When a relationship breaks down and there are children involved, parents are not always able to reach agreement about issues such as who the children will live with and how much time they should spend with the other parent.  We understand that resolving these difficulties is not easy and we can offer advice and assistance at whatever level is needed.

We recognise that applying to Court is a last resort and will always try to explore other options. If it is necessary to go to Court, the child’s welfare will come first in relation to any decisions made. The Court will also be anxious to avoid any unnecessary delay and try to reach a decision quickly.

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The Court can make a range of Orders in relation to children but the main Orders that are made are:

1. Child Arrangements Order

A Child Arrangements Order setting out:

  • with whom a child is to live (formerly called custody, or residence)
  • how much time a child is to spend with the either parent (formerly called access or contact)

2. Specific Issue Order

A Specific Issue Order which deals with an individual issue, for example what medical treatment a child should have or what school they should attend.

3. Prohibited Steps Order

A Prohibited Steps Order which prevents a specified action from taking place, for example taking the child abroad.

Each of the Solicitors in our Family Department are experienced in dealing with a range of issues regarding children, either by providing advice, negotiating agreements or representing parents in legal proceedings.  We also have experience in dealing with cases involving Social Services.

We can provide expert, sympathetic and child-focused advice and representation on all matters involving children.

The Legal 500 says that Kerseys is “a real leader in even seemingly intractable disputes” in relation to children matters.


Contact with Children After Separating

Q. If I separate from my partner, will I be able to see my children?
A. Yes, unless there are valid concerns about their safety.

Q. We can’t talk to each other, how can I arrange contact?
A. Try enlisting the help of a trusted friend or family member, a Mediator or a Solicitor.

Q. We cannot agree – what next?
A. It may be necessary to apply to the Family Court for a Child Arrangements Order.

Q. Can I do that myself or do I need a lawyer?
A. You can do it yourself but an experienced Solicitor can provide valuable advice and representation.

See more Child Law FAQs

What is CAFCASS?

CAFCASS stands for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. You may better know them as Court Welfare Officers. CAFCASS are independent experts appointed by the Court to advise on what is safe for children and what arrangements would promote their best interests.

Why do CAFCASS get involved?

CAFCASS are independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities and all similar agencies. They independently advise the family courts about what is safe for children and in their best interests. They are charged with putting the child’s needs, wishes and feelings first, making sure that children’s voices are heard at the heart of the family court setting.

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If you would like to know more about this process or feel this could be something you would benefit from, please contact us at [email protected] or telephone Ipswich 01473 213311 or Colchester 01206 584584, where we will be happy to speak with you.

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