Child Law Solicitors - Family Law Partners

The needs of children will always come first, we work with you to find short and long term solutions.

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Child Law Solicitors

We take a solution-focused approach to arrangements for children, and work with you to find a short and long term resolution.


We take a solution-focused approach to arrangements for children and work with you to find a short and long term resolution.

  • We will refer you to other professionals that can help;
  • We follow the Resolution Code of Practice and Family Law Protocol;
  • We explain the options, trying to find the quickest and cheapest for you;
  • We use agreement; mediation; collaborative law; arbitration; or, last resort, Court.

What orders can the court make?

No application can be made, except in an emergency, before attending a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

  • Child Arrangements Order. This is the most common application since introduction in 2014. Child Arrangements Orders replaced Residence and Contact Orders. The new order sets out who a child should live, spend time or otherwise have contact with. The process encourages agreement as soon as possible. Before the first hearing there is a telephone conversation with CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) who assist the court by preparing background information and the view of the people involved in the court application, usually the parents. CAFCASS also suggest what should happen next. At the first court hearing there will be a meeting with CAFCASS. Often agreement is possible at the first appointment. If not the court can order a full report from CAFCASS, or that the parents attend separately a SPIP (Separated Parents Information Programme) or a number of other options to find the best arrangements for your children;
  • Specific Issue Order – to deal with issues such as schooling, the surname the child is known by or other one-off issues such as consent to non-urgent medical treatment, consent to leave the country to move abroad etc;
  • Prohibited Steps Orders – restricting how a parent exercises his/her Parental Responsibility, e.g. stop the other parent removing a child from school;
  • Parental Responsibility – giving a person e.g. parent, Grandparent, other relative, step-parent legal status as a parent, e.g. to decide on school, consent for medical treatment;
  • Adoption – e.g. of a child placed with you by social services, of your partner’s child or a child from abroad;
  • Special Guardianship Orders – permanently placing a child with someone other than a parent and giving that person legal status;
  • Financial orders for the child’s benefit in relation to maintenance, lump sum and property.

This may be a good time to consider what options are available to resolve matters, for example:- Children Mediation, Collaborative Law and/or Children Arbitration.

Child law services we provide:

Child Custody

Arrangements for children following divorce and separation are still commonly known as ‘child custody’, however today there is no such legal term. Since the publication of the Children and Families Act 2014, Child Arrangement Orders now regulate who children see and where they live. Our family and child law solicitors in Brighton, London and Horsham understand that arrangements for children are highly emotional and difficult for everyone involved, and we can guide and support you to achieve the best outcome for you and your children.

Child Maintenance

Child maintenance is a calculation that determines the level of financial support towards a child’s everyday living costs, such as food, clothing, housing or school/childcare fees. Our team of specialist child law solicitors help separating parents through divorce or civil partnership dissolution, and can help you achieve a sum for child maintenance in an amicable way.

Children moving away

Our experienced team of children lawyers in Brighton, Horsham and London support parents who are looking to relocate with their child, or those who are concerned that the other parent may be thinking of doing so. In both cases, we can help you understand the legal position and what you should do next.

Children moving abroad

Our specialist team can give you child law advice if you are looking to move abroad with your child but the other parent will not give consent, or if you are concerned that the child’s other parent may be planning to move away without your knowledge or consent. In both cases, the primary consideration is the best interest of the child, and if an agreement cannot be made then an application to the court may need to be made.

Child Abduction

Child abduction is a complex area of law and is defined when a child under the age of 16 is removed or retained from the jurisdiction of England and Wales without consent of those with parental responsibility for the child.  Our child abduction lawyers advise on cases involving international child abduction as well as when abduction occurs within the UK.

How can we help?

For further information about arrangements for children following relationship breakdown download our free factsheet.

If you would like an appointment with one of our specialists in Brighton, London, Horsham, Kent, Essex, North Hampshire & Surrey or South/Mid Hampshire then please contact us on 0330 055 2234.

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Taking care of you emotionally and practically

We are one of the only family law teams to have a Family Consultant within our team. Find out what this means for you and your family.

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