The old “Residence” and “Contact” orders have been replaced by the Child Arrangements Order.
This is a change in emphasis to encourage parents to focus on the arrangements that are made for their children rather than the label given to it.
Child Arrangements Orders are defined as an order regulating arrangements relating to any of the following:
- With whom a child is to live, spend time with or otherwise have contact
- When a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact with any person.
The two main issues that parents will encounter are therefore still the question of where a child will live or reside and then the time they will spend with the parent that they do not live with.
He's got to keep a roof over our heads hasn't he?
Non-residential parents have to pay maintenance for their children; hopefully the amount can be agreed though negotiation and if not then the CSA will decide. Each case is different. If for example the Mum and the children stay in the family home then she may relinquish her claims over any other assets such as pension and savings in return.
How soon can I file for Divorce?
There is a 12 month barring rule which means you can start the divorce process after being married for 1 year. In England you can get divorced if your marriage has broken down irretrivably, usually proved by allegations of adultery or unreasonable behaviour, or if there has been 2 years' of continously living apart.
My aunt only has one bank account. Can I deal with this on her behalf?
If the bank allows, it is possible for your aunt to name you as a third party on her bank account. This will allow you to withdraw funds and sign cheques on her behalf. We can help your aunt complete the mandate form required to put this in place.
What am I entitled to in a divorce? Can she take me for every penny?
No. Sometimes it may feel as though this has happened. The aim when sharing out matrimonial assets is to be fair. Both spouses have to make full disclosure about their assets and debts before any decisions can be made about distribution, trying to hide anything won't work. Factors which are important when sharing out the assets include the current and future needs of each spouse and any dependent children; the length of marriage and the age, earning capacity and contributions of each party.
Will I lose touch with my children?
Your aim should be that both parents still play an active part in the raising of the child/children. Usually parents sort this out amongst themselves, although if there are problems mediation can be a good way to resolve this. Going to Court should always be the last resort where children are involved.
Will we have to go to Court during our divorce?
No, getting a divorce should be an administrative excersise only and there are many options open to you that avoid going to Court.