Children’s Living Arrangements

Helping you make the best decisions for your family

When parents separate, there can be a lot to think about to make sure that the children are as safe and happy as possible. Our solicitors are here to provide expert legal counsel, during what can be a difficult time for the whole family.

Both you and your former partner will need to consider the children’s living arrangements and how they will spend their time between their parents. You will need to make sure that the children’s financial needs are covered as far as possible. That can mean making sure that they have at least one secure home and that there is enough money for them. It may be that you need to consider maintenance payments for the children.

You will also need to agree on where the children will live and where they will go to school, their religion, medical treatment and what surname they are to use. If you both have parental responsibility for the children then you must both agree if they are to be taken abroad on holiday.

We can advise you on what is appropriate and how to best reach an agreement on the children’s living arrangements.

Our solicitors will encourage you as far as possible to make those decisions jointly and amicably. If there is more urgency or if there is no possibility of reaching an agreement, then we can assist you with making an application to the Court for either:

  • A Child Arrangement Order, which will decide where the children will live and who they will spend time with
  • A Prohibited Steps Order, which can, for example, prevent a child from moving location
  • A Specific Issue Order – which can, for example, decide on a school for the child
  • To ask the Court to make a decision for you both if you are unable to agree

We will be realistic and constructive in our legal advice to you and we will work hard to do the best for you and your children.

For guidance on children’s living arrangements or child arrangement orders, please call, email or start a live chat with our solicitors today.

Who to contact

Sharon Powell-Head of Family

Sharon Powell

Partner, Head of Family

Sharon Powell-Head of Family

Partner, Head of Family

Sharon Powell

Sharon has over 20 years experience in all aspects of family law and in particular the financial aspects of high value divorces. Sharon is a trained collaborative lawyer and she is particularly experienced in resolving medium to high net worth finances as well as children disputes including alienation.

She is a Resolution member and qualified in mediation and collaborative family law.

“A break up of a relationship is very sad for everyone concerned” says Sharon. “I believe that our role is to try and help both parties reach a solution which they are both happy with. When feelings are running high this can sometimes be difficult but I believe we can make a difference”.

Sharon is often thanked by her clients for her sympathetic and supportive approach through a traumatic time in their lives.

Her most memorable case was in a divorce where financial matters involving significant assets were resolved amicably yet parties persisted to argue about kitchen utensils!

Sharon qualified as a solicitor in 1986 and joined Hart Brown in 2007 becoming a partner a few months later.

    Hart-Brown

    Dimple Patel

    Senior Associate, Family Law

    Hart-Brown

    Senior Associate, Family Law

    Dimple Patel

    Dimple is a Senior Associate Solicitor in the family law department. She qualified as a solicitor in 2007 after reading law at City University and has worked as a family solicitor in both Surrey and London. She joined Hart Brown in 2022.

    Her practice involves advising on all aspects of family law and in particular the financial aspects of divorce and dissolution of civil partnership. She has extensive experience in negotiating financial settlements and advises clients with substantial assets including family businesses, pensions, trusts, foreign assets and inherited wealth as well as clients with more modest income and assets. She also deals with the variation and enforcement of existing financial orders.

    Dimple assists clients to protect assets and family wealth through prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. She also assists cohabiting couples with cohabitation agreements, financial and property disputes as well as financial claims for children of unmarried parents under Schedule 1 Children Act.

    Dimple has considerable experience advising on arrangements for children following divorce and separation including relocation of children both within England and Wales and abroad. She also assists clients where there are concerns around domestic abuse through personal protection injunctions such as Non-Molestation and Occupations Orders.

    Dimple is a member of Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers and other professionals committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes. She aims to provide practical, tailored advice to enable her clients to make informed choices with a focus on early settlement.

    Dimple often receives wonderful feedback from her clients, here are just a few testimonials.

    “Dimple is very professional and reliable. I was able to always count on her excellent advice, quick responses to my queries and sympathetic balanced communications with all parties. I would whole heartedly recommend her to anyone dealing with family legal issues”

    “Dimple quickly understood the challenges I was facing and we spoke a lot on the phone which I found helpful and calming. She is very bright, professional and warm and just the person one needs when dealing with difficult and unfamiliar issues. Dimple is committed, has good judgment and eye for detail. She is a highly competent solicitor and I highly recommend her.”

    “Thank you so much for your help, support and advice through this difficult process. I appreciate all you’ve done and look forward to a brighter future, thanks to your help”

    “Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me. You were so easy to work with at every stage of the game and I really appreciated having you to turn to. I still can’t believe how smoothly everything went! And the good news is, I’m genuinely finding happiness again in my life.”

    “Thank you for your assistance and support over the last few years in relation to my difficult and challenging divorce proceedings and help to conclude the child matters with the best result I could have hoped for. I appreciate all your efforts on my case. I am so happy that I am spending quality time with my son and that he is getting to know his extended paternal family. Thank you for helping to make this happen.”

      Family | 18th March 2024

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