Reasons For Parent Not Getting Joint Custody UK
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Reasons for Parent not Getting Joint Custody UK
Child custody laws determine the party responsible for the care and guardianship of a child following a divorce or separation. The term ‘custody’ is often referred to as residency, signifying an agreement on the child’s primary residence after parental separation.
In many instances of parental separation, the favoured choice is joint custody (or residency), enabling the child to spend time equally between both parents. Under joint custody, parents mutually acknowledge their entitlement to make decisions impacting the child’s life.
However, there are instances in which custody disputes or disagreements prevent a parent from obtaining joint custody. Having professional child custody solicitors in place can make all the difference when pursuing joint custody as they understand the rights and laws surrounding child custody matters.
The advantages of joint custody
The shared parenting approach is widely embraced as it provides the child or children with the perception of having two actively involved parents. This ensures that they do not exclusively spend their ‘routine time’ with one parent and only engage in ‘leisure time’ with the other. By adopting shared parenting, both parents can share ‘moral authority’ in the eyes of the children, allowing them unrestricted access to both parents in case of any issues affecting them.
What is the difference between a resident parent and someone with parental responsibilities?
A resident parent is the parent who the children live with for the majority of the time. The other parent will usually have contact which is agreed between parents, through mediation, or in some circumstances, a Judge will provide a Court order which states how and how often the other parent will have contact.
Both parents will usually have parental responsibility unless a Court order states otherwise. When both parents have an equal shared parental responsibility, this means that they have equal rights and responsibilities towards the children.
Equal rights mean that parents have an equal say in how the children are raised; some of the main issues that parents may need to agree upon include where the child will live, education and medical treatment, religion etc. Parents will also be unable to take children out of the country without the agreement of the other parent.
What if a custody dispute cannot be resolved?
In situations where parents cannot reach an agreement on joint custody, opting for court intervention may be the most practical choice. However, it is crucial to recognise that the majority of court cases between parents often reach an amicable resolution with agreed-upon residency or joint residency without a custody battle.
In contested scenarios, each parent undergoes assessment before determining who should be granted custody of the child(ren), with considerations also given to access and maintenance payments from the ‘non-resident parent.’
Additionally, it is worth noting that not all custody disputes involve only the mother and father; there are instances where a third party, such as an aunt, uncle, or grandparent, may seek full custody due to a parent’s death or incapacity.
How do courts make a decision?
The law states that courts should refrain from issuing orders related to children unless such intervention is in the child’s best interest. This is why courts encourage parents to collaboratively reach solutions whenever feasible, resulting in many cases concluding amicably.
Prior to resorting to court proceedings, nearly all parents explore mediation as a means to reach a mutual agreement. In fact, before you can go to court you must demonstrate that you have attended a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting.
Certain custody cases can be complex, and when courts are called upon to make decisions, the most important consideration is the child’s well-being rather than the interests of the parents.
This implies setting aside disputes over financial contributions or time spent with the child initially, with the primary objective being to foster a positive relationship between the child and both parents. However, it is essential to acknowledge that individual cases may involve unique complexities, and factors taken into consideration may include:
Reasons for parent not getting joint custody UK
If a complex custody dispute arises, it can be intricate situation to deal with. In these cases, courts will take into account the following factors:
- The child’s wishes, thoughts, and feelings, considering their age and comprehension.
- The child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs.
- Potential impact on the child in the event of a change in circumstances.
- The child’s age, gender, background, and other pertinent characteristics.
- Any actual or potential harm to the child.
- The parents’ ability to cater to the child’s needs comprehensively.
During a Dispute Resolution Hearing or DRA, the judge will determine what is in the best interest of the child or children. Additionally, the judge may mandate both parents to attend the Separated Parents Information Programme, a 4-hour course providing guidance on effective parenting during separation. It’s worth noting that attendance is scheduled separately for each parent, ensuring there is no overlap with the ex-partner’s attendance.
Child Arrangement Orders
A Child Arrangement Order is often required in child custody cases when parents are unable to come to an agreement through mediation, collaboration, or discussions. When this type of Order is required, the Court will determine the arrangements and they will be legally binding.
To obtain a child arrangement Order, a C100 Form should be submitted to the Family Court alongside the appropriate fee. A C1A form should also be completed if you have suffered from domestic violence, or if you and your children are in threat of harm.
How can our panel of child custody solicitors assist on your case?
Following the breakdown of a relationship, child custody should be your main concern. Child custody solicitors can assist in negotiations between parents, arranging mediation and advising on when an application to the court should be made. A child arrangement solicitor will also guide you through the process of applying to the court and will provide representation for your case.
When disputes arise between parents, it can be helpful to have someone outside of the relationship to help you navigate through the conflict and provide you with the best legal advice on moving forward, keeping the needs of your children at the forefront. They can also provide advice to parents for meeting the terms of the order and assistance when these terms have not been met.
We understand that disputes involving children and their care can be incredibly complex and sensitive. The solicitors on our panel can provide you with the best advice and assistance on resolving child arrangement disputes and obtaining Orders from the Court if the dispute cannot be resolved between the parents or through the process of mediation.
As well as assisting with child arrangements, our panel of family law solicitors can also advise and assist on the process of divorce and the division of assets following the breakdown of a marriage or civil partnership (ancillary relief).
Get in touch today using the form at the top of the page to find out if a child arrangement solicitor from our panel could help on your case.
All of our solicitors are registered in England and Wales.
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