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Child custody solicitors

Expert legal advice on child arrangements that puts your children first

If you are separating or getting divorced, your children’s welfare will be your top priority – that’s why our child custody solicitors will make it theirs too. We understand that agreeing how you will co-parent your children can be emotional and contentious, but doing so quickly will provide much-needed reassurance and security for your children.

Our expert solicitors can support and guide you through the process, keeping negotiations as amicable as possible and your children’s needs front and centre. Get in touch online or call 0800 422 0123 to book a consultation to find out how we can help.

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Who our child custody solicitors can help

  • Parents who are getting divorced, dissolving their civil partnership or separating
  • Unmarried parents who are separating
  • Step-parents or same sex couples wishing to share parental responsibility of children
  • Parents with international interests – we can help with re-location disputes including when a child has been taken abroad without the other parent’s consent.

If you are concerned about child protection, including domestic violence or the risk of child abduction, it’s crucial to seek urgent professional legal advice.

How to agree arrangements for children

Agreeing where your children will live is probably the most important issue to resolve, but it isn’t always easy. Settling how much child maintenance should be paid can also be complicated and stressful. Our child custody solicitors can help you reach a solution that works for both parents and puts your children’s needs first.

There are a number of ways we can help you reach decide how best to move forward:

  1. Amicable agreement: where you and your ex-partner agree care arrangements for your children between the two of you. An amicable arrangement is often considered more likely to succeed and can be formalised by signing a separation agreement.
  2. Shared parenting agreement: where you reach a legal agreement on how you are going to co-parent your children. For example, joint custody, where your children have a home with each parent and time with both is determined in the children’s best interests.
  3. Child Arrangements Order: if you and your ex-partner can’t resolve things amicably, child arrangements can be settled by the Court defining who your child will live with and the arrangements for the parents to spend time with them. The Court can also make decisions on disputes such as schooling, religious upbringing or changing a child’s name – called ‘Specific Issue Orders’. It can also prevent certain actions, such as relocation, with ‘Prohibited Steps Orders’.

Why choose us for your child arrangements?

  • Our solicitors take a firm but compassionate approach and always put your children’s best interests first
  • Our family law team includes trained family mediators and collaborative lawyers
  • As members of Resolution, we are committed to taking a non-confrontational approach to divorce and family matters wherever possible
  • Our expertise and quality of service is highly-rated by Chambers UK and Legal 500
  • Our fees are highly competitive, and we closely monitor your costs at all times
  • We have specialist private wealth and litigation solicitors within the firm, ready to advise you on any other legal issues you need help with

Try our relationship breakdown tool

Our Parting Ways tool is a great first step in guiding you through the legalities of a relationship breakdown. If your marriage, civil partnership or co-habiting relationship has broken down irreparably, our free easy-to-use tool provides an overview of what you need to consider from a legal perspective.

It also provides guidance if you’re already divorced or have dissolved your civil partnership and haven’t yet agreed childcare arrangements.

It only takes a few minutes to complete and you’ll receive a guide tailored to your responses. You will not be asked for any personal information unless you decide you would like to speak with one of our solicitors.

Get your guide

Speak to a specialist child custody solicitor today

If you need legal advice on child agreements or custody, call us now on 0800 422 0123 or contact us online to discuss your situation with an expert child custody solicitor.

Child Arrangements Order FAQ

What is a Child Arrangements Order?

A Child Arrangements Order is a legally binding order issued by a Court that sets out who your children will live with and how much time they will spend with each parent.

A Child Arrangements Order puts your children’s best interests front and centre and lays the foundations for a co-parenting model for you and your ex-partner (or other extended family members) going forwards.

Why do I need a Child Arrangements Order?

A Child Arrangement Order is usually needed when mediation or amicable negotiations between you and the other parent have broken down, or the other parent is preventing you from being part of their lives.

What’s important to remember is that a Child Arrangements Order is fundamentally put in place for your children’s benefit, not yours. The Court will look at what is best for them when they decide how much contact each parent (or grandparent) has with them.

What will a Court consider for a Child Arrangements Order?

The most important consideration for the Court will be the overall wellbeing of your children. However, there are many elements to that which will influence their ultimate decision, including:

  • Your children’s emotional and physical needs, and how able each parent is to satisfy those needs
  • Your children’s schooling
  • Your children’s wishes, particularly if they’re older
  • The impact of any significant changes on your children’s lives, such as a parent moving further away
  • Any known risk of harm to your children

How is child maintenance calculated?

The Child Maintenance Service has a formula for child maintenance in the UK based on the paying parent’s income, but it can be difficult to navigate and we can advise you on the best option for your specific case.

The maximum income of the paying parent to be taken into account is capped at £156,000 per year before tax. It’s possible to apply to the Court for capital sums from a parent for your children’s benefit or extra maintenance if the paying parent’s income is higher than the £156,000 CMS cap.

If your children and paying parent do not live in the UK, the CMS can’t make a maintenance calculation, but the Court may make an order depending on where your children are located.

Your key contacts

Rayner Grice


Rayner advises on the issues that arise for an individual following the breakdown of a relationship in relation to divorce/civil partnership dissolution, their financial affairs and their children.
View profile for Rayner Grice >

Adam Maguire


Adam specialises in divorce and family law. He advises clients regarding all aspects of private family law including cohabitation, separation, divorce and related financial issues, disputes concerning children and nuptial agreements.
View profile for Adam Maguire >

Clare Webb


Clare has built her practice with a commitment to helping her clients resolve their issues in a constructive and conciliatory way. In doing so, she will always have regard to the longterm hopes and aspirations for the family as a whole, whilst of course protecting her client’s interest.
View profile for Clare Webb >

Philippa Yeo


Philippa is committed to helping couples navigate all aspects of the legal process on the breakdown of their relationship in a pragmatic, collaborative and family-focused way including supporting couples to reach arrangements for their children and achieve healthy future co-parenting relationships.
View profile for Philippa Yeo >

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