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Children

A divorce or separation can be a particularly difficult time for any children of the family.

We help separating couples reach agreement about the practicalities of shared parenting.

The Court will only become involved if there is a dispute over children that cannot be resolved amicably through mediation or correspondence. The Court works on a ‘no order’ principle – they will only make an order if the Court is satisfied that it is in the child’s best interests.

The Welfare Checklist

In making any decision concerning a child, the Court will look at the following factors (known as the Welfare Checklist):

  • The wishes and feelings of the child, if they are of an age to express these
  • The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
  • The likely effect on the child of any change in circumstances
  • The child’s age, sex, background and any characteristics the Court could consider relevant
  • Any harm that the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering
  • How capable each parent is of meeting the child’s needs.

If an application to the Court is issued by either parent, the Court will appoint an independent officer from Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service). They will help the Court to make safe decisions about arrangements for children.

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