When a couple decides to seek a divorce, possibly the most emotive issue will be the arrangements for children – with contact and residence orders being at the top of the list for potential disputes and confrontation.
Previously referred to as access and custody, contact and residence orders deal with how much time an absent parent will be able to spend with his or her children (contact) and where the children of the marriage or civil partnership will stay habitually and which parent will look after them (residence).
When a divorce petition is presented to the family court the petitioner must complete a form which details all arrangements for children of the union and the court primarily will be concerned with ensuring the welfare of those children who still require parental care.
If the respondent parent agrees with the arrangements as laid out in the divorce petition and the court feels the children will be adequately cared for under the circumstances, the court is likely to approve the divorce.
However, if the arrangements are contested by the respondent parent, it is possible that the case may go to court so that a family judge will decide upon contact and residence orders.
There are a number of ways to mitigate the need for court appearances which can be acrimonious and potentially damaging to familial relationships and the first is to seek the advice of experienced divorce solicitors such as those at George Ide LLP.
George Ide's family law teams in Chichester and Bognor Regis have built up a highly successful practice, with more than 40 years' experience, which has served families throughout West Sussex in their family law issues.
At George Ide we understand the sensitive and emotional nature of divorce and arrangements for children, and, wherever possible, we will fight for the rights of clients to achieve the contact and residence order outcomes they desire.
To speak to a family law solicitor in Chichester or Bognor Regis about contact and residence orders or any issues arising from family breakdown please call us today or, to find out more about the family law team, click on the solicitor profiles on this page for direct-dial phone numbers. Alternatively you can email us directly.