Harlow: 01279 799598 contact@spectrumfamilylaw.com


If parents disagree on how often the other parent will see the children, or occasionally denies the other parent the opportunity to spend time with their children, we can offer mediation or a collaborative law approach in the hope that an application to court will not be necessary.

However if agreement regarding who the child can spend time with or otherwise have contact with cannot be made then we have experience in representing parents in court. Any child arrangements order made by the court will then set out the frequency of contact and when and where it takes place. This will often include provision for holidays, Christmas and birthdays.


Prohibitive Steps Order

This is an order which will prevent one parent from certain actions or activities which they would normally have the right to do, based on the fact that they have parental responsibility. The Prohibitive Steps Order can give one parent the right to make independent decisions without the approval of the other parent.

Therefore it is an order that the court will not make lightly.

For example, the parent with care of the children fears that the non resident parent may try to take the children away or even remove them from the country.

Specific Issue Order

Sometimes parents disagree over a specific issue in relation to their children, for example, whether they can change their surname or which school they should attend. If agreement through mediation is not possible to resolve the dispute, then an application can be made for a Judge to make the decision which will be binding on both parents.

Parental Responsibility Order

A mother will automatically have parental responsibility but this is not always the case for a father.

A father who was married to the child's mother at the time of the child's birth will have parental responsibility.

If the parents are unmarried whether he has parental responsibility will depend on a number of factors.

If the child was born after 2 December 2003 and the father's name is on the birth certificate, then he will have parental responsibility. If the child was born before 1 December 2003 and the father's name is not on the birth certificate then he will not have automatic parental responsibility.

A father without parental responsibility can acquire it either by agreement with the mother or by a court order

Change of Name

Generally speaking you cannot change a child's surname unless both parents agree. If there is agreement we can draw up a change of name deed. If there is no agreement then a specific issue application would need to be made to the court.

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Harlow: 01279 799598