Last week, Trainee Solicitor Amina Amin, took part in The Law Society’s weekly #SolicitorChat on Twitter. Following her insightful answers, Amina scooped first prize, winning a donation to our charity partner, SAMH.
The topic up for discussion was Amending a child arrangement order. With children begin to return to school, many parents and guardians may be considering amends to child arrangement orders. But what steps should they take to ensure the changes are legally binding? And how can a solicitor help guardians to find an agreement which works for everyone?
If you are considering a child arrangement order, Amina’s winning answers are below:
What steps should parents/guardians take when amending a child arrangement order?
Varying a court order can be complex depending on terms that need to be varied and the reason for doing so. Given this, it is important that the parent/guardian takes time to think about what terms of the order they would like to amend and the reason for doing so.
Secondly, if a solicitor is instructed, the parent/guardian should arrange a meeting with their solicitor to discuss their concerns.
Thirdly, the parent must ensure that the changes they do seek are in fact in the best interest of the child.
Do the parents/guardians need to attend mediation before amending a child arrangement order?
Whilst in Scotland mediation is not a requirement, it is in fact encouraged by solicitors. Mediation allows parents/guardians to come to a practical solution in an environment that is safe and comfortable.
However, it is important to note that that the Courts in Scotland can grant an order requiring parties to attend mediation if the Sheriff finds that this is necessary.
What are the main things parents/guardians need to consider before making an application to the court to vary a child arrangement order?
Parents may want to change an existing court order for many reasons. Before proceeding with this there are three important points to remember:
- Firstly, is the amendment in the best interest of the child?
- Secondly, is there any way in which an agreement can be reached between parties through alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation?
- Thirdly, is the varying of the court order necessary?
What will the court take into consideration when reviewing an application to vary a child arrangement order?
The paramount factor that the court will consider is whether the application to vary the court order is, in fact, in the best interest of the child. The court will have regard to whether the change will benefit the child as well as the effect this will have on the welfare of the child and their development. The Court can be hesitant to vary an existing order if it appears to be working well for the child.
Why is it important to seek expert advice from a solicitor when amending a child arrangement order?
Seeking expert child law solicitor advice is of upmost importance when thinking about varying a child arrangement order. Your instructed Family Solicitor will be able to advise the next steps suited to your family situation. Our Family Department here at Jones Whyte understand how stressful and worrying varying a court order may be.
We take time to provide our clients with not only, thorough legal advice but are also there to provide you with the support you require during an understandably difficult situation & help find proactive solutions to address your concerns.
If you have any questions regarding a child arrangement order or any areas of family law, contact our expert team today. Call 0141 375 1222, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our online contact form.
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