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How to get child custody of your children

Sorting out child custody is often one of the most difficult parts of the divorce process. Deciding who a child will live with and how often they will have contact with the other parent, can be challenging, even in the most amicable of breakups.

In this article, we’ll will explain how child custody works and discuss some of the possible options if you and your ex-spouse can’t agree on who will get child custody.


What’s child custody?

Child custody law in the UK dictates who would be mainly responsibly for the child, after a couple separate or get a divorce.

Child custody is now often referred to as ‘residency’ i.e. where the child will live.

For many parents, joint child custody (or joint residency) will be the end result. This is when the child spends half of their time with one parent and half of their time with the other.

child custody


How child custody works

If both parents can agree on child custody and financial support for the child, there will normally be no need to attend any court hearings.

A solicitor, such as Austin Kemp, can make an agreement legally binding. We would always recommend that parents do this, so that their child custody agreement is legally binding. This is useful should one parent try to go against the arrangements you have made in the future.

If an agreement cannot be reached regarding child custody arrangements, there are other options. For example, a mediator – an independent third party there to aid discussions between you and the other parent, with the aim of reaching an agreement – could help if talks between you and the other parent are proving difficult. Mediation can be much quicker and more cost-effective than attending court.


When child custody mediation fails

If you and the other parent cannot agree on child custody (or any other aspect of child arrangements), you may have to ask a court to decide for you.

First and foremost are the best interests of the child in child custody cases.

The court will issue a court order based on what it believes is appropriate. A child arrangements order is used by the court to dictate child custody.


Where to get child custody

For many parents, child custody is something that they are able to agree on between themselves. Sometimes, help in the form of a mediator may be required.

In some instances, asking a court to decide child custody arrangements is the only way to resolve a dispute.


Can child custody be changed?

It is possible to change child custody arrangements in some circumstances. A solicitor can advise you if you are likely to be able to change your child custody agreement.


Can child custody be refused?

Rarely, a court may decide that one parent should not have any access to their child. However, if the parent’s circumstances change, the court has the right to change its decision.

It is highly recommended that you seek legal advice from a solicitor regarding child custody arrangements, especially if you think you and the other parent may be unable to reach an agreement.


How can our expert divorce solicitors help you with child custody options?

Our expert family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues relating to child custody, including:


Contact our expert divorce solicitors for advice on child custody

For more information call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email

Our expert family law solicitors offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in:

Leeds Office: St Andrew House, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW

Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR

Halifax Office: Old Lane, Halifax, HX3 5WP

Huddersfield Office: Northumberland Street Huddersfield, HD1 1RL

Coventry Office: Warwick Road, Coventry, CV1 2DY

Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB

Please contact us for more details.

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20th March 2020

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