When a relationship breaks down, discussions have to happen to sort out where the child/children will be living and how often the other parent will see them.
We understand that this can be a very difficult situation for everyone.
Applying to Court
Before applying to Court, mediation must be explored as an option (unless exemptions apply). If mediation isn’t the way forward, then either of you can make an application to the Court.
The Court will work with both parents to help you to come to an agreement. If you can’t agree, the Court will make an order with the child’s welfare always being the most important thing.
Stages of proceedings
The Court proceedings go through various stages, and we’ll keep you updated as to where you are in the process.
To give you an idea of what to expect there are 3 main hearings:
- The first hearing – the Court will look at how the case should progress and what steps will need to be taken to get the case ready for hearing. This includes seeing if any reports or statements need to be sorted.
- Dispute resolution hearing – at this hearing, the aim is to narrow any outstanding issues. It comes after the preparation of a Cafcass report or parenting programme. If possible, this is treated as the final hearing.
- Final hearing – the judge will consider the evidence and will give a judgement as to the final outcome.
Please click here to view the President’s guidance on Coronavirus and children spending time with parents.