Mediation with divorce and children
Arrangements need to be made for children during the process for divorce, separation or ending of a civil partnership. Divorce and children laws mean that children are given the highest consideration. Decisions can be made directly with your ex-partner or, if necessary, with the mediation of an impartial and independent individual. It is sometimes possible to get legal aid for mediation.
If mediation is unsuccessful, Court orders may decide where the children will live, how often and long they will spend with each parent, and how child maintenance will be paid between the parents. Usually parties are required to prove that they have attempted to make decisions with the help of a mediator (by completing a ‘Family Mediation Information and Assessment form’) before going to Court, however this is not always the case, for example in cases of domestic abuse. A single, of number of court orders may be applied for, depending on the individual case and what the requirements for agreement are.
Court orders can set specific conditions for divorce and children
Besides where your child lives and the time spent with each parent, a ‘child arrangement order’ also sets conditions for other types of contact such as phone calls. ‘Specific issue orders’ can be used to resolve issues such as where they go to school and their religious upbringing. Anyone can apply for a court order if they have parental responsibility and pay the £215 application fee. People on benefits or with a low income may be eligible for help with court fees.
After applying for a court order, a ‘directions hearing’ will be organised by the court with a family court advisor from Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service). The hearing will decide what can and cannot be agreed on by the parents, and assess whether your child is at any risk.
Divorce and children laws aim to put the needs of the children first
Laws covering divorce and children ensure that the best interests of the child are prioritised during the divorce process. Judges and magistrates consider the wishes and feelings of the child, their physical, education and emotional needs and the effect of changes on the child. They bear in mind the age and gender of the child and factor in any risks of harm and the parents capabilities to meet the child’s needs.
Pinder Reaux can help you to guarantee the best outcome for your children during your divorce. For more information call free on 020 8252 7373.