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When parents separate, they often disagree about what should happen to children. The courts encourage parents to try to agree the arrangements between them. Failing this, it is only when parents can't agree what should happen that the courts have wide-ranging powers to intervene in the best interests of the children.
Our Family Law team is well equipped to deal with the following issues:
For further details please visit our Children's Law Guide, which gives details into the Court's role and the range of Orders they can give.
In principle, the primary career of a child is entitled to receive child support from the other parent. This can be agreed between the parents, or if they cannot agree either can apply to the Child Maintenance Service (The CSA now only deals with existing cases) for a child maintenance assessment. The Child Maintenance Service has jurisdiction to make an assessment (that can only be varied by agreement between the parties or a Court Order) which is binding on the absent parent and can be enforced.
Over recent years there have been introduced tough new powers, which can be used against parents whom they consider are attempting to dodge their financial responsibilities towards their children, including powers to freeze the sale or transfer of assets by offending parents, and lump sum deduction orders which force banks to hand over money held in the accounts of offending parents.
The regulations governing the Child Maintenance Service are technical and complex. Expert advice is advisable if you are involved with the service or dealing with an appeal against their assessment or enforcement of the same. We can offer tailored specialist advice assisted by expert barristers in his area of law. Fixed free agreements are available. Please contact us to discuss.
On 20 December 2012 new rules came in to force that have a far-reaching impact on the way maintenance disputes with international dimensions are dealt with and enforced.
The new rules (and forms prepared by the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Convention) provide global uniformity for establishing and enforcing maintenance payments.
For further information or to talk to someone about children issues, please call a Family Law team member.
Oxford solicitor Catherine Morgan has been recognised for outstanding work and her involvement in the local family law community with a nomination for a national award.
The Charity Commission has published updated guidance on Safeguarding Children and Young Persons.
We highlight new rules which change the way that Child Maintenance is calculated.
Justice Secretary David Gauke has announced that no-fault divorce will be introduced as soon as parliamentary time becomes available.
There are many reasons why a parent might want to change their child's surname, including due to parental separation, divorce or re-marriage. A child's surname is an integral part of who they and can be a very emotive issue, which we explore further.
The High Court has decided that it is not necessary for a Local Authority to inform a father of his baby's birth.
Our Family mediation team have complied a helpful list of resources that can help children and young people going through separation and divorce in the family.
We discuss the benefits of dealing with Children's Act disputes at mediation.
We highlight that funding cuts could silence the voices of some of our most vulnerable children in our family courts.