Here at Thornton Jones we love to stay engaged and involved and when the topic is relevant to our business we love to take part in The Law Society's #SolicitorChat that they hold weekly on Twitter. This week our super Family Lawyer, Hannah Bowes provided answers to these five key questions on amending Child Arrangement Orders.
"I always advise speaking to the other person with parental responsibility for the child first if you wish to amend a Child Arrangement Order to discuss the proposed amendments and to see whether an agreement can be reached. If no agreement can be reached, the individual will need to make an application to Court. You'll need to complete the Court application form and send this to the Court with the relevant fee unless you are exempt from paying Court fees."
"The law requires an person seeking to amend a Child Arrangement Order to first attend mediation. The Mediator assesses whether mediation is suitable to resolve matters. They have the option to invite the other person with parental responsibility for a joint session.
If mediation is not deemed as being suitable, the Mediator will provide the individual with the relevant form which will need to include in all detail in the application to Court."
"I always advise speaking to the other person with parental responsibility prior to making an application to amend an Order. It may be that the issues can be narrowed and an agreement made which could negate the necessity to make a formal application to Court.
There will also need to be some consideration as to what the proposed amendments are to a Child Arrangement Order will mean for the child in terms of practicalities."
"The welfare of the child is always the Court’s primary consideration and they will apply the 'Welfare Checklist' set out in the Children's Act. Ultimately, the Court have to consider whether the proposed amendments are in the child’s best interests."
"A Solicitor will be able to offer you an insight into the process and advise you in relation to your prospects of success. They also have expert knowledge and are familiar with the Court process."
If you are considering applying to amend a Child Arrangement Order then speak to us first so that we can offer you guidance on the process and assist you through mediation and the Court application.
Call our Wakefield office on 01924 290 029
Call our Garforth office on 0113 246 4423
Call our Ossett office on 01924 586 466