Children Matters

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

Separation and children arrangements

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.

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

Digmore Sid

Excellent service

I engaged the services of Goughs Solicitors in Trowbridge, in particular Ailie Peacock, to act on my behalf for the sale of my house. Ailie was always clear with her advice, acted in a timely manor and answered any questions I had almost immediately. She was very proactive in dealing with the other parties involved in a slightly convoluted chain.

Ailie also managed a very late request from our buyers with calm efficiency and the utmost professionalism. The end result was a smooth sale and completion, with remarkably little stress on our part. I would not hesitate from using them again.


Margaret Wilson

Clear concise advice

Quick response to e-mails or phone calls. Will certainly use again in the near future. Clear concise advice patiently given!


Mr Ian Liddle

Excellent service

Excellent service as usual.



Superb once again.

Superb once again. Goughs provides outstanding service... professional in getting the job done and conducted with grace and care. Thank you Goughs!


Ashley Stone

Rhianna Cole

The solicitor I dealt with at Goughs, Rhianna Cole, was an absolute star, I cannot fault her in any way at all. She made everything in the situation I was in so easy to understand, and she guided me through an extremely stressful time, with extreme professionalism, yet a very personal and sensitive touch. Can't big them up enough.



Matt Saunders

Made first-time buying a (relatively) simple process!

Sophie was very attentive and responsive and understood the need to act quickly in regard to our purchase process. She was diligent with the paperwork and was very easy to talk to and clear at explaining what was required in terms of action from our side and from the seller.



Chambers & Partners

Chambers and Partners produces international rankings for the legal industry

Adept at handling complex divorce proceedings and related financial disputes. Regularly assists with challenging private law children cases. Offers further experience in negotiating pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements.


Legal 500

The Legal 500 is a research, ranking and publishing firm based in the UK

Goughs is a strong team that has strength and depth in its family law department. They are known for achieving good client outcomes and their good client care.


Russell Fitch

Great service

Great service, professional, great communication and handled what was a very sensitive situation with care and compassion.



Very calm and clear

My lawyer was very calm and clear and she put me at ease during a very stressful time. The outcome was exactly as I'd hoped.



Highly satisfactory

Thank you for all your help, guidance and understanding over the last 2 years. You and your team have been outstanding during a very difficult time and managed the case through to a highly satisfactory conclusion.


Children arrangements

Child Arrangement Orders
Child Arrangement Orders
Children & Divorce
Children & Divorce
Advice on Separation & Child Arrangements
Advice on Separation & Child Arrangements

FREE 30 minute consultation with a family lawyer

We offer a free 30 minute no obligation consultation providing you direct access with one of our professional Family Law specialists.

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

Your family law and children team

Amelia Inglis

Trainee Solicitor

Amelia joined Goughs in September 2021 as a Trainee Solicitor in the Family department, having worked as a property paralegal for three years. She graduated from Swansea University in 2017 with first-class honours in Law, before completing her Legal Practice Course and Masters in Professional Legal Practice with a distinction.

Heidi Cardoza

Associate Solicitor

Heidi is an experienced family solicitor advising clients on all areas of family law. She advocates a non-confrontational approach to divorce, separation, and other family matters where possible.

Eleanor Wood

Associate Solicitor

Eleanor has invaluable experience in a wide range of children's matters, matrimonial matters (including divorce & separation), cohabitation agreements, pre & post nuptial agreements, and the division of matrimonial finances.

Rhianna Cole

Senior Associate

Rhianna has over 11 years of experience as a Family Law specialist and greatly enjoys the different aspects and challenges of this area of law. Having joined Goughs in 2013, Rhianna progressed to Associate level before becoming a Senior Associate in 2020.

Mark Hood

Solicitor & Head of Armed Forces

Mark completed a twenty-year Army career in the Royal Logistic Corps as an officer before changing tack to pursue a career in the law. Mark has a particular interest in, and an understanding of the effect that life in the military has when facing relationship upheaval or other related family law problems.

Georgina Catlin


Georgina has been practicing Family Law for over four years, qualifying as a Solicitor in 2018, and joining Goughs in 2019. Over the years she has developed a strong ability to empathise with others whilst also delivering firm and clear advice to clients to ensure their best interests are protected.

Natalie Kemp

Associate Chartered Legal Executive

Natalie joined Goughs in 2019 and progressed to an Associate in 2020. She is experienced in dealing with all areas of family law, including children, divorce, separation, finances, cohabitation, and separation agreements together with pre and post nuptial agreements.

Related Pages

Child maintenance arrangements

Getting to understand everything you need to know

Take your time and consider all your options before making a decision.

Divorce & Separation

Divorce & Finances

Domestic Abuse & Injunctions

Cohabitation Agreements

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Collaborative Law

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