Disputes involving children can be emotional and sensitive. When parents separate it can be difficult to make decisions and agree the time children spend with each parent. We provide pragmatic legal advice and guidance to help parents make informed decisions regarding child arrangements to adapt to their change circumstances.
The Government and the Courts strongly encourage parents to agree child arrangements between themselves where possible, and mediation can be an effective way of trying to reach an agreement. It is better for children if their parents can reach their own agreements rather than needing the Court to decide, which can be stressful, costly and time consuming.
Before either parent can issue Court proceedings in relation to children they are required to first be assessed for mediation, known as a MIAM (Mediation Information Assessment Meeting). There is a government funded voucher scheme in place to assist parents with mediation which covers up to £500 of mediation costs and this is due to remain in place until September 2024, with the possibility this may be extended.
For many reasons, it is not always possible for separated parents to decide what the arrangements should be for their children. If communications break down, or arrangements cannot be agreed it is important to take specialist legal advice at the earliest opportunity to try and avoid conflict and resolve the issues as swiftly as possible.
There are many diverse families and the advice we provide, based on our extensive experience, will be specific to your family arrangements, with the child’s best interests being paramount, and to achieve the best outcome for your individual circumstances.