Children

 

Families come in all shapes and sizes and it is vital that your family lawyer understands what is important for you and your children.

 

Mindful always of the children’s best interest, Confidante (Family Law) are experienced to help families resolve issues relating to children such as parental responsibility, living and contact arrangements, applications to permanently relocate, financial provision for children and more specific applications (such as, schooling, health or holidays).

 

Whatever family law issue you are facing, our expert family lawyers in Jersey are here to listen, help and advise. We will guide you with empathy, care, and reassurance that you have the right lawyer by your side.

 

Check out our FAQs for more information

Child arrangements

 

  • Where a child should live (known as 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 in respect of children
    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)).

Financial provision for children

 

Parents are legally obliged to provide for their children. The extent, type and duration of provision depends on the financial circumstances of both parents and can range from regular monthly payments (known as child maintenance) to lump sums and/or providing accommodation.

 

Confindante can advise clients on the appropriate level and type of support which usually requires some form of financial exchange process followed by negotiations and in rare occasions, court involvement.

Child arrangements

 

  • Where a child should live (known as 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 in respect of children
    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)).

Financial provision for children

 

Parents are legally obliged to provide for their children. The extent, type and duration of provision depends on the financial circumstances of both parents and can range from regular monthly payments (known as child maintenance) to lump sums and/or providing accommodation.

 

Confindante can advise clients on the appropriate level and type of support which usually requires some form of financial exchange process followed by negotiations and in rare occasions, court involvement.

Check out;

 

i) Episode 2 of our Podcast series - “The many ways mediation can help” during which we talk to Family Mediation Jersey  about how mediation can help parents struggling to agree on child related matters such as where a child should live, contact arrangements or child maintenance;

 

ii) Episode 3 of our Podcast series - “How to help you help your kids” during which 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;

 

iii) Our Checklist “How to help your children in divorce / separation”;

 

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

 

v) If you are struggling to agree on arrangements in respect of the children, take a look at this Parenting Plan prepared by JFCAS. If you would benefit from a Parenting Plan which will help avoid future disagreements and allow you to focus on raising your children, get in touch and see how we can help

CHILDREN FAQS

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.

Reaching an agreement when it comes to the children is always the preferred outcome as otherwise the decision is left to a Judge which is rarely in the children’s best interests.

 

Have you really exhausted all options to reach an agreement? Check out;

 

i) Episode 2 of our Podcast series - “The many ways mediation can help” during which we talk to Family Mediation Jersey [hyperlink] about how mediation can help parents struggling to agree on child related matters such as where a child should live, contact arrangements or child maintenance;

ii) Episode 3 of our Podcast series - “How to help you help your kids” during which we talk to a divorce parenting expert about how parents can 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.

 

Obtain legal advice if you feel you have explored all options. If you are unable to reach an agreement with the help of your lawyer, they may suggest Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) (see FAQ on ADR methods available on matters relating to children).

Mediation

Lawyer led Mediation is a process where parties meet with an independent third party mediator with their lawyers present. The mediator facilitates discussions to encourage agreement around the issues in dispute. It is possible to attend mediation to resolve issues about children, or finances, or both.

 

Having your lawyer present means that you can access legal advice during the mediation process to ensure that you are well informed about your legal position and before reaching an agreement.

 

ENE (Early Neutral Evaluation)

An ENE is a process in which an Early Neutral Evaluator will consider each parties’ arguments and will give the parties a judicial steer (i.e. set out what they would order if they were the judge in the case). This helps parents to negotiate the case where they have reached an impasse.

 

Mediation and/or ENE’s are more cost effective than a final hearing and the parties retain some control over the outcome. Both processes are without prejudice which means that they are held “behind closed doors” meaning that neither party can disclose to the trial judge (if necessary) what took place during either process if agreement is not reached.

It is really sensible to record in writing what you have agreed as this can avoid disputes at a later date.

 

A Parenting Agreement can be created which can cover as much or as little as you require. The higher the conflict, the more useful a detailed Parenting Agreement will be.

 

The common topics covered by a Parenting Agreement are – where the children should live, how they divide their time, handovers, communications between the parents, education, child care arrangements, health care, updating each other of important matters/sharing important documentation (such as school Reports etc), taking the children out of the Island on holidays and costs relating to the children.

 

If Court proceedings have been issued, and agreement has been reached, the agreement can be recorded in a Consent Order which can be ratified by the Court and made into a Court Order.

family legal

Our pledge as family law experts in Jersey

 

Because we care about our family law clients, we pledge to take into account each client’s individual circumstances and needs and provide tailored legal advice to ensure successful outcomes for each client, whilst limiting the cost to them (both emotionally and financially).

Our pledge as family law experts in Jersey

 

Because we care about our family law clients, we pledge to take into account each client’s individual circumstances and needs and provide tailored legal advice to ensure successful outcomes for each client, whilst limiting the cost to them (both emotionally and financially).
cohabitation agreements
cohabitation agreements

Hi! I’m Advocate Carly James, a family law specialist in Jersey. Let’s start a conversation that matters.

 

We 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.

Get in touch

You can schedule a complimentary 20 minute call by clicking here or fill out the below form and we will be in touch shortly.

Get in touch

You can schedule a complimentary 20 minute call by clicking here or fill out the below form and we will be in touch shortly.

Did you know that we offer Family Mediation services?

To find out more about Family Mediation click here or schedule a call here.