Child arrangements and the law
School holidays can be a particularly difficult time for parents who have separated. Trying to arrange how the holidays will be split between mums and dads to make sure the children have the happiest time with both their parents is not an easy task.
However, it is not just the school holidays that prove troubling when it comes to arrangements for children. All year round and as children grow up, the challenges of being a parent don’t dwindle or disappear.
It may be that you have recently separated from your partner or that one parent has not seen their children for a little while. It is easy to lay blame and feel frustrated with another adult for the problems that life throws at us, but it is important to try and work together, sometimes with a little help, so that your children are happy and as unaffected as possible. Ultimately all a parent really wants is what is best for their children.
Mediation can assist parents in trying to resolve issues surrounding child arrangements, but if this does not bring matters to an end sometimes the Court need to take the reins.
To issue a Child Arrangements Court application, a parent will first need to obtain a MIAM form from the Mediation Service. This form must accompany all Court applications except in exceptional circumstances. There is generally a cost for the MIAM form of approximately £70.
Once the MIAM form has been obtained, the Child Arrangements Court application forms can be drafted and sent to the Court who will give the parents a date to attend the Court and discuss the issues. Between the paperwork being issued at the Court and the first Court hearing, CAFCASS (the independent agency who assist the Court in family cases) will be in touch with both parents to find out their points of view. These views will be briefly consolidated in a letter which CAFCASS write to the Court to help move the process along further.
If you feel you need assistance in ironing out any difficulties when making arrangements for your children, no matter how trivial the query may seem, then get in touch with the dedicated team at Slee Blackwell who will be happy to help guide you in the right direction.
Slee Blackwell have offices in Devon and Somerset at Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, South Molton and Taunton. Call 01271 372128 for Devon and 01823 354545 for Somerset.