Children’s Welfare

Children’s Welfare


Married parents share parental responsibility.  Unmarried fathers do not automatically obtain parental responsibility.  For children born before 1st December 2003 an unmarried father can acquire parental responsibility with the mother’s agreement or by a court order. For those children born after this date, fathers will automatically acquire parental responsibility if named on the birth certificate. If not named it can be acquired by agreement or court order.  It is now possible for married step parents to obtain parental responsibilities for their step children.

Welfare Checklist

When considering any situation involving a child the first issue to consider is what is in a child’s best interests.  If the parent cannot decide then the court must decide what is in the child’s best interest. When making this decision the court must regard the welfare of the child as the paramount consideration.  The court also has a checklist of items which must be taken into consideration to determine the issue of the child’s welfare;

  • The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child
  • The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
  • The likely effect on the child of any change in circumstance
  • The child’s age, sex and background
  • Any harm the child is at risk of suffering
  • How capable each parent is of meeting the child’s needs

The Court will also consider making no order unless it can be shown that an order is in the child’s best interests.

How we can help

Mediation is available to parents as a constructive way to try and agree arrangements concerning their children.  It places the emphasis on the parents being able to communicate.  It can help avoid conflict and court proceedings. Our Solicitors can arrange round table meetings and referrals to agencies that could assist you as the children’s parents in dealing with matters and referrals for the children also.

Our Solicitors will be able to explain how these issues impact on any decision about your child.  Contact us to discuss these issues and we will be able to provide you with a guide to the procedure, timescales and costs.  We offer an initial fixed price interview that our clients find extremely informative and enables you to decide the next step.

Give our experienced Children Law Solicitors a call to arrange that appointment to discuss how we can help you.

Blog Posts

The Woodbridge Regatta and Riverside Fair


One of the most important events in the Woodbridge calendar – The Woodbridge Regatta…

Read More
Upcoming Events

Brass on the Grass – Ipswich Hospital Band 2017


Gotelee Solicitors are delighted to be supporting The Ipswich Hospital Band with their band…

Read More
News Posts

Hotelier fails in bid to quash prison sentence for fire safety breaches


Fire safety is at the top of the national agenda following the recent tragedy…

Read More


"Clarity and speed. A refreshing absence of legal jargon and gobblodygook!"

- PS

"The down to earth manner of the solicitors."

- GN

"Not too formal - felt like a chat with a friend."

- JG

"As your entire service was excellent, it is not possible to single out anything special to mention."

- AH

"A big firm with a local touch!"

- RG

"Great service, never made things complicated!"

- JW

"Warm friendly service with clear responses to all my questions."

- BF

"Mr Rowland was sincere, approachable, understanding and professional throughout."

- GD

"Personal, prompt, caring and communication by email was excellent."

- Anonymous

"Feeling at ease knowing that they were putting my best interests first."

- Anonymous

Please select preferred method of contact

* We will only contact you by telephone if you select this as primary form of contact.