Children

We are experienced in all kinds of children’s work and understand that these types of proceedings can be very daunting and stressful. We therefore endeavour to help our clients by enabling them to make informed decisions and to achieve the best outcome possible. We are able to act in both private and public children law cases. Please see below for further information on these.

Private Children Law

Sadly, when a relationship breaks down, you may need advice on how the law affects your rights to have a child/children reside with you, for you or your ex-partner to have contact with the child/children, or in a more specific area, such as child abduction or a protective measure. This may involve initial advice, corresponding with the other party, or even issuing or defending court proceedings.

Legal Aid may be available for private children proceedings, although the government have heavily restricted the scope of Legal Aid in private family proceedings. We can advise on whether Legal Aid would be available, although if it is not, we can also act for you on a private basis. We offer everything from an initial fixed fee appointment, giving general advice, up to and including representing you at court. Daniel Andrews is a Solicitor Advocate and is able to represent you in court, although your case may be one where we need to instruct a Barrister.

We are able to make emergency applications, where a person has severe concerns about a child’s immediate safety, in order to provide the child with the protection they may need.

Our particular areas of specialism include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Child Arrangements Orders – Orders that determine who a child should live with and who they should spend time with
  • Specific Issue Orders – Orders requiring a person to do something, in relation to a child
  • Prohibited Steps Orders – Orders preventing a person from doing something or making a decision about a child
  • Parental Responsibility – Parental responsibility allows a person to make decisions about a child’s care and upbringing. We can assist in obtaining or removing these rights
  • Changing a child’s name
  • Applying for permission for a child to move abroad or to another part of the country, or preventing this

Public Children Law

When the local Social Services department intervene in a family, this can be a very distressing time, for both the parents and the children concerned. We are able to give advise to parents who find themselves in this situation. Tim Stirmey has a number of years experience in this area and is an Adult Representative under the Law Society Children Law Accreditation Scheme.

The Local Authority can intervene in a family at a number of levels. Legal Aid may allow you free legal representation, if you have been told that your child/children might be placed on a Child Protection Plan. If the Local Authority are concerned enough to move your child to what is known as ‘Meeting Before Action”, then public funding is automatic, on a non-means, non-merits basis, for anyone with Parental Responsibility for the child/children. This is also the case if the Local Authority ever issue Care Proceedings, which would mean the case going to court.

Tim Stirmey has years of experience of representing parents at Child Protection Meetings and Meetings Before Action. He is also an experienced advocate in Care and Adoption Proceedings, representing parents and even grandparents, in court. In more complex cases, he will advise you on the potential need to instruct a specialist family barrister.

If for any reason, your case does not qualify for public funding, we are happy to advise you on a private basis.

If you would like to ask any questions or to receive an estimate of costs, you can:-

  • Telephone our offices on 01323 720581 / 431292.
  • Email us by clicking Contact us.
  • Arrange to see somebody face to face either at our offices or we will come to see you. There is no extra charge for a home visit for elderly or disabled people. We can arrange appointments outside office hours.