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Disputes Between Parents

When a relationship breaks down the most important consideration for parents is the future arrangements for their children and how these will be decided. This could be where and with whom the children live and how often they see the other parent. There may be specific issues such as a child’s education or religious upbringing. You may need to discuss foreign travel either for a holiday or a permanent move. Ideally parents will agree between them and there is no need to involve solicitors or the courts. However, sometimes parents will need legal advice.

Goodman Ray specialise in advising and representing parents on all these matters. Our approach is child focused, and we will always put the child’s interests first when considering solutions with you. We will encourage you to reach agreement where possible and discuss with you the appropriateness of mediation, a collaborative approach or negotiation between solicitors before approaching the Court.

Court action should always be a last resort where all other attempts to agree a solution have failed. We are known for our leading expertise in some of the most complex children law cases, involving novel or developing areas of law.

We will listen carefully to what you have to say before outlining your options. No matter how complex or difficult your case may seem our experienced and sympathetic team can guide you through the issues.

We understand that going to court about your children is very stressful and so we also provide a therapeutic service which can help parents to manage the emotional aspects of the case.

Top Tips for Private Law Children

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For further information please contact one of our specialists

Peggy specialises in complex cases concerning children. She acts for children, young people and parents involved in care procee…
Gwen Williams is a Senior Partner and works in the Children team at Goodman Ray. She specialises in complex child law cases rep…
Trudi leads the Divorce and Matrimonial Finance Team and has been a partner at Goodman Ray since May 2000 as head…
Kevin has expertise in international custody disputes, child abduction, matrimonial proceedings and care proceedings. He is ass…
Emma is a child law specialist and will be ranked in Chambers and Partners 2016 as a leader in her field of public law. S…
Katrin joined the Adoption, Surrogacy and International Child Care Department in 2015. She specialises in cases concerning children …
Tom is a solicitor and a mediator in Goodman Ray’s Divorce and Matrimonial Finance Department, and a member of Resolution. He s…
Laura Dand is an experienced Family Law practitioner. She specialises in cases concerning divorce and relationship breakdown, i…
Janet specialises in domestic and international family law, particularly matters involving children. She has specific exp…

Child Protection

We specialise in advising and representing parents, children and other family members in child protection proceedings (known as Care Proceedings).

If social workers are worried about your child’s welfare – because they think your child is being neglected or is at risk of harm – you will need expert legal advice as early as possible to help you understand what is going on and decide how best to deal with the situation, both before and during Court proceedings.

Goodman Ray is recognised as the country’s leading firm in child protection cases. Our accredited specialist lawyers cover all sorts of cases including complex medical cases, cases where the effects of undiagnosed medical conditions are confused with signs of abuse, allegations of physical injury such as shaken baby syndrome, as well as cases involving allegations of sexual and emotional abuse.

We work with all kinds of families in all types of cases. We can take urgent action where needed. We listen carefully to our clients and advise on the practical steps needed. No matter how complicated or difficult the circumstances, our highly experienced team will guide you and be by your side every step of the way.

Legal aid is usually available to help parents get expert advice and representation in child protection cases.

Child Protection FAQs

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For further information please contact one of our specialists

Peggy specialises in complex cases concerning children. She acts for children, young people and parents involved in care procee…
Gwen Williams is a Senior Partner and works in the Children team at Goodman Ray. She specialises in complex child law cases rep…
Amanda Cattle is a Child Law expert. She specialises in representing each of the parties to public law family proceedings, incl…
Kevin has expertise in international custody disputes, child abduction, matrimonial proceedings and care proceedings. He is ass…
Emma is a child law specialist and will be ranked in Chambers and Partners 2016 as a leader in her field of public law. S…
Katrin joined the Adoption, Surrogacy and International Child Care Department in 2015. She specialises in cases  …
Ann Thompson has been a qualified solicitor since 1992 having originally trained and worked as a barrister. Ann Thompson joined…
Victor was admitted as a Solicitor in 1993. He joined Goodman Ray in June 2004 from Gary Jacobs Mehta & Co, to specialise i…

Child Abduction

If a child is removed from your care and taken abroad without your permission this can be unlawful and requires urgent action. Child abduction is a complex area of law and it is essential to take urgent specialist legal advice to ensure the safe and prompt return of the child to this country. If the wrong steps are taken, these can have far reaching and permanent consequences. Our child abduction team has extensive experience in acting for parents in cases where children have been removed both within the UK and abroad. We are members of the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) (www.justice.gov.uk/…/international-child-abduction-and-contact-unit) and members of the Lord Chancellor’s Child Abduction Panel. As panel members we are experienced in dealing with emergency situations including urgent applications (often out of conventional court hours) for orders to find children both within the UK and abroad.

Child Abduction FAQs

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EMERGENCY CONTACT TEL: 078 7902 3418

For further information please contact one of our specialists

Kevin has expertise in international custody disputes, child abduction, matrimonial proceedings and care proceedings. He is ass…
Ann Thompson has been a qualified solicitor since 1992 having originally trained and worked as a barrister. Ann Thompson joined…
Janet specialises in domestic and international family law, particularly matters involving children. She has specific exp…

Fostering and Kinship

If you are or plan to look after a child who is not your own, there are different legal ways of making these arrangements. You may already be looking after children for a Local Authority as a foster parent, or you may be considering becoming a foster carer and are not sure about the process.

A foster parent will never have parental rights for the children they look after. We can advise you in relation to the legal framework and potential problems you may encounter as a foster carer, starting from the process of assessment and approval to what to do when you have not been recommended as a foster carer or have been told that you will be deregistered. We can also guide and help you in the event that a Local Authority seeks to remove or already has removed a foster child from your care; or if you are considering adopting or applying for a Special Guardianship Order for a child you foster.

If you are looking after a relative child or the child of a friend on behalf of a Local Authority you should be getting support for the placement. We can advise you in relation to what support would be appropriate and what you are entitled to. We can also advise you if there is disagreement as to whether the placement is a private fostering arrangement or one in which the Local Authority was involved.

As a foster or kinship carer, you may also be asked to have a Special Guardianship Order for the child you are looking after. These orders will give you parental responsibility for the child which is shared with the parents. We can advise you what type of order may be the most appropriate for your circumstances and about the support you may be entitled to, and guide you through the process of obtaining the order.

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For further information please contact one of our specialists

Peggy specialises in complex cases concerning children. She acts for children, young people and parents involved in care procee…
Jemma is the partner in the Adoption, Surrogacy and International Child Care department. She specialises in and has exten…
Katrin joined the Adoption, Surrogacy and International Child Care Department in 2015. She specialises in cases concerning children …

International

If you wish to take your child abroad on holiday or move permanently to a country outside of England and Wales you need the consent of the other parent (and anyone else who has parental responsibility for your child). If you have a Child Arrangements order you can go on holiday for up to 28 days in one year without consent but in all other circumstances consent is required to avoid the removal of your child being unlawful. In the absence of consent you must make an application to the court for permission to leave. Goodman Ray regularly acts for parents who wish to move abroad or who wish to prevent a parent relocating with children. We also advise parents whose children have already been removed on the options available to them to get their children back or to enforce their rights to see their children either here or abroad. These are complex applications that require expert advice and guidance at an early stage to ensure the best possible chance of success.

You may wish to adopt a child abroad. Intercountry adoption is a highly specialist area of law where prospective adopters live in a different country to the child they wish to adopt. Our specialist team is able to offer advice and support to guide you through the process. For more specific details of our specialist adoption team and what we can do, please go to our alternative families’ page.

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For further information on moving a child abroad or preventing a move please contact one of our specialists

Peggy specialises in complex cases concerning children. She acts for children, young people and parents involved in care procee…
Trudi leads the Divorce and Matrimonial Finance Team and has been a partner at Goodman Ray since May 2000 as head…
Kevin has expertise in international custody disputes, child abduction, matrimonial proceedings and care proceedings. He is ass…
Katrin joined the Adoption, Surrogacy and International Child Care Department in 2015. She specialises in cases concerning children …
Janet specialises in domestic and international family law, particularly matters involving children. She has specific exp…