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Planning childcare post-divorce

Published on 29 July 2021 | Modified on 16 January 2023

Written by Lana Jones

Divorce & Family

Custody and Contact child law

Without argument, divorce is a highly stressful time for any couple; however, couples will face significantly more stress when children are involved.

Negotiations regarding a child’s living arrangements, how much time they will spend with each parent and how each parent will financially support their child can be a delicate process. Most approach this stage of a divorce or separation in the hope that a decision can be met amicably, and avoid court proceedings.

But this is not something that parents will need to tackle on their own. Whilst constructive negotiation when planning childcare following or during a divorce is ideal, if these discussions break down, a court will require further negotiation prior to it reaching court. Therefore, it is highly recommended that a couple also seek legal support for these matters, to form a legally binding agreement.

What happens if talks break down when planning childcare?

For these challenging cases, a solicitor will look to put in place a Child Arrangement Order (CAO), which will regulate with whom a child is to live with post-separation; a CAO is a necessity when applying to the courts.

Anyone that has parental responsibility for a child can apply for a CAO, this includes the child’s mother or father, as well as special guardians or a spouse of the biological parent of a child. There are a number of child arrangement orders that a court could put in place:

  • Naming one person with whom the child is to live
  • Naming two people who live in the same household
  • Naming two people who live in different households

In terms of contact with another parent (or named person) there are again a number of orders a court could choose. Direct contact would see the child staying or visiting said parent or named person, whilst indirect contact would allow contact taking place by email, letter, instant message or telephone. However, as COVID has inexplicably changed the way that, as a society, we communicate with one another, there is an argument that video contact should now be classed as direct contact.

For couples seeking to separate or divorce, the team at Poole Alcock Family Law are highly experienced in child law, and are therefore on hand to support parents every step of the way. We understand that each and every matter is different, and therefore our team of solicitors tailor our services specifically to each client.

Get in touch with our team today to find out more.

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