Children Law Solicitors

Few people truly know how difficult it can be to be a parent until they have children. Ensuring that your children have a safe, happy and healthy home is likely to be one of your biggest priorities. So, when things go wrong in your family life, whether you are splitting up with your partner or social services are getting involved, we are here to support you.

Our warm, friendly children law solicitors in West Bromwich can guide you through all types of family law matter involving children, providing practical advice and emotional support every step of the way.

Our expertise covers both private and public children law. We regularly advise parents, grandparents, other relatives, and guardians and we often liaise closely with social services, Cafcass and other agencies and organisations.

Get in touch to arrange your free 30-minute consultation with our children law solicitors in West Bromwich

We are happy to offer all new family law clients a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your situation and recommend your next steps. We will also provide clear advice about our fees and the costs you will likely encounter, including the availability of Legal Aid for care proceedings, so you can make an informed decision about how to move forward.

Get in touch to set up your free initial consultation by giving our children law solicitors in West Bromwich a call or by filling in our online enquiry form for a quick response.

Covid-19/Coronavirus

We value getting to know our clients and providing a level of face-to-face advice rarely found at other law firms. During these times of Covid-19/coronavirus, face-to-face meetings and drop-ins are not always possible. However, we still strive to provide the welcoming, personal service you expect. Visit our Coronavirus page to see how we are providing top quality customer service while keeping you and our team safe.

Why choose our child law solicitors?

We are members of the Law Society Children Law Accreditation scheme for our skills in this area, with Christopher Beeley being an accredited children’s representative with expertise representing vulnerable children in public care proceedings.

We are also members of Family Law Advanced for our experience handling complex family law matters, including:

  • Private children law (such as arrangements for children on divorce or dissolution)
  • Child abduction cases
  • Matters involving domestic abuse and children
  • High value divorce and separation matters involving children
  • Matters involving international issues, such as child relocation overseas

Our team includes accredited Family Law Advanced specialist, Navpreet Virk who has a wide range of private children law and child care expertise, including Special Guardianship and care proceedings involving alleged domestic abuse, drug and alcohol misuse, and other serious allegations.

Our children law expertise

Arrangements for children on divorce, dissolution or separation

When parents break up, it can be hard to reach an amicable agreement about what should happen with the children. Children are often the greatest source of conflict during separation proceedings which can make the process stressful for everyone, particularly the children themselves who may not fully understand what is going on.

We take a child-centred approach to help families reach a resolution that works for everyone. We will take all possible steps to protect your parental rights and agree a parenting plan that puts the happiness and welfare of your children first. We can also provide advice about using mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution to sort out children related matters.

Where voluntary agreement is not possible, we can help you apply for a range of children related court orders, including:

  • Child Arrangements Orders – for decisions about where the children will live and contact with the other parent and relatives
  • Specific Issue Orders – for decisions about key questions such as whether a child can change their surname
  • Prohibited Steps Orders – to prevent a parent or anyone else with parental responsibility from making a decision about a child, such as to take a child to live in another country

Grandparents’ rights

Grandparents do not have automatic rights to see their grandchildren, so it can be heart-breaking when parents separate or you fall out with your child and end up losing access. It is understandable to feel hopeless about the situation, however, you do not necessarily have to accept the loss.

In many cases, it is in the child’s best interests to have a relationship with their grandparents as grandparents often play a key part in upbringing and emotional development. We regularly help grandparents seek contact with their grandchildren through sensible negotiations with the parents or (as a last resort) court proceedings.

We can also assist grandparents who want to look after their grandchildren on a full-time basis where it is not in the children’s best interests to continue living with their parents or other guardians (including where the child is in the care of the local authority).

Child maintenance

Parents have a legal responsibility to financially provide for their children. Upon separation, where the children spend most of their time living with one parent, the other parent will usually be required to pay regular child support. We can help parents work this out between themselves wherever possible.

Where agreement is not possible, child maintenance is dealt with primarily by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS), an organisation that can collect payments and even enforce a child maintenance agreement.

We can also provide advice about when the court may step in to make a Child Maintenance Order. This could include if:

  • Your former partner has a significantly high income which would justify ordering a higher amount of child support than the CMS can calculate
  • Your child has additional needs, such as a disability
  • You and/or your former partner live overseas

Parental responsibility

Most parents have a bundle of rights and obligations to raise their children and provide them with a safe home – this is called parental responsibility. The birth mother of a child always automatically has parental responsibility. Fathers, second parents and mothers who did not give birth (e.g. mothers who have a child via surrogacy) can acquire parental responsibility.

It is essential to check whether you have parental responsibility, because if you and your partner break up, you may not automatically have the right to see your children. We regularly provide advice about parental responsibility to:

  • Fathers and second parents who are not married or in a civil partnership with the birth mother
  • Parents who have a child via adoption, surrogacy or artificial insemination
  • People with step children

We often provide advice about parental responsibility when advising on other issues such as separation. However, we are also happy to provide one-off advice about parental responsibility and how you can acquire it if you do not have it.

Change of name deeds

We can assist parents who want to change their child’s name via a Change of Name Deed, including:

  • Liaising with the child’s other parent and anyone else with parental responsibility to obtain consent to the change
  • Preparing the Change of Name Deed swiftly and accurately
  • Applying to court where the other parent objects to the change of name

Child care proceedings and social services

We have significant child care proceedings expertise and can assist you where the social services department of your local authority has become involved in your family due to concerns about the children. Our team includes Law Society accredited specialists in the area of Children Law and every member of our team is an expert with many years of experience.

We deeply understand how upsetting and traumatic going through a situation like this is. We are committed to helping you obtain the best possible outcome for your family. Our expertise includes:

  • Care proceedings and Care Orders – where social services take steps to take the child into care or make decisions about their care
  • Supervision Orders – where social services monitor and supervise the child
  • Special Guardianship – where the child is placed in the care of someone who is not a parent
  • Placement Orders – where social services seek to put the child up for adoption
  • Emergency Protection Orders – where social services seek to protect a child from immediate harm or risk of harm

Our child care proceedings solicitors are happy to advise you whether you are the parent or another relative, such as a grandparent.

Guardianship

We have particular expertise advising individuals on special guardianship – where someone who is not the parent becomes the child’s legal guardian.

A Special Guardianship Order is appropriate where it would be in the best interests of the child to live with someone other than their birth parents.

We can provide advice about whether you are eligible to apply for a Special Guardianship Order and guide you through the entire process. We will break down the process into simple, practical steps, so you know exactly what to expect.

Get in touch to arrange your free 30-minute consultation with our children law solicitors in West Bromwich

We are happy to offer all new family law clients a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your situation and recommend your next steps. We will also provide clear advice about our fees and the costs you will likely encounter, including the availability of Legal Aid for care proceedings, so you can make an informed decision about how to move forward.

Get in touch to set up your free initial consultation by giving our children law solicitors in West Bromwich a call or by filling in our online enquiry form for a quick response.