Child arrangements

Navigating co-parenting after a separation or divorce is hard. It takes a lot of work to find ways to agree on all aspects relating to children. Sometimes, it is just not possible to find common ground.

Non financial child related issues commonly include;

  • Where a child should live (residence or shared residence);
  • Contact arrangements with parents (and grandparents);
  • Parental responsibility;
  • Applications to remove a child from the jurisdiction permanently (known as leave to remove);
  • More specific applications including;
    • specific issue orders (such as where a child should be educated); or
    • a prohibited steps order (to prevent a specific action from taking place (such as taking a child on holiday)).

If you are struggling to agree with your co-parent – schedule a call to find out how we can help.

Co-parenting is difficult.

Check out our checklist “What kind of co-parent would you like to be?” for feedback from children as to how they would like their separating parents to manage their co-parenting relationship.

Got questions?

Emotionally, this very much depends on how the parents tackle their separation / divorce and the extent to which they work together to protect the children from adult issues.

 

Check out;

 

i) Checklist 4 for our tips on how help your children in a divorce / separation scenario;

ii) Episode 3 of our Podcast series - “How to help you help your kids”. In this episode we talk to a divorce parenting expert about how parents can deliver the news of a change in the family dynamic to the children in the best possible way, how to help children to cope with those changes and how to co-parent well; and

iii) This excellent Guide prepared by Resolution which walks parents through a relationship breakdown and what to expect when it comes to the children.

 

Other common changes children normally encounter after separation or divorce are; having to move home, dividing their time between their parents, depending on the financial circumstances of their parents, it may not be possible for the children to attend as many activities or go on holiday as frequently and sometimes it may even be necessary for the children to change schools (from fee paying to States).

 

When children face changes to their routine, having full support from both of their parents will help to limit the stress of these changes on them.

 

The most damaging impact of a divorce / separation on children is parental conflict. When parents limit their children’s exposure to conflict, children can adjust to changes and thrive post changes in the family dynamic.

There are two common outcomes;

 

i) shared residence (where the children divide their time between their parents (this does not need to be precisely 50/50)); or

ii) where one parent is the primary carer and the children have reasonable contact with the other parent.

 

The appropriate outcome depends on what is in the best interests of the children. If you are struggling to agree on where the children should live or appropriate contact, seek legal advice.

It is usual that the non-resident parent will pay child maintenance to the resident parent where the children live primarily with one parent.

 

In a shared residence scenario, it may be appropriate that no maintenance is payable unless there is disparity in the income/capital positions of the parents in which case child maintenance may be payable.

 

To understand the appropriate amount, it is advisable to seek legal advice.  Every case is different and the outcome will depend on the specific circumstances of the case.

Parental responsibility means that a person or people have the right to make decisions about a child or children. This might be making decisions about what school they go to, what religion they follow or what health care they have.

 

For children born before 2nd December 2016:

Where a child’s father and mother were married to each other at the time of the child’s birth, they each have parental responsibility for the child. That means they both have the right to make decisions about the child.

 

Where the child’s parents were not married to each other at the time of the child’s birth, only the mother has parental responsibility and the right to make decisions. The father can ask for the right to make decisions by entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement with the mother or by going to Court and asking the Court to make a Parental Responsibility Order. A person with a Residence Order also has parental responsibility.

 

From 2nd December 2016:

Unmarried fathers who are named on their child’s birth certificate will have automatic parental responsibility, following a change in the law. The change does not apply to children born before the 2nd December 2016, even where the unmarried father is named on the birth certificate.

family legal services

Hi! I’m Advocate Carly James, a family law specialist in Jersey.

I know how daunting it can be to talk to a family / divorce lawyer and potentially commence a legal process relating to divorce, separation or your children.

 

If you would like to hear a little more about who we are, whether we would be a good match for you or when we can get started, get in touch and let’s start the conversation.

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