How can family law help with issues affecting children?

There are many issues relating to children that family law can help with. Here we discuss the main areas of support.

Child custody, also known as child arrangements

When a family breaks down it is important to prioritise the needs of any children. A family lawyer can help couples to reach an agreement on custody and contact time which is fair to both parents and their children. When an agreement cannot be reached, a range of dispute resolution approaches can be used to resolve issues including  mediation, collaborative law and arbitration. These all are preferable to going to court, where a judge will rule on child arrangements. Not only does this mean that the decision is out of a couple’s control, it also adds to the cost, time and stress of reaching an agreement.

Parental responsibility

Establishing parental responsibility is important because it bestows certain legal rights and duties on each parent. While it doesn’t give a parent the automatic right to spend time with a child, it does mean that the other parent must include you when making decisions about the child’s life.

In English law the mother automatically has parental responsibility (even if donated eggs were used to conceive the child), but who else has parental responsibility will depend on individual circumstances. The mother’s married spouse (either gender) or father listed on the birth certificate have parental responsibility. For unmarried same sex couples, the mother who carries the child has parental responsibility and her partner can have the same status by being named on the birth certificate.

The situation can be complicated for unmarried fathers not on the birth certificate and second parents in same sex relationships and we would advise seeking the advice of a family lawyer.

Children’s rights

Family lawyers can also use the law to safeguard children from harm and ensure that their rights, such as the right to an education and a safe home, are protected.


When separating or divorcing, we know how important it is to fully understand the law relating to your individual situation before you commit to any course of action, so we offer a low-cost fixed fee initial consultation.

If you are struggling with the impact of divorce and separation, we offer a no obligation initial consultation for a fixed fee of £100 (incl. VAT), for up to one hour. At this meeting, we can advise you on all the issues relating to your personal circumstances, allowing you to make informed decisions moving forward.

To book an appointment please call 01444 472700, email us at or complete the form below.

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