Children Disputes

Armstrong Family Law can advise and represent you in relation to disputes about children, including constructive negotiations, mediation, arbitration or, if necessary, applications to the Family Court.

Parents must always act in the best interests of the children. However, it is not unusual for parents to disagree on what is in their children’s best interests. Disputes about children are usually about how much time they spend with a parent, with which parent they will live or about specific issues such as whether or not the children can be taken abroad or where they are educated.

Armstrong Family Law will initially try to resolve the dispute by negotiating with the other parent or his or her solicitor in a constructive and non-confrontational manner, in accordance with the Resolution Code of Practice. If agreement cannot be reached, a referral to an independent family mediator for a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) is usually compulsory before any court application can be started.

Mediation is an alternative and affordable way to resolve these disputes. However, if mediation is inappropriate or unsuccessful, an application to the Court may be necessary. Alternatively, if both parties agree, the dispute can be resolved by a family arbitrator who is likely to be able to decide the outcome in the same way as the court, but more quickly and less expensively than court proceedings.

Wherever possible, it is best to use alternatives to court rather than to apply to the court. This is because the court suffers from terrible delays. It can also be very expensive and stressful. However, where alternatives to court are inappropriate or have been unsuccessful, an application may be the only remaining option.

The court can make various types of orders about children, including:

Sometimes it may be necessary to seek one or more of these orders on an emergency basis.

Cases about children can be the most bitterly contested and involve enormously emotive issues. We can give you realistic and objective advice throughout and achieve an outcome that is best for you and for your children.

If your case goes to the Family Court, Armstrong Family Law can advise and represent you at court. Using a solicitor at court will increase the chances that agreement can be reached at an early stage, an if agreement is not possible, it will increase the likelihood that you will achieve the right outcome.

Armstrong Family Law can also advise you about child support. A useful online calculator is available here to help you calculate how much child support should be paid

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