When children are involved in legal matters, special considerations have to be made for their wellbeing. Whether you are thinking of adopting a child, taking over legal guardianship, or changing a child’s name, there will be a lot of work to be done to make sure the child is not negatively affected.
In cases of separation or divorce, the best interests of the child need to be determined when choosing where they should live and go to school. There are also cases where a child needs legal representation in court – such as cases of abuse. Regardless of the circumstances, Foys Solicitors have the experience and qualifications to handle all aspects of Children Law, including representation. We aim to provide assistance that is conflict-free and guide you through the whole process with our full attention.
What are different legal matters that can arise in regard to children?
Most matters of family law can concern children, but common ones include:
- Separation and divorce
- Legal guardianship
- Change of name
- Issues with social services
For any of these issues, you should consult a solicitor specialising in Family or Children Law – to ensure you get the best advice possible.
Will my child have to go to court?
Not all legal cases have to go to court – in many cases, they can be resolved through a process called Mediation. Family mediation is an alternative to court proceedings that is often less costly and can reduce tension and conflict, particularly for children. The mediator (or in some cases, two mediators) functions as a neutral third party and does not take sides. Even if you do not wish to appoint a mediator, be aware that a judge may not be willing to hear your case unless you have tried mediation or other avenues like collaborative law. This means that even if you think it won’t work for your family, it’s important to give mediation a go; it might actually work. Mediation usually takes less time than court as well, as you can arrange meetings to suit your own schedule.
If a legal matter proceeds to court, it’s not always the case that the child has to be there. Even concerning cases of abuse, they might be able to submit a witness statement from a separate room via video link. Unfortunately, it is sometimes necessary that a child attends court; in this case, the lawyer dealing with them should be qualified in child representation.
Choosing a solicitor or mediator
Solicitors who show a particularly high level of expertise, competence, and understanding of legal matters involving children can be accredited by an organisation like the Law Society or Resolution. By choosing an accredited professional, you know your family will have the best help available.
Foys Solicitors are accredited in Family Law and Children law with a range of specialties, and we have Resolution-accredited lawyers who are also qualified mediators. We are also able to represent a child in court if necessary. Regardless of what family issues you are having, Foys can help you resolve them in an efficient manner that respects the welfare of any children involved.
To book an initial free consultation or to find out more about our family law services, contact your local Foy Solicitors office today.