The breakdown of a relationship, when there are children involved, brings new challenges for any separating couple. 

In some cases the arrangements for children can be agreed upon, but in others this may prove more difficult and children are often caught in the middle of parental disputes and their voices can be lost in the process. This can have the unintended impact of damaging relationships between a child and one or both parents, and wider family members such as grandparents. 

We give child-focused, pragmatic advice which is sensitive to your specific circumstances and always look to find a solution that will work for you and your children. 

Our experience includes advising in cases concerning:

  • Formalising arrangements between parents by way of a Parenting Plan
  • Child arrangements following a breakdown of a relationship concerning disputes about where a child should live, whether there should be ‘shared care’ or the amount of time spent with the other parent
  • Jurisdictional issues including where one parent lives aboard and therefore contact is ‘cross border’
  • Specific issues such as parental responsibility, education/schooling, change of name and religious upbringing
  • Internal/domestic relocation or international (leave to remove) applications
  • Parental alienation
  • Allegations of domestic abuse, sexual misconduct, drug and alcohol abuse
  • Prohibited steps orders and other emergency applications
  • Expert evidence including ISW’s, psychologists/psychiatrists or other experts
  • High conflict court proceedings

Whether you wish to formalise arrangements that have been agreed between you in the form of a Parenting Plan, you disagree on the living/ care arrangements for the children or there are more complex issues involved, we have the experience to assist you and will always aim to do so through negotiation or supporting you alongside mediation or other forms of dispute resolution. Your circumstances may require court proceedings or emergency applications.

Internal & International Relocation

The law concerning a parent’s ability to relocate with a child/children out of the area they live or the jurisdiction of England and Wales is highly complex. Such proceedings are often emotionally charged, as they are binary in nature. 

Whether acting for the parent wishing to move or the parent opposing the move, careful consideration must be given in order to plan for living, schooling, travel and contact arrangements and the motivations of the parents. Dependent on their ages, views and ascertainable wishes, the feelings of the children will also play a role in the decision-making which means that these cases should be handled in a delicate and sensitive manner.

We have advised and acted for clients in these difficult cases, for example:

  • Internal moves: successfully acting for parents who wished to change a child’s schooling and move away – including London to the north of England, London to Wales and various cross-country applications

International moves:

  • Successfully acting for mothers in cases where they wished to ‘return home’ including Cyprus, South Africa and Estonia;
  • Successfully acting for a father in proceedings where he had relocated, with permission of the mother, to Portugal who then sought to renege her agreement
  • Successfully acting for fathers opposing applications for leave to remove including to New Zealand and Northern Ireland

Grandparent’s Rights

As a matter of law, a grandparent does not have an automatic right to an order enabling them to spend time with their grandchildren. In the absence of agreement of those with parental responsibility (usually the parents) permission is required to bring an application, except for those with specific circumstances.

We can assist throughout the process whether outside or within court proceedings. We have extensive experience of cases acting for:

  • Grandparents seeking orders to spend time with their grandchildren;
  • A grandmother seeking a ‘lives with’ order in relation to her granddaughter, following her mother’s death. The application was opposed by the father
  • A daughter who opposed an application made by her child’s maternal grandfather as being harmful to the child due to historic domestic abuse

 Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is a written agreement between parents entered into during separation for the arrangements for the children post-separation. It is not a court order but a statement of intent. It does not require a court process but does require  both parties to agree to the contents. Parenting plans can be as flexible or as detailed as you need them to be in your circumstances. Whilst they are tailor-made they will often cover the following:

  • With whom the children will live, the time spent with the other parent during term time, & school holidays
  • Arrangements for special days and holidays such as Christmas, Easter, or other special family events
  • Arrangements and information sharing for holidays
  • Decision making in relation to schooling, education, health and medical care
  • Third-party care
  • Communication between you as parents
  • Reviewing arrangements

We can assist you with agreeing on the terms of a parenting plan or preparing one if you are already in agreement.

We can often offer this service, often on an agreed fixed fee, depending on the circumstances of your case, and this will be discussed at the outset of your matter.


If you would like to speak to our team about your circumstances, please fill in your details and we will get back to you.