Divorce is a very sore subject for a lot of people. However, it is also a very serious one. Recent studies showed that 42% of marriages in England and Wales end in divorce.
With divorce comes decisions to be made about arrangements for the children and how much time they are allowed to spend with each parent. This can be a difficult process for all parties involved. The aim of this blog is to make this as easy and as painless as possible. Family law can be tricky to navigate, but with the right attitude and the assistance of specialists when needed, it can sometimes be the best course of action in the long term.
The court’s primary aim is to, as much as they can, allow both parents to be in the life of their child. Nonetheless, occasionally the court will deem a parent unfit to care for the child. These situations are most commonly a result of one of the following:
Alcohol or substance abuse – While these can be very tough times for individuals, the job of the courts is to make sure the best interests of the child are met. The wellbeing and safety of the child are the court’s priority. If the court does not deem the parent to be fit to care for the child then the court may grant the other parent a Child Arrangements Order specifying that the child is to live with that parent. Child Arrangements Order were formerly known as Residence Orders or Custody.
Child abuse or neglect – We understand that these would be very worrying and traumatic times for the families and their children. However, it is reassuring to know that the Court will never let the child’s safety be in jeopardy. You would need to provide your legal representatives with as much evidence as possible so that they can put a case forward to the courts.
Domestic violence – Any history of harassment or domestic violence will be looked at by the courts and could be enough for them to deem a parent unfit to properly care for and look after a child. The court will always rule with the safety of the child being of the uppermost importance, so you can be assured that both you and your child will be safe.
Mental health issues – To most, mental health is a slightly unusual topic to bring up here. However, it can be a great concern to families that it may affect. Mental health can be a very taboo subject, but an ex-partner may suffer from a mental illness that you think deems them unequipped to look after your child. While this may be out of their control, the main priority is the safety and well-being of the children involved.
If your partner’s mental illness causes them to have: frequent episodes of aggression or self-harm, makes them unable to independently function and constantly causes them to neglect the basic needs of your child, get in touch with us and we can help you put a case across. Remember, getting a professional solicitor to help with parenting issues like these may be the first step towards positive change.
Criminal record – When deciding on the arrangements of a child, the courts will always look into the criminal records of both parents. They do this so that they can determine what effect that the convictions may have on the child’s life, wellbeing and safety. The courts will also look into the criminal records of any new partners that the child may come into regular contact with. Factors that the judges will look into are:
- How long ago you were convicted of the crime
- The severity of the crime
- The nature of your sentence
- The existence of repeat offending
If you still have any questions or concerns regarding yours or someones rights to a child, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0203 667 47980 or visit our contact us page.