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Overview

If your relationship has broken down, then protecting the physical and emotional wellbeing of your children is likely to be your number one priority. It is ours too.

We are committed to resolving all matters in a way that is child-focused and we are committed to both the Resolution Code of Conduct and The Parents Promise.

We recognise that being a parent isn’t easy and that when you are faced with the situation of parenting apart it can add an additional layer to the challenge.

Whether you have been separated for a while or are still in the throes of a relationship breakdown; agreeing the arrangements for your children can be stressful and worrying. You are likely to be dealing with a highly emotional situation and it can be all too easy to fall into the very situation you want to avoid, where the children become caught in the middle and negatively impacted by the circumstances of the relationship breakdown.

Taking early advice to understand the rights, responsibilities, and options available can often help to avoid this and provide you with peace of mind about the future.

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Expertise

Parental responsibility

The starting point is to establish who has parental responsibility and therefore who has the right to be involved in the decisions concerning your child’s life. A child’s mother automatically has parental responsibility, and their father will too if named on the birth certificate or if married to the mother at the time the child was born. If none of these apply then there are other ways parental responsibility may have been established or, failing that, it may be possible to seek to establish it now, via a court process if necessary.

There are some actions that must not be taken for a child other than with the express consent of everyone with parental responsibility. For example, no child should be taken out of the jurisdiction (England and Wales) without such consent or in accordance with a court order.

In any event, anyone with parental responsibility has a right to be involved in the numerous decisions that must be made, such as where the child will live, who they will spend time with, where they will go to school, or around their health or upbringing. These are important decisions, and we understand that they must be addressed carefully and sensitively as they impact what the future will look like for you and your child.

We also know it is common for there to be disagreements in these areas and we are experts at finding a way through such matters. This can often be achieved without the need to go to court, through processes such as mediation. We can assist you by providing traditional advice, including supporting any mediation provided by an independent mediator, or we can assist both parents via our mediation service.

Advising on the best solutions for your family

As well as the bigger decisions, we also understand that the day-to-day practical arrangements for your child can be just as important. We have the experience to guide you on the things you are likely to want to consider and we can then assist you in seeking to agree a ‘Parenting Plan’ for the future.

We are here to work with you and will get to know the individual circumstances of your family, so that we can advise on the best possible solutions for you and all the family. While court is rarely the most suitable forum for resolving issues concerning children, there will sadly always be circumstances where such intervention is required. If there is a need to go to court, we have extensive experience of seeking to resolve matters quickly, robustly and effectively.

Our approach

As well as our legal expertise in child related matters, we will offer you an experienced, sensitive, pragmatic and cost-effective approach, where we work with you to find the best solution for you and your family.

We recognise that the law is just one part of the equation when it comes to protecting the welfare of you and your children. We can also draw on our experience to help you find a wealth of other useful resources and put you in touch with other professionals to help guide you and your family as you adapt to your changing circumstances both today and in the future.

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