Issues regarding the children are often the most worrying and at Watson Ramsbottom we pride ourselves on finding the best possible solution to your situation in the quickest time possible. Often we will make an emergency application regarding the children the same day so as to ensure the best interests of the children are protected. We will ensure that you are kept fully informed and always take your concerns seriously – you are best placed to know what is best for your children after all.
We have fought and succeeded for many clients in this area including mothers, fathers, grandparents, step-parents and other family members in relation to Contact (formerly access) including enforcing contact orders and preventing contact, Residence (formerly custody), Prohibited steps, Specific issue orders, Child abduction cases, Permission to remove from the jurisdiction and Change of name applications.
Parental responsibility allows a parent to make important decisions for a child such as which school they should attend, what surname they should have and to give consent to medical treatment. It is a concept involving the status of a parent. It is generally only an issue where the parents of children have not been married. The mother of the child automatically has parental responsibility for her child. However the father of the child does not automatically have parental responsibility.
Where a child is born before 1st December 2003 and the parties are not married, the father does not automatically acquire parental responsibility.
Where a child is born after the 1st December 2003, the father will automatically acquire parental responsibility, but only where he is registered as the child’s father on the birth certificate.
Where the father does not have parental responsibility, the father and mother may agree that the father has parental responsibility and enter into a formal agreement confirming this. However, if it is disputed, the father may have to apply for a Parental Responsibility Order. It is also possible in some cases for the non parental carer (e.g. grandparent) to obtain Parental Responsibility. As in all other cases, the interests of the child will be regarded as of primary importance in determining whether such an Order should be made.
Financial maintenance is very rarely dealt with by the court. You can use the Child Maintenance Calculator on the www.gov.uk website at this link to calculate a maintenance estimate. Please contact us if you require further advice.
Please fill in the form on the right of the page or to arrange an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss matters, please contact the head of our team Rachel Horman on 01254 67 22 22.
Our Clients Say:
Rachel’s work as a solicitor in Domestic Violence arena can only be described as exceptional
If there's one lawyer you need to get for your family law case, it's Sophia Isa. Sharp, knowledgeable, efficient and punctual, she really knows what she's doing. She represented me for an international relocation and child custody case, and won it on both counts. Her advice was always spot-on and she never lost sight of the end goal. Sophia responded to my queries quickly, met deadlines in advance, and always kept me updated about my situation.But what makes Sophia a brilliant lawyer, as opposed to just a good lawyer, is that she's invested in your case. She heard my concerns and addressed them above and beyond my expectations. Five stars all the way. I highly recommend Sophia and would not hesitate to use her again.
Debbie on reception was excellent, always very friendly, helpful and efficient. Diane, my legal advisor, was brilliant. I cannot thank her, nor, recommend her highly enough. She conversed by phone, letter and email, always in a timely manner, often quicker than I expected. Diane explained everything very clearly and was always willing to explain in detail again when I needed further clarification. I have used Watson Ramsbottom for Divorce, Wills, Financial Settlements and Conveyancing, I have always been treated with the upmost courtesy and respect whilst being dealt with in a very timely manner. I would absolutely have no hesitation recommending Watson Ramsbottom to anyone, and I do, when asked regularly.
Rachel Horman is an outstanding solicitor of her generation. Her career long activism in the field of domestic abuse marks her out as a lawyer whose technical skill is matched by a sense of justice. She has helped shape the modern law relating to coercive control and stalking and in that sense has both changed the way lawyers and society view these issues, but more importantly has helped countless individuals escape from abusive and dangerous situations.
Rachel Horman has been pioneering women’s leadership in legal practice for over twenty years. Often she is the first to comment on cutting edge developments in law reform such as stalking and coercive control. In addition she actively contributes to institutional reform to bring about innovative changes in law and practice, often well before these become topical or even thought of as possible. Rachel has an exceptional ability to engage clients who are at extreme risk. Through her tenacity, extensive legal knowledge and an innate sense of justice, she is genuinely able to help clients feel safer and gain enhanced legal or civil protection that reduces their risk. Having specialised in this areas of work for over 20 years, she has become a catalyst for change and earned her stripes as a respected advocate for women and children rights.
Kalya made an extraordinary impression upon me during the time she was working on my case. I really appreciated how available Kalya made herself to me. Words cannot describe how supportive, knowledgeable, conscientious and brilliant with communication Kalya was. This cannot have been easy given the emotional situation I had. She is a credit to Watson Ramsbottom and the service they provide.
I became a client Watson Ramsbottom after coming across them at refuge in Blackburn. I corresponded with Rachel briefly when you switched my lawyer from Helen to Sophia. I can't thank you enough for that decision. As a mother of four young children, my candle's burning on both ends. By the time I spoke to you, I was exhausted by everything in my life, including my legal proceedings. I had lost all faith in the legal process and, to be honest, still have qualms about how well the justice system understands coercive control. In any event, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to address my concerns, especially regarding my experience with Helen. It is unfortunate that she was my first experience with a lawyer, but your recommendation of Sophia more than made up for that. Sophia is a credit to your company and an amazing solicitor. She was knowledgeable, respectful and attentive -- all qualities that any client would look for. Thank you again, not only for your help, but also for your work on coercive control. People really don't get what it is and that's sad for the many women in the same situation as me.
Rachel is able to make people feel at ease, helps them understand the proceedings, gives them appropriate information to make informed decisions and always treats people with respect and dignity.
John Swanney is highly experienced in Care Proceedings and Matrimonial Finances. He is one of the best negotiators I have ever seen and has exceptional Advocacy skills, always able to think fast on his feet and obtain results for Clients.