Child Custody Specialists

At Kabir Family Law, our child custody specialists understand how tough a separation can be on the children caught in the middle. The children will be affected emotionally as well as having a new living arrangement.

As a parent, you may want to arrange which spouse has custody of any children involved. It is possible to reach an agreement between the parents to consist of how much time the child will spend with each parent. However, it may be difficult to reach such an agreement especially when there is a challenging situation such as separation or divorce which could make discussions and agreements difficult. Our child custody specialists can assist you with advising on your child custody rights.

Child Custody Contents

Child Custody

Child custody laws determine which parent has responsibility over the welfare of a child in the UK and how a non-resident parent can maintain contact with their child.

Our child custody law specialists are at hand to advice on prospects of securing sole custody or even assist with resolving any joint custody problems including any specific issues or child arrangements. Child custody in the UK is now also known as child residency which provides for the right over which parent the child will permanently reside with.

Child custody in the UK can be awarded on either a sole custody basis or joint custody basis. Both options will be discussed below to allow you to understand child custody laws in the UK.

Our child law specialists are able to advise you on not only securing child custody whether you are seeking sole or joint child custody but on how to conclude any specific issues that cannot be agreed on.

How can I get sole custody of my child?

One of the most commonly asked questions is how can I get sole custody of my child?

Sole custody is where one parent is provided with physical and legal custody of the child. The parent who is awarded sole custody is responsible for the child’s physical needs as well as making legal decisions on behalf of the child. As a starting point, securing sole custody of a child can be difficult and depend on a number of factors.

In considering whether to award a full custody of a child the courts will consider the welfare and interests of the child which is the paramount factor. If you are looking to obtain sole custody of a child, you must be able to satisfy the courts that it is in the best interests of the child for joint custody not to be awarded.

It can therefore be helpful to secure early legal advice on assisting you with mounting the strongest possible case.

Obtaining full custody can be quite challenging given that the courts and child custody laws look to promote joint custody however that said it is not impossible. It is widely acknowledged that following a separation an innocent child should be able to reside with both parents and maintain their relationship with both the mother and father.

The following examples may support your application for a full custody of child:

  • The other parent is not able to raise or supervise the child to an adequate standard
  • The other parent has neglected, abandoned or abused the child
  • Your working arrangements are better placed to provide better care and supervision to the child
  • You have been the primary carer in the relationship and have bonded well with the child. It would not be in the best interests of the child should you not be able to remain as the primary carer.
  • The other parent has issues such as drug or alcohol abuse, domestic violence issues or mental health issues which will negatively impact a child.

If either of the above scenarios are applicable to you or you want to explore whether you have valid grounds then please do not hesitate to contact our child custody law specialists who can assist you in your application for sole custody.

What is shared parenting?

Shared parenting is also known as joint custody and involves both parents having the responsibility and opportunity to equally care for their child. This usually means the child lives with both parents who have joint custody.

Both parents will therefore be able to make decisions regarding the child. Child custody in the UK promotes shared parenting as it is widely acknowledged that both parents should be able to bring up their child.

Shared parenting is supported as part of the Children and Family Bill in which it stated, “Ministers intend to strengthen the law to ensure children have a relationship with both their parents after family separation where that is safe and, in the child’s, best interests.”

Shared parenting has a number of advantages which include the children having two homes which provides them with more security. The children also continue to have the involvement of both parents in their life and this also allows both parents to carry out their parenting responsibility.

What are joint custody problems?

Although joint custody has many advantages issues can still arise that provide for difficulties.

Our child custody law specialists understand that social, lifestyle or even work changes can impact an equal quality of care being provided to children. A few examples from experience of helping parents are:

  • One parent engages in drugs or a partner that takes drugs and there is a risk of the child being exposed to this
  • One parent may lack quality time and commitment to the child which has in turn impacted the child’s wishes and feelings to spend as much time
  • One parent intends to relocate due to work or personal commitments. Joint custody imposes an obligation for both co-parents to live within close proximity of each other. Shared custody does not take in to account the fact that one parent may want to move to a different part of the city to advance their career to ensure they are able to provide a better future for their child.

Amongst other joint custody problems is the emotional issue of the child. If one parent decides to move on in life with another partner and decides to move away this could cause emotional stress to the child who would have developed a strong emotional bond with both parents.

Many mothers believe that a father’s decision to obtain shared parenting may be motivated economically as they would pay lower child support payments. If you believe that joint custody results in your child suffering over financial benefit then our child custody experts would be happy to speak with you confidentially so they provide a solution which is in your child’s best interests.

What to consider when considering getting custody of your child?

You should carefully consider before looking to get custody of your child. Many parents can amicably agree between themselves as to who will have custody. It could be possible through discussion to decide on how custody is shared. Parents can decide on share custody. This does not necessarily mean the child spending equal times. But shared custody determines the time the child will spend with each parent.

If decisions can be agreed amicably this will save on time and legal fees. Quite often legal advisers can promote negotiation between parents. If this does not work then mediation can also be arranged to try and resolve the matter.

If the matter proceeds to court, it is important to note that the law does not favour any parent. Providing that it is in the child’s best interests and welfare, custody can be awarded to any parent. Where there are concerns regarding one parents ability to look after a child these should be noted early. Evidence will need to be gathered to prove to the court how you are best placed to care for your child.

Separating parents should not oppose custody simply for their personal difficulties. It is important to note that it is the right of the child to have access to both parents. The law recognises this and hence focuses on the child’s best interests.

Securing a child custody court order

Additionally at Kabir Family Law we can assist you in obtaining a legally binding child arrangement order for your children if you are looking for comfort of security that child arraignments will remain intact.

Getting custody of your child without going to a family court

Not all disputes concerning children have to be tackled in the court room. Parents are able to get custody of their child without going to a family court. A simple discussion between parents may be able to resolve child custody issues. This is providing both parents are on amicable terms.

Prior to deciding on taking action through the court, our family lawyers recommend one parent discussing their issues with the other parent. This course of action can be both time and cost effective. Parents can often avoid the fees associated to court applications and legal representation.

How do you go about getting custody of your child if the other parent is not agreeable?

If parents are unable to reach an agreement advice and assistance from family lawyers should be sought. Family lawyers can often attempt to speak to the other parent to prompt negotiations and identify reasons why the other parent is refusing child custody. This will enable a parent to prepare ahead if the matter proceeds to a family court.

Family lawyers can organise independent mediation for parents to try and reach an amicable solution, failing which family lawyers can assist in completing child custody application forms and assist parents in preparing for family court hearings.

Getting custody of your child through a family court

Getting custody of your child through a family court can often be time consuming and can be an expensive process. However, this may be the last resort where the other parent is not amicably agreeing to your requests.

In order to obtain child custody through a family court, the Form C100 needs to be completed. This needs to be accurately completed by ensuring the child’s details as well as your and the other parents details are entered. Our team of specialists at Kabir Family Law can assist you with completing the C100 form and provide guidance where needed.

Once this form has been completed it needs to be submitted to family court. Usually this is the Family Court which is local to you. An application fee must also be submitted to the court to process your application. The courts will then issue your application and list the matter for an initial directions hearing. The purpose of this hearing is to see whether an agreement can be reached between the parents and consider whether the child is at any risk.

The courts can also ask CAFCASS to prepare a report. This section 7 report will be prepared once a CAFCASS advisor has interviewed you, the other parent and the child. The CAFCASS report is intended to consider the best interests of your child and will assist the Family Court in reaching its decision.

Following this report the courts will usually list the matter for a dispute resolution hearing. This again can be used to see if an agreement can be reached between the parents. It also allows the parents to provide evidence in support of the application and their stance.

If an agreement can still not be reached, then the courts will list the matter for a final hearing. At this hearing the courts will consider all the evidence before them and reach a decision on child custody. This decision will be recorded in a court order and will be binding upon the parents.

If you are considering proceeding through the family court for your child custody or are already involved in court proceedings, then contact us today for a free initial consultation. Our family lawyers can assist you in any stage of your child custody matter.

Getting custody of your child where you are a father

Getting custody of your child where you are a father is possible if it can be shown that they are best placed in your care. The court does not favour mothers when it comes to child custody. Providing that it is in the child’s best interests a father can successfully obtain child custody.

Fathers will need to prove that they have a strong loving bond with their child. This is further supported by previous contact which benefits the child. If a child was previously residing with the mother, the courts will need to be satisfied that a father can look after the child better. Despite the many hurdles it is not possible for fathers to obtain child custody. Fathers can also obtain joint custody as well as full custody.

Getting custody of your child where you are abroad in another country to the child

A family’s circumstances often change once parents have divorced or separated. One parent may have moved on in their life and settled abroad. In such circumstances can a parent who is settled abroad obtain custody of their child.

The answer to this is yes. A parent who lives abroad can still obtain custody of their child. As with all family matters parents can amicably try and reach an agreement between them. Mediation is always an option worth considering, given that if an application is made to a family court you will need to satisfy the courts that mediation has been attempted.

If parents are unable to amicably agree on child custody and specifically allowing a child to move abroad in another country with a parent then an application can be made for a specific issue order. This order relates to a specific dispute on which the parents cannot agree. The Form C100 will need to be completed and issued to the Family Court. Given that the child is based in the UK, this form will need to be submitted to a family court in the UK. The English Courts will have jurisdiction to deal with the matter.

At Kabir Family Law our team of specialists possess the expertise and knowledge of dealing with international clients. We offer consultations via Skype which ensures you always have benefit of legal advice wherever you are. Our family lawyers work tirelessly around the clock which means we can provide you with advice at a time to best suit you regardless of the time difference.

You may be concerned that if your child law matter proceeds to a hearing you may not be able to attend. You can rest assure that we will provide a solution to your family issue wherever you are. We can arrange for representation at the hearings. Together we can select the barristers who are best suited to your needs to attend your hearing, which means you may not need to attend if you are unable to.

Did you know as well as dealing with children law we also specialise in International Family Law. We have assisted many clients who are abroad and can also assist you. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Getting custody of your child where you are a grandparent

Grandparents do not have automatic rights and neither do they have parental responsibility.

If you are seeking custody of your child where you are a grandparent then you have two options:

  • Grandparents can speak to the parents to see whether they can agree looking the children’s welfare. Quite often negotiating with parents may do wonders. Our family specialists can assist you in commencing negotiations with the parents.
  • If the above fails then grandparents will need permission from the court to apply for custody. Grandparents will need to satisfy the courts how they are best placed to look after the children with their parents still being around.

In any matter related to children the courts will consider the welfare checklist. The paramount consideration for the court is the welfare and best interests of the child. If the court is satisfied that custody with the grandparents will benefit the child then they are likely to award this.

In what situations can a step parent obtain child custody?

A step parent is a parent who has married a biological parent of the child. You cannot be a step parent by simply being in a relationship with the biological parent. Step-parents do not have legal custody rights over children. Children quite often become closely attached to their step parents. In the case of a separation step parents can obtain custody of the child if an agreement can be reached with the biological parent.

If the biological parent does not agree to the custody then a step parent will need to make an application to the court. As with grandparents, a step parent does not have parental responsibility over a step child. Therefore permission will be needed from the court before applying for child custody.

A step parent can apply for child custody when their relationship with the biological parent breaks down. In order to do so:

  • the step parent must have been married to the biological parent of the child
  • the step-parent has lived with the stepchild for at least three years
  • the step-parent has parental responsibility for the child by a court order or
  • The step parent has obtained the leave of the court to make an application for contact/residence.

If any of the above apply step parents can apply for child custody. Our child law specialists can assist you in making an application for child custody and guide you through the process. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

When can grandparents secure grandchild access

Generally custody of children remains with the parents. However where there is an issue with the parents looking after children, grandparents may look to obtain custody. The courts will need satisfying that it is in the child’s best interests for them to remain with the grandparents. Therefore obtaining custody for grandparents may be difficult.

Usually grandparents may apply for custody where the child is suffering from harm or there is a risk of harm. The grandparent will need to provide evidence of the parents are unfit to continue looking after the child. It is for the grandparents to prove the child is suffering from harm. The courts will then decide whether awarding custody to the grandparents is in the child’s best interests.

In the event where one of the parent is deceased custody would usually go to the other parent. However if the other parent is not fir for childcare, grandparents can step in for custody. This may apply where the other parent does not want custody or is unable to provide a safe home for the child. The process is the same where both parents are deceased.

The process for custody is quite complex where grandparents are concerned. Our specialists at Kabir Family Law are at hand to help. We have experience in dealing with grandparents and custody. Contact us today to begin your custody process.

Parental responsibility

Our child custody specialists also have experiencing in dealing with father’s rights. Usually fathers are not aware of their rights over a child and often may be subjected to receiving little or no custody of their child. Kabir Family Law can assist you in making sure you fathers understand their custody rights and our child law specialists can try and achieve you, your right of seeing your child.

If an agreement cannot be reached between the parents in respect of child custody, the matter may need to be decided at court before a judge. Nothing within the law prevents any parent from having custody of a child. What the Courts will consider is the motive for the custody.

If you feel that the other parent may me more concerned with punishing you rather than concerned about the welfare of the child you can contact our team of child custody specialists who can review the matter with you and assist you in preparing your matter to be considered before the court. Our family law specialists will also be able to assist if you feel the parent with whom the child is currently living with is unfit to care for the child. Should any of the above apply please contact our experts for a consultation who would be happy to guide you.

Range of child law orders

Our child law specialists work effortlessly to ensure you obtain the best possible outcome for your child. We can look to assist in obtaining the following outcomes for you:

  • Residence Order – an order determining where your child will live.
  • Contact Order – an order making arrangements for contact with your children.
  • Prohibited Steps Order – an order preventing a parent from taking particular action in relation to your children, including being taken from you to live elsewhere.
  • Specific Issue Order – an order to resolve a specific point of dispute such as which school your child should attend.
  • Parental Responsibility Agreement – Protect your legal rights in being involved in important decisions concerning your child’s education, health and welfare.

Our child custody specialists can assist in obtaining and organising parental responsibility and child contact. Contact our team where one of our child law specialists can assist with your query and also provide you with an option to deal with your case via Skype, we’re able to keep you informed about your case as soon as we receive an update.

— Q&A SECTION —

  • What is a child arrangements order? This is an order granted by a Court when parents cannot agree between themselves as to who will have contact or live with the child. Child Arrangement Orders detail how much time each parent will spend with the child, along with where the child will live.
  • Can I still get parental responsibility of a child I have adopted? Yes! In order to do this, a person with existing parental responsibility (such as the adopted child’s biological mother) must appoint you as the child’s new guardian.
  • Is it possible to lose parental responsibility? It is possible to lose responsibility of your child as their biological mother and occurs if the child is adopted.
  • Are there any tips on getting child custody? Parents are encouraged to stay respectful and avoid provocation during child custody battles. Arguing or unreasonable behaviour in court hearings can often negatively impact the case. Parents should therefore keep control over their emotions during this stressful time and ensure they stay strong for the sake of their children and to better understand what is happening.
  • How can I win back custody of my child? Many parents who lose their child custody will often be wondering if they can win back custody of their child. to get back custody you will need to convince the judge that it is in the best interests of the child to be in your care. You will need to provide strong evidence in support of your application for custody as the courts will try and not disrupt a child’s stable life. If custody was taken away from you and granted to the other parent, you will also need to satisfy the court that there are no safety concerns for the child to reside with you.

I want full custody of my daughter can you help?

A common request our child custody experts receive is ‘I want full custody of my daughter’. Following a difficult time during separation many parents are concerned about the welfare of their daughters and sons.

Our child specialists assist both mothers and fathers in securing custody of their children under child custody laws. So, the answer to the common question of I want full custody of my daughter can you help, is yes! We can look to assist you in obtaining full custody of your daughter if you feel the other parent is not able to care for your daughter adequately.

If you are a distressed parent who is denied custody of your child, we can work with you to also explore the area of joint custody where you will be able to have shared parenting with the other parent.

Is child custody in the UK unbiased?

Many fathers are often afraid to apply for child custody in the UK as they feel the child custody laws will favour mothers. However, the Children and Families Bill 2013 has promoted share parenting which would allow fathers the rights to make important decisions concerning their children and share parental responsibility.

Can fathers obtain full custody in the UK?

Although child custody laws previously favoured mothers with child custody, the views are changing which is helping single fathers. A father who has acknowledged paternity by signing a birth certificate as well as showing how strong their relationship is with their child can obtain sole custody of their child.

  • Did you know that we’re one of the top custody experts and have assisted many of families in organising parental responsibility and child contact? And, with the option to deal with your case via Skype, we’re able to keep you informed about your case as soon as we receive an update!

Child custody after a divorce or separation

Child custody and contact is one of the most bitterly argued-over issues following a divorce or separation. Our child law specialists strongly encourage you to try and resolve your differences amicably and mutually through mediation where a neutral third-party can help you agree the terms and conditions of contact with your children.

It is worth noting that separating parents do not necessarily need to make an application to the family court to arrange child custody after divorce.

If parents remain on amicable talking terms, then child custody can be agreed mutually. Parents can also agree what contact the non-custodial parent will have with the children. Along with child custody comes the authority to make decisions on the child day to day living. A parent who does not have custody will usually not be a part of the decision making process unless it’s a significant issue. Child custody can be full custody or joint custody. Parents often are able to agree to share joint custody of their children even if not on equal times. The courts also recognise the importance of having both parents in a child’s life.

Court processes for child custody rights

If you have not been able to come to an agreement in respect of your children our highly skilled child law specialists can assist you and provide you with strong legal support at every stage of the court process.

We work tirelessly to get the best possible outcome for you and your children; that’s our promise to you.

It is important to remember that the Court’s decision will be based on what’s in the best interest of your children as their welfare is of utmost importance. Under the Children Act 2004, it is not your contact with your children but what’s best for your children that matters most.

If parents following a separation are unable to reach an agreement over the custody of their children then an application will need to be made to the family court. The family court will list the matter for a series of hearings to see if an agreement can be reached failing which the courts will list the matter for a final hearing, and with the assistance of Cafcass, the courts will reach a decision on child custody which will be binding on the parents. The courts will take into account many factors alongside the welfare and interests of the child which is the most important factor before reaching a decision on custody of a child.

What factors to the courts take into account when considering child custody?

If you as a parent are insistent on getting custody of your child, you to ensure you act in the best interest of your children which is the most important factor considered by the court. When getting child custody parents should ensure they are concerned about their children’s welfare rather than getting revenge from their former partner.

The court will consider all the factors and decide which parent is capable of meeting the child’s needs the best. Below are some tips which can be followed to assist you securing child custody after divorce:

  • Demonstrating a strong relationship and showing how well you bond with your children.
  • Attending key events – You can show your involvement by being at special events with your child, such as birthday parties or religious ceremonies;
  • Paying child maintenance – Continuous maintenance payments demonstrates long-term concern for the child’s welfare.
  • Preparing a safe and comfortable place for the children to stay in. This is particularly useful as the court will enquire about the living arrangements you provide.

Arrange a consultation with our Family Law Specialists today

If you wish to arrange a consultation with one of our family lawyers in Newcastle or one closer to you then you can contact us on 0330 094 5880 to discuss your options or arrange for a call back.