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Children – what happens when parents’ separate?

Sam Azzopardi-Tudor

Family Blog

In the Family department at Martin Kaye solicitors, our day-to-day work involves dealing with a diverse range of family related problems. The breakdown of relationships can throw up a number of issues, including the practical arrangements for the children after their parents separate. 

The Courts view is that a child has the right to continue to have a meaningful relationship with both parents, providing it is in the child’s best interest. 

The first issue to resolve is who will the children live with. In reaching a decision, it is important for parents to consider arrangements that will provide the children with the least disruption and one that will promote security and routine. 

Arrangements can be made for the children to spend time with parents directly or indirectly, depending on what is in the best interests of the children. Indirect contact may include telephone or letter contact. 

The Court is not always involved in making decisions about who the children should live with, or how much time they should spend with parents. At Martin Kaye solicitors, we explain the options available to parents and give them the confidence to reach a decision that promotes working together in the interests of the children. 

If you are on speaking terms with your former partner, you may benefit from attending mediation to resolve issues concerning the children. Mediation offers parents the opportunity to talk to each other in relaxed surroundings where they can discuss matters, with a third-party offering assistance. A mediator won’t tell you what you should do but will offer suggestions for you and your former partner to consider. 

Where an agreement cannot be reached amicably, parents may need to call on the Court for assistance. It may be that one parent is concerned about the lifestyle of the other parent and the impact this may have on the children. It is important that any time the children spend with parents is safe and, in the children’s best interest. The Court will call on the experience of CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) who will focus on the welfare of the children and act on their behalf. 

Although Legal Aid is not generally available within family proceedings, if you are a parent who has experienced domestic abuse in your relationship, you may be eligible to receive Legal Aid. 

Martin Kaye solicitors are members of Resolution and are committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes. We follow a Code of Practice that promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems and encourages solutions that consider the needs of the whole family, and particularly the best interests of the children. 

Our Family department offer a free initial appointment at our offices in Telford, Shrewsbury, and Wolverhampton. Please contact a member of the Family team on 01952 272 222.

It is bad enough when customers do not pay invoices, yet businesses then have to incur costs in pursuing bad-payers.

It is often thought that the costs of recovery action cannot be claimed. True that in most types of legal claim, legal costs cannot be recovered if the claim is resolved before court action becomes necessary; or where court action is started but matter is allocated to the small claims’ track (usually for claims below £10,000 in value).

However, there are special rules that apply to business-to-business debts. Under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998, a business is entitled to a fixed sum of between £40 and £100 depending on the value of the debt claimed.  If that fixed sum does not cover the actual costs that have been incurred, the business will be entitled to “the reasonable costs of the supplier in recovering the debt”.  This is the case whether or not court proceedings have been started, or if they have been allocated to the small claims track.

This is an under-utilised provision meaning that the reasonable costs incurred by a business collecting in bad debts can be added to the debt, so as not to leave the business out of pocket.

If you would like to speak to somebody about any sort of Litigation, please get in touch with our Commercial Litigation team today on 01952 272222