Stability and a secure home will come first in any divorce proceedings that involve children as they are a priority in any case in England & Wales.
Maintaining a stable environment that provides consistency in the every day lives of all children involved in the proceedings will be a focus for all concerned in the legal process.
The courts expect parents to be able to come to agreements between them about where and how the children will live. In this respect the courts prefer not to get involved. However, where there is discord between two divorcing parties, then a number of legal Court Orders can be brought into effect.
When two people cannot agree on where children should live, division of time or on specific elements regarding care, schooling or religious issues for example, then there are a number of legal options available:
Child Arrangement Orders
Making an agreement on what is right for children when parents separate can be very hard. When dealing with Child Arrangement Orders the Court will evaluate the individual circumstances to decide what arrangements are in the children’s best interests. For example, to live with one parent and spend time with the other, or to live with both parents with a shared care arrangement.
Schooling and medical issues can also be set out in Child Arrangement Orders.
Specific Issue Orders
These types of orders can be applied for in order to resolve disputes regarding more specific matters such as religion, medical treatment and taking a child or children to live abroad.
Taking a child out of the country for any length of time without the right permissions can be considered a criminal offence, so advice on this is strongly advised.
Prohibited Steps Orders
These types of Orders can be presented to the court to restrict actions of one parent that may be considered detrimental to the welfare of the child. Often this relates to Parental Responsibility.
Adverse influence, permanent removal from Great Britain or stopping medical treatment are all matters that would be covered by a Prohibited Steps Order.