Children Act Proceedings

Divorcing with children

If it is possible, we will always try to help clients with children come to an agreement without going to court.

We strongly believe a child’s welfare is the most important factor in any divorce and that all of the arrangements made for the children upon separation must reflect what is best for them.

However, if a separating couple cannot agree on those arrangements the court can make the following rulings:

A Child Arrangements Order

This determines where and with whom the children will live and sets out the type and frequency of contact.

A Prohibited Steps Order

This defines certain parental rights and duties (for example stopping one parent from taking the child/children out of the country either for a holiday or permanently)

A Specific Issue Order

This resolves particular disputes in connection with a child for example, if one parent wants to change a child’s surname and the other parent objects or where there is a clash about a child’s religious upbringing, ongoing medical treatment or a child’s schooling.

Having Parental responsibility for the children determines who has the right to make decisions about the children’s care and upbringing.  This responsibility will be shared jointly between parents even after a divorce while the child is under 18 years old.

However, unmarried fathers have to acquire parental responsibility. How can a Father obtain Parental Responsibility?

  • Marrying or entering into a civil partnership of the mother of the child
  • Entering in to a voluntary Parental responsibility agreement with the mother
  • Obtaining an order from the court.
  • Being registered on the child’s birth certificate if the child was born after 2003.

In some cases, third parties can also acquire Parental responsibility for the children, such as Step Parents.

If agreement about who has Parental responsibility cannot be reached, the court can make the decision.

If neither parent is able to care for the children, we can also give you advice as to how family members or even third parties can acquire legal guardianship and obtain any extra support and financial assistance they may need.

If you would to arrange a call or arrange a meeting to discuss how best to care for your children following a separation please email us at or call us on 020 8866 1820.