At Crisp & Co, our extensive knowledge of family law has benefited a vast number of families in London and beyond to ensure the welfare of their children is protected no matter what.
Whether it’s regarding parental separation and living arrangements, adoption or childcare, you can rely on our expert child law solicitors to find solutions that suit the specific needs of your children.
When parents choose to separate, it can be a challenging time for their children. In a perfect world, both parties would reach an agreement regarding arrangements quickly and painlessly, with no legal battles and no court orders. However, due to the emotional nature of divorce or dissolution, this is not always possible. At Crisp & Co, our specialist child law solicitors have helped a vast amount of separating couples to make critical decisions regarding their children with minimal costs and time involved.
When relations break down between you and your partner, protecting your children is our priority. Our experience and expertise in family law best places us to advise and represent you across all aspects of child care and upbringing; whether it’s regarding visitation rights, financial arrangements or the influence either parent has over the decisions that will shape their child’s life. Our child law solicitors are completely dedicated to ensuring the needs of your children are met regardless of how difficult the circumstances may be.
Legal arrangements can be daunting for children, particularly when they are too young to understand the concept of parental separation. Even into their teenage years, the sudden upset to family life caused by divorce can be emotionally challenging. Our child law solicitors are highly trained in resolving disputes as efficiently and seamlessly as possible, always opting for peaceful routes to resolution that minimise the fallout of divorce. However, where alternative dispute resolution techniques such as mediation are not sufficient in protecting your child from harm, we will not hesitate in taking firm legal action to ensure your child is safe.
Why do I need a child law solicitor?
If you and your partner have decided to file for divorce or dissolution and you have children, it’s essential to gain advice from a specialist child law solicitor at the earliest opportunity. At Crisp & Co, we will always prioritise the needs of your children within a dispute. Starting from your first appointment and continuing throughout the divorce process, we will provide strategic advice and on-going support to ensure that they are receiving adequate care and their health and safety is not at risk. With decades of practical experience in child law, you can count on us to rigorously, yet sensitively represent you and your children’s welfare at all times.
What happens if we cannot reach agreement about the children?
The Courts will not normally get involved with the arrangements for the children and only do so where there is an issue relating to the protection of your children or if the parents are unable to reach agreement on an important aspect of their child’s upbringing. If this is the case, the Court will always act in the children’s best interests. Your dedicated child law solicitor will be able to provide guidance and representation through this process in order to ensure your specific needs are taken into account.
Which court order should I apply for regarding my children?
If you and your partner cannot reach an agreement regarding your children through mediation, the court will issue an order that establishes their living arrangements post-divorce. The most common court orders in child law cases are:
- Child Arrangement Orders
Child Arrangement Orders are issued when the court reaches a decision regarding where your child will live, when your child spends time with either parent and what kind of contact e.g. phone calls, are allowed to take place with the parent who is not caring for the child.
- Specific Issue Orders
Specific Issue Orders can be used if you have specific requirements regarding the child’s upbringing, such as which school they go to or what religious education they receive.
- Prohibited Steps Orders
A Prohibited Steps order can be put in place to stop the other parent from making decisions regarding the child’s upbringing without consultation.
Whatever your circumstances, our child law solicitors will guide you through the process, providing advice and support regarding which court orders will be appropriate in your particular situation.
Do I have Parental Responsibility?
Parental Responsibility refers to the legal rights, duties, powers and authority a parent has over the upbringing of a child. Important decisions in the child’s life will have to be decided and agreed upon by all parties who have parental responsibility. Whether or not you have Parental Responsibility will depend upon your legal status as a parent. By default, the birth mother of a child has parental responsibility. If the father of the child was not married to the mother at the time of birth, they will not automatically have parental responsibility unless they have been registered on the child’s birth certificate. If you wish to apply for parental responsibility – for example, if you have been acting as a father to the child and are now married to the mother – you can do so through the courts. Our child law solicitors will be more than happy to answer any questions you have on the matter and guide you through the application process.
What can I do if my partner takes the children abroad without my consent?
If your partner takes your child abroad without your permission, this is classed as a criminal offence. While they may believe they are justified in doing so due to specific circumstances, it is still a form of child abduction and you should contact the police immediately. From here, the police may be able to set up a Port Alert, a court order that prevents the children from leaving the country. Once in place, this court order will work by alerting essentially all departure ports in the country of the child’s identity to ensure that your partner has no means of leaving the country with the child. If you suspect your partner has taken your child abroad and preventative methods are too late, get in touch with our child law solicitors today. This can be a particularly complex area of law, but we will take necessary legal action and work around the clock to protect the safety of your child.
How much will my child law solicitor cost?
Arrangements regarding children are usually agreed upon during the process of divorce, which in itself can vary in costs and time involved. The longer it takes you and your partner to reach an agreement regarding your children, the more the overall process will cost. However, at Crisp & Co, our child law solicitors pride ourselves on offering the most competitive rates for the best expertise.
We understand that the process of separation and disputes regarding children are stressful enough without mentioning the fees. That’s why our child law solicitors will always be up front from day one, providing you with a rough estimation of costs and timescales upon your first appointment. Should matters evolve and become more complicated as the case progresses, we will make sure to provide you with an updated estimation of costs so you aren’t faced with a nasty surprise at the end.
For those clients who have a need to limit costs to a certain sum, we also offer a ‘pay as you go’ service, whereby work is limited to a certain cost limit set by the client. You will not be charged for your initial appointment at Crisp & Co. We can find out what your needs are and how we can help you and also give you an estimate of your likely overall legal fees, including expenses and VAT.
Is there anything I need to bring with me to my first appointment with Crisp & Co?
If you need expert advice from our child law solicitors, it is useful if you provide us with the following:
- Your passport or photo identity driving licence plus another proof of identity which bears your name and address, such as a recent utility bill.
- Any letters or documents that have been sent to you by your partner/husband/wife’s solicitors.
- Any documents that have been sent to you by the Court.
If it is not possible for you to provide us with the information listed above at the first appointment, don’t worry. This can always be given at a later date. However, the more documentation you can provide us with, the better we will be able to advise you.
Please contact us for more information.