To avoid going to court, a divorcing couple will need to agree arrangements for looking after their children, particularly where they will live, how much time they will spend with each parent and how they will be financially supported. Child maintenance payments will need to be settled, either via a private agreement between the divorcing couple or through the government’s Child Maintenance Service scheme.
Mediation can help a divorcing couple agree child arrangements, while a written Parenting Plan can help parents clarify how their children are going to be cared for after the separation, as well as require that the best interests of the children are always put first.
Once child arrangements are agreed, a solicitor can help make the agreement legally binding by drafting a consent order, which must be signed by both parties and approved by the court. To get a consent order approved, a C100 court form will need to be completed (a solicitor can help with this) and submitted along with the draft consent order. The court fee is £215, and the consent order will normally be approved by a judge without a court hearing if they think decisions have been made in the children’s best interest.
Find out more about child arrangements following a divorce and the overall divorce process from our expert divorce solicitors in Liverpool City Centre: