If you are a parent who is separating, you will need to consider how you or the other parent is going to continue their relationship with your child. How often will they see them? Where will the contact take place? Should there be overnight staying contact? How will the holidays be dealt with? Can you move overseas with a child? Which school should they attend?
There are lots of things to consider when trying to make arrangements for the children between the two of you and deciding what is ‘reasonable’, taking into account your respective circumstances and the age of the child, is often a stressful process. If you are experiencing problems in reaching an agreement with your partner or spouse about these arrangements then you may want to consider mediation or collaborative law in order to resolve these difficulties. We can also negotiate an agreement about arrangements for the children by corresponding directly with your partner/spouse or their solicitor.
If these methods are unsuccessful, or if you or your partner/spouse is unable to engage in this process, then you may need to make an application to the court for a ‘Child Arrangements Order’ (as they are now known under the new family rules introduced on 22nd April 2014 – this replaces the previous use of ‘Residence’ and ‘Contact’), Specific Issue Order or Prohibited Steps Order, for a Judge to decide the outcome.