Issues relating to children present families with highly stressful situations. Our child law solicitors in Bristol understand that involving the law in your family is probably the last thing you want to do. However, with our helpful, sensitive, and child-centred advice we aim to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.
Child Law Solicitors in Bristol
- Melody Brown
- David Foster
- Carolyn Bawden-Frost
- Senior Legal Assistant
- 01454 859465
- Suzanne Young
- Senior Legal Assistant
- Carol Simmons
- Phil Thomas
- Associate Solicitor
We advise families on problems they may have with their local authority regarding the care of their children caused by relationship breakdown, substance and alcohol issues, difficult home lives, mental health issues and domestic abuse.
Our childcare lawyers are particularly known for their expertise in representing children, parents, guardians, grandparents, foster parents and other potential carers who face questions about their ability to care for a child.
We work carefully and sensitively through complex issues about contact, residence, prohibited steps, jurisdictional matters and parental responsibility. We’ll take time to explain your position clearly in plain, understandable language, and then advise you of the best options to achieve the best outcome either by negotiation or guide you through the court process.
Above all, we are committed to making sure that the correct decisions are taken to protect your children’s wellbeing and your rights as a parent or guardian.
Speak to one of our child law solicitors now by contacting your local Henriques Griffiths office in Bristol or Winterbourne, or using the links at the bottom of the page to make an enquiry or request a call back.
How our child law solicitors in Bristol can help
We support families all over England and Wales with a wide range of issues related to childcare, including:
- Arrangements for children on divorce, civil partnership dissolution, or family breakdown
- Social services involvement, including investigations, child protection matters, and court proceedings
- Prohibited Steps Orders to prevent a parent making specific decisions about a child’s movements or upbringing (such as to prevent a parent taking your child abroad)
- Parental responsibility, including parental rights and duties and acquiring or ending parental responsibility
Arrangements for children during divorce and family breakdown
Working out where your children will live and what contact they will have with a non-resident parent are often the most difficult issues to deal with during divorce, civil partnership dissolution, and separation whether you are married or not.
Our arrangements for children expertise includes:
- Parenting Agreements – informal agreements about arrangements for children
- Consent Orders – formalising informal childcare arrangements
- Child Arrangements Orders – court orders which set out where a child will live and how much contact they have with their “non-resident” parent
- Children’s change of name proceedings
- Prohibited Steps Orders and Specific Issue Orders
We understand how distressing facing an uncertain future can be, particularly where you’re finding it hard to agree with your former partner and you’re worried about having a judge make the decision for you. However, with our help it’s unlikely you’ll need to go to court.
Our family lawyers can help you resolve these issues amicably wherever possible using methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution such as mediation and collaborative law, saving you considerable time, money, and stress.
If it does become necessary to start court proceedings, we’ll fight vigorously to protect your rights and preserve stability in your children’s lives. We’ll provide clear, practical advice about your options and keep you up-to-date and in-the-know about how your case is progressing.
Social services investigations & court proceedings
If you are contacted by social services with regard to your children, it can be confusing and highly upsetting. Having the right legal advice and support from the outset is therefore essential to ensure your side of the story and interests are effectively represented, minimising the chances of your children being taken into care.
Our child law solicitors are highly experienced in dealing with social services investigations and proceedings. We can advise you on the steps you need to take to help bring matters to an early conclusion wherever possible, minimising the stress and disruption for your family.
If court proceedings are initiated, we have the expertise you need to effectively present your case and achieve the best possible outcome. We also have strong experience in appeals all the way up to the Supreme Court.
Our social services expertise includes:
- Advice in relation to “letters before proceedings” in child welfare cases
- Representation during social services investigations and assessments
- Support and representation during any local authority meetings
- Care proceedings, including advice about Interim Care Orders, Child Assessment Orders, Emergency Protection Orders, Care Orders and discharging Care Orders
Prohibited Steps Orders
A Prohibited Steps Order (PSO) is a court order that can be used to prevent either parent carrying out specific actions with respect to their children. They are commonly used where a parent is concerned that their child may be taken or withheld, without agreement from the parent the child lives with or abroad without their consent.
We can help you apply for a Prohibited Steps Order and work with you and your ex-partner to resolve any concerns over your children’s upbringing.
Establishing parental responsibility is often key to childcare issues. Someone with parental responsibility for a child has various rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority with regard to a child and the child’s properties. Having parental responsibility is therefore crucial for anyone acting as a parent or guardian of a child.
While birth mothers automatically have parental responsibility, the situation for fathers and other second parents will depend on the circumstances. Our child law solicitors can determine whether you have parental responsibility and help you to acquire this where necessary, either by agreement with the child’s other parent or parents, or via court action where required.
Our parental responsibility expertise includes:
- Advice on who has parental responsibility
- Advice on your legal rights and duties as someone with parental responsibility
- Parental responsibility issues for separated parents, including applications for Specific Issue Orders or Prohibited Steps Orders
- Parental Responsibility Agreements
- Parental Responsibility Orders
Why choose Henriques Griffiths child law solicitors in Bristol
Our childcare lawyers offer an empathetic, highly effective legal service for families facing childcare issues across Bristol, Winterbourne, and South Gloucestershire. We can help to make these often distressing situations as simple and stress-free as possible to resolve while ensuring your family’s best interests are protected at all times.
We have strong expertise in non-confrontational family dispute resolution, meaning that wherever possible we will help you find a solution without the need for court action. This can help to make things much faster and less stressful to resolve while allowing you to keep more control over the process.
However, where court proceedings are unavoidable, we have the experience and skilled advocacy you need to ensure a fair outcome for you and your children, no matter how complicated the situation.
As a firm, Henriques Griffiths is Lexcel accredited by the Law Society for our practice management and client care.
Several of our team, including Carol Simmons and Lisa Wilkes, are members of Resolution, an organisation dedicated to promoting Alternative Dispute Resolution as being more effective than court proceedings in family law cases due to their cooperative and non-confrontational nature.
We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) providing assurance that we continually meet the highest legal and professional standards.