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Children and the Law

If you are thinking about divorce or separation, one of your biggest worries is likely to be about your children: where they will live and how they will continue to have a meaningful relationship with both of you. This section looks at important aspects of how the law works with regards to your children. It also looks at the emotions involved, supporting your children through this time, managing parenting after the split and how to manage the situation if domestic abuse or addiction is involved. There is also a section written for grandparents, looking at how they can support the family during this time

Children and the Law

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Child Maintenance

Child maintenance is regular, reliable financial support paid towards a child’s everyday living costs. The parent without the main day-to-day care of the child (the parent who pays, previously called the non-resident parent or NRP) pays child maintenance to the parent with the main day-to-day care (the parent who receives maintenance, previously called the parent with care or PWC). In some cases, a grandparent or guardian can be paid child maintenance if they are the child’s main carer.

Children and the Law
Parents talking to child about their divorce

Care proceedings and Adoption

This section deals with information about care proceedings and adoption. It covers Children's Services, child protection plans, case management hearings, court orders and takes a look at section 20 agreements.

Children and the Law

The Wellbeing of your Children and yourself

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Looking after you

Recognising your feelings will allow you to better support your children. Understand how feelings of anger, denial and depression can affect you and how you can manage them is extremely important.

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Maintaining relationships with your children

When parents split up the questions about where the children will live and how will each parent get to spend time with them will naturally arise. It is important to keep your children informed about what you are planning and listen to their opinions too.

Helping your children deal with their emotions

Children will react in different ways to the divorce. Some will be angry, hurt or upset, some may show no reaction at all. In families where there has been a great deal of fighting between parents, children may even feel relieved. They need to know that this is normal. We look at the common emotions children might experience and how you can help support them through this time.

Parenting After Parting

The Parenting Charter

Conflict is damaging, especially conflict happening between the two people your children love best in the world. Our Parenting Charter sets out what children should be able to expect from their parents if they are separating and what separating parents need to do in the interests of their children.

Family Portrait

Parenting Apart

If you are thinking about divorce or separation, one of your biggest worries is likely to be about your children: where they will live and how they will continue to have a meaningful relationship with both of you.

Paper house and shape hearts on wooden table.

Managing life between two homes

For children, being able to spend time with both of their parents is important. As difficult as it may seem at first, managing to successfully parent across two homes is achievable. This section look at how to manage this situation to provide the best outcomes for your children

Top tips to keep kids’ best interests first during divorce or separation

We have some top tips for parents to help keep your kids' best interests first during divorce or separation.