When you are going through a divorce, if you have children, they will be at the forefront of your mind during the process.
Many people who divorce can reach amicable agreements relating to their children and will usually divide their time with them over weekends and school holidays. But, if you are new to the world of divorce and child custody or access, you will have some questions, which our team is happy to answer.
At Prentice Family Law, we have helped hundreds of families with everything from adoption to divorce, and our divorce solicitors in Weybridge are always on hand to guide you through the process and will always aim to ensure that when children are concerned, your legal rights are met.
So, with that in mind, what are the processes needed if you and your former spouse haven’t had an amicable divorce? Our divorce solicitors in Weybridge will provide insight below.
If there is no agreement
As mentioned earlier, in an ideal situation, you and your former spouse will come to a visitation arrangement relating to children when you begin the divorce process.
But, if you and your ex-spouse cannot agree, then you will need to seek legal representation via our divorce solicitors in Weybridge. This will usually involve you and our team attending court meetings, wherein a judge will decide the best steps for your children.
It’s worth noting here that your children’s mental health and well-being will take priority, so even if your former spouse is unable to provide financial support for them, they will still be legally entitled to see them.
There are a number of court orders that can be put into place regarding child custody. One of the most common ones is a child arrangement order; this will usually need to be applied for at the beginning of the divorce, but our team can help you apply for it at any stage.
In short, a child arrangement order will explore and set down where your children will live, how often they spend time with you and your former spouse and the kind of contact that takes place.
If there is a history of abuse, drug addiction, or other concerns, then you may need to have supervised visits or you may only be able to talk to your children via phone calls. But we will always aim to ensure that you get to see your children for as long as possible.
Specific issue order
As the name suggests, a specific issue order applies when you and your former spouse want to hammer down specifics concerning your child’s upbringing, as this would not be covered in a child arrangement order.
The aim of the specific issue order is to determine which schools they attend and whether or not they have a religious upbringing with your former partner. Interestingly, if you have concerns about your former partner having a say in where your child attends school or you are worried about their religious views, you can apply for a prohibited steps order.