Private children law applications are largely covered by Section 8 Children’s Act 1989, however there has been a lot of change to this area of law recently, with old language such as ‘Residence’ and ‘Contact’ being replaced with ‘arrangements for the child’.
The second biggest change is the entitlement to legal aid, it is still possible to secure legal aid for this type of case via the legal aid gateway but your advisor will speak to you about eligibility for legal aid when taking your initial instructions. Whenever a family unit breaks down it will be a very emotional time for everyone involved, sometimes parents are able to agree on arrangements for the children but there are occasions when that isn’t possible. Before issuing court proceedings, there is an expectation that you will attempt to resolve your dispute by way of mediation, unless exemptions apply. Depending on the nature of your concern, it may be possible to make an application to the family court on an emergency basis ‘without notice’ to the other parent or mediation.
At Duncan Lewis we are committed to the provision of Legal Aid to clients who are eligible, if you are not eligible for legal aid we can consider offering you a fixed fee for certain types of work.
For more advice and assistance, please contact our family and childcare department on 0207 923 4020.