Child Custody

Child Custody

If you are getting divorced or separating and you have children, deciding where they will live can be a challenge. While this is often still referred to as ‘child custody’, or ‘child residence’ the more correct term is ‘child arrangements’, as this reflects the more collaborative, non-confrontational approach taken to deciding arrangements for children in most modern divorces.

Our family law solicitors can assist with sorting out child arrangements during divorce and separation, making sure your children’s best interests are kept at the heart of the decisions you make.

Wherever possible, we will help you reach an agreement voluntarily through non-confrontational methods such as mediation or collaborative law . This can help you to make arrangements faster, as well as keeping things much more amicable and saving on legal fees.

We can advise you on the various options you may be considering, including:

  • Joint residence/custody
  • Sole residence/custody
  • Taking children abroad

With many decades of specialist expertise and strong skills in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), we can help you get the best outcome for your children, no matter how difficult your circumstances.

Talk to us about making residence/custody arrangements for your children

For expert advice on child residence and related issues, you can speak to our family lawyers in Wakefield, Ossett, Garforth, Sherburn in Elmet or Mapplewell, West Yorkshire today.

Have a quick question or want to request a call back? Use our online enquiry form.

How our child custody solicitors can help you

Agreeing child arrangements voluntarily

It is almost always possible to make child residence arrangements voluntarily through agreement with your former partner. This is generally the best option for your children, as it makes it easier for you to maintain a positive relationship with their other parent.

We offer various methods for helping you achieve a voluntary agreement on child residence:


This involves you and your former partner meeting with a trained mediator who acts as a neutral third-party to help you agree the details of your divorce, including arrangements for your children. This process encourages you to reach agreement on any areas of conflict while keeping things amicable and focused on a positive outcome for everyone.

Find out more about our divorce mediation services.

Collaborative law

Where one of our trained collaborative lawyers will support you in a four-way ‘round-the-table’ meeting with your former partner and their lawyer (who must also be trained in collaborative law). This allows you to negotiate the details of your divorce while having the support of your own expert legal representative with you at all times.

Find out more about our collaborative law services.

Applying for a Child Arrangements Order

Should you be unable to reach a decision through non-confrontational means, we can support you in applying to a court to make a Child Arrangements Order. This means than a judge will listen to both parties’ arguments, then decide where your children will live.

If you need to apply to a family court for a Child Arrangements Order, we can support you through every stage of the applications process and ensure you have the best possible representation for your hearing. We can also advise you on the appeals process if you are unhappy with the judge’s ruling.

Why Choose Thornton Jones for help with child residence and custody?

Our family law team have made years of experience advising parents on child residence issues during and after divorce and separation. We can offer exceptional legal expertise, clear communication and empathetic personal support to help you get the right outcome for you and your children at this difficult time.

We are accredited by Resolution for Family Law demonstrating our expertise in handling all family law matters, including those related to child residence.

With strong skills in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), we can give you the best chance of securing a positive outcome without the need for court proceedings. We truly believe this is the best approach for resolving child residence issues in the vast majority of cases, so can offer a real commitment to helping you avoid court proceedings wherever possible.

Contact our child custody solicitors today

To arrange an initial consultation with our family lawyers about child residence, you can contact our local offices in Wakefield, Ossett, Garforth, Sherburn in Elmet or Mapplewell, West Yorkshire today.

Have a quick question or want to request a call back? Use our online enquiry form.

Contact Us

☎️ Call our Wakefield office on 01924 290 029
☎️ Call our Garforth office on 0113 246 4423
☎️ Call our Sherburn in Elmet office on 01977 350 500
☎️ Call our Mapplewell office on 01226 339 009
☎️ Call our Ossett office on 01924 586 466

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