Going through a divorce can be a difficult time and it can be even more difficult if you have children and need to come to an arrangement about where they will live and when they will see the other parent. Emotions can run high during the divorce process and this can make it difficult to come to an agreement.
It is usually in the best interests of children to see both parents but the practicalities of this depend on the situation and the agreement that the parents can come to.
Both parties will need to compromise and arrangements may need to be adapted. If you have trouble coming to an agreement, you can speak to a solicitor or mediator who can help you. Another option, if you cannot agree at all, is for the matter to be decided in court.
Having parental responsibility means you are entitled to spend time with your child and have a say regarding any important decisions in their life. Birth mothers automatically have parental responsibility as well as fathers married to the mother of the child or unmarried fathers listed on the birth certificate where the child was born after December 2003.
When arranging contact, it is a good idea to establish a regular pattern so that everyone involved can plan accordingly. This will also help the children involved feel secure and that they can rely on seeing the non-resident parent. Making arrangements clear will also reduce the possibility of misunderstandings or uncertainty.
There may be conflict about parenting styles but there may not be much you can do about this unless your child is at risk. It is a good idea to try and agree some basic rules and methods of discipline which you will both use. Parents will sometimes compete with each other to spoil their child or the parent who has less contact may try to make up for their absence by giving gifts and lowering standards of behaviour expected when they do see their child. However this can confuse a child and make them feel less secure as they do not have consistency.
If you are worried about the safety of your child with your ex-partner, perhaps because of domestic violence against you in the past, this can be considered by a court when deciding contact. Domestic violence does not automatically bar a parent from seeing their child but the best interests of the child must be considered at all times.
If there is the threat of violence or abduction, you should contact a solicitor immediately and also the police if the situation is urgent.
When negotiating arrangements for children which are likely to be disputed, it is a good idea to seek legal advice before discussions begin and during the process so that you fully understand the implications of any proposals that are being made. You should also get advice before agreeing anything. If you don’t, it may be difficult to change the arrangements agreed to later.
When you’re looking for a solicitor, you will want someone with plenty of experience in order to help make the process constructive and help achieve a satisfactory outcome for everyone. At Macks, we pride ourselves on our quality, caring service. There are many Darlington divorce lawyers but at Macks, we believe our service sets us apart.
Resolution is a group of family lawyers who follow a code of practice which promotes a constructive and non-confrontational approach to divorce and family law cases. The aim of the code of practice is to encourage solutions that work for families and that the interests of any children involved are considered as paramount. Judith Middleton is a member of Resolution and follows their code of practice in the work that we do..
As part of the Resolution code of practice, members are required to:
- Carry out work in a constructive and non-confrontational manner
- Avoid using either written or spoken language that could be inflammatory
- Remain objective and maintain respect for all parties
- Think about the long-term implications of anything agreed to
- Put the interests of any children involved first and encourage everyone involved to do the same
- Encourage clients to be open and honest
- Encourage clients to behave in a way that is civilised and polite, however difficult this may be
- Keep issues relating to children separate to issues relating to finances
- Consider the benefits of any agreements against the financial and emotional costs
- Inform clients of their options at every stage, including counselling, mediation or family therapy
As one of the best Darlington divorce lawyers, Macks Solicitors is a good option to help you through your divorce and achieve the best outcome for you and your children. Call us today to discuss your divorce with an expert.