Issues Relating to Children
It could also be that you have children with your cohabitee and are unsure of your legal position and rights when separating because you are not married. Essentially, the same rules should apply to you and your child whether you are married to the other parent or not but, every family is unique and this is not always the case but we can provide tailored advice for you and your family’s situation. Within our family team, we have a Resolution Accredited Specialist in areas of cohabitee relationship breakdown and are able to offer a free initial consultation by telephone in qualifying circumstances.
If an agreement cannot be made as to financial provision for children (and financial recourse through the Child Maintenance Service has already been exhausted or does not apply), then an application can be made for financial provision for any children under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.
Non-financial concerns for children can also arise such as choice of schooling, religious upbringing, matters concerning a child’s health or decisions relating to how much time a child will spend with either parent and with whom that child will live. If an agreement cannot be reached, either parent may apply to the Court for an order to determine the issue at hand.
Couples can, to an extent, mitigate uncertainty by entering into a cohabitation or relationship agreement or by entering into a declaration of trust to regulate their financial affairs whilst they live together. It may prove necessary, especially in cases where property is being purchased or finances shared, to consider entering into a Cohabitation Agreement to set out what would happen to your assets should the relationship ever breakdown and can help to identify ownership of property and in what shares any property is to be held. Our lawyers frequently advise prospective cohabitees on how best to protect their interests but are also committed to managing cases in a friendly amicable way to set the relationship up well for the future. Our team of family law experts has considerable experience in drawing up such documentation which can help to avoid any ambiguity regarding property ownership should the relationship come to an end.
We will advise you on the range of potential outcomes and what can realistically be achieved, whether or not an application is made to the Court for a judge to decide the matter. Where possible, we aim to resolve such disputes away from the Courts but we recognise that this is not always possible.
Whatever process option is chosen, we will work with you to offer creative strategies to achieve the very best settlement for you and secure a positive future for you.
- Disputes with social services
- Care proceedings
- Child Protection issues
- Domestic violence
- Special Guardianship
- Custody/contact disputes
- Parenting agreements and arrangements for children