You & Your Family

Divorce and Children Solicitors

If you and your partner are separating, you will have many emotionally difficult decisions to make in relation to your children. From where they will live to where they will go to school, your children’s wellbeing should be at the centre of everything you decide.

At Fishers in Ashby de la Zouch and Tamworth, our specialist divorce solicitors are on hand to help you agree arrangements for children upon divorce, dissolution or separation.

Divorce and dissolution can be a confusing and frightening time for children. We approach all matters involving children sensitively and pragmatically, looking to help individuals find positive solutions without any unnecessary conflict.

To get started, get in touch by giving us a call at your local branch in Ashby de la Zouch or Tamworth.

Why choose our divorce solicitors?

We are members of the Law Society Lexcel Accreditation scheme, the legal practice quality mark for firms that demonstrate exceptional client care.

Our family law team includes Resolution accredited specialist, Andrew Robinson. Resolution is an organisation of legal professionals all devoted to helping families find harmonious solutions to family law issues without immediately resorting to stressful and expensive legal proceedings.

We always view court as a last resort and in the vast majority of cases. We can secure a sufficient resolution for our clients without ever stepping foot in a court room. In our experience, the best solutions to children-related issues are achieved through cooperative discussion and negotiation.

Our divorce and children expertise

We can provide advice on all legal aspects of making arrangements for children upon divorce, dissolution or separation, including:

Voluntary parenting plans

Most couples are able to come to an agreement about their children without going to court. We can help you discuss and agree matters such as:

  • Who your children will live with most of the time
  • How much contact they will have with their ‘non-resident’ parent
  • How much contact they will have with other relatives such as grandparents
  • Key decisions about their upbringing, such as where they will go to school or whether they will have a religious education
  • Child maintenance payments

Once you have come to a final agreement, it is possible to make your agreement legally binding by applying to court for a Consent Order. As you and your partner both agree to this, you probably won’t need to go to court.

Children related court orders

Although we usually seek to avoid court, we accept that in some situations it is unavoidable. If you are concerned about being unable to come to a voluntary arrangement with your former partner, for whatever reason, we will be happy to provide advice about a wide range of court orders you can seek instead, including:

  • Child Arrangements Orders to decide matters, such as:
    • Where your children will live
    • How much contact they will have with their ‘non-resident parent’
    • How much contact they will have with other relatives such as grandparents
    • What types of contact should take place, for example, phone calls, letters and overnight stays
  • Specific Issue Orders to decide on a particular issue, such as:
    • Where the children will go to school
    • Whether they should have a religious upbringing
    • Whether they can change their name
  • Prohibited Steps Orders to prevent someone with parental responsibility make a particular decision about a child, such as:
    • To prevent the child from being taken abroad
    • To prevent the child being moved out of the local area
    • To prevent the child’s name from being changed

When making a decision about your children, the family court’s paramount consideration will be their welfare. They have a number of factors they must take into consideration, including the child’s age, their wishes, and your ability to parent them. Usually, it is in a child’s best interests to have regular, meaningful contact with both parents. Regardless, we will ensure your own interests are well represented during the matter.

Child maintenance

Parents have a responsibility to financially support their children. Child maintenance is usually paid from the ‘non-resident’ parent to the parent with whom the children live most of the time.

If you cannot come to a voluntary decision about child maintenance, we can help you:

  • Use the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) – the CMS uses a formula to calculate what payments should be made. It can also collect payments, chase late payments and take court action if the paying parent fails to keep up with their payment responsibilities
  • Get a Child Maintenance Order – you can only get a court order in specific circumstances, such as if the paying parent lives abroad and you cannot use the CMS

How are children affected by divorce?

Relationship breakdown isn’t fun for any member of the family. However, it can be particularly confusing and upsetting for children. The impact of divorce on children will ultimately depend on your personal circumstances. However, typically, the more straightforward and harmonious the process, the easier your children will find it to transition.

This requires both parents to communicate well and minimise conflict wherever possible. Arguing parents can be a source of great stress to children, no matter their age. Alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation can be particularly helpful in this regard.

Mediation involves sitting down with a qualified mediator to discuss your separation arrangements. The mediator is not there to take sides or provide legal advice, but to guide your discussion and defuse conflict. By coming to an agreement in a neutral mediation environment, you can avoid exposing your children to stressful court proceedings, safeguarding their emotional wellbeing.

Who gets the house in a divorce with children?

There are no laws over who should get the house in a divorce. Typically, financial arrangements upon separation need to be fair for both parties. This may mean you need to sell the family home and split the equity.

However, you also need to take into account the needs of your children and the impact of moving at this difficult time. Ultimately, the welfare of your children should be your main consideration. For example, if the children have never moved before or they would also have to move schools, leaving the family home may not be the right solution.

One option is that the resident parent could buy the non-resident parent out of the home. However, this this isn’t always possible due to financial constraints. Another option is to allow the resident parent and the children to remain in the family home until the youngest turns 18 years old or they move out. Then the house can be sold.

An experienced divorce lawyer can help you weigh up all the considerations and explore your options and find a solution that works for you.

Get in touch with our divorce solicitors in Ashby de la Zouch and Tamworth

Get in touch with our expert divorce solicitors by giving us a call at your local branch in Ashby de la Zouch or Tamworth.