How much does it cost to go to court for an order for your child to live with you in the UK?

How much does it cost to go to court for an order for your child to live with you in the UK?

When you’re considering going to court to resolve child arrangements (where the child should live) in the UK, one of your principal concerns may be how much the process is going to cost.

Going through the court system can be expensive, and it’s best to get a good understanding of how much money you’re expected to pay yourself.

Here’s what you need to know about the costs associated with going to court for child arrangements (where the child should live) in the UK.

What are Child Arrangements ?

Child Arrangements are the arrangements of how the child lives with one parent (previously called ‘custody’ or ‘residence’) and has contact with the other.

When a couple with children decides to separate or divorce, they may no longer be living together, so it’s important to decide on arrangements for any children.

The amount of time children spend with each parent can normally be agreed upon by the parents, but if you are unable to make a decision between yourselves, you may have to turn to the court process to make a decision for you.

How much does it cost to go to court for child arrangement (live with) matters in the UK?

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to estimate how much money you will have to pay for child arrangement proceedings, especially when it comes to calculating court and legal fees.

When you approach a specialist family solicitor – like our team at National Legal Service – we will ask you a number of questions first, like:
Is there a way to resolve the issues outside of the court process?
Is domestic violence involved within the relationship?
Are you concerned about your partner’s mental health or their ability to meet your child’s needs?
Are you in contact with your ex-partner?
Solving any change arrangements outside of court is always the most efficient, and cheapest, course of action. However, we understand that this isn’t always possible.

How much does domestic abuse affect the decision of the Court?

Domestic abuse can significantly impact the outcome of child arrangement proceedings. The courts will always make a decision based on the best interests of the child, and they will consider how abuse will impact the child.
If domestic violence within the relationship is proven to be a concern, the offending parent will need to show that they understand the impact of their past behaviour. They will also be required to demonstrate the steps they have taken to ensure this will never happen again.

Who pays court costs in child arrangements proceedings (live with)?

Unlike other court proceedings, there is no ‘loser’ who has to pay the legal fees of the other party. In cases such as child living arrangements, both parties will usually be responsible for their own legal costs.

Seeking representation from trusted family solicitors is the most effective way to minimise the costs incurred and will guarantee you have the expert support and advice you’ll need during the proceedings. Contact our team today to set up a consultation to discuss your situation in confidence.

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Shaoli has been a solicitor at NLS for over two years, transitioning from a background in criminal law to full-time family law. Her experience as a Criminal Duty Solicitor has equipped her with unique skills that are invaluable in her current role.
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