One of the biggest misconceptions in english law is the notion of custody. So, unlike in many countries, we don’t have custody in England. We separate out parental rights and the issue of a child’s care. So, you have parental responsibility, which is the decisionmaking powers in relation to a child The right to be informed and consulted about key aspects of the child’s upbringing and then you have the residence and contact arrangements, as it’s known,.
Which is obviously how a child’s time is divided. A lot of people wrongly assume that the more time a child spends with a parent the greater their decisionmaking powers, and the greater their parental responsibility in contrast to the other parent. That’s not the case at all and even on very unequal care arrangements if both parents have got parental responsibilty.
In the eyes of the law they’re equal and their decisionmaking powers are equal. A lot of people wrongly believe that if the child lives with them they can do what they want without reference to the other parent. So that can include changing schools, and also going on holiday is a very common issue that comes up. A lot of nonresident parents wrongly believe that they don’t have the right to take a child on holiday.
And often a lot of resident parents believe conversely that they can. In law, if both parents have got parental responsibility then they need the consent of the other to go outside the country for a holiday Unless they have what used to be known as a residence order, which is now a child arrangements order, in their favour in which case they can go on holiday for up to 28 days without the consent of the other.
So long as that’s not overriding a provision within the order whereby the child needs to be spending time with the other parent within that window of time. There is no such thing as a standard arrangement for the care of children. Each individual case is always looked at on its own merit So for some families, an arrangement where, for example, a child lives with one parent during the week and sees the other parent every other weekend might be a perfect arrangement.
For other families that’s not going to work at all and something like a shared care arrangement whether that be exactly 5050, or just a high amount of time in both households may work a lot better. Each case will always be looked at on its individual merits, looking at what the child’s particular needs are and what the care that each parent can give.
A Guide to Children Law What happens to the Children during a Divorce or Separation
It’s a sad fact that on average 42 percent of marriages end up in divorce and the main victims are the children. Today we are going to discuss various scenarios covering the law relating to the children of the family, and with me today is Karis Wookey, a solicitor in Howells.
And a specialist in children law. Karis, we’re now going to run through a few scenarios covering parental responsibility. For my first example, a couple marries in 2000. They have a 10yearold son and a 6yearold daughter and twelve years later the parties separated. What is a typical arrangement for the children?.
Ideally, parents will come to an agreement at this point regarding where the children live and how much time the children spend with each parent. But what if they can’t agree with these arrangements? There are circumstances where the mother would not agree to arrangement whereby the children would spend equal time with both parents. Say, for example, if her child benefits were reduced,.
If father formed a new relationship with another partner, or she may just be unreasonable. So what can he do, if his ex partner decides to reduce contact with his children? The first port of call is to seek legal advice. Here at Howells, we offer a 30 minute free consultation with a specialist solicitor.
And there is no pressure to proceed after the initial interview? No, there’s no pressure whatsoever to proceed and of course will be no costs involved. In our case study, the father has parental responsibility as he is married to the child’s mother so he would be responsible for looking after the child, providing a secure and stable home environment,.
Choosing educational needs and appropriate schools, choosing the child’s name and consenting to any change of name, and agreeing to medical treatment. These are just a few examples of what having parental responsibility means. What would the first step be for the father to reinstate the original agreement or to gain more access to his children?.
Firstly, we would need to write to the mother setting out his proposals and requesting the previous arrangement be reinstated immediately. We would request the response from mother within 14 days and suggest that she seeks independent legal advice if she’s unsure about the contents. So is the best case scenario that the mother.
Responds and reinstates the previous arrangement? Yes, but if this doesn’t occur or if she fails to respond then we would refer the matter to mediation. As of the 22nd April 2014 prior to making any application to court, a mediation intake assessment meeting known as MIAMS needs to have taken place. There are however some exemptions to this, such as domestic violence.