Disputes with a former partner
Varying arrangements for your children
As time passes, circumstances change, which means that what you agreed (or what was ordered by the court) when you separated from your former partner might no longer work in practice. Perhaps one of you wants more contact with your children or wants them to live with you; perhaps the children have grown and now want things to change. You might also be considering acquiring legal status for a new partner.
It is always sensible to try and agree a way forward with your former partner, and solicitors and mediators can often help you to do this. If you cannot agree, you can apply to the court to vary any existing court order, or you can apply for a new court order. Find out more about applications conerning arrangements for children.
Relocation and child abducation
If you want to move outside the UK, it is a criminal offence to remove your children from the jurisdiction unless you have the permission of everyone else who has parental responsibility or, if you cannot agree, the permission of the court. Leave to remove applications need persuasive presentation, since the court has to decide what is in your children's best interests and every case is unique with often powerful arguments on both sides.
If a child has been removed from the jurisdiction without the proper permission, the law on child abduction applies, and applications can be made to the court for your child to be returned.
In situations involving more unusual family structures (including same-sex parents, and parents through donation or surrogacy), complex legal questions can arise as to who is eligible to make applications and whose permission is required for removal from the jurisdiction.
Variation of financial orders
In certain circumstances, you can apply to the court to vary a financial order made during earlier proceedings. This is usually something that will be considered if your financial position (or your former partner's) has significantly worsened or improved. The court will look at your respective positions carefully before deciding whether to vary an order for maintenance sums.
How we can help
We can help with all types of family disputes following a relationship breakdown, including applications to the court and solicitor negotiations where parents want to relocate (or to oppose a partner's relocation), or vary existing care or financial arrangements. We are known for our personal and sympathetic approach for both traditional and non-traditional families, and for our cutting-edge expertise working with those in (or going into) more unusual family situations. Find out more about our relationship breakdown services or contact us for advice and help.