Children disputes on the rise
When couples separate, the issue regarding the amount of time that the children spend with each parent is usually a point of contention.
If the parents cannot reach an agreement regarding the arrangements for the children, either between themselves or via solicitors, it will be open to either party to make an application to court. When a party makes an application to court, the Judge will appoint a designated social worker – known as a Cafcass officer – to the case.
In March 2019, Cafcass received 4,166 new private law children act cases, representing an 18 percent increase on March 2018. This increase would suggest that more and more separating couples are using the courts as a way to resolve arrangements for their children.
Issuing an application at court to resolve a dispute regarding the children can be an extremely daunting, stressful and emotional time. The process can be lengthy and time consuming and some cases can take years to conclude. It is always best, if at all possible, to try and reach an agreement outside of the court arena. Having said that, there will always be cases which do require court intervention.
If you have an ongoing children act dispute or require advice regarding the process of making an application for a child arrangements order, please get in touch with our family team.