Family Law Solicitors in Bristol
The well-being of a child is shared equally between both the mother and the father. This responsibility doesn’t change when the relationship between the parents alters and they separate or get divorced, and it’s important to consider the best interests of the child in these situations.
Any change in a relationship can be stressful and it’s easy for spouses to get caught up in their own emotions, but the children are also a part of the process. It is important to recognize that they ‘re going to be affected too, and you need to make sure that their wellbeing remains a priority. This is when decisions concerning residence and contact (or custody and visitation) are extremely important.
Making the right decisions about residency and contact can be difficult. Our Family Law Solicitors in Bristol can help to guide you through the process.
As a part of the divorce process a Statement of Arrangements would have been included with the filing of the Divorce Petition if there are children involved in the marriage. This tells the court what arrangements have been made for the children regarding important issues such as residency, contact and education, and the court is unlikely to change any arrangements both parents have agreed to.
In some cases an agreement regarding the care of the children can not be reached, in which case there are a few options available to parents.
Mediation – Instead of, or before going to court, parents might be advised to undergo mediation. A specially trained mediator will look at both sides of the argument and objectively try and guide the matter to an agreement that both parents are happy with.
Court Hearing – Sometimes the intervention of the court might be needed to settle any disputes over custody arrangements, and produce an agreement that’s best for the children.
CAFCASS – CAFCASS is the court welfare organisation which looks after the interests of children who find themselves involved in situations like divorce and separation. They work with parents and children to resolve issues surrounding residency and contact.
If you are having trouble reaching an agreement when it comes to the future care of your children then you need the best legal advice available. Our Family Law Solicitors in Bristol will talk through your options and help you to reach a solution.
The majority of parents who separate are able to reach an amicable agreement about residency arrangements and the contact each parent has with their children. But in some cases there are disagreements over residency and contact which just can not be settled.
While the court would much rather see a voluntary arrangement agreed between the two parents, where this isn’t going to be possible, or doesn’t appear to be in the best interests of the children, a judge will make the final decision.
This is really seen as a last resort to protect the welfare of the children concerned, and if parents are able to reach agreement on custody and access, the arrangement is likely to be much more viable in the long term.
If you are considering a divorce and will need help with a child custody issue, get in touch with our Family Law Solicitors in Bristol. With a range of services to suit all budgets, we will make sure you get the advice you need.