Child Custody is a tricky issue in many families. The issue of child custody is made more complicated by the level of emotion that people attach to dealing with children. Deciding on residency arrangements (or custody arrangements) for your children after you break up can be a difficult issue. If you and your partner cannot agree together on where they will live, a court can be asked to decide.
We, at H Mc Partland & Sons, know that this can be a painful process depending on your individual circumstances. We have expert solicitors at hand to offer helpful and practical advice in a sensitive and professional manner. We can offer expert legal advice on all areas of matrimonial law including advice on custody, access and contact with children following a divorce or separation.
In the UK child custody law governs who should be responsible for the care and responsibility of a child, after divorce or separation. The term custody is now more commonly referred to as residency – indicating where the children’s main residence is, following a parental break up. In simpler terms, parents are encouraged to find an acceptable solution together on what will happen to the children. This means that no intervention from the courts is needed at all. This is because during the custody process, the separated couple needs to file a document which lists all the children and where they will live.
- Joint residency
Joint residency is the most preferential solution as it is in the best interests of most children. Joint residency allows the child to spend an equal amount of time with each parent. This option also enables both parents to participate in any decision making which may affect the child. If parents are unable to decide amicably on what living arrangement is best for their child, however, the courts will decide on their behalf.
- Custody Disputes
Most custody disputes involve the child’s mother and father. However, a third party (a grandparent for example), may seek custody at the time of a parent’s death or inability. The role that grandparents, step-parents and other influential adults play in the child’s life may also be taken into consideration by the courts.
Sometimes an unmarried couple who are making requirements for the care of their child may also develop into a disagreement. Generally though a court will accept that a parent is in the best position to maintain the welfare of their child.
- Unusual Circumstances
In some unusual circumstances one parent may be permanently excluded from having any access to their child. Nevertheless, the court has the right to change the decision at any point in time, should the parent’s circumstances change. The parent can re-apply for access at any time, and once an application is made the court may reconsider arrangements after examining this new evidence.
We know child custody issues can be very stressful and sometimes poor decisions are made when we’re under a great deal of stress ie. when we feel threatened by the loss of our children. At H Mc Partland & sons, this difficult issue will be handled sensitively and professionally by one of our team of experienced solicitors.