Children’s Law & Child Specific Issues Solicitors, London
You may not be together any more but you will always be mum & dad
Contact our Children’s Law Solicitors in London
The right solicitor changes everything. Anglo Law Solicitors provides expert legal advice on Children’s Law.
Speak directly to a family solicitor now on 020 3741 9583 or complete our online contact form for your free consultation. For evening and weekend assistance, please call our family law solicitors on 07749 448362.
Anglo law solicitors serve client across the following areas:
The City of London, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Southwark, Bishopsgate, Billingsgate, Canary Wharf, Spitalfields, Aldgate, Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets, Redbridge, Kent, Tunbridge Wells, West Malling, Chafford Hundred, Chelmsford, Brentwood, Epping & Loughton
Children’s Law & Child Specific IssuesAnglo Law is widely respected in their work relating to all aspects of children’s law. We genuinely understand that the single most difficult part for parents is managing the emotions and behavioural changes of the children when there is a separation or change in circumstances at home and the normal routine. We at Anglo Law help you during this sensitive time of change and have years of experience is advising how to reduce the tension and stabilise any disruption to the current set up you have. We provide practical advice and offer real workable solutions that are aimed at reducing the stress on you and your children. We are a chid focused legal firm and will always put the child’s welfare before anything else. The child’s stability and happiness will always remain central to all our work and dealings with children’s issues.
It is widely encouraged by the courts that both parents remain actively involved in the upbringing of their children following separation. For the children to know and be reassured that the other parent will not suddenly vanish reduces the anxiety and stress of their parent’s separation.
Were possible, parents are encouraged to agree between themselves all matters relating to their children after separation. If parents disagree and where a jointly agreed decision cannot be reached on a child issue then we will always encourage parents to attempt Mediation, where it is safe to do so. The family team at Anglo Law, can arrange mediation for clients and we will offer support throughout the process, so clients never feel out of their depth or alone. If Mediation is not an option or if it breaks down, then we will quickly explore with our clients the next best practical options and legal remedies. This may mean going to court and asking for the Judge to help decide on a certain issue where it has not been possible to negotiate or compromise the issue out of court.
Shabana Sultana heads the family law team, has spent 20 years advising and representing clients on matters involving children. She has an interest in ensuring parents can enforce contact provisions in Child Arrangement Orders and protecting their legal rights in internal and external relocation matters and child abduction cases . Shabana also specialises in the variation of Child Maintenance Orders.
Do I need to go to court to decide for my children if my relationship breaks down?
In most cases, with the support of their family law solicitor, couples can work out arrangements for their children between themselves, without the need to go to court. As members of Resolution, an organisation committed to resolving family law disputes in a non-confrontational manner, Shabana and her team will work dynamically with your partner’s solicitor to help you negotiate arrangements for your children. If negotiations break down, we will explore the option of mediation. By empowering parents to work out arrangements for their children without court intervention, any decisions are more likely to last long-term. In addition, the process assists parents to communicate effectively such that they are less likely to encounter disputes going forward, and if they do, they have the skills to manage it without having to involve lawyers in the future.
I have received court papers and must attend a court hearing, what’s next?
If you have received documents from the court from your ex-partner or their solicitors and you have been given a date to attend a court hearing then you must immediately contact a solicitor on the same day to get an appointment. Time is of the essence and to prepare your case properly it is important you act as soon as you receive court papers. We can offer you a free initial consultation on the same day.
At Anglo law solicitors, we know that family life is not Monday to Friday 9 to 5, so we are available for you when you need us. We have a 24-hour emergency out of hours telephone number which you can call any time and speak directly to a family solicitor for free advice and to book your free consultation.
We can meet with our clients in the evening and on weekends and can prepare a case urgently to represent your best interests in court if you have been ordered to attend a hearing within days.
Children’s law fixed fees for peace of mind
The first consultation will always be free. We are happy to look at and advise on any court papers you may have been served during this meeting. During this no obligation consultation, we will give you the fixed price for any legal work you may instruct us to do on your behalf.
We offer fixed fee service on all children’s matters. We are family law experts and have years of experience dealing with all areas of children’s proceedings. We can start court proceedings for a Child Arrangements Order by completing the legal application for £95. To represent you in court at the first court hearing will cost £180. This is a very general idea of the cost involved if you instruct our experienced family law solicitors.
We will tell you how much your matter will exactly cost from start to finish when we have more details from you during the first free consultation. You can be certain of how much you will pay with no nasty surprises at the end. We do not charge eye watering hourly rates and we do not run a clock every time our clients call to speak to us because an unforeseen situation has arisen or to simply to get clarification with an issue. We are happy to help and want our clients feel comfortable calling us when they really need to get advice during their proceedings. Our clients can rely and depend on our trusted legal advice day and night.
We offer easy payment plans and fees can be paid in instalments or by direct debit.
However, at Anglo law, we know that not all disagreements regarding the children can be resolved between the parents themselves. Sometimes negotiations fail even with the assistance of Mediation. If the issues cannot be resolved amicably, then as a last resort, we will advise court proceedings to simply to bring about a final decision on the dispute so that everyone can move on, especially the children. We are experts in children’s proceedings and work alongside specialist professionals where their services are needed to help with evidence and building a case.
What is a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting? MIAM
A Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting known as (MIAM), is an initial meeting, facilitated and attended by a mediator, to help you and your partner discover if mediation is the right process for you to settle your dispute regarding arrangements for children and/or a financial settlement .
You will be legally required to attend a MIAM prior to applying to the Court for a Child Arrangement Order, except in specific circumstances which would make the process unsuitable (e.g. in circumstances of abuse).
If mediation is not suitable for your case, Shabana and her team will assist you to settle your dispute around arrangements for your children. We work with a team of trained experts and will support you fully throughout the process. If your interests are not being served through mediation, we will swiftly move to issue court proceedings.
What is a Child Arrangement Order?
A Child Arrangement Order is an order made by the Court which states:
- where your child lives
- when your child spends time with each parent
- when and what other types of contact take place (phone calls, Skype etc.)
Child Arrangement Orders are governed by Section 8 of the Children Act 1989.
Any person who has parental responsibility may apply for a Child Arrangement Order without the consent of the Court. However, we often advise grandparents who are being denied contact with their grandchildren on the process of applying for a Child Arrangement Order; something they can do with permission from the Court. In deciding whether to grant leave to apply for an Order, the court will have regard to:
- The reason for the application;
- The applicant’s connection with the child;
- Any risk there might be of that proposed application disrupting the child’s life to such an extent that it would harm them.
When it comes to any orders related to children the Court is legally obliged to put the welfare of the child first. This means that a judge will evaluate an application for a Child Arrangement Order on the basis of its effect on the child’s welfare, rather than the applicant's wishes, regardless of how genuine they are. Therefore, it is imperative to have the advice and representation of an experienced family lawyer. Shabana and her team will focus the arguments for your application on the welfare of your child; thereby increasing your chance of success.
When evaluating how an order will impact on the welfare of the child, the Court will have regard to the welfare checklist section 1(3) of the Children Act 1989. Factors considered include:
- The wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of their age and understanding);
- The child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs;
- How any change in circumstances will affect him or her;
- The age, sex, background, and any characteristics of the child which the court considers relevant;
- Any harm suffered by the child or the risk of such harm occurring;
- How capable each of the child’s parents, and any other person in relation to whom the Court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting his or her needs.
What is a Prohibited Steps Order and Specific Issue Order?
A Prohibited Steps Order is defined under Section 8(1) of the Children Act 1989 as:
"an order that no step which could be taken by a parent in meeting his parental responsibility for a child, and which is of a kind specified in the order, shall be taken by any person without the consent of the court".
Section 8(1) also defines a Specific Issue Order as:
"an order giving directions for the purpose of determining a specific question which has arisen, or which may arise, in connection with any aspect of parental responsibility for a child."
Prohibited Steps Orders or Specific Issue Orders are commonly used to permit or prevent a parent from:
- Relocating internally within the UK or moving abroad
- Having a passport issued to their child
- Undergoing a medical procedure
- Changing a child’s school
- Changing a child’s name
Applications for a Prohibited Steps Order and Specific Issue Order can be made urgently and without notice being given to the other parent known as Ex-Parte applications.
Emergency with notice (Ex-Parte) applications are reserved only for very serious issues relating to the child and are advised only where there is a real and imminent risk of harm to the child or removal of the child. If you require an urgent remedy, then contact our expert family solicitors at Anglo Law immediately. We can arrange to meet with you urgently and will act quickly within hours where upon reviewing the facts and evidence we agree that a real imminent risk exists to the child and urgent legal protection is needed.
Can I have the amount I pay for child maintenance varied?
We have successfully had child maintenance amounts varied in favour of the non-resident parent. We take a no-nonsense approach to child maintenance, and if circumstances have changed to render the payments you are making unfair, we will take decisive steps to have the financial provisions varied. Common reasons for a non-resident parent seeking a variation in their child maintenance payments include:
- Their son/daughter is no longer living with the parent receiving the payments
- Their children are spending more time living with them rather than the parent with whom the child lives most of the time
- Their income changes or they have another child
- Changes in expenses, e.g. a decision is made to end private schooling
Regardless of your reasons for wishing to vary the order, you can be confident that by instructing our team, we will robustly argue your position to ensure your child maintenance payments are made more equitable, without affecting the welfare of your children.
Please call our office on 0203 741 9583 to make an appointment with Shabana or one of her team to receive legal advice and representation on children’s law matters.