Family Law

Child Matters

At Legal Pathway Solicitors, the welfare and interests of children take precedence in family-related legal matters. Recognising the paramount importance of children within the familial structure, we extend a comprehensive suite of legal services designed to address any issues pertaining to child matters. This encompasses assistance through divorce, separation, or any other form of family dispute. 

Child Matters

Child Matters

Children are fundamental to the essence of family law. With this understanding, Legal Pathway Solicitors commits to delivering thorough and empathetic legal support for cases involving any aspect of family law, ensuring the primacy of your child’s best interests.

Our family law solicitors are adept in managing a variety of matters, including:

  • Child Arrangement Orders in Disputes: In instances where agreement on living arrangements, contact schedules, or other care aspects for children cannot be reached with your former partner, our solicitors can assist in applying for a Child Arrangement Order (CAO) through the courts. A CAO delineates the specifics of residence, contact, education, health care, and more for your children. We guide you through completing the C100 form, collating necessary evidence, and articulating your case before a judge.
  • Agreements Outside Court: When possible, reaching an accord on child arrangements outside of court can be beneficial, saving time, expense, and emotional strain while allowing greater control over outcomes. Legal Pathway Solicitors will support you in negotiating with the opposing party and their legal representatives, drafting a written agreement, and securing its legal enforceability.
  • Court Representation: Should court intervention become imperative to resolve child-related matters, our solicitors provide expert legal representation and advice. From preparing for hearings to submitting essential documents, our team is proficient in advocating for your and your children’s interests and advising on interactions with entities like social services, the police, and CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service).
  • Liaison with Children’s Services, CAFCASS, and Other Agencies: Legal issues concerning children sometimes necessitate engagement with children’s services, the police, or CAFCASS, especially regarding safety or welfare concerns. Our solicitors can facilitate communication with these bodies, elucidate their roles and functions, and contest their conclusions when necessary.
  • Child Custody and Child Protection: Above all, the safety and welfare of your children are paramount. Should there be any concerns regarding exposure to neglect, harm, or danger, our solicitors are prepared to act swiftly to protect them, advising on emergency orders like Prohibited Steps Orders (PSO) or Specific Issue Orders (SIO) to prevent harm or address specific care-related issues.

Should you require assistance with child-related legal matters, we ask you to contact Legal Pathway Solicitors today for a complimentary consultation. Our experienced and empathetic solicitors are well-equipped to guide you towards the most appropriate legal recourse for your circumstances and represent your interests in court proceedings as required.

Child Arrangement Orders in Disputes

There are instances where reaching a mutual agreement through negotiations or mediation remains elusive, necessitating the intervention of a Child Arrangements Order. Our family law team is ready to provide specific advice in a free initial consultation for your situation.

Child Arrangements Orders serve as a vital legal mechanism in resolving disputes over child care between families or separated parents, prioritising the child’s welfare and establishing clear arrangements where mediation has fallen short.

A Child Arrangements Order delineates:

  • The child’s principal residence.
  • The contact schedule with both parents.
  • The specifics of other contact forms until the child reaches 16 or, in exceptional cases, 18.

Initiating a Child Arrangements Order Application

Eligibility to apply extends to any parent or guardian, alongside:

  • Individuals who have lived with the child for at least three of the preceding five years, providing the application is made within three months of the child’s change of residence.
  • Step-parents within a marriage that included the children as family members.
  • Situations where the child is under care and the local authority consents to the order.

Others may apply, subject to the court’s evaluation of their relationship with the child, weighing the benefits of the order against any potential risks to the child’s welfare.

In scenarios where the order is granted to a non-birth parent, such as a grandparent or close relative, parental responsibility is equally shared, leaving the legal relationship between the child and their parents intact.

Given their sufficient age and understanding, children may contest the arrangements by appointing a solicitor.

For guidance and support in negotiating your child’s care arrangements or in applying for a Child Arrangements Order, Legal Pathway Solicitors stands ready to assist. Our family law team, celebrated for their exceptional service through industry accolades and positive client feedback, guarantees effective legal representation to secure the best outcomes.

Agreements Outside the Court

Understanding the stress and financial burden of court proceedings, especially concerning your children’s future, Legal Pathway Solicitors promotes resolving disputes externally. This approach not only conserves resources but also mitigates conflict, enhances decision-making control, and fosters a more positive post-separation relationship for your children’s benefit, contributing to a more stable upbringing.

Our dedicated and empathetic solicitors are equipped to offer support tailored to your specific needs through services including:

  • Negotiation: Acting on your behalf, our legal team engages with the opposing party and their representatives to articulate your concerns, explore viable solutions, and formulate an agreement that aligns with your children’s best interests.
  • Drafting Written Agreements: Post-negotiation, we ensure the agreement is comprehensively documented, covering living arrangements, visitation, and decisions pertaining to education, health, and welfare, thus preventing future disputes.
  • Legal Formalisation: Legal Pathway Solicitors aids in rendering your agreement legally binding through a consent order, offering you peace of mind and legal protection against any future deviations or breaches by the other party.

Should you seek a reputable family law firm to facilitate an out-of-court agreement, look no further than Legal Pathway Solicitors. Contact us for a complimentary initial consultation to discuss your case specifics with our approachable solicitors and learn about our competitive pricing.

Liaise with Children’s Services and CAFCASS

During family law disputes, such as divorces or separations, engaging with various child welfare organisations is not uncommon. These include Children’s Services (formerly known as Social Services), the Police, and the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS). These entities may become involved in your case to safeguard your children’s welfare, especially if there are concerns about abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. They may conduct assessments or investigations and provide the court with recommendations regarding your children’s care.

At Legal Pathway Solicitors, we comprehend the complexities and emotional stress involved in interacting with these agencies. Whether you are facing challenges to your parental rights, disputing agency findings, or simply need support navigating this process, our legal team offers expert advice and representation to ensure your voice and your children’s needs are heard.

Children’s Services

Children’s Services, part of the local authority, play a crucial role in supporting families in need. Their involvement can stem from various sources, including referrals by professionals or court orders. Their services range from universal support accessible to all families, such as health and educational services, to more targeted interventions for children with complex needs or those at risk of harm. Our childcare proceedings specialists are well-versed in all aspects of dealing with Children’s Services. We offer guidance on parental rights, legal processes, and practical support for engaging with these agencies, ensuring your child’s welfare is protected at every stage.

CAFCASS

In cases of divorce or separation involving children, CAFCASS plays a critical role in advising the family courts on the children’s welfare and best interests. Whether dealing with custody arrangements, concerns over child safety, or instances where children wish to express their views to the court, CAFCASS’s involvement is pivotal. Our solicitors can help you understand CAFCASS’s processes, prepare for initial assessments, and challenge any findings with which you disagree. We aim to ensure that your case is presented effectively, advocating for the best interests of your children.

How Legal Pathway Solicitors Can Assist You

Our team provides comprehensive support, including:

  • Detailed explanations of your rights and what to expect from Children’s Services and CAFCASS.
  • Assistance in preparing for and attending meetings, conferences, or court proceedings.
  • Advocacy and representation in challenging agency findings or court orders.
  • Guidance on collaborating effectively with child welfare agencies to achieve the best outcomes for your children.

If you are navigating the complexities of family law matters involving child welfare agencies or CAFCASS, contact Legal Pathway Solicitors for a free initial consultation. Our dedicated team is here to support you and your children, ensuring their best interests are upheld throughout the legal process.

Child Custody and Child Protection

If you have concerns about their risk of harm or abuse by another parent or individual, it is critical to take immediate and decisive action for their protection.

Child Residency (Custody) in the UK

In the UK, child custody, now termed child residency, focuses on where the child will live permanently, determining parental responsibilities and facilitating contact with non-resident parents. Residency can be granted as either sole or shared (joint custody), based on what serves the child’s best interests.

Achieving Sole Custody

Gaining sole custody, where one parent holds both physical and legal custody, requires proving to the courts that shared custody is not beneficial for the child. Essential to this process is early legal advice to establish a compelling case, considering factors like inadequate care, neglect, or a strong parental bond from one parent over the other. If you’re facing any of these challenges, our family law team is ready to assist.

Shared Parenting Benefits and Challenges

Shared parenting allows for equal caregiving responsibilities, providing children with stability and continued parental engagement. However, it’s not without its difficulties, especially when lifestyle changes or relocation plans emerge. If shared custody might negatively affect your child, we’re here to offer confidential advice and solutions.

Custody Considerations and Court Orders

Before seeking custody, explore all options, including negotiation and mediation. In situations requiring court intervention, the child’s welfare is paramount. We at Legal Pathway Solicitors can guide you through obtaining a child arrangement order for your child’s security and stability without necessarily going through court, aiming first for an amicable resolution.

Navigating Custody as Fathers and Step-Parents

Fathers seeking custody must show that the child’s best interests are met under their care, with the courts open to changing residency if beneficial. Step-parents, while not automatically granted custody rights, can pursue custody through legal channels under specific conditions.

Parental Responsibility and Child Protection

Our experts are on hand to address concerns about parental motivations or the current caregiver’s fitness, aiming for the child’s best outcome. In urgent cases, emergency court orders can protect your children from harm.

Child Law Support

Legal Pathway Solicitors offer support for obtaining Child Arrangements Orders, Prohibited Steps Orders, and Specific Issue Orders, handling complex issues like domestic violence and child abuse with sensitivity and expertise.

For dedicated assistance in child custody and protection matters, reach out for a free consultation. Our London office offering UK-wide and international support remotely via Skype, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams. Safeguard your children’s future with our capable solicitors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about agreements and family law.

What is a Child Arrangements Order?

A Child Arrangements Order is a court-issued legal decision that comes into play when parents are unable to agree on the living arrangements or contact schedules for their child. This order outlines how much time the child will spend with each parent and establishes where the child will primarily live. It is designed to ensure that the child’s welfare and best interests are prioritised in the absence of a mutual agreement between the parents.

Regaining custody of your child involves persuading the court that your care is in the best interest of the child. This requires providing substantial evidence to demonstrate your suitability as the primary caregiver. It is essential to show that your custody presents no safety risks to the child. Successfully regaining custody hinges on your ability to prove that the child’s welfare and well-being would be best served by living with you.

Absolutely, fathers in the UK can achieve sole custody of their children. This is contingent upon recognised paternity and the ability to prove a meaningful relationship with the child. UK child custody laws have progressed to offer support to single fathers seeking custody, emphasising the child’s best interests without bias towards either parent.

Yes, you can obtain parental responsibility for an adopted child, but this typically involves an individual who already holds parental responsibility, like the biological mother, formally designating you as the child’s new guardian. This legal transition is essential to ensure that you are recognised as having the authority and responsibility to make decisions for the child’s welfare.

In custody disputes, the paramount concern for courts is the welfare and best interests of the child involved. Rather than focusing on interpersonal conflicts between parents, the emphasis is on ensuring the child’s well-being. Courts examine various factors, including the depth of the parent-child relationship, the parent’s involvement in significant life events, consistent support payments, and the ability to provide a secure and nurturing home environment.

At Legal Pathway Solicitors, we are committed to guiding you through the intricacies of child custody laws in the UK. Should you have more questions or require legal support, we encourage you to reach out to us for professional advice and assistance.

Testimonials
From Our Clients​
belinda kuagbelabelinda kuagbela
22:59 15 Apr 24
syed dibaSyed Diba
12:53 07 Feb 24
Romana Kousar is a experienced solicitor who helped me alot and guided me for my immigration matter. I will still be facing difficulties if i did not have her as my lawyer. I recommend everyone to come to her.
farhana rahmanFarhana Rahman
18:07 06 Feb 24
The staff were very helpful in arranging a quick advice appointment. On arrival they were friendly and Romana reviewed our case thoroughly, provided us with vaulable advice and many options. We felt relieved that we had a positive case as we were stressing over a sponsorship visa. Highly recommend Legal pathway solicitors as they are very helpful and professional.
rabia aliRabia Ali
13:34 16 Aug 23
I am so happy today as I got good news for my case! First I did not know what to do and things were difficult for me. I had been to many lawyers. Then finally met a trustworthy solicitor Romana Kousar who really helped me so much. I can not thank her enough for what she has done for me. I will always recommend her.
faheem ghaznaviFaheem Ghaznavi
10:15 22 Jul 23
All i want to say is how knowledgable and helpful person Romana is. She handled my file and always gave me good advice. She always listened to my problems. I was in a messy situation. I am so glad someone recommended me to her. Well done Romana keep doing hard work.
sumera ahmadSumera Ahmad
09:16 22 Jul 23
Excellent Solicitor Romana. We got high standard care on our court case. She helped me win in court. She made communication easy and everything was clear for me.
belinda kuagbelabelinda kuagbela
22:59 15 Apr 24
syed dibaSyed Diba
12:53 07 Feb 24
Romana Kousar is a experienced solicitor who helped me alot and guided me for my immigration matter. I will still be facing difficulties if i did not have her as my lawyer. I recommend everyone to come to her.
farhana rahmanFarhana Rahman
18:07 06 Feb 24
The staff were very helpful in arranging a quick advice appointment. On arrival they were friendly and Romana reviewed our case thoroughly, provided us with vaulable advice and many options. We felt relieved that we had a positive case as we were stressing over a sponsorship visa. Highly recommend Legal pathway solicitors as they are very helpful and professional.
rabia aliRabia Ali
13:34 16 Aug 23
I am so happy today as I got good news for my case! First I did not know what to do and things were difficult for me. I had been to many lawyers. Then finally met a trustworthy solicitor Romana Kousar who really helped me so much. I can not thank her enough for what she has done for me. I will always recommend her.
faheem ghaznaviFaheem Ghaznavi
10:15 22 Jul 23
All i want to say is how knowledgable and helpful person Romana is. She handled my file and always gave me good advice. She always listened to my problems. I was in a messy situation. I am so glad someone recommended me to her. Well done Romana keep doing hard work.
sumera ahmadSumera Ahmad
09:16 22 Jul 23
Excellent Solicitor Romana. We got high standard care on our court case. She helped me win in court. She made communication easy and everything was clear for me.
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