St Martin's House, 63 West Stockwell St. Colchester, CO1 1HE
Tel: 01206 577676, Fax: 01206 548704

The Chestnuts, 4 Stortford Road, Great Dunmow, Essex, CM6 1DA
Tel: 01371 873277, Fax: 01371 859232

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These include applications for:

  1. Residence – who the child(ren) will live with;
  2. Contact – what contact the other parent will have with the child(ren)
  3. Prohibited Steps Order – to prevent something taking place e.g. changing a child’s name or taking a child abroad
  4. Specific Issue Order – to allow something to happen e.g. changing a child’s name or taking a child abroad

In any application, the welfare of any child of the family is the paramount consideration for the Court.

It is always best for the parents to attempt to sort out any problems they may have between themselves. If this is not possible then hopefully matters can be sorted out between

Solicitors’ correspondence or through Mediation. If this also fails then Court proceedings will become necessary and the Court is guided by a principle where no Order will be made unless they feel it is absolutely necessary.

Other factors that are taken into consideration when dealing with children matters are as follows:-

  1. The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (which is considered in the light of his/her age and understanding);
  2. His/her physical, emotional and educational needs;
  3. The likely effect on him/her of any change in his circumstances;
  4. His/her age, sex, background and any characteristics of his/hers which the Court considers relevant;
  5. Any harm he/she has suffered or is at risk of suffering;
  6. How capable each of his/her parents, and any other person in relation to whom the Court considers the question relevant, is of meeting his/her needs;
  7. The range of powers available to the Court.