Disputes arise when there is disagreement about where a child should live or who a child should live with and how much they should see the other parent or other family members including grandparents. Where these end up in Court, it was because one of the parents had applied for a Residence Order or a Contact Order. From April 2014, Residence and Contact Orders have been replaced by Child Arrangements Orders.
The terminology of the Orders is better, but these types of disputes can still be very damaging to children.
Ideally parents should meet within Mediation and find a solution together which best meets the needs of their child.
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Sometimes this is not possible. There may be genuine safety issues. One parent may have failed to return a child after a visit. A Child Arrangements Order may be needed as a protection against possible abduction.
Within all cases difficult decisions have to be made. Often there can be long term consequences if these are wrong or bad. It is therefore important that good advice is received early on. A lot can rest upon what parents do and how they communicate.
Ian Walker is a member of both the Children Law Accreditation Scheme and a Practitioner Member of the Family Mediation Accreditation scheme of the Law Society. As a mediator, Ian Walker is also trained to meet with children as part of the mediation process. This means that in addition to the high level of skill as a Child Law Solicitor, Ian is also able to draw upon a similar high level of skill and experience as a family mediator. What this means is that when Ian is acting for clients in cases concerning children he can draw upon his expertise as a mediator, to assist clients in communicating with other parents and professionals to assist them in obtaining the best possible outcome to the problem.
In addition to this Ian is also accredited by the family lawyer’s organisation Resolution as a specialist in these type cases and in cases involving domestic abuse.