parental responsibility order
You can choose how to make arrangements for looking after your children if you separate from your partner. Usually, you can avoid going to court hearings with your ex-partner if you can agree on the following:
- Where The Children Will Live
- When They’ll Spend Time With Each Parent
- Child Maintenance Provisions
Our solicitors can help you prepare and agree a Children Agreement or a Consent Order that can be approved and sealed by the Court.
It is sometimes difficult to communicate when a relationship has broken down, so you might not be able to reach an agreement without some help. If you cannot agree between the two of you then an application can be made to court for them to decide any matters that you cannot agree upon and put a parental responsibility order in place.
Before making an application to Court for a Child Arrangement Orders you must show you’ve attended a meeting to see if mediation is right for you. You will not have to have a meeting in certain cases, for example if there’s been domestic abuse or if social services are involved.
Types Of Court Order
The type of court order you need depends on what you’ve been unable to agree on. If you need to, you can apply for more than one court order. Having a parental responsibility order in place or a child arrangement order makes everything clearer for both the children and the parents.
Child Arrangement Order
A ‘child arrangement order’ decides:
- Where Your Child Lives
- When Your Child Spends Time With Each Parent
- When And What Other Types Of Contact Take Place (Phone Calls, For Example)
A ‘Child arrangement order’ replaces ‘residence orders’ and ‘contact orders’. Parents with these orders do not need to re-apply, although if they are varied they will be referred to by their new headings.
Your Child’s Upbringing
A ‘specific issue order’ is used to look at a specific question about how the child is being brought up, for example:
- What School They Go To
- If They Should Have A Religious Education
You can also apply for a ‘prohibited steps order’ to stop the other parent from making a decision about the child’s upbringing.
Who Can Apply For A Child Arrangement Order?
The child’s mother, father or anyone with parental responsibility can apply for a child arrangement order. Grandparents can also apply in some circumstances.
Who Applies For A Parental Responsibility Order?
All mothers and most fathers have legal rights and responsibilities as a parent – known as ‘parental responsibility’. If you are a father and you are unsure if you have Parental Responsibility, then please ask our solicitors and we can advise you whether you have parental responsibility as a right or whether you need to make a separate application for a parental responsibility order.
If you have a parental responsibility order, your most important roles are to:
- Provide A Home For The Child
- Protect And Maintain The Child
- If you have parental responsibility for a child you don’t live with, you don’t necessarily have a right to contact with them – but the other parent still needs to keep you updated about their well-being and progress.
You’re also responsible for:
- Disciplining The Child
- Choosing And Providing For The Child’s Education
- Agreeing To The Child’s Medical Treatment
- Naming The Child And Agreeing To Any Change Of Name
- Looking After The Child’s Property
Parents have to ensure that their child is supported financially, whether they have a parental responsibility order in place or not.
Our Fees At Preuveneers
Please note that our solicitors do not deal with Legal Aid matters. Our fees range from £150 plus VAT an hour to £200 plus VAT an hour. You may also need to pay Court fees and pay for the services of a barrister. We have experience of instructing many barristers and will always seek your approval to the barrister who may best suit your need and your budget.
Please contact us to arrange an initial consultation to discuss your issues. We offer a 20-minute consultation for £50 + Vat. This is usually enough time for us to get an overview of your matter and to offer you advice to move forward, as well as give you a realistic estimate of our fees. If you do instruct us, then the consultation will be free, and no charges will be made.
For further information about a child arrangement order or to discuss children matters please call Satbir Sethi on 020 8646 4885 or email her on Satbir@p-llp.net.