Tag Archive: divorce

  1. Child Arrangement Issues Explained

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    The breakdown of a relationship is always a difficult experience, particularly when there are children to think about. You only want what’s best for them, but amidst the fallout, wires can become crossed and it’s not always the case that both parents see eye to eye.

    At DRN, we have a dedicated team of experts in family and children matters, who have set out some advice below for those struggling with child arrangements.


    What are child arrangements?

    Child arrangements were previously referred to by the courts as “contact arrangements”. When a relationship breaks down, the parents involved will need to reach an agreement on the arrangements for their child, including which parent the child will live with and how often the other parent will spend time with the child.

    ‘Direct arrangements’ between a parent and child refers to any time spent face-to-face, and can include during the daytime or overnight.

    ‘Indirect arrangements’ is the term used for any occurrences where the parent might keep in touch with the child without physically visiting them. This can include engaging in telephone conversations, email or written letter exchanges or the sending of gifts.


    Who is entitled to spend time with a child?

    Contrary to popular belief, having parental responsibility and/or being named on a child’s birth certificate does not give an automatic right to spend time with a child. Any arrangements should be agreed on the terms of what is best for the child, not the parent, or any other person.

    In cases of separation, the parent the child lives with can usually make arrangements for time which the other parent should spend time with their child. Any arrangements should usually only be restricted in instances where it is felt necessary to safeguard the child.

    Agreements can be outlined for any person who maintains a close relationship with the child, including grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, and close friends.

    In most cases, both parents are able to reach an amicable agreement and arrange time on terms which suit both parties. However, if this is not the case, it may become necessary to seek legal advice, and the expert solicitors at DRN can help.


    What if my child is not picked up or brought home on time?

    Both parents should try to stick to the agreed times for pick-up and drop-off to the best of their ability, although some understanding on either part should be given for delays caused by public transport, traffic or emergency.


    The parent of my child has not made a maintenance payment – are they still entitled to contact?

    Issues relating to child maintenance and issues related to child arrangements are seen as entirely separate from one another in the eyes of the law. For this reason, you will not be justified in refusing the non-resident parent time with their child on the basis that they have not paid maintenance for the child.


    I need further advice – what should I do next?

    With an understanding of all policies and procedures involved, your DRN solicitor will be able to provide sound advice and guidance throughout the process of settling your child arrangement issues, along with expert legal representation and an entirely confidential and reliable service. Get in touch today for more information about our services and find out how we can help you to achieve a favourable outcome.

  2. DRN Family Law Team Awarded Legal Aid ‘Excellence’ Review Rating

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    DRN’s leading Family Law team have achieved an Excellence review rating following an independent external review of their work by the Legal Aid Agency.

    Legal Aid Agency Audit

    “Excellence” is the number one rating that can be achieved by a legal team during a Legal Aid Agency audit. The full list of ratings is as follows:

    • excellence (1)
    • competence plus (2)
    • threshold competence (3)
    • below competence (4)
    • failure in performance (5)

    The Process

    To gain this exemplary rating, 25 files from DRN were requested by the Legal Aid Agency. These files were chosen at random, and were then independently reviewed by an external assessor. Their comprehensive report concluded with positive findings in all areas, including:

    • Advice tailored to clients
    • Linked advice and client referrals
    • Proactive steps taken on behalf of clients
    • Client’s needs being met
    • Keeping clients up to date with developments

    All of the above findings were met with a glowing report, as well as a host of additional positive findings.

    Family Law Team

    Nicola Barrow, head of the Family department at DRN said:

    “I am incredibly proud of the continuous hard work from the Family Team at DRN, who dedicate themselves to ensuring client’s receive the best advice and representation possible every single day.”

    DRN’s leading family law team are available to support you with legal advice and representation in all matters concerning family matters, including custody, adoption, name changing, divorce and separation.

    If you would like to talk to a member of our friendly team, call our Burnley office today on 01282 433 241 and we will be happy to help you.

  3. Spike In Divorce Applications This Festive Period

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    Thousands of unhappy couples throughout the UK made positive steps towards finalising a divorce or formal separation over the festive period by using the government’s online service.

    Since its introduction, the online divorce application service on gov.uk has been used to file more than 23,000 applications for divorce – with thirteen being made on Christmas Day!

    The festive period is a peak time for divorce applications for a number of reasons. The stress of providing a joyful Christmas for loved ones when you’re unhappy or feeling under pressure can force tensions to the surface. For many, the end of the year acts as a benchmark, and reaching the 25th December can mean plans to divorce that had been shelved are finally put into place. The new year can be a busy time for divorce lawyers too – separating is a new year’s resolution for many unhappy couples.

    Splitting up amicably is, of course, the ideal outcome for any couple. There is never an ideal time to apply for divorce, but on the positive side, the sooner the wheels are now in motion the better. You can then begin to plan for a clean break to begin a new chapter of your life.

    Thinking positively about divorce

    Once you have decided between yourselves that a separation and/or divorce is necessary, you have made the biggest step. From now on, our team of family solicitors and divorce lawyers can support and guide you through the process from start to finish, enabling you to make decisions that are financially sound and keep the security of your family as a priority.

    Staying together for the sake of the children is often cited as the biggest mistake our divorcing clients made in the years preceding their divorce. The truth is, if you are unhappy in your marriage for any reason, staying together reduces your quality of life and upsets the balance and happiness of your family.

    The positives of divorce might seem well-hidden, but it can be the best decision with the best outcomes for you, your estranged partner and your family. As well as relieving the stress that may have built up over time thinking about your relationship problems, an amicable divorce offers you the opportunity to remain on good terms, rather than having your relationship deteriorate further by struggling through a loveless marriage. A divorce will set out clearly how your joint finances will be split, leaving no room for contention. It will also take into account your children, and enable you to make solid plans so that both of you can see them fairly – something that can be made difficult in an unofficial arrangement.

    If you feel you are stuck in a loveless marriage or both feel you aren’t happy in your current situation, get in touch with DRN’s expert sympathetic and understanding solicitors today. We speak to people every day about divorce proceedings; if you are thinking about it yourself then you aren’t alone and we can help.