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Divorce and Children

Where do the children live? As the childrens parents, nobody can interfere in your decision, providing the children are all right. If you cannot agree we can help, we will try and reach an agreement with the other parent on your behalf. If we can't, we can turn to the court for help. District Judges will try and help to reach an agreement about it, and they can call on the assistance of the Court Welfare Officer as well.The whole system is there to help you find the best answer for the children.

Visiting Rights: When parents split up, children can be seriously affected by the changes that are happening. It is important to try and see the matter through the eyes of the children themselves.If you have suffered violence from your partner, you feel that you are completely justified in refusing to allow any form of contact ever again. It will be distressing for you to find out that the children have a right of their own to continue to have contact with your ex-partner.

If you are unmarried: If a father is not married to a child's mother, it may only be the mother who has responsibility for the child lawfully. This is automatic, from the birth of the child. Fathers may not have parental responsibility automatically, and can only acquire it by the mother giving it to him, or by the court ordering it. If the child was born after the 1st December 2003 and the father's name is on the birth certificate he will also have parental responsibility.

Parental Responsibility: Gives you the authority to deal with your children's school, for example, and to receive regular reports on your child's progress. Similarly, you would have to take the responsibility to give consent to medical treatment, when that becomes necessary. You have the right to be consulted by the parent the children live with, about where they live, how they are taught, their religious instruction, and whether they should travel abroad.