

Helen Jackson and Nigel Rostance are experienced in representing clients in Court proceedings, working with CAFCASS (Children and Family Courts Advisory and Support Services), the Local Authority and other professionals as appropriate.

In many cases proceedings will not be necessary and we will be able to help and support you to negotiate arrangements with your former partner. We can support you through mediation or offer Collaborative Family Procedure in which you have the benefit of legal advice and being able to negotiate face to face with your former partner.

We can help and advise with the following:

Parental Rights:

The legal term for parental rights is parental responsibility. Parental responsibility provides the right to make decisions about your child’s care and upbringing, health and education.

Grandparents’ Rights:

It comes as a surprise to many grandparents to realise that they don’t have any rights. Grandparents and other relatives don’t even have the right to make an application to Court to have contact with a grandchild. They have to apply to Court for permission to make an application but if permission is granted grandparents may be able to secure their relationship with grandchildren.

Parents’ separation does affect other family relationships and it can be harder to maintain contact with grandchildren. Helen Jackson and Nigel Rostance are experienced in advising grandparents how best to ensure that children don’t lose touch.

Child Contact / Child Arrangements:

Custody and access were replaced with Residence and Contact when the Children Act 1989 came in to force in 1991. Recent amendments to the Children Act have replaced residence and contact with Child Arrangement Orders. These can regulate where a child lives and their time spent with their other parent and arrangements for indirect contact, perhaps by telephone or Skype.

Specific Issue Orders:

A Specific Issue Order is an Order made by the Court to settle a particular dispute. That might be anything from a child’s name, the choice of school, their medical treatment or authorising the child’s removal from the country.

Prohibited Steps Orders:

A Prohibited Steps Order is an Order to prevent a parent from doing something that their parental responsibility would otherwise allow them to do. These Orders are often made to prevent child abduction and to stop a parent removing a child from their school.


Children FAQs:

1. Doesn’t paying maintenance give me the right to see my child?

No, the law is quite clear. Parents have an obligation to provide financial support for a child irrespective of whether they spend time with the child. Most parents should see their child regularly because it will be in the child’s best interests and will be so irrespective of whether the parent pays maintenance.

2. Can I get Legal Aid?

In most cases no. Legal Aid may be available for Public Law proceedings when the Local Authority (Social Services) are involved but in Private Law proceedings, between parents or other relatives, Legal Aid is now limited to cases where there is recent domestic violence, usually where the police or other agencies have been involved.

3. If I have to go to Court will I get my costs back?

Usually no. The general rule is that Orders for costs are not made in family proceedings. If you are legally represented, you will be responsible for your own solicitor’s costs.

At 1st Solicitors we understand that legal costs present yet another burden at a difficult time. We are more than happy to advise on how we can apply limited financial resources to best affect.

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14 Park Street
ST17 4AL

Tel: 01785 213234

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