As with financial settlements, child arrangement orders can be extremely stressful and may have nothing to do with a divorce. If you are having difficulty having contact with your child or you would like your child to live with you then NE Law can assist. As a member of Resolution we will try to achieve an agreement without the need for court action although this sometimes just cannot be achieved.
If an agreement cannot be reached then both parties will have to attend mediation before applying to court. In certain circumstances it will not be necessary to attend mediation but if this is the case the mediator will inform you.
Applying to court is a relatively straight forward process assuming that you have parental responsibility. If you do not have parental responsibility there are ways in which you can apply to the court (please contact us to discuss this in more detail). As with most court action there is a court fee if you are applying for a child arrangement order but again you may not have to pay this if you earn less than £1085 a month or are on benefits.
Once the court has received your application and fee they will inform you as to when you will have a first hearing, usually within 6 weeks. In the interim you will be contacted by CAFCASS who will establish what the issues are within the parties. This means that when you attend court, they will be aware as to what is agreed or disagreed. Generally speaking at the first hearing agreement between the parties is reached. If the court requires further information then a further hearing will be listed and possibly a final hearing will take place.
Due to the complex nature of child arrangement orders it is very difficult to offer an agreed fee although if possible NE Law will offer one. However generally speaking NE Law will charge their hourly rate when dealing with child arrangement orders. We do offer a free thirty minute consultation so please do not hesitate to contact us so that we can discuss your case and provide you with an indication as to how much your case may cost.