As long as a parent has parental responsibility, he or she should have an opportunity to be involved in the making of important decisions about their child’s life, such as when the child spends time with each parent and other important people in their lives. At Cordell & Cordell our mission is to protect these parental rights, establishing a playing field that is fair to all parties.

Negotiating Child Custody

When it comes to negotiating child custody, every situation is different and your family needs to make decisions that work best for everyone involved. Some decisions will be easy to make and some will be hard.

When parents separate, emotions can run very high and it can be difficult to know what to do for the best. Parents often feel torn between their own feelings and what is in the child’s best interests.

The law is designed to protect the welfare of children and not to favour one parent over another. As the courts in the UK have made clear, the children of separated parents are entitled to the love and society of both their parents.

Factors Determining Outcome of Custody

If you have ever been involved in a child custody case, or you are about to begin one, you most likely have heard the phrase “best interests of the child”. This is almost universally used to determine custody and visitation issues based on the Best Interests of the Child Standard.

Case law defines this standard differently, but in general, there are certain common-sense factors and themes that appear the majority of the time. The list of factors fall into four categories:

  1. The historical picture examining each parent’s role in nurturing the child since birth;
  2. The prospective picture considering the parents’ situations going into the future;
  3. Status concerns referring to the personality or behavioural traits of each party; and
  4. The preference of the child.

Types of Child Custody

Depending on the unique context and circumstances of your case, the judge might decide on one of the following custody forms:

  1. Legal custody. Parents who have legal custody have the right to take legal decisions on behalf of their child(ren) on matters like schooling, religious upbringing and medical care.
  2. Physical custody. Physical custody determines with whom a child or children live.
  3. Sole custody. A parent who has sole custody has the exclusive legal and physical custody of a child or children. The other parent may have visitation rights.
  4. Joint custody. If a couple separates on friendly terms, they might decide to opt for joint custody, sharing either the legal and/or the physical responsibility for their child(ren).

What Are Your Rights As A Father?

A mother automatically has parental responsibility for her child from birth, but the same can’t be said for men. Learn more here about fathers rights during child custody.

You have rights as the father of your child if:

  • You are married to the child’s mother
  • The child was born on or after 1 December 2003 and you are named on the birth certificate as the child’s father
  • The child’s birth certificate originally gave no father’s name but was later renewed to show yours
  • You have signed a Parental Responsibility Agreement
  • A Magistrate or Justice of the Peace at the Family Court has granted you parental responsibility or an Order of Residency

Financial Responsibilities

Even though your relationship with your child’s mother has broken down, you still are legally required to contribute towards your child’s well-being and upbringing. 

Depending on your custody arrangement, you might be required to make monthly child support payments. Click here to learn more about how child support is determined in the UK or use our Child Maintenance Calculator to find out how much you or your ex-partner can expect to pay.

Contact Us for Child Custody Legal Advice

If you are facing any sort of child custody matter, it is important to get in touch with a child custody lawyer right away to ensure your rights and, most importantly, the rights of your children are protected. The child custody solicitors at Cordell & Cordell are dedicated to fighting for fathers’ rights and can help you navigate this difficult time. Get in touch with us to schedule an initial consultation

 

Child Custody: Your Frequently Asked Questions

While you have no obligation to hire a child custody lawyer in any case, it is not advisable to proceed with any divorce matter – particularly one involving custody – without the help of a divorce family law solicitor. Should you decide to proceed on your own, you will be held to the same standards, rules, and procedures that child custody solicitors must follow, and you will not be given special treatment or assistance in the courtroom.

The best source of child custody legal advice will come from your family law solicitor. Cordell & Cordell’s child custody lawyers exclusively practice family law and have a deep understanding of the concerns and issues facing men and divorce. Our entire practice is built on the idea that men and fathers deserve equal treatment when navigating divorce and child custody issues.

Additional child custody legal advice can be found on our Resources page, which includes a child maintenance calculator, divorce glossary, and a vast library of articles, podcasts, and videos covering common child custody and divorce issues that men face.

Like all divorce matters, it is very challenging to predict the total cost of a child custody case. It depends on all the issues involved and how the opposing party responds. Generally, the more contested issues that arise will add to the total cost. The more issues that both parties agree on, the lower the cost of the case. When discussing whether a client can afford a child custody solicitor, we often explain to the client that there are highs and lows in any family law case.