Children Matters

Legal services for matters relating to children arrangements and children in a separation or divorce

Taking care of your children during divorce

If you are separating or divorcing, there is bound to be an impact on all children within your family unit. As a parent, you will wish to put the welfare of your children at the top of your agenda.

As such, most parents are able to reach an agreement between themselves over the arrangement for the children. If not, we are here to support and guide you.

Key Contact

Ross Phillips

Partner

The Goughs approach to children arrangements

At Goughs we understand that a whole range of emotional and practical issues, for both parents and children, come into play when family dynamics are changing. Fortunately, we deal with these issues every day by supporting and advising our clients, and can help you find the best way to make sense of your situation.

Your child’s welfare is your top priority. We make it ours too.

Your local family law solicitor since 1882

Your children related questions answered

The advice here might sound obvious, but it really is worth bearing in mind to minimise any disruption to children, during what is bound to be a turbulent and emotional time for everyone involved.

  1. Co-Parent – wherever possible it is important that both parents appear to be on the same page for all matters related to your children. Communication and consultation are key.
  2. Keep arguments away – whilst emotions are running high it is very easy to lose sight of this. Children exposed to arguments in the home are bound to feel much more stress than those in a peaceful environment. Children benefit from having a positive view of each parent.
  3. Reduce your stress – take time for yourself and do what you need to reduce your stress levels. This will ultimately rub off on your children and help to maintain a happier and calmer household.
  4. Maintain routines – both adults and children alike need routine to help us function so where possible, keep your children’s routines as regular as they were before the relationship breakdown.

For more advice from a dedicated children lawyer, please get in touch with the team at Goughs.

The only reason you may need to go to court is where the parents really can’t agree on how to share care of the children. Before court proceedings, however, we would usually try mediation.

The amount of contact you are likely to get will depend wholly on your circumstances and what both parents want, alongside of course, what is in the best interests of the children.

We’d go so far as to say that, for most people, Court proceedings should be a last resort, but if necessary we can guide you through the process of applying for a Child Arrangements Order, a Prohibited Steps Order or a Specific Issue Order.

There’s no substitute for specific expert advice tailored to you and your family, but the following summary of the core principles of the law relating to children may be useful. Although these principles repeatedly mention the Court, the majority of cases dealing with children never go to Court:

– The child’s welfare is paramount in deciding all questions about his/her upbringing and property.

– Delay in deciding any question with respect to the child’s upbringing is likely to prejudice the child’s welfare.

– The Court should not make any Order unless to do so is considered better for the child than making no Order.

– The Court should, when applying the first principle above, pay particular regard to the following:-

  • The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of his/her age and understanding)
  • His/her physical and emotional and educational needs
  • The likely effect on him/her of any change in his/her circumstances
  • His/her age, sex, background and any other characteristics which the Court consider relevant
  • Any harm which he/she has suffered or is at risk of suffering
  • How capable each of his/her parents, and any other person in relation to whom the Court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting his/her needs
  • The range of powers available to the Court under the Children Act in the proceedings in question

Our clients rate us as excellent

Chambers & Partners

The team is extremely thorough and client-focused. They are willing to go the extra mile and think outside the box.

P B, Corsham

Thank you for all your help, guidance and understanding. You and your team have been outstanding during a very difficult time and managed the case through to a highly satisfactory conclusion.

T H, Chippenham

I could not have wished for a more professional dedicated team, I am so grateful for all their help and support, I would highly recommend Goughs solicitors to family and friends.

Legal 500

The practice is very unique in that the service is so personal and impeccable. Attention is given to ALL detail and communication is frequent and timely.

TH

I could not have wished for a more professional dedicated team, I am so grateful for all their help and support, I would highly recommend Goughs solicitors to family and friends.

Your family law and children team

Abbie Winters

Solicitor

Alice Blackmore

Senior Associate Solicitor

Amelia Inglis

Solicitor

Georgia Holmes

Associate

Georgina Catlin

Associate Solicitor

Hannah Francis

Solicitor

Mark Hood

Associate Solicitor & Head of Armed Forces Sector

Matthew Drew

Managing Partner & Finance Partner

Abbie Winters

Solicitor

Megan Solomon

Trainee Solicitor

Hannah Francis

Solicitor

Georgia Holmes

Associate

Amelia Inglis

Solicitor

Natasha Miller

Solicitor

Matthew Drew

Managing Partner & Finance Partner

Rhianna Cole

Senior Associate

Mark Hood

Associate Solicitor & Head of Armed Forces Sector

Georgina Catlin

Associate Solicitor

Natalie Kemp

Senior Associate Chartered Legal Executive

Thomas Boyce

Partner, Head of Family, Head of Agriculture & Rural Land

Ross Phillips

Partner

Alice Blackmore

Senior Associate Solicitor

Why work with Goughs?

Local since 1882, with an excellent reputation

First-class, effective service

Largest solicitors in Wiltshire

Seven offices throughout the county

Nationally accredited law firm

Recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners

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