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SKU: 3.13
  • Advice

    When it comes to divorce, the toughest and yet most important consideration should be to protect the child's interest. 

    The courts have no general duty to consider the child's interest during the divorce procedure, however, section 11 of the Family Law Act 1996 says that a divorce may not be allowed if arrangements for the child are not addressed. Additionally, section 10 states that if a divorce were to occur and severely affect the child financially, the divorce would be prevented. This, of course, is at the discretion of the court.

    The child's welfare must be agreed upon and made into a consent order alongside other issues to prevent prolonging a divorce procedure.


    Who will the child live with, and where?

    When parents cannot reach an agreement regarding a child's living situation, then both sides can apply to the court for a Residence Order to settle the issue, additionally, the court may also consider a Contact Order to determine child contact arrangements. If you have an abusive partner, you may be able to apply for legal aid. 


    Child maintenance payments.

    The court will arrange maintenance payments or 'periodical payments' as they feel fit. These payments can go on for life, which is why you must consider: 

    • If you should be paying/receiving maintenance - In that case, maintenance may be the most appropriate choice for sustaining a reasonable standard of life;
    • Duration - A compensation payment might be considered if there is a substantial difference between previous and expected lifestyles post-divorce. Once this has been agreed and put into a Consent Order, it will become a Maintenance Order with legal obligations; and
    • Value - Both parties will generally have to change their lifestyle to suit their new circumstances. Therefore, when deciding on maintenance payments, you have to consider how much you will need for your child (e.g., School fees, maintenance fees, lifestyle fees).


    Court Orders

    Four main types of court orders exist concerning children in the United Kingdom. These are listed below:

    • Specific Issue Order

    A specific issue order may entail any particular issue upon which the parents cannot reach a particular agreement. These include matters like changing a child's surname, decisions relating to going on holiday and so on.

    • Prohibited Steps order

    Such an order is in the form of a preventative measure that prevents the other parent from carrying out any particular action concerning the child. For example, an order that prevents a parent from moving abroad with the child.

    • Child Arrangement Order

    This order aims to determine with which parent the child will reside. Additionally, it also specifies the frequency that the other parent contacts the child. The court in such situations may also determine the mode of the communication, e.g., phone call, face-to-face contact. A court may also grant a Shared Child Arrangement Order wherein the child may reside with multiple people depending on the welfare and the wellbeing of the child.

    • Special Guardianship Order

    This order aims to grant parental responsibility to a particular person until the child reaches the age of maturity (18 years). This order is generally applied when either there are no parents for the child or when the parents are unable to take care of the child.


    How we can help

    The process of getting a divorce is a difficult period for all involved, the governance of the children can be a serious sticking point as it is not uncommon for each parent to want full custody, we would ask both sides to meet with a third-party independent family advisor to decide what is best for the children. They will determine the type of “Order” required and complete all the court forms. Please note the driver in this will be the children themselves, they will be asked privately what solution they would like. It is then hoped that each adult will agree to their wish. As in every negotiation there needs to be some give and take. Ultimately if there is an impasse then the court will decide.


    In regard to the third-party independent family advisor please note we make no commission from these referrals. The sad truth is that children are effectively used as “bargaining chips” in divorces, this is plainly unfair as they are usually innocent of all blame. To gain our assistance you need to open a case, this is done by taking advantage of our free consultation service, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link.


    Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our appointed experts and to act as your point of contact, they will also issue you with your Password and PIN, these will be needed to log onto your client dashboard. From your dashboard you will be able to manage and view every aspect of your case, upload documents, images, files etc.

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