Parents have rights, responsibilities and obligations in relation to their children. Sometimes when parents break up, one or both of them tend to focus on their rights more than their responsibilities and obligations, making child custody arrangements difficult to decide on. Whilst this is very natural, one of the main problems with a parent adopting this approach is that considerations about what is in the child’s best interests can stop being the main focus.
When one parent is focusing more on their rights rather than what is in the best interests of the child, communications between both parents can become strained, difficult, and too often, non-existent. Arrangements about who will care for the child and who will see the child and when unfortunately become ‘opportunities for arguments’ or ‘a show of strength’.
Good Custody Legal Advice is Key
If parents seek good legal advice early on about child custody arrangements, they will often find ways of reducing hostility and bitterness, and of getting sensible arrangements in place without the need to go to Court.
There are, of course, going to be situations where, despite the best intentions of one parent, sensible arrangements cannot be put in place because of the actions of the other, and in these situations the matter may need to go to Court to be resolved.
Parents can apply for particular court orders depending on the arrangement that they cannot agree on, and you can apply to more than one order, including those concerned with:
- Arrangements for your child
- A Child Arrangements Order decides where a child lives, when a child should spend time with each parent, and when and what other types of contact take place.
- Your child’s upbringing
- A Specific Issue Order looks at the specific ways a child is brought up, such as the school they go to and if they should have a religious education.
- Stopping the other parent from making decisions
- A Prohibited Steps Order stops the other parent from making a decision regarding your child’s upbringing.
Making the necessary arrangements for your child after a separation or divorce can be an extremely difficult and emotional process. It’s a situation that parents hope to never face but it’s important to have arrangements in place that are in the best interests of the child.
If you need legal advice for child custody, our family barristers have the expertise and experience to help you achieve the best possible outcome for you and your child. Do not hesitate to get in touch.