Children Issues

Making arrangements for your children is one of the most important issues you will face on separation or divorce. Where will your child live? How will you ensure they have contact with both parents? And what rights do you have in relation to their upbringing?

All your questions are answered in our series of comprehensive guides. From working out where your child will live to establishing parental responsibility, you’ll find guides to the main issues you’ll face when you want to make arrangements for your children after separation or divorce.

Parental responsibility explained

If you want to make important decisions relating to your child, then it’s important that you understand the concept of parental responsibility. This can ensure you get to have a say in important matters relating to the upbringing of your child.

So, what is parental responsibility? What does it mean in practice?  Who has parental responsibility? And what rights does it give you? Your complete guide answers these questions and more.

You’ll also get advice on how you can obtain parental responsibility if you don’t have it automatically, and how you can apply for a Parental Responsibility Order.

Fathers’ rights

If you’re a father, what rights do you have regarding the upbringing of your child? It’s a question that many fathers ask on separation or divorce, and our guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Find out about parental responsibility, what decisions a father has a right to participate in, and what financial obligations a father has for his child. We also look at issues that commonly arise, such as taking your child on holiday.

If you’re a same-sex father, stepfather or unmarried father then this guide will also outline the rights you have.

Mothers’ rights

If you’re a birth mother, you automatically have parental responsibility for your child. This means that you have a legal right to be involved in decisions about your child’s future, including their education and medical needs.

In this comprehensive guide we explain exactly what rights you have as a mother, including if you’re the non-resident parent or you’re in a same-sex relationship. You’ll also find the answers to other questions, including whether the law favours certain parents when it comes to custody or contact.

Grandparents’ rights

Divorce and separation can be a stressful time, not just for you but also for your family. If you’re a grandparent, then you may be concerned that you won’t get to see your grandson or granddaughter after their parents divorce.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find out what rights you have as a grandparent. There’s advice to follow if you’re being denied contact with your grandchild, and information about how things differ if your grandchild is adopted or fostered.

There’s also a simple guide to the court procedure if you decide to apply to court for contact with your grandchild.

Who should the child live with?

When you separate or divorce, establishing where your child will live can be one of the most emotive decisions you will face. This is especially true if you and the other parent can’t come to an agreement.

So, what are your options? What factors are considered when deciding where your child should live? Will you have to go to court to sort out the arrangements? And what types of order can the court make?

Read this comprehensive guide for answers to these questions and more. And, find out everything you need to know when deciding where your child should live when you separate/divorce.


Previously known as ‘access’, contact concerns the amount of time that your child should enjoy with each of their parents. Ensuring that your child gets quality contact with each of their parents can be one of the most challenging issues you face during divorce.

In this guide you’ll find answers to all the common questions about contact. Find out what contact you are entitled to, what types of contact there are, and what happens if your child is struggling to get the quality contact they need.

And, if you can’t come to an agreement with the other parent, find out about the court process for ensuring contact with your child.

Shared parenting

Shared parenting is becoming a more common approach to dealing with child custody and contact following separation or divorce.

Here, we talk you through how shared parenting works, whether it means a 50/50 split, and what shared parenting means in practical terms. Find out about Shared Parenting Agreements and how shared parenting can work.

You’ll also find everything you need to know about whether you have to go to court, and when the court might order shared residence.

Sole residence

Deciding where your child should live is one of the biggest factors to consider when you separate or divorce. You might want your child two have two homes and live with you on a shared basis, or you might decide that they will live with one or other parent.

Your complete guide explains what sole residence is, and what it means in practical terms. Find out everything you need to know about your rights if your child lives with the other parent, and how you can ensure your child maintains contact with both parents.

If you can’t decide where your child should live, you’ll also find helpful advice to the court process and the orders that a court can make.

Taking the children on holiday after a divorce

Taking your children on holiday after divorce can create issues, particularly if you’re the non-resident parent. If you don’t get the proper consent, then you may be committing child abduction.

In this comprehensive guide, we explain exactly what permissions you need to take your children on holiday after you’re divorced. Find out what consent you need and how you can get permission from the court of the other parent doesn’t consent.

You’ll also find everything you need to know about having your children returned if they have been taken out of the country without your agreement.

Parent and child relocating in the UK after divorce

When you divorce, you might want to relocate to another part of the UK – perhaps to be closer to friends or family. However, this can create conflict with the other parent, particularly if you plan to move a long distance.

So, are you allowed to move? Do you have to go to court to relocate your children? And what are your rights? We answer these questions and more in your complete guide to relocating in the UK with your children.

You’ll also find advice about what steps you can take if you want to try and prevent the other parent from relocating, and the court process.

Parent and child relocating abroad after divorce, and Leave to Remove

After you divorce, you may want to relocate abroad with your children – perhaps for work or back to your home country. However, this can be difficult if the other parent objects to the move.

In your complete guide you’ll find out whether you’re allowed to relocate abroad with your children without the other parent’s permission. Find out the court process you must follow if you want to relocate, and the factors the court will consider when deciding whether to grant consent.

If you’re worried about your child being taken overseas, you’ll also find advice on how you can prevent the relocation and what you should do if your child has been relocated overseas without your consent.

International child abduction

Taking a child out of the UK without the permission of the other parent can constitute international child abduction, and there can be serious consequences for this.

In your complete guide, find out what constitutes international child abduction, how you can prevent your child from being taken abroad without your consent, and how you can obtain permission for a trip if the other parent disagrees.

You’ll also find useful advice on what to do if your child has been abducted, including the steps you can take under international law to ensure their swift and safe return.

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The information on this website is to be considered a guide and is therefore not legal advice. You use this information with the understanding that Wiselaw does not accept liability for any direct or indirect losses as a result of anyone relying on or acting upon the information on this website. Whilst we endeavour to provide accurate information, Wiselaw does not accept liability for any errors or omissions on this website.