Unfortunately when a relationship breaks down children are often caught in the middle and it is not always easy to agree the arrangements for your children with your ex-partner. In most cases it will be expected that your children should have a relationship with both parents provided that it is safe and appropriate to do so depending on the circumstances of your individual case.
If you are unable to agree arrangements for your children (formally known as ‘residence’ and ‘contact’) then our Family Solicitors can assist by offering you helpful, constructive advice. We understand that children will always be the most important consideration for parents if a relationship should unfortunately break down. We can help you address matters relating to whether or when a child should see each parent, where a child should live, issues relating to Parental Responsibility and more specific issues such as education, change of name or holidays, and financial support for children.
There are various ways which can assist you with reaching an agreement which include:
- Agreement reached through correspondence
- Round table meeting.
If necessary, once an agreement has been reached it can be a good idea to include it in a ‘parenting plan’. There is no set definition of what can, or should, be included in a parenting plan because all families are different and have different requirements. Often the contents will include the arrangements for the child to spend time with each parent, handover arrangements, the practicalities of your children’s care, religion, education, healthcare, the introduction of new partners and decisions about the future. A parenting plan is specific to your own family situation and provides your agreed guidelines so you both know what is expected from you and hopefully helps to create some consistency for your children between their two homes.