On the whole the Court would prefer it if parents dealt with the issue of where the child or children are to live between themselves. If it is difficult to work through the issues our experienced mediators can help.
Unless there is reason to depart from a shared care arrangement then the Court will promote an equal relationship for the child or children with each parent. Where possible the Court prefers to apply the principles of non intervention, no delay and no Order. The paramount consideration for the Court will always be the welfare of any child or children.
It is often difficult for parents to focus on the needs of their child/children when they are going through emotional turmoil themselves but in order for the child/children to adjust to the changes to their family unit with the least amount of emotional damage it is vital that parents minimise any conflict that may exist. Children can become alienated from one parent and may align themselves with the other depending on what they see and hear. It is important to note that children are often caught in the middle and they do not wish to hurt either parent’s feelings. They will seek to protect each parent but will also use the opportunity to manipulate situations if they see lack of consensus. In this regard it is important for parents to show a united front when it comes to making any decisions affecting their children’s upbringing. Conversations with parents and their children should be age appropriate.
The Court also deals with specific issues such as education, health, religious issues and taking the child/children abroad. Mediation can help you to resolve these issues without making applications to the Court. If you were not going through separation or divorce would you involve the Court in making decisions about your child/children?
Here at Bastows we do not offer child only consultations because we believe that parents should wherever possible retain autonomy when it comes to the upbringing of their children. However, our mediators are highly experienced solicitors who have mediated many cases involving children successfully and we can assist you in finding a way forward.