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Our child solicitors are here to help

Whether you are facing legal proceedings involving your children, needing advice when dealing with social services or thinking about taking your child overseas, our team of children’s law solicitors can help you.

Our expert child solicitors have a strong success record across the full range of child law services.

We understand the difficulty and stress that comes with family matters, which is why we aim to quickly resolve such issues, with minimum tension and the child’s wellbeing at the forefront.

Why choose Stowe Family Law for children’s law solicitors?

  • As the UK’s largest national law firm dedicated to family matters, our child solicitors have the knowledge and expertise to handle a variety of sensitive cases.
  • We take a personalised approach with every client, ensuring you and your family receive the right level of support.
  • We pride ourselves on clear communication, keeping our clients updated and providing a comprehensive understanding of the legal process.
  • We’re fully authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and listed in The Legal 500.
  • Delivering outstanding service to our clients is what we do and our ‘Excellent’ rating on Trustpilot reflects this.
  • We’ve received nominations for national awards, securing Family Law Firm of the Year from the Hampshire Law Society in 2023.
  • Our support section has a range of helpful guides and resources, covering a selection of child law topics, including child maintenance, child custody and adoption.

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Child lawyer FAQs

Child lawyer FAQs

  • Can my ex make me pay via the CMS even if they won’t let me see my child?

    Ultimately, yes. The obligation that the law places upon absent parents to provide for their children is not dependent on how often they see them. The only bearing the amount of time spent with the child has upon the payment of child maintenance is on the amount paid. The CMS cannot absolve the responsibility you have to maintain your child/children just because your ex is refusing you any contact.

    You may find it useful to visit the CMS website. It features a child maintenance calculator to work out how much you should be paying

  • How long can a parent stay abroad with their child without consent?

    If there is a Child Arrangements Order in force (previously known as a Residence Order) concerning a child, a parent cannot relocate the child from the Court’s jurisdiction (England and Wales) without the consent of every person with parental responsibility, or without leave of the Court.

    Subject to there being no breach of an order regarding contact, a parent with whom the child lives can remove the child/children from the country for up to one month, without the requirement to obtain consent. This enables parents to take their children on holiday.

    Any parent intending to relocate must first seek the consent of the other parent. If consent is not given, they should seek an order from the court. They should not move until such time that the matter has been determined by the court. If the other parent has reason to believe there will be a relocation, they can seek a prohibited steps order which can prevent the removal, again until such time that that the matter can be determined by the court.

    If you’re considering relocation or moving away with the kids, the children’s best interests will be paramount. Seek legal advice from children’s solicitors.

  • Will child maintenance payments stop if I remarry?

    Child maintenance is a payment made by the non-resident parent for their child(ren). These payments are not made for the ex-partner and, as such, your relationship status has no bearing on the continuance of the payments. If you have any questions, you can consult the CMS website or call them directly.

  • If I get divorced, will my children's premium bonds be classed as assets?

    Generally speaking, no. It will be essential to evidence that these are in the children’s names and that you have no interest in them.

    Bonds usually have an insignificant value and are set up for the benefit of the child/children. However, if there are not enough assets to cover the needs of the parties, the Courts possess the power to be able to ‘dip in’ to the children’s bonds. But if the bonds have been set up as a mechanism for the children’s savings, with no alternate intention, it is unlikely that this will be the case.

  • As I have a child under 16, do I have to be separated for two years before I can get a divorce?

    No.

    The age of your children has no impact on proving the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage, which is the only ground for divorce. You must then rely upon one of five factors. A solicitor can advise on the relevant factors to your matter depending upon the circumstances of your case.

  • If I’m directed to attend at Court by my ex partner’s solicitor regarding children, do I have to go?

    If your attendance has been required at Court and you do not attend, the Court can make an appropriate order in your absence, unless you can reasonably justify your non-attendance in advance and seek an adjournment.

    Furthermore, it is recommended that you seek to instruct a specialist family lawyer to represent you in the proceedings.

  • If one parent gets a non-molestation order against the other can they still see the children?

    Even when a Non-Molestation Order is made against a parent, it is possible to still see your children. However, this is dependent upon the nature of the allegations being raised. If it is suggested that there are any safeguarding concerns regarding the children, the court has a responsibility to protect the children until findings have been determined one way or the other.

    At an interim stage, it may limit contact to being supervised. In the absence of suitable supervision, it may prevent contact at that stage.

    You should therefore immediately seek advice before accepting any Non-Molestation Order or entering into any undertakings.

  • I got a letter from a solicitor about an ex-partner wanting to see our child more. Should I ignore it?

    It is never advisable to ignore a letter from a solicitor, as ignoring correspondence can result in unnecessary proceedings being issued.

    Solicitors’ letters are often geared towards reaching an agreement between the parties without the need for the Court to become involved. If you receive a letter, it is important that you seek independent legal advice from a family law solicitor before proceeding.

    If you do not reply, they are likely to initiate mediation. If you fail to engage then ultimately, they will need to issue proceedings.

  • Do we have to take the child to Court for the first appointment?

    No. During children proceedings, there is no duty to take the child to the first appointment, or any other hearings. In fact, it is advised that children are not brought to Court. It is not a nice environment for a child and can make them feel conflicted seeing their parents in that setting.

  • Can I give limited access for my children to see my ex’s new partner?

    The Courts would be extremely reluctant to prevent a child from having contact with their parents’ new partners in most cases.

    While child arrangements orders can be made by the Court with any number of conditions attached, there would need to be an extremely good reason for contact between the child and the new partner to be limited, such as if the new partner posed a risk to the children.

    Safeguarding checks can be undertaken if concern is raised. It is also common to agree on a reasonable period before introductions to any new partner.