After separation, where will your children reside, and who with? What contact will take place? Will you need a court order? What about emergency situations for example if the children are not returned to your care after contact? There are many questions that you may have regarding children matters, and it can seem a daunting prospect to resolve such issues, particularly when emotions are often running high.

At Lichfield Reynolds, many of our solicitors are members of Resolution and we have an accredited specialist in this area of expertise. Will be able to provide you with the expert advice that you need, regarding residence, contact, parental responsibility and all other children issues.

In emergency situations we are able to act quickly and efficiently to obtain whatever protective orders in respect of children matters that you may require. Do not hesitate to contact us in such situations.

 

What is a residence order?

 

A residence order is a court order directing who a child must live with. It is possible to have a residence order in your favour alone, or a  shared residence order in favour of more than one person. You don't have to be a parent of the child to have a residence order in your favour, and if you aren't a parent, having a residence order in your favour gives you parental responsibility for the child for as long as the order remains in force. Please see our children leaflet for more information.

 

What is a contact order?

 

A contact order is an order which directs the person who has the child living with them to make the child available to either stay with or visit the person named within the order. You don't necessarily have to be a parent of the child to apply for a contact order. You may want to apply for a contact order if you are not currently having any contact, or alternatively  if you would like the frequency, and timing of the contact to be changed or set by the court. Please see our children leaflet for more information.

 

What is parental responsibility?

 

Mothers always automatically have parental responsibilty for their children. Parental responsibility is defined as 'all rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent has in relation to a child and his property'.  Father's only have parental responsibility automatically if they are married to the child's mother. Unmarried fathers now automatically have parental responsibility if they are registered as the child's father on their birth certificate provided the child was born after 1 Decemeber 2003. Unmarried fathers can obtain parental responsibility by entering into a parental responsibility agreement with the mother, or alternatively by obtaining a parental responsibility order. Please see our children leaflet for more information.

 

If you require any advice or assistance with regard to children matters, please do not hesitate to contact us. Legal Aid may still be available in some situations and if not we have many competitively priced fixed fee packages.