What rights do absent parents have if they come back into a child’s life after several years’ away?

The concept of a traditional family unit has changed, and, in some situations, this can give rise to problems. Figures from 2016 suggest that not only does it have a huge impact on the mental wellbeing of the family unit, but it has a financial impact too. According to the Relationships Foundation’s report ‘The Cost of Family Failure Index’, the economic impact of family breakdown in 2016 was higher than the UK defence budget, at an astonishing £48billion. That breaks down to an individual cost for each and every taxpayer…

Your rights as a step-parent after a divorce

If you’re a recently divorced step-parent and are wondering what rights you have in regard to seeing your step-children, there’s a number of things you need to know. Here, we take a look at what happens after a divorce, what measures a step-parent can take in order to gain access to a step-child, and whether there any financial obligations that needs to be met. A legal definition of a 'step-parent' In order to work out what legal rights and responsibilities are shouldered by step-parents after a divorce, we first need…

Access Disputes – how to settle your differences without going to court

Whether you are married, in a civil partnership or just living together, splitting up can be an emotional time. If there are children involved, the feelings of hurt and anger can be magnified. However, this is the time when your children need you to be at your most level-headed. With Legal Aid now only offered in a handful of cases, more couples are trying to resolve their differences without going to court. While it may not be possible in every case, settling issues such as access to children without appearing…

Taking the children on holiday

A common question we get asked as family lawyers is whether a parent or a child's carer is allowed to take a child on holiday without permission. The purpose of this article is to provide some guidance on this issue. The first issue that you need to consider is whether you have Parental Responsibility for the child in your care. Parental Responsibility (PR) is defined in the Children Act 1989 as "all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation…

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