Usually when parents separate, divorce of dissolve a civil partnership, both parents have Parental Responsibility for their child or children – which may mean that even if a divorce or separation is settled harmoniously, further disputes may occur over choice of school or choice or religion.
When there is a specific issue that parents are in dispute over, matters can escalate quickly and it is important to seek legal help before the issue impacts on family relationships.
The courts will always put the welfare of a child first – but in cases where parents cannot reach agreement over a specific issue such as choice of school it is possible to apply to the court under the Child Act 1989 for a Specific Issue Order, which one parent or both parents can apply for separately.
A Specific Issue Order can help bring about resolution in a range of different circumstances, as well as parental disputes over choice of school – including whether a child should be brought up in a particular faith, or when there is dispute over medical treatment for a child.
A Specific Issue Order can also be applied for if one parent wishes to take the child abroad against the other parent’s wishes.
With Specific Issue Orders, parents must be aware that the matter will be handed over to the family court – and a ruling will be made in the best interests of the child and not the parents.
In cases where agreement cannot be reached between a couple in a specific issue dispute, Duncan Lewis can also arrange Family Mediation to help both parties work through the issues and reach a solution, without recourse to the courts.
The courts will always take into account the welfare of the child so working through any differences within lawyer supported Family Mediation can help avoid traumatic court action.
Both parents can appoint their own Duncan Lewis child care lawyer to give independent legal advice at every stage of the mediation process – Duncan Lewis’ own Mediators include Resolution qualified Professional Practice Consultants.
Duncan Lewis is ranked by the Legal 500 2014 for its Family & Matrimonial work – and the Duncan Lewis team includes Advanced Members of the Law Society’s Family Panel, and members of the Law Society Children Panel – so our team is well placed to help you with any specific issue disputes.
Duncan Lewis children lawyers offer a fixed fee for an initial client interview and assessment of a private child matter involving a Specific Issue Order.
After a case has been assessed, it is usually possible for a fixed fee arrangement to be put in place – and Duncan Lewis will always advise clients of the costs in advance.
Duncan Lewis is also one of the UK’s largest providers of Legal Aid family law services – including child care law – and in some cases may be able to offer Legal Aid funding for child care cases, including help with the costs of applying for court orders if a client is on benefits or has a low income.
Duncan Lewis children lawyers always advise clients who are seeking help with child care matters – or who are in dispute over a specific issue – to get in touch as soon as possible before the situation escalates.
Once you have contacted Duncan Lewis, we can act swiftly in any child care matter and put in place measures to help resolve the issues and prevent further dispute and/or legal costs mounting up.
For expert legal advice on all child care matters – including Specific Issue Orders – contact Duncan Lewis Children Lawyers on 020 7923 4020.