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At Butcher & Barlow, our Children Law Solicitors have years of experience in helping parents navigate the complexities of children law, all whilst maintaining a compassionate and positive attitude.

Matters regarding children law can often become contentious and emotionally stressful, so we aim to provide a calm and measured service that helps our clients achieve the best possible outcome for parental disputes, no matter what their case involves.

We make sure that we adapt to the circumstances of your case, and that your issues are heard and addressed. Common worries for our clients are where their children will live and what contact they will have with them. Other issues that can arise include where children will go to school and contact arrangements for other family members, such as grandparents.

All of our Children Law Solicitors are well versed in these topics and will be able to provide reassurance, as well as clear, practical advice on what your next steps should be.

Have a question? Please see our children law FAQs or get in touch.

Our Children Law services include:

  • Agreeing children arrangements voluntarily
  • Court applications for Children Arrangements Orders (in order to decide where children will live, and/or how they will spend time with each parent).
  • Relocation with children
  • Changing children’s surnames
  • Specific Issue Orders
  • Prohibited Steps Orders (to prevent a parent taking a specific action)
  • Parental alienation
  • Care and social services
  • Grandparents’ rights

Reasons to choose Butcher & Barlow for children law

  • Free initial assessment for most family law issues
  • Legal aid available for qualifying cases
  • An experienced Family team including members and accredited specialists of leading associations, such as the Law Society’s Children and Advanced Family Law Panel, as well as family law network Resolution
  • Branches throughout Cheshire and Manchester, so you can access a local children law Solicitor on your doorstep

Contact our Children Law Solicitors in the North West of England

If you have any queries regarding children law or require any related children law advice, please contact us at Butcher & Barlow.

You can call us on +44 (0)161 797 5650 or email enquiries@butcher-barlow.co.uk.

What our clients say about us

“Would highly recommend Butcher & Barlow. Professional, legal knowledge second to none and clear precise advice. Excellent all round.”

“At a very stressful time they represented us in a family matter. Throughout the whole proceedings they were completely professional, kept us informed at every stage and supported us on the lead up to and throughout the court proceedings. All staff involved with our case were friendly, courteous and respectful.”

“Excellent service from Angela Gleave for my divorce, professional, efficient and very helpful, very happy with the service I received and would definitely recommend.” 

Get in touch with our Children Law Solicitors in the North West of England

If you have any queries regarding children law or require any related children law advice, please contact us at Butcher & Barlow.

You can call us on +44 (0)161 764 4062 or email enquiries@butcher-barlow.co.uk.

Frequently asked questions about children law

A Child Arrangements Order is a legally binding order that regulates plans regarding to whom the child lives with, spends time with and has contact with, as well as specific timings about when this will all occur.

The court has the capacity to order that a child lives with one parent and has contact with the other, or that the child lives with both parents at alternate times.

Our Child Arrangements Solicitors have years of experience with these matters and will make sure you are well informed about all of the various factors that go into a court’s decision.

The level of contact stated by the Child Arrangements Order will also vary depending on the specifics of the case, so it is important that you have the support of an experienced children law specialist when going through this process.

Parental responsibility refers to the legal rights and obligations that you have in association with the upbringing of your children.

It is important to note that it does not grant an automatic right for you to spend time with your children if you don’t live with them, but it does require the other parent to make sure that you are involved in important decisions regarding your children’s lives.

Furthermore, you are responsible for matters such as deciding on appropriate disciplinary measures, choosing where they go to school, giving or refusing consent for medical treatments, making decisions regarding their legal names, registration and any changes related to this.

Who has parental responsibility will depend on the circumstances. While birth mothers will automatically have parental responsibility, this is not necessarily the case for other parents.

If you and your ex-spouse cannot come to an agreement, there are a few options that we can assist with. The first is to try alternative dispute resolution (if it can be safely arranged), which can involve a few different methods of trying to come to an agreeable solution, such as:

  • Mediation
  • Collaborative law
  • Negotiation

Generally, these methods lead to a mutually agreeable settlement. However, they are not always safe or effective for everyone. If you are still unable to agree, then it may be necessary to apply to the court with your case to let them decide. If this happens, our Child Solicitors will make sure to build you a robust case that should achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.

The decision to relocate carries significant importance and you should carefully consider the potential effects on your child and the other parent’s relationship with them.

It is important to be aware that the other parent may contest the move through a court application if they can prove that the move in contrary to the child’s best interests.

If your case does go to court, it is essential that you present a meticulously prepared and carefully considered plan, accompanied by all the required supporting documentation. Our Children Law Solicitors will be able to work with you to build a strong case in this situation.

If both parents possess parental responsibility, it would be wise to obtain written permission from the other parent before you take your child out of the country. Good practice would be to get a letter confirming permission and some countries require such documentation in order to visit. A letter should include the other parent’s contact details and contain specific details about the trip.

It is important to note that this is with reference to holidays outside of the country and does not apply in terms of holidays within England and Wales.

In the absence of a court order and if both parents possess parental responsibility, it is necessary to have the other parent’s explicit written permission before your child’s legal name can be changed. The consent of all persons with parental responsibility will also be required when changing your child’s medical details, school record and much more. However , If you cannot agree on such changes, you can apply for permission to the court, who can override the other parent’s objections, but only if there are good reasons to do so.

A Special Guardianship is a legal arrangement put in place by the family court where a child lives with an individual other than their parents for an extended period of time. This person becomes responsible for the child, and therefore becomes their Special Guardian.

A Special Guardianship Order ensures the child placement is secure and provides a long-term arrangement, as well as granting parental responsibility to the Special Guardian. It also aims to maintain connections between the child or young person and their birth parents.

Unfortunately, grandparents do not have any automatic rights to contact with their grandchildren. While contact with grandchildren can usually be agreed upon amicably, sometimes it might be necessary to apply to a court.

Grandparents can potentially secure a Child Arrangements Order to gain access to grandchildren, but they must first apply for the court’s permission to make such an application, as this right is also not automatic. However, courts do generally want children to have time with wider family, depending on the individual reasons such arrangements cannot be made by agreement with the parents.

Kevan Hankinson

Kevan Hankinson


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an image of Nicola Wingfield, a Butcher & Barlow LLP employee

Nicola Wingfield


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Rachel Cryan


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Family Law Team

Our people are what makes Butcher & Barlow what it is. Each one of our team is committed to building a solid, long-lasting working relationship with our clients across Bury, Manchester and Cheshire.

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