Helping a Father to negotiate flexible care arrangements in his children’s best interests

Kevin represented a Father of three young children who were currently living with their Mother. During the proceedings the Father had raised child welfare concerns against the mother, and wanted the children to live with him.

The case was listed for a final hearing, when the court was due to hear evidence and decide whether the children should remain where they were, or move to the Father’s care. Social Services had undertaken an investigation and concluded that there was no evidence to support the Father’s allegations. The Mother did not have legal representation, and the social worker who carried out the investigation attended court.

Negotiations took place at court and the parents were given additional time to try to reach a settlement. With Kevin’s help, his client eventually conceded that there was insufficient evidence to support his case for the children’s removal from their mother’s care. Kevin then helped him to formulate a set of proposals that would allow the children to spend time in his care both in term time and during school holidays. These proposals were flexible enough to allow for the fact that the Father was thinking of moving to another county, and also to work for the remainder of the children’s childhood, thus reducing the likelihood of further litigation in the future.

The Father’s proposals were shared with the social worker, who agreed that the arrangements were in the best interests of the children. The social worker then discussed the proposals with the Mother, who agreed to them.

The parties went before the court to outline the agreed care arrangements. The court commended both parents on having been able to reach a sensible agreement and approved court orders to give effect to the agreement.