It can be a worrying time for both the child and the parents when a separation occurs, and often it can be unclear what type of an arrangement will work best for the family.

In cases where parents can agree arrangements concerning the child, then the Court may not need to be involved. It is possible for parents to continue with the arrangements as agreed or, if a more formal arrangement is preferred, to have a solicitor draft an agreement to be submitted to the Court.

A child has the right to spend time with each parent. Often when a separation occurs, the child can become a part of the parental dispute, which can be extremely difficult for the child. It is important to ensure that all negotiations concerning a child have the child’s needs, wishes and feelings at the core. It is not appropriate to base negotiations around what the parents want for themselves. This is often why the Court will become involved, to ensure the focus is brought back onto the child.

Once Court proceedings have been issued, the Court will work towards making an Order as to where the child shall live and what, if any contact it will have with the other party and whether there are any restrictions or specific issues that need to be addressed within the Order.

Our Family Law Solicitor, Julia Sacco, outlines the types of Orders that are often made by the Court.

Child Arrangements Order – Live With

This Order sets out where the child will live. This could be with one party or it could be split between both parties.

Child Arrangements Order – Spend Time With

This Order specifies the time that a child will spend with the other party. This is usually quite specific such as set days and times but allows for some degree of flexibility due to the nature of family life. It will often also specify where the handovers will take place.

Prohibited Steps Order

This details something that is prohibited by the Court. This can often relate to the safety of the child where a risk has been assessed by the Court such as an individual, location or action that poses a risk to the child during contact.

Specific Issue Order

This relates to a specific issue that has been decided and put into an order. This could be something that is an issue that the parties could not agree upon, such as a place for the child to attend, a physical or medical issue. There are many issues that could be decided by the Court and it is very subjective to each individual case, but it ensures that there is no uncertainty surrounding the particular issue.

In addition to the above, there may be other orders made such as Indirect Contact via telephone calls, video calls. This could also be restricted to cards, letters, presents, referred to as ‘letterbox contact’.

Supervised Contact is in the presence of a a family member or friend or could be in a supervised setting such as a contact centre. However, there is usually a fee for a contact centre, so this can be difficult in the longer term.

At RHL Solicitors, we’re here to help make your life easier when it comes to legal support, while providing you with an exceptionally high standard of care.

Our Bristol-based team don’t just try to reach a settlement for you; we help to the very best outcome by tailoring our advice to your own individual needs.

If you are considering matters following the breakdown of a relationship or planning for the future in the even that your current relationship breaks down, contact our team who will be more than happy to discuss your matter further.

RHL Solicitors will have no delays or waiting times in advising you on your situation and will be quick to get you the support and care you deserve.