Expert Help with Children & Parenting Issues…

Parental rights and responsibilities are automatically awarded to married parents and unmarried fathers if they are on the child’s birth certificate after 2006 in terms of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.

In making any decisions about a child, the welfare of the child is always the most important consideration. The child’s views should also be taken into account depending on the age of the child. Children of twelve years or older are presumed to have the maturity to express a view and weight should be given to such views. Sometimes depending on the age and maturity of a child he or she may seek their own legal representation when it comes to matters affecting where the child resides or how often he or she sees the other non-resident parent.

Child residence is a legal term used to describe where and with whom a child under the age of sixteen lives. Where the child resides is where he or she spends the majority of nights per week/fortnight and usually it is either parent who may seek a residence order where they are unable to agree this between themselves. Grandparents, siblings or other family members depending on the circumstances of the case may also seek residence orders.

A contact order perhaps more uniformly known as “access” is the name given for the right to maintain personal relations and direct contact with a child who does not reside with you on a regular basis.

If you are being refused contact by a former spouse or partner or indeed if you consider that your child or children should reside with you, the court can make orders that will regulate matters between you and your ex if you can’t agree this between you.

The court also has the power to impose orders upon either or both parents where for example there are disagreements over holiday arrangements, moving school or doctor’s practice or undergoing a medical procedure.

The question of child maintenance is one that we are frequently asked about and in the absence of agreement between you and your ex-partner or spouse then one or other parent can apply to the Child Maintenance Service for a maintenance assessment. A very helpful web calculator can be found here. The CMS do not deal with other extra-curricular costs such as sporting fees, Cubs or Brownies subscriptions and school trips etc. In certain circumstances costs can be sought through an order of court.

How much will it cost?

We offer a one hour fixed-fee meeting for £250 (including VAT) where one of our experienced family law solicitors will meet with you to offer personalised advice. We will then provide you with a quote for further advice or legal work that is required after the initial meeting, which is specific to your requirements.

We offer a free 10 minute telephone call with one of our solicitors to discuss how we can help.

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Frequently asked questions to consider…

A contact order is a binding decision by a court regulating the maintenance of a relationship between a child and parent that no longer live together.

Yes. You can in certain circumstances ask the court to grant you an order for all reasonable indirect contact such as via email, Skype, Facetime and telephone.

This is an order of court ordaining which parent a child is to live with.

No. You and your ex have equal parental rights and responsibilities and rights in realtion to your child or children.

If this cannot be agreed then a court as a last resort can be asked to make “a specific issue order”, declaring whether or not it is in your child or children’s best interests to holiday abroad. The court will be addressed by each party’s solicitor and the Sheriff or Judge will make a decision as to what is best for your child.

Yes. An application to a court can be made in the absence of agreement where each party must produce details of their income, outgoings and general circumstances to ascertain what if any, contribution should be made by each party to such costs.

Yes it is entirely possible for a grandparent or another family member, or someone who the court refers to as “an interested party” in certain circumstances, to seek such orders for a child.

We do not routinely offer Legal Aid (other than in Guardianships) but if you are eligible for Legal Aid you can find details of firms offering legal aid at www.slab.org.uk

Wise words from Beverley…

“Whatever you agree about how best your children are cared for at the time of separation may not be in their best interests in a few years time. Always be open to the idea that relationships, opportunities and circumstances can change and that what was decided even by a Court at a certain moment in time may not necessarily be in the child’s best interests until they are sixteen years of age.”

Beverley Johnson

We’re ready to help you…

We advise arranging a short free phone call with a member of our Family Law team before a £250 fixed fee one hour initial meeting. By doing so, we can ensure that we can assist you, prioritise your needs and that you are confident and reassured that going forward you have chosen the best solicitor to work with you.

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2. Prepare for your meeting

It is important that you prepare for your first fixed fee consultation in order to get the very best from your consultation – Click Here to find out what is required

Why use Johnson Family Law?

We are a family focussed team of specialist lawyers who consistently achieve good results for our clients. We offer sensitivity and understanding with specialised technical skills. We are solution-driven but every step along the way you are informed and given a range of options suitable for you. You will feel confident, supported and very importantly… get a response from us when you contact us.

We offer out of hours meetings, Skype, FaceTime and lots of texts to work around your needs.

90% of our work comes from our client recommendations & referral

We can help you right now…

To get started, we advise scheduling a call with a member of our family law team before arranging a fixed fee initial one hour meeting or a fixed fee package if suitable – we’ll advise on the right package for you.

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Here to help in a full range of family legal matters…

A stitch in time – Consider investing in an agreement to reflect what you both want to happen financially, should your relationship come to an end.

Sort it without court costs – these contracts regulate your separation. From your children to financial matters, these allow you to proceed to an undefended divorce.

Sometimes you need smart experienced lawyers to guide you through the complex legal system to help you deal with the end of your marriage, and to ensure a fair division of all matrimonial property.

Your children are your absolute priority so they are our priority too. We can work hard to help you in all disputes about Parental Rights and Responsibilities including residence and contact.

The law offers limited protection for cohabitees, governed by strict rules. We can make sure you receive a fair deal at the end of your relationship.

At your most vulnerable, we will make sure you and your family is protected.