Child custody law in the context of UK divorce legislation refers to the way in which the courts determine who should have the care and control of a child in separation or divorce proceedings. In is now common for parents to have joint custody whereby each parent has the right to participate in important parental decisions although the child continues to reside in the main with just one of the parents.
If parents cannot agree on the living arrangements for a child, the courts will make a decision for them, generally based on what is in the best interests of the child which is not always based on the best arguments put forward by either of the parents. In general terms the UK courts tend to award physical custody to the parent who demonstrates the most financial security, adequate parenting skills and the least disruption for the child tempered with the arguable view that younger children are usually better off with their mother and older boys are better off with their father.
Although these cases can give rise to some of the most bitter disputes in the UK divorce courts, most child custody law cases end amicably with former spouses agreeing to custody (frequently joint custody), access, and maintenance from the non-custodial parent however in disputed cases the parents are judged on the relative fitness of each parent to raise children and in certain unusual and very rare cases a parent may be effectively permanently denied access. It is important to note however that after proceedings the court has the right to change its mind at any time following application by either parent to reconsider the arrangements and this is particularly useful if new evidence comes to light or if one parent’s circumstances or behaviour changes.
If you are having matrimonial difficulties and you cannot agree on maintenance, custody or access issues with you former partner we can assist you to come to get a fair and equitable arrangement in place. We initially try to settle cases with the consent of both parties however if this becomes impossible we will make applications to the court for an order to achieve the desired result. Our services cover the whole range of child custody law and include:-
- Representation in disputed custody applications.
- Applications by the non custodial parent for custody or access.
- Applications for joint custody.
- Applications for access through a contact order for a non married parent.
- Enforcement of pre-existing access orders that are being ignored by the custodial parent.
- Applications by a non married parent for a Parental Responsibility Order.
- Application for a Prohibited Steps Order if there are fears that a child may be taken out of the UK.
- Assistance for the parent of a child taken out of the UK illegally.
Our nationwide network of specialist lawyers will give initial free advice on all matters relating to UK divorce and matrimonial disputes including dissolution of marriage, separation, injunctions, finance and agreements and court orders relating to custody and access to children without further obligation. If after talking to us you decide not to take matters further you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged anything at all.