Disputes involving the little ones in our lives can be stressful, both for parents, children and the wider family.

Children disputes can take many different forms, from how often a child should spend with their parents, school choice, medical decisions and the more harrowing side of children law, child abuse.

Children are the most precious thing in life, so when it comes to legal disputes surrounding children, it is paramount that you get the right solicitor on the case. There are key considerations that you should always bear in mind when seeking out a child law solicitor…

1. CHILDREN PANEL ACCREDITED SOLICITOR.

Many law firms hold themselves out as child law solicitors but don’t hold accreditations or have experience in all aspects of children work. At McAlister Family Law, our specialist children team hold the most child law accreditations outside of London. These endorsements are difficult to achieve and are only awarded to lawyers who are true specialists.

2. DOESN’T JUST INTERPRET THE LAW BUT LOOKS AT PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS.

Children don’t come with a manual – they’re all different. What is right for one child won’t be right for another. Choose a lawyer that doesn’t let the letter of the law guide their decisions but thinks about what is in the child’s best interest. Yes, processes need to be followed but it shouldn’t be at the expense of finding the right solution through active and meaningful discussion.

3. A SPECIALIST IN CHILDREN LAW.

Typically, family law is made
up of three main areas of work: matrimonial, finance and child law. Family lawyers cover everything, but a child lawyer will solely specialise in children work. Child lawyers are used to dealing with the full range of child cases and are in court day in day out. They know judges approaches to certain matters and can offer a specialist insight into the most complex child law cases.

4. PASSIONATE ABOUT CHILDREN.

It’s one thing being a good lawyer but it’s another to have a passion for children. Throughout my career I have represented mothers, fathers, grandparents and even the child themselves. I’ve also worked with teenagers in relation to deprivation of liberty/secure accommodation orders; having fostered children for many years, I’ve seen the other side of care proceedings and this experience gives me a deeper understanding of the issues inherent in such situations.

5. LOOKS AT THINGS ONLY THROUGH THE EYES OF THE CHILD, NOT THE PARENT.

Very often one parent will try to stop contact with the other parent, which is usually fuelled by personal vengeance between both parents. The impact that such conflict can have on children is significant, with research confirming that the emotional damage can last well into adulthood. A child lawyer must therefore focus on making the right decision for the child, not for the parents.

McAlister Family Law is home to one of the leading Children Law teams in the country.

If you need advice on child related matters, please contact us below: