Child custody arrangements

Our child law solicitors can advise on any legal issue involving children such as residence (custody), access and maintenance. We’ll help you get the best for your child, whatever your situation.

Clare Pilsworth, Cambridge
Clare Pilsworth, divorce lawyer near me in Cambridge

Child custody lawyers: Expert legal advice

Our child law solicitors can help make the divorce easier on you and your children. We're here to make sure that your child's best interests are represented throughout the process.

Child custody (residence) issues and parental responsibility 

If you’re getting divorced, you and your partner need to agree who your children will live with. The legal language can sometime be confusing but ‘custody’, ‘residence’ and ‘living with’ all have the same meaning. 

In addition to who the child will live with, common child law issues a solicitor can help you work through include:

  • parental responsibility after divorce
  • who pays child maintenance?
  • enforcing child maintenance payments
  • where the children should go to school
  • divorce parenting plan
  • access to the children after the divorce

Jump to child custody FAQs.

Our family law experts can help you agree:

  • where your children will live
  • how much time they will spend with each parent
  • financial support and child maintenance
  • grandparents' visitation rights.

We’re here to help

If you want a lawyer to take a closer look at your situation, our family and divorce lawyers are based in:

  • Cambridgeshire: Cambridge
  • Essex: Brentwood, Chelmsford, and Saffron Walden
  • Hertfordshire: Bishop's Stortford and Royston 

But we can help you wherever you are in England and Wales.

Call our specialist solicitors on 0808 231 1320

Child custody FAQs

What is a cohabitation agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is a legal document that describes what would happen if you ever separated. The agreement makes sorting these issues out much more straightforward. It can cover practical issues such as:

  • Finances and financial support
  • Ownership of the family home
  • Childcare arrangements
  • Changes to your tenancy
  • Division of assets such as furniture.

If you want to get a cohabitation agreement, talk to one of our friendly family law solicitors.

What is TOLATA?

TOLATA is the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA). The Courts have the power to resolve property and land ownership disputes through this Act. A family law solicitor can help you make a property claim, or represent you if your partner makes a claim against you. You can settle claims outside of Court.

What is a parenting plan?

A parenting plan is an agreement between divorced parents about how to raise their children after the divorce. Both parents need to agree to the plan. A parenting plan can be changed at any time, for example as the children grown up, provided both parents agree.

Who has parental responsibility during a divorce or separation?

If you’re married, you will both have parental responsibility if you get divorced. If you’re unmarried the mother automatically has parental responsibility from the child’s birth. Unmarried fathers only get parental responsibility if their name is on the child’s birth certificate, have a Court Order granting it or a legally binding agreement with the mother.

Who has to make child maintenance payments?

Regardless of who has parental responsibility, the non-residential parent is required to contribute financially to their children’s maintenance. If the ‘paying’ parent is not paying child maintenance, a solicitor can help you take action to enforce the payments. This may be through a deduction of earnings request, where child maintenance payments are automatically taken from the paying parents’ wages or pension.

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