If you are going through a divorce, it is so important to take into account the needs and welfare of your children. As well as the divorce affecting you, it can also affect your children, so it is important to figure out who will have custody of them so they can have some stability.
If both of you cannot reach an agreement, this is where our divorce solicitors in Guildford come in. We will offer you specific legal advice about how to resolve this issue, for the benefit of you and your children. If you are curious about what your options are, then we are proud to offer a free initial telephone consultation so we can get an idea of your situation and what your needs might be.
Child arrangement order
If neither of you can come to an agreement about who gets custody of the children, then you may want to make an application for a child arrangement order. To put it simply, this means that the court will decide how much time each parent spends with their children and where they will live.
Before you reach this point, you can try and settle an agreement with a mediation meeting. This is when both parties meet with a mediator to try and straighten everything out and come to a mutual agreement. The mediator will suggest certain ways of doing things and encourage any good decisions that are made in the meeting. Your individual divorce solicitors in Guildford will work with the mediator to discuss any details and agreements that have been made if any.
If a decision cannot be reached in the meditation meeting, this is when you can apply to the courts for a child arrangement order. This means that the court will decide what days and times each parent will see the children, depending on each of their circumstances, everything is taken into account. Our divorce solicitors in Guildford can help you to prepare this application, making sure that all of the relevant details are included.
Once your application has been received, you will go to court for a hearing, and our solicitors will represent you during this. Both parties can voice their opinion about the order, and the solicitors can give any viable evidence that may sway the court. Hopefully, there can be a mutual agreement after the first hearing, but if not, then more will have to take place until a decision is made.
If you need a second hearing, this will involve a report being made by someone called a CAFCASS officer (children and family court advisory and support service). This officer will help the court to make a decision based on their expert opinion about the situation.
If a decision is still not made at this time, then a third and final hearing will take place, where the courts will make a definitive decision based on all the evidence given.
This can be a lengthy process if a decision is not made early, and can also add a lot more stress into the already stressful process of divorce. It all depends on the situation of both parties, the evidence that has been given, and court availability.