Need help with child custody proceedings? Here are 5 things to know.

What are child custody proceedings?

If you need help with child custody proceedings, first you need to understand what is involved. Child custody proceedings are dealt with in family court when a divorcing couple seek a judge’s ruling to decide on the living arrangements of their child or children.

In this blog Quartz Barristers share essential things you need to know help with child custody proceedings.

When do the courts decide who a child lives with?

For many people, their first encounter with the English legal system will arise when they are going through a divorce and have children in their care. As part of the divorce, they find themselves unable to come to an agreement over their children’s living arrangements, this was previously known as ‘custody’ however the court now uses the term ‘to live with’.

In these instances, court should be seen as a last resort and a judge will expect the parents to have attempted some form of mediation, usually with a family solicitor, before taking the issue to family court.

Parents sometimes do not realise that in the eyes of the court the child’s needs are paramount and can become very distressed when their contact with a child is limited because a court feels that it is in the best interest of the child.

I’m a parent looking for help with child custody proceedings, what do I need to know?

At Quartz Barristers we want to make court proceedings as easy as possible. Our family barristers have put together these 5 tips to support parents who might be embarking on a journey through the court.

1 – The welfare of the child comes first

Understand the priority of the court is to act in the welfare of the child. This comes above any need the parent feels they may have to have contact with the child. Section 1(3) of the Children Act 1989 lists the most important factors that the court will take into consideration so it’s advisable to familiarise yourself with the Act and the way it could impact your case.

2 – Compromises will help your case

Note that the court will view compromises in a very positive light. Although the parents have found themselves in this position because of a failure to agree, it is still important to be prepared to negotiate to make the proceedings conducive to the welfare of the child.

3 – Constructive relationships with authorities are important

The relationships with social workers/local authorities and CAFCASS/guardian (often known as the professionals) and the parent is crucial to the outcome of the case. Tension between these parties is expected but parents who prioritise the needs of their children, over arguing with the professionals, tend to be viewed as mature and more ‘parent like’.

4 – Try to put your differences aside

The same can be said for parents’ relationships with each other. It is likely to affect the final outcome of the living arrangements if the court believes that one parent may attempt to sabotage the other parents’ relationship with the child so it is important to put aside any personal feelings of animosity to come to the right agreement for the child.

5 – Be prepared

Preparing the case thoroughly is crucial because parents are not only dealing with facts of the case, they are also dealing with the law and orders made by judges. It is important that you or your solicitor keep to deadlines and submission of paperwork and even more vital, comply with court orders promptly.


Help with child custody proceedings, when you need it.

Quartz barristers has the legal expertise to provide you with quality advice and representation throughout this process, if you feel like you need extra help please contact one of our clerks.


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