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Children and divorce

There are a number of important stages in the child contact process, a number of orders with regards to children, and several key points with regards to parents' rights of which you should be aware.

Types of children orders

There are three main orders in children proceedings: a child arrangements order, a specific issue order and a prohibited steps order.

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International relocation of children

If you want to move abroad with your children, or take them out of the country for an extended period of time, you will need either the agreement of the other parent or the permission of the court.

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Stages in a Children Act application

There are three key stages in the Children Act: a First Hearing and Dispute Resolution Appointment (FHDRA), a Dispute Resolution Appointment (DRA) and a Final Hearing.

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Mothers’ rights

When considering mothers' rights, the law starts from a point of view that children benefit from spending time with both parents. More often than not, a child will live with the person who historically did most of the caring. For many families, this will be the mother.

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Fathers’ rights

Though children more often go to live with the mother after parents separate, this is in no way an automatic assumption. Where a father has been the primary carer – doing most of the work looking after the children – it is likely that the children will remain living with him.

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Grandparents’ rights in divorce

Grandparents have no automatic rights in relation to their grandchildren. The can however seek permission of the court to apply for orders just like a parent. This can include specific issue orders and prohibited steps orders, as well as orders for contact.

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The Children and Families Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) is a public body which is involved in children proceedings in the family courts. Their mission is to make sure that children's voices are heard and decisions are taken in their best interests.

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The information on this website is intended as a guide and does not constitute legal advice. Vardags do not accept liability for any errors in the information on this website, nor any losses stemming from reliance upon the statements made herein. All articles and pages aim to reflect the legal position at time they were published, and may have been rendered obsolete by subsequent developments in the law. Should you require specialist advice, tailored to your situation, please see how Vardags can help you.