What happens to children during a divorce?

While divorce and separation is the only outcome for couples, the family division can have a detrimental impact and affect on children. Any child under the age of 18 and living in the family home their welfare is considered paramount in the eyes of any court of law (Children Act of 1989).

Although some separating couples manage to agree on where the children will live and how time with each parent is allocated, sometimes an appointed judicator will be required to sort out any minor differences. A solicitor can be recruited to make any child-related agreements legally binding.

We do not agree about our children’s future?

Children’s living arrangements can be very difficult to agree on and are the initial reasons so many couples end up in court. Potentially living apart, in any situation, where you will not see your child can be incredibly emotional and it is why arguments can occur.

If you cannot agree what is best for your children, then mediation or ‘collaborative law’ will need to be considered. Relying on a judge to decide how you both should arrange your kid’s welfare should be a last resort. Most people are sensible about discussing their children’s future – do what is best for their needs and put any ill feelings aside.

Do children have any legal say?

Children cannot be involved in any divorce proceedings, although parents are usually advised to get their feedback on what the kids would like to see happen. Whilst they do not have a legal say until they are 18 years old, it is important to listen to their wishes, it is surprising how perceptive and understanding children can be at such an emotional time.

During the divorce, mothers automatically have ‘parental responsibility’. The fathers have the same status of parental responsibility if they are noted on the child’s birth certificate.

If both parents have a responsibility, then they are both liable for the child’s welfare until they are 18.

What is a shared residence?

This describes the process by which children are allowed to alternate residing with each parent in turn. This means parents do not require visitation or contact rights. Establishing a parenting agreement without the need for legal intervention is to the benefit of any child.


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