Child arrangements (spending time with) was previously referred to as contact.
Child arrangements (living with) previously referred to as residence.
With the school holidays fast approaching, many parents will be planning activities for their children, or summer holidays abroad. You may find yourself feeling upset or resentful if you have been denied the opportunity to spend quality time with your children over the summer holidays or throughout the year.
There can be any number of difficult issues which arise if you do not live with your children or get the opportunity to see them regularly. Perhaps your attempts to make arrangements are constantly frustrated by another party. You may feel you are missing out on key moments in your children’s lives. If your children live with you, you may have concerns about potential risks the other party could pose to the children. You may just want to be clear as to what your rights are.
This can be an emotional and testing time for those involved. Whatever your circumstances, we are able to provide clear advice and assistance in relation to child arrangements. If you wish to spend time with your children and have clearly defined arrangements in place, then Axiom Stone can assist you in negotiating arrangements or if necessary making an application to Court, and representing you throughout proceedings. We can also assist with the enforcement of child arrangements order where one party isn’t complying with a Court order. We understand that no two cases are the same and we are able to tailor our services to your individual needs. We are able to provide specialist advice about cases involving domestic abuse.
We can assist in a wide range of scenarios, seeking to minimise the stress and confusion surrounding child arrangements. Despite emotions running high, the focus should remain on the best interests of the children. This will also be the primary consideration of the Court should the matter be taken through proceedings.
If you have separated from your partner and wish to take your children away on holiday, you may be unsure of your legal position. Before you reach for the bucket and spade, you should consider the following. You need the permission of all parties with parental responsibility (PR) to remove your children from the country, even for a holiday*. If the other party does not agree, a specific application can be made to the Court. If you failed to obtain the relevant permission, this would constitute child abduction.
Parental responsibility refers to the rights and responsibilities a person has in respect of a child. Mothers automatically have PR for their children. Fathers can acquire PR if they are married to the mother, by appearing on the child’s birth certificate, by entering into a PR agreement with the mother or by applying to the Court for PR.
*However if you have a child arrangements order in place (living with), you can take your child abroad without the permission of the other party, if it is for the duration of 28 days or less. For trips exceeding 28 days, you will need to seek the permission of the other parties with PR.
If you require advice in respect of any of the issues raised in this article please do not hesitate to contact a member of the family team at Axiom Stone.
Deepa Chohan, Solicitor