Child Care Solicitors in LeicesterGet Directions
Our experienced and professional child care solicitors have an excellent case success rate and can provide legal services to clients in Leicester and across the UK. Recognised by Legal 500, we are highly regarded in the child care sector, delivering knowledgeable legal expertise sensitively throughout every case.
All of our child care professionals thrive under pressure and are able to work effectively to meet multiple deadlines, giving you the best possible chance of resolving your case successfully. During pre-proceedings processes, you will be supported at every stage. Your case will always be handled with the utmost discretion and without judgement and our solicitors are available when you need us and are here to get you through this emotionally challenging process.
Having said that, we understand how difficult these cases can be for all involved. Therefore, at Cartwright King, your children’s welfare is paramount to every step. With difficult conversations and arrangements to be made, we will do everything we can legally and personally to support you and your children.
Our Leicester team has been a part of the local community for several years; however, our firm of child care solicitors can also provide legal advice remotely via online video meetings and telephone conversations. Whatever method best suits your needs, we will make ourselves available.
Contact us on 0116 253 9222 to book your FREE, introductory phone consultation with an expert child care solicitor, or you can complete our online enquiry form.
How can Cartwright King’s Solicitors help?
At Cartwright King, we regularly support clients with their child care proceedings and childcare-related issues. Our child care solicitors have a demonstrated track record resolving issues, including:
Special Guardianship Orders and Child Arrangement Orders
Our child care solicitors can help you with your Special Guardianship Orders and Child Arrangement Orders, depending on your needs. The main difference between the two, is that Special Guardianship Orders enable family members to gain parental responsibility for children, whereas people seeking Child Arrangement Orders already have this right.
Moreover, when granted, Special Guardianship Orders provide a stronger level of stability to your position as a guardian. However, this is due to their association to child care proceedings; Child Arrangement Orders are a common occurrence in matters of Advanced Family Law, such as separation and divorce.
Special Guardianship Order
This order allows known members of a family to gain parental responsibility for a child whose current care is deemed concerning. If the social services have reason to believe that a child is unsafe living at their home address, they have a duty of care to carry out a pre-proceedings meeting. If this initial meeting progresses to court and a Special Guardianship Order is granted, family members have the opportunity to formally apply to take responsibility for the child in question.
To get this process underway, our solicitors can help you with your Special Guardianship Order application. We undercut the legal jargon, offer your clear, straightforward advice, representing you in court whenever necessary. Your voice is important to us and we can help you be heard, whether you are an older sibling, Aunt, Uncle, Grandparents or a trusted family friend. We can also support you if you are the child’s current foster carer.
Child Arrangement Orders
In the large majority of instances, Child Arrangement Orders are issued to a child’s biological parents when a marriage breakdown occurs. But, there are exceptions. The general requirement is that the people applying already have parental responsibility, including step-parents and guardians. It is not unheard of for Grandparents to make an application; however, with parental rights, additional steps need to be taken.
A Child Arrangement Order aims to help separated couples, undergoing a divorce or not, to specify where their children will reside and how much time they will spend with each parent. A separation or a divorce is an extremely stressful and emotionally draining process. Amongst all the initial acceptance of the situation, there are a lot of decisions to be made that both parents will need to agree upon. However, it comes as no surprise that disagreements are bound to occur.
If you and your previous partner cannot agree, the next step is to apply for a Child Arrangement Order. This legally binding agreement is made by the court once solicitors have presented both parties’ views. Child Arrangement Orders were formally known as Contact or Residence Orders, however, these have been phased out. If you previously had an agreement under this name, you do not need to reapply; its content is still relevant to your situation.
Book Your Free Introductory Consultation Today
We cannot stress how important trust is within your relationship with your child care solicitor. These cases can be emotionally challenging and traumatic for all parties involved, therefore, it is crucial that you can speak freely with your legal representative. At Cartwright King, we understand the need and offer all prospective clients an initial consultation to help you make your decision.
Within your FREE consultation telephone consultation with one of our child care solicitors, we look to:
- Get to know you and the details of your case
- Introduce ourselves to your situation as a carer
- Explain the legal options available to you
Please be assured, this initial consultation is complimentary, confidential and free of any obligation. We want you to use this opportunity to see whether Cartwright King is the right solicitors firm for you. If our expert child care solicitors are not for you, we will not expect you to appoint us.
*It is worth stipulating that this conversation is simply offered on a “get to know you” basis. There will be no detailed legal advice or strategy offered to you.
Why Choose Cartwright King?
At Cartwright King, we provide you with high-quality legal advice that is open, honest and sensitive to your case. With Child Care Proceedings we know the importance of putting the child’s welfare first; however, we also know from experience that you will also require support alongside your legal guidance.
Recognised by both Legal 500 and the Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession, our child care solicitors are dedicated to managing your child care cases with respect, finding resolutions for all your child care law and advanced family law needs. Correspondence is carried out promptly, giving you the information you require when it is needed.
Our Child Care Soliciting Fees
Everyone deserves access to professional legal services. That is why, at Cartwright King, we ensure our legal representation and advice is affordable, with our open pricing structure.
For clients in need of a child care solicitor, we recommend looking into the possibility of Legal Aid. For parents and guardians with parental responsibilities for a child who is under investigation by social services, you should be eligible to gain free legal advice and financial support. If you are unsure of whether you qualify, send us your enquiry today.
Our Leicester Office
We have had a team of child care solicitors in Leicester since 2001; however, our current office overlooking the Town Hall underwent an expansion in October 2014. You can find our expert team of solicitors located on Floor 5, Horsefair House, 3 Horsefair Street, Leicester, LE1 5BP.
Our Leicester Office
Our Leicester office is located at Floor 5, Horsefair House, 3 Horsefair Street, Leicester, LE1 5BP
Our office at Horsefair House unfortunately does not have any on-site parking facilities. However, we are within close proximity to two public car parks, Leicester Rutland Centre (Curve, LE1 1TQ) and Newarke Street (Phoenix, LE2 7AD).
We are very accessible by Leicester train station; our office is a short 10-minute walk from our door. The route to follow is Conduit Street > London Road/A6 > East Street > London Road/A594 > Granby Street > Horsefair Street. There is also a taxi rank right outside of the station too.
You can also reach our office by bus. The nearest stops are the Haymarket bus station and St Margaret’s bus station. These are a 5-minute and 10-minute walk from our door.
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Frequently asked questions.
What is the pre-proceedings procedure?
If the Local Authority is concerned about the care your child receives, they must follow the care proceedings published within the Public Law Outline. If a child is not in immediate danger within their home environment, then social services must start the pre-proceedings process with the child’s parents.
A pre-proceedings process begins with a letter outlining the social service’s concerns with the child’s care. This written correspondence will then specify a date for a pre-proceedings meeting, where all parties can discuss the current situation and make a plan of action for how this can be improved. The meeting aims to give parents the time to source legal advice and representation so the invited parties can resolve any issues outside of court.
If the Local Authority wishes to implement a particular order, you will have the opportunity to respond with legal direction. Your child’s welfare will be at the forefront of all decisions and suggestions; however, you will have the opportunity to make the necessary changes allowing you to keep your child at home.
A pre-proceedings action plan is agreed upon over a 12-week period and then evaluated. If the authorities are happy with the changes, your case will not be escalated to court. However, if the court is unavoidable, our child care solicitors will be able to represent you whenever the need arises.
Can my children's wishes influence the outcome of child care proceedings?
In child care proceedings, both parties’ solicitors will make their case keeping the welfare of the children in mind. Your solicitor will be able to make a case and represent your children’s wishes; however, due to their age, the courts will never make a decision entirely based on a child’s belief. The law recognises that many other factors influence where a child should reside.
In cases where The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) is involved, plans were put in place in 2014 to get children more involved with the court proceedings. As long as the children were over the age of 10, they may be able to speak with the Judge on separate occasions to the hearings. However, the same feelings apply. The court will consider their wishes, but there are other factors to weigh up when making a final ruling.
How long do child care proceedings take?
The courts will aim to resolve child care proceedings within 26 weeks/6 months. This timeframe is an approximation from when the initial application has been submitted, and more complex cases may take longer.
What are my rights as a grandparent in child care proceedings?
Without an application to the court, grandparents do not have any parental rights or responsibility to their grandchildren. The application of ‘leave’ must be supported by the approval from the children’s parents, and then the court will decide whether your plea will be heard.
If your grandchildren already reside with you, the courts are more likely to accept your application. However, the Judge must consult the Children Act 1989 welfare checklist to ensure the ruling is in your grandchildren’s best interests.