We understand that issues involving children are highly sensitive and can have life-long consequences. It is important to keep conflict to a minimum when dealing with these matters, so getting the support of an experienced family lawyer who can help you take the right approach is in everyone’s best interests.

Our friendly, professional family lawyers in Hammersmith can help with all issues relating to children, including making arrangements for where your children will live and resolving issues around child maintenance. We can also assist with matters such as taking children abroad and changing children’s names following divorce or separation.

Wherever possible, we will help you to reach an amicable agreement with your former partner, avoiding the need for court proceedings. However, should court hearings be required, we have the skills and expertise to get the best possible outcome for you and your children, no matter how challenging the circumstances.

Reaching a voluntary agreement over arrangements for children

In the overwhelming majority of cases, we are able to negotiate arrangements for where your children will live and what contact they will have with each parent without court proceedings, keeping things amicable. This is sometimes referred to as ‘child custody’ arrangements or ‘child residence’.

It is now most common for children to have shared residence, where they spend some days each week with each parent. We can help with agreeing which days children will spend with each parent and where this may need to be varied to match the needs of each parent and the children.

 Applying to a court for a Child Arrangements Order

In those rare cases where we cannot agree child arrangements voluntarily, we can support you in applying to a court for a Child Arrangements Order or responding to an application made by the other parent.

We can guide you through the whole process of preparing your case and ensure you have the very best possible representation during any hearing that takes place, helping you to get the outcome you and your children need.

Change of name deeds for children

A common issue following divorce or separation is the need to change the name of children, for example if you are reverting to your maiden name and want your children to have the same name or if you are remarrying.

We can assist you with applying to a court for a change of name deed, making this name change official and helping with applying for documents such as passports.

Taking children abroad following divorce or separation

If you wish to move abroad with your children following divorce or separation or are concerned that your former partner may intend to take your children out of the country without your consent, we can help.

Our team can advise you on agreeing terms with your partner for taking your children abroad, applying to a court for permission to do so if their other parent disagrees, or applying for a Prohibited Steps Order if you need to block your children from being removed from the country.

Child maintenance

We can assist you with agreeing child maintenance where required or help you with applying to a court for a Child Maintenance Order.

As parents, you are entitled to come to a joint decision as to how much maintenance is appropriate to ensure your child is properly provided for. However, it is always a good idea to consult a legal expert to ensure the agreement you are making is fair. That is where we come in. We will take the time to personally get to know you as an individual so we can provide practical advice about coming to an agreement which is fair but that you are also happy with.

If you and your ex-partner cannot come to an agreement you can apply to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) to calculate payments you should receive for the benefit of your child. The CMS calculates child maintenance payments based upon the payer’s gross salary, and the service will need information about the paying parent’s income and benefits from HMRC and checking information about your income and expenditure. The calculation will apply the payer’s gross weekly income and the amount of child maintenance according to set rates and how many children need providing for.

We will be happy to advise you on whether you are likely to get a higher payment with a Child Maintenance Order than through a voluntary agreement or as assessed by the Child Maintenance Service. We have expert knowledge in respect, including complex issues arising out of child maintenance such as a child with a disability or other additional needs.

Why our family solicitors in Hammersmith are the right choice for you and your children

Offering decades of specialist experience in children law issues, our friendly, professional lawyers can make getting the right outcome for you and your children as simple, straightforward and stress-free as possible.

Our team consists of members of Resolution, a network of family lawyers committed to removing unnecessary conflict from family issues. We are also partnered with the Family Law Panel which demonstrates our commitment to the parents and families we work with. We believe that the majority of divorces and issues such as arrangements for children are best resolved without resorting to court proceedings, as this can save you time, money and uncertainty, while easing the hardship on your family.

For friendly, expert guidance on matters relating to child arrangements, you can contact our family law team now by calling 020 8735 9770 or emailing info@hpwsolicitors.co.uk


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