Children Law Solicitors

Disputes involving children and child contact, or due to the involvement of social services, can be stressful and highly emotional for both the parents and children involved. Having access to practical and empathetic legal advice can make it much easier to find a way through these complex issues, and to achieve the best outcome for you and your children.

How our child law solicitors can help

As child law solicitors we firmly believe that, wherever possible, childcare decisions should be made by the parents, not by a judge. That’s why our family lawyers will always help and encourage you to reach an agreement through negotiation or mediation, allowing you to avoid court proceedings wherever possible. If proceedings do take place, our dedicated team of child law solicitors will be able to confidently assist and guide you through this process in a child-focused manner.

As well as helping you agree on childcare arrangements or assisting you in proceedings concerning a Child Arrangements Order, our children law solicitors have experience in resolving specific disputes concerning a child’s upbringing, relocation, child abduction, care proceedings and Special Guardianship Orders.

We also provide specialist advice in connection with surrogacy and Parental Orders. Our child law solicitors can also support grandparents or other family carers who have been denied contact with children or grandchildren.

Case study | Child Arrangements and Specific Issues Orders issued following relationship separation

Book a consultation with our children law solicitors in Bristol

Our child law solicitors in Bristol and South Gloucestershire have a wealth of experience and work with families across the UK. To arrange your consultation, call us on 0117 325 2929, click here to make an immediate start online or complete our simple online enquiry form.

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Our children law services

Child access, including Residence and Contact Orders

When parents separate, it can be difficult to reach an amicable agreement about childcare. We regularly represent parents who want their children to live with them. Our solicitors can help to obtain an Order to ensure that you see your child or children on a regular basis.

Blog | What’s the difference between a Special Guardianship Order and a Child Arrangements Order?

Disputes about a child’s upbringing

Parents aren’t always able to agree on issues concerning their child’s surname, choice of school, education and religious upbringing. If this applies to you and your family, we can help you to obtain an order from the court to resolve the dispute.

We can also help if you or your former partner wish to relocate, whether within the UK or internationally.

Problems with social services and care proceedings

Disputes involving social services and the court can be complex. Our specially trained and accredited lawyers can deal with this very sensitive area of law, providing practical and common sense advice.

Local authorities can take several steps in relation to children. These include holding a pre-proceedings (legal) meeting and initiating child care protection proceedings. These are very worrying times for both parents and family members. We would advise you to seek advice at an early stage if this issue affects you.

Our child law solicitors can attend pre-proceedings meetings with you. Our focus at these meetings is to try and avoid the local authority taking court action.

Surrogacy and Parental Orders

Surrogacy is an increasingly popular option for many different types of families in the UK. It is also something our child law team have extensive experience with.

We regularly support individuals and couples considering using a surrogate to conceive. This includes drafting surrogacy agreements and advising on surrogates’ rights. We can also use Parental Orders to transfer parenthood for the surrogate to the child’s intended parents.

In the event you become involved in a dispute over surrogacy, our team can help you find a positive way forward while keeping conflict to a minimum.

Our children solicitors understand how sensitive these issues can be. We offer clear, sympathetic and practical support to help you get the family you want smoothly, with minimal stress.

Grandparents’ rights

Our child law solicitors can advise grandparents who are being unfairly denied access to their grandchild or grandchildren. Our team will look to advise you on the options available to you to help resolve the situation before court action becomes necessary.

How we reduce conflict in disputes over children

Disputes over children are often highly emotional. In situations such as divorce and separation, parents’ feelings towards each other can make it harder to agree on a positive way forward.

Our child law solicitors recognise how difficult these situations can be. We also know how much of a negative impact this type of conflict can have on the children involved. We therefore aim to help those involved in disputes over children to find positive ways to work together, reducing conflict and making things easier for everyone involved.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

With strong expertise in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), including collaborative law, we are usually able to find a way through most types of child law disputes without the need for court proceedings. This can help to keep the situation more harmonious while allowing you to achieve a fair outcome for everyone involved.

However, if court action is required, we offer the clear legal advice and robust representation needed to get the right result for you and your children.

Ultimately, our goal is to protect your rights as a parent and your children’s best interests. In our experience, avoiding court proceedings is usually better for children and families. It not only reduces conflict but saves you time and money.

Our child law expertise

Our children law team has decades of experience helping families navigate the complex and emotionally challenging area of child law. We focus on achieving the best outcomes for children and their families.

We are recognised as one of the leading family law practices in the South West, having achieved a tier 3 ranking from the Legal 500 and Recognised Practitioner status from Chambers and Partners UK.

Partner Tom Powles and Associates Clare Cox and Kim Joseph are members of the Law Society Children Panel, meaning they are authorised to represent children, parents and relatives in childcare proceedings.

Executive Partner Anna Wilson and Partner Tom Powles are Resolution Accredited Specialists in Children Law, allowing them to offer effective representation for disputes between parents or relatives of a child.

Executive Partner, Anna Wilson, and Partner, Chris Miller, are trained collaborative lawyers.

Barcan+Kirby is Lexcel accredited by the Law Society, recognising the strength of our client services.

We are independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Blog | Parental conflict vs domestic abuse: what’s the difference?

Our children law fees

We understand that the cost of legal representation is often a concern when dealing with legal issues involving your children. We aim to make our pricing as fair and transparent as possible to give you certainty. Our Child Law team also represents clients on a legal aid basis where available.

If child care proceedings are initiated by the local authority for your child, you are entitled to free Legal Aid. If you are involved in these proceedings another way, Legal Aid may be available.

In some areas of child law, we offer a complimentary initial telephone call of up to 30 minutes with a member of our family law team.

This meeting is designed for you to get to know your solicitor and discuss your options. If specific advice is required and you’d like to continue past the 30 minutes, please let your solicitor know and you may be able to carry on into a more detailed consultation. This time will be chargeable, but your solicitor will tell you how much it will be.

Fixed-fee child law services

We are able to offer many of our children law services on a fixed-fee basis. This gives you certainty over the costs involved.

In some cases, a fixed fee deal will not be appropriate (usually for more complex matters where the amount of work involved is hard to predict). We will agree on a clear fee structure and ensure all chargeable work is agreed upon before it’s carried out. This enables you to stay in control of the costs involved at all times.

If you are eligible for Legal Aid, we can help secure the relevant funding and represent you on this basis.

Book a consultation with our child law solicitors in Bristol

Our child law solicitors guide families across the UK from our offices in Bedminster, Bishopston, Bristol city centre, Kingswood and Thornbury.

To speak to a children law solicitor about your personal circumstances, call us on 0117 325 2929, click here to make an immediate start online or complete our online enquiry form.


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    • "From my initial appointment everyone has been so friendly and approachable. Charmaine has been so supportive through a difficult and stressful time, and I am very grateful. I would highly recommend Barcan+Kirby."
      AnonChild Arrangements Client
    • "This has no doubt been the most difficult experience of my life so far and I can honestly say that you made it easier. Your advice and support has always been incredibly helpful, honest and supportive, and I cannot thank you enough for this.

      There were times I was in such a panic but it seemed you were always able to make things clear and show me the path ahead."
      AnonChild Contact Client

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