Court assistance in relation to children

As a starting point it is best to see if an issue can be resolved by mediation — an independent mediator will look at the issues. If not, what can the court do?

The Orders it can make are:

  • Residence
  • Contact
  • Prohibited steps
  • Specific issue

Residence Order: where the child will live — it is not uncommon for shared residence orders to be made with the court defining the time the child will spend with each of you.

Contact Order: where it will define a framework for when a child will see the parent with whom it is not living.

Prohibited Steps Order: where the court prevents a certain action, for example preventing a parent taking the child out of the country.

Specific Issue Order: where the court will determine a disputed point, for example if parents cannot agree where a child will go to school.

What types of things do the court look at before making an order? Well, it has to be specific to the case, but there is a checklist:

  • Ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child.
  • The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs.
  • The likely effect on the child of any change in their circumstances.
  • The child’s age, sex, background.
  • Any harm which the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering.
  • How capable each of the parent is of meeting the child’s needs.
  • The range of powers available.

The court has to be satisfied that it is in your child’s interest to make a court order, as opposed to not making an order.

Please contact our specialist family law team, to discuss this issue, or any other issue of family law or relationship breakdown.

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For further information please get in touch with our dedicated team.

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