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Agreeing Child Arrangements with your Ex!

Are you going through a separation from your partner or spouse and want to agree future living arrangements for your children without feeling like you are involved in world war 3? Do you want to avoid the expense and stress of court action?

It may well be possible, with some effort, to reach an agreement with your ex about what happens with the children. Some of my clients approach me for advice in confidence in these early days so that they can steer discussions with their ex themselves in a particular direction or because they simply want to be well informed from the beginning about their rights and responsibilities.

Here are some of my tips for when you attempt to reach an agreement with your ex about your children's living arrangements:

1. Think carefully about what is in the children's best interests and stay child focused!;

2. Reflect on what the arrangements until now have been and all the reasons for them continuing or otherwise being changed;

3. Consider the practicalities, the particular needs of your children and the pros and cons for the children (rather than for you and your ex) of anything you might put forward to be agreed;

4. Do not agree to anything that you are not convinced serves the children's welfare;

5. Suggest mediation if you think it might help, your solicitor can recommend a mediator.

Unless some exceptions apply, the family courts will expect you to take steps to agree matters with your ex and to consider mediation and so I find that clients do try to reach a solution to avoid a court imposing a decision. If a court decision is needed in the end, then the court will decide on what is in the children's best interests.

Note: The content of this post is for information purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice, and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances.