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Child Law Solicitors

Our children law solicitors at Boodle Hatfield are adept at finding practical, child-focused solutions to help you and your family through difficult times. If you need help with child arrangements, abduction matters or moving abroad with your children, we can provide expert legal advice and representation.

Disagreements about children can be incredibly difficult and emotional. When these issues unfortunately, arise we operate with a high level of sensitivity, discretion and expertise in order to help you resolve matters. Our child law solicitors are committed to finding a solution that focuses on your child's best interests and allows you to move forward.

We can advise you on all matters involving children, including the amount of time a child spends with parents or other family members, abduction matters or on cases where one party would like to move abroad, or to another part of the country, with the children. We want to minimise the amount of stress involved at this highly emotional time in your life. Our track record in this area is excellent, having advised on many complex domestic and international children cases over the years.

Find a child law solicitor

You are never made to feel uncomfortable at all and you are treated with huge respect. I just can't speak highly enough of the firm.

Chambers UK, 2018

Our Child Law Expertise

  • Child Arrangements – One of the most common disagreements in divorce or separation is parenting plans/childcare. Our children law solicitors know that each case is unique, meaning we tailor our approach to ensure the children’s best interests are at the centre of the advice we offer.

  • Leave to remove - Life is complicated and increasingly families live in different countries or parents move around for work. If this means one party needs to relocate permanently, we can assist in securing permission from the other parent or the court.

  • Child Abduction – Our children law solicitors at Boodle Hatfield have expertise in matters involving child abduction. Child abduction can be when one parent decides to take or keep a child abroad without the consent of the other parent, even if it is temporarily. Our children lawyers will work closely with you to resolve any child abduction situations.

  • Financial remedy – Both parents are responsible for the financial support of their children. We understand financial remedies involving children can be complex. Our children lawyers have a wealth of experience ensuring financial support for children is arranged fairly taking into considering the circumstances of both parties.
      

Why Boodle Hatfield?

  • Children are at the heart of what we do – Resolving any children issues during a divorce, separation or partner dispute can be a traumatic and emotional time for all parties involved. Our approach focuses on ensuring the children’s best interests are at the core of our legal advice and actions. We offer objective advice and expertise to help you make informed decisions for you and your children's future.
  • Longevity, heritage and experience – All children cases are important and deserve to be dealt with by a lawyer that has a wealth of experience in this area. Our child law solicitors have extensive experience and knowledge to advise clients on the best form of resolution to reach a successful outcome.
  • Discretion and understanding - We understand that issues involving children are very sensitive and we always act with complete discretion to ensure that problems can be resolved effectively. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is “parental responsibility”?

Those with parental responsibility have a say in key decisions such as:

  • Determining where the child should live
  • Naming the child
  • Obtaining appropriate medical treatment for the child and/or consenting to medical treatment of the child
  • Determining the child’s religious upbringing
  • Having a say in relation to emigration of the child/removal of the child from jurisdiction
  • Ensuring the child receives appropriate education 

Who has parental responsibility?

A child’s biological mother automatically has parental responsibility. When the child is born, a biological father who is married to the child’s mother will also automatically have parental responsibility. A father can also acquire parental responsibility by marrying the child’s mother after the child is born. Generally, a father who is named on the birth certificate of the child will automatically have parental responsibility, even if they are not or have not, been married to the child’s mother. The court may confer parental responsibility by way of a court order.

This is more complicated for same-sex couples, and we would be happy to provide further information relevant to your specific situation.

Who will our child live and spend time with?

Parents are free to agree the arrangements for the children that best suit them. Where a couple cannot agree, the legal route may be the only feasible option. 

If mediation or other forms of dispute resolution fail, then the court may be compelled to determine the arrangements for the child. The court's paramount consideration will always be the welfare of the child. The court will take into account the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child; the child’s physical, emotional and educational needs; the child’s characteristics such as age and background; any harm which the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering; the capacity of each of the child’s parents; and the range of powers available to the court.

How can we resolve disputes relating to the financial cost of bringing up our child?

Both parents are financially responsible for their children. As a minimum, children are entitled to statutory maintenance to provide help with the upkeep of the child and their everyday living costs, to be arranged through the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). This will be calculated as a percentage of the non-resident parent’s income, up to a maximum of a gross weekly income of £3,000. The sums payable will be varied based on factors such as the number of children the paying party have to support and the number of nights per week that particular child stays with the paying parent. 

In divorce or civil partnership dissolution proceedings, the courts have the power to order for financial provision to be made in respect of children as part of the existing proceedings. Unmarried parents may make an application for financial provision under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. Regular payments of child maintenance may, in certain circumstances, include an element of ‘carer’s allowance’ for the parent with whom the child lives. The Court has the power to order the payment of capital, too. 

Can I move abroad with, or prevent my ex from taking, our child overseas?

To move abroad with your child, you must acquire written consent from any person who has parental responsibility for the child. If there is no agreement, the parent wishing to take the child overseas may apply to the court for permission to do so. The paramount consideration throughout proceedings will be the welfare of the child. The judge will also consider how permission or refusal to relocate will affect the parents, and will consider the plans that have been made, as well as whether the parent’s wish to relocate, and the reasons for opposing it, are genuine. 

 

Our family law services 

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How to find us:
London Bankside

Bankside Office

240 Blackfriars Road
London
SE1 8NW
DX 53 Chancery Lane

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

London Mayfair

Mayfair Office

6 Grosvenor Street
London
W1K 4PZ

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

Oxford

Oxford Office

6 Worcester Street
Oxford
OX1 2BX

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

Bankside Office

240 Blackfriars Road
London
SE1 8NW
DX 53 Chancery Lane

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7629 7411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7629 2621
Email: bh@boodlehatfield.com

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