Children’s matters between individuals

Children's matters between individualsIt is always important to remember a child is a child and not like an adult and depends upon their parent(s)/carer(s) to provide for their needs including and not limited to love, care, affection and their safety to ensure the best for them.

Parental Responsibility

Parental responsibility means all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property. It also includes the rights, powers and duties of a guardian of the child’s estate.

You will have parental responsibility if:

  1. You are the mother of the child, or
  2. You are the natural father who is married to the mother of the child, or
  3. By way of a Court Order, or
  4. Through a written agreement if you are the natural father, or
  5. Unmarried fathers by including his name on the birth certificate, provided the child was born after 1st December 2003, or
  6. By entering into a parental responsibility agreement with the Mother using a simple Court form which is free, or
  7. By being appointed as a guardian by will or by the Court

Court Orders that can be applied for.

Making a application to the Courts should be a last resort where a agreement cannot be reached. Rafiq & Co Solicitors Limited can help you to reach a agreement by negotiation and/or mediation.

Where negotiation and/or mediation fail, a person with parental responsibility and in some cases, a person without parental responsibility, can make a application to the Courts for a number of Orders in respect of children such as:

  1. A Child Arrangements Order for a child to live with them,
  2. A Child Arrangements Order for a child to spend time with them,
  3. A Prohibited Steps Order prohibiting someone from doing something such as prohibiting someone from removing a child from the care of a person who has control over a child whether from school or the country,
  4. A Specific Issue Order ordering somebody to do something such as returning a child to someone or bring the child up following a particular faith.

There are also a range of other Orders available such as where a child has been abducted. This is a very specialist area of the law and advice should be sought without delay.

When the Court is considering whether or not to make any of these Orders, paramount consideration is given to the welfare of the child concerned. The starting point for the Court is that it is presumed that it is in the best interests of a child to have a relationship with both parents.

The Court shall also consider the impact of any delay in making any such Orders and whether any such Orders are really necessary.

In addition, the Court shall also consider the wishes and feelings of the child; the child’s physical, emotional and educational needs; the likely effect on the child of any change in their circumstances; the child’s age, sex, background and any characteristics of the child which the Court considers relevant; any harm which the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering; how capable each of the child’s parents and any other person in relation to whom the Court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting the child’s needs. In giving such consideration, sometimes a welfare officer needs to be involved. They tend to advise the Courts on what they feel is best for a child.

Costs

You can speak to Rafiq & Co Solicitors Limited in respect their fees in respect of their advice and representation relating to children. Generally, where matters are more straightforward for example where the parties are in agreement, then fees shall be minimal and generally a fixed fee can be agreed.

However, where for example matters cannot be agreed and proceedings are challenged then fees can be more expensive.

The current Court fee for filing a application in respect of children as at 21 March 2016 is £215.

Fixed fees can be agreed for certain stages.

Call Rafiq & Co Solicitors Limited on (01274) 525710 with your enquiry and/or to book your free initial 30 minute consultation.

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