Children

If my partner and I split up what happens to our children?

No matter how difficult things are between you and your former partner, it is important that children should be protected and supported as much as possible to help them through changes in your family.

In most cases it’s best for children to avoid disruption to their lives as much as possible. Just because their parents are no longer together, generally children should still be able to enjoy a loving relationship with both their parents and their extended families. This will often mean living with their main carer and having a regular, structured programme of contact with a parent who does not live with them.

If you find it difficult to agree things without support, specialist family solicitors should be able to offer help to try to resolve disputes and can guide you about when the court needs to be involved.

For this reason, it is important to take the right approach. If you would like advice, please call Celia or Samantha on 01752 222211to arrange your free, no obligation consultation.

Can I change my child’s surname?

It is sometimes possible to change your child’s surname but it is important that you approach the issue properly.

If you do not deal with things properly, you may find that a court order could be made to change the name back which could be expensive, confusing and upsetting.

For this reason, it is important to take the right approach. If you would like advice, please call Celia or Samantha on 01752 222211 to arrange your free, no obligation consultation.

Do we have to use the Child Maintenance Service?

When parents separate, the parent who does not live with the children has a continuing duty to provide financial support for the children.

The Child Support Agency was set up to sort out these payments but is being phased out. The CSA will continue to deal with existing claims but will not accept new applications. The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) has been set up to take on this role.
This does not mean that the CMS always has to become involved and the aim is to promote arrangements which parents have agreed between themselves. You can get an idea of reasonable payments by using the child maintenance options calculator at http://www.cmoptions.org/en/calculator.

This type of arrangement can be great where parents are able to agree things, stick to the terms and do not need help. Where things are not agree or there are problems with payments, you can get additional help. The CSM can be used to calculate and arrange financial support for children living in separated families where agreement cannot be reached. However, if your family need to use the service there will be charges which will affect both parents.

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