If you’re separated, you’ll know only too well that deciding how to split your time with the kids fairly between you and your ex-partner can be stressful.
It’s all too easy for one or the other parent to get caught up in their own prejudices and forget who matters most, the children.
Our solicitors are experienced in helping guide couples – compassionately but firmly – through such matters, ensuring that the best arrangements are put in place for all concerned.
Previously known as ‘child custody’ but renamed ‘child arrangements’, this remains one of the most emotive issues for separated couples.
Below, we debunk myths and look at some of the things parents need to know and consider when separating:
- Put the children first – It’s easy for parents to get lost in tit for tat battles. Although the circumstances can sometimes be challenging, it is essential for your child’s wellbeing that you put pride and disagreements aside to focus on what’s best for them.
- You don’t always need a court order – In most cases, you can organise arrangements between yourselves without involving the court. If you can, make the most of this option and save your child the stress of going to court.
- Try mediation – If you and your ex fail to come to a satisfactory arrangement, you can still avoid going to court by opting for mediation. This provides a cost-effective, less stressful and practical route to resolving your disputes and making arrangements for your children.
- It’s not always a case of mum’s first – Whether you choose mediation or going to court, each situation is dealt with on a case by case basis. The decision will boil down to a combination of a) who is best suited to look after the children, b) which arrangement is going to suit the children’s needs the best and c) the views of your children. Generally, and depending on their age and maturity, they will be given an opportunity to have their say. It is vital to your future relationship that you and your ex-partner respect their feelings, even if their decision hurts you.
- Plan ahead – If you want to take your child away on holiday, make sure you give plenty of notice to avoid any difficulties. Children need routine, so making sure every measure is taken to give them stability is key.
For more information on child arrangements listen to the Slater Heelis ‘Case Closed’ podcast on Spotify here.
You can continue the legal debate online at slaterheelis.co.uk or follow them on twitter @SlaterHeelisLaw.
If you have any questions regarding child arrangements, get in touch with an expert at Slater Heelis telephone 0161 672 1247 or email [email protected]