Going through a divorce or separation is an extremely stressful experience, with a wide range of personal and legal considerations to be factored in. However, the most challenging issue will often be how your children will be best cared for after you and your spouse or partner separate. In addition to ensuring that your children are supported financially, arrangements will need to be made so that they can maintain a relationship with both parents.
At Andersonbain, we have many years of experience acting on behalf of clients to provide clear and pragmatic advice from the earliest stage of divorce proceedings to ensure that your interests and those of your children are protected. We can offer straightforward legal support to help preserve family relationships and to make sure that your children receive all the care and support that they need. To discuss your specific circumstances, contact us today.
Making arrangements for your children
Two key issues must be decided upon in respect of the welfare of your children following separation. These are:
- Where your children will live
- When and how contact will be maintained between your children and other family members
Residence covers where and with whom children under the age of 16 will live following a separation. This was previously referred to as 'custody', with these decisions typically being made by both parents as they have the legal authority to make such decisions as a consequence of their Parental Rights and Responsibilities.
Unfortunately, in some circumstances, it may not be possible for parents to reach an agreement themselves. If this is the case, an application may be made to the court for a residence order which essentially asks a judge to decide where your children should live. While the courts do not generally like to make such decisions, if required, they will do so based solely on the welfare of the children. If you are applying for a residence order, you will need to show that you can provide the best home for your children. Depending on their age, your children will be offered the opportunity to give their views on where they think they should live.
Contact relates to how a child under 16 will maintain a relationship with a parent whom they are not living with, as well as other family members, and was previously referred to as 'access'. This will cover how the parent and children will spend time together, as well as other forms of contact such as speaking on the phone, by email and in other ways such as by using Skype or Facetime. As with residence arrangements, the courts prefer parents to reach an agreement themselves but will decide if the parents are unable to do so.
Contact our Child Law Solicitors in Aberdeen & Edinburgh, Scotland
Our family lawyers are friendly and approachable and are on hand to discuss your situation in detail and in confidence. We can guide you through all of the relevant legal processes, answering any questions that you may have in a compassionate manner and without resorting to legal jargon. Whatever your circumstances, speak to a member of our family law team today to find out how we can help.