At AMD our dedicated family team provide advice, in confidence, with understanding and sensitivity.
When children are involved, we can advise on parental responsibility, residence and contact orders.
“Parental responsibility” means all the rights and responsibilities a parent has in relation to a child. The only exception to this is where the child was born after 1 December 2003 and the father is named on the child's birth certificate. In these circumstances the father will have parental responsibility. It is usually straightforward for a father to acquire parental responsibility either by agreement with the mother or through an application to the court
Data from the Office for National Statistics indicates that in 2007 in households with dependent children, 77% were married or cohabiting couples and 23% were lone parents. Of the lone parents, 20% were lone mothers and the overwhelming majority of absent (non-resident) parents were fathers. It is estimated that there may be as many as 30% of absent fathers who have no contact with their children. Sadly, there will also be many grandparents who lose contact with their grandchildren.
We can help make contact arrangements on behalf of parents, step-parents, guardians and grandparents that are safe and appropriate for the children.
When a relationship breaks down, it can be a difficult time for the whole family. The parties involved may not know where to turn and the confusion can cause a lot of stress. Whilst it is sometimes necessary to take matters to court, the parties may be able to resolve relationship issues through less formal means — often through mediation.