Children Law Solicitors

When parents separate, it can be difficult to reach an amicable agreement about childcare. Having access to specialist 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.

As family 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. In the event of proceedings taking 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 assist you in proceedings concerning Child Arrangement Orders, our specialist family solicitors have experience in resolving specific disputes concerning a child’s upbringing, international and national child relocation, international child abduction, special guardianship orders and adoption. We also provide specialist advice in connection with surrogacy and Parental Orders, and can also support grandparents or other family carers who have been denied contact with children or grandchildren.

Cost is often an important consideration for our clients, which is why we offer fixed fees wherever possible.

Our family lawyers in Bristol and South Gloucestershire have a wealth of experience. Many are specialist members of Resolution, members of the Law Society Children Panel and are authorised to represent children. Our team also consists of accredited family mediators. For useful information on a range of child law and family issues, you can download our family law guides or factsheets.

Book a consultation with our children law solicitors in Bristol

In some areas of child law, we offer a complimentary introductory meeting with a member of our team. This meeting is designed for you to get to know your solicitor and to discuss your options. That way, you can make an informed choice about how you want to move forward to get the best result for you and your children.

This complimentary meeting is up to 30 minutes long. 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.

To speak to our specialist child law solicitors in Bristol and to arrange your consultation, contact us on 0117 325 2929, click here to make an immediate start online or complete our simple online enquiry form.

Our children law services

Residence and contact orders

We regularly represent parents who want their children to live with them. We can also help you to obtain a Child Arrangement Order which will ensure that you see your child or children on a regular basis.

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 obtain an order from the court to resolve the dispute.

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

Problems with social services and care proceedings

Barcan+Kirby have specially trained and accredited lawyers dealing with this very sensitive area of law.

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

We can attend pre-proceedings meetings and child protection case conferences with you and our focus at these meetings is to try and prevent court action being taken by the local authority.

Surrogacy and parental orders

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

We regularly support individuals and couples considering using a surrogate to conceive. This includes drafting surrogacy agreements, advising on surrogates’ rights and using 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 law solicitors understand how sensitive these issues can be, so offer clear, sympathetic and practical support to help you get the family you want smoothly, and with minimal stress.


Our specialist solicitors are able to advise prospective adopters upon their adoption application and can make the application to the court on your behalf. We have experience in dealing with step-parent adoptions and step-parent parental responsibility agreements.

How we reduce conflict in disputes over children

Disputes over children are often highly emotionally charged, especially in situations such as divorce and separation where the parents’ feelings towards each other can make it harder to agree a positive way forward.

Our child law solicitors recognise how difficult these situations can be, as well as the negative impact this type of conflict can have on the children involved. As such, we aim to help those involved in disputes over children to find positive ways to work together, reducing conflict and making things easier on everyone involved.

With strong expertise in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), including mediation and 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, where 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, reducing conflict, as well as saving you time and money.

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 team also represents clients on a legal aid basis where available.

Fixed fee child law services

We are able to offer many of our children law services on a fixed fee basis, giving 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). Where this is the case, we will agree a clear fee structure and ensure all chargeable work is agreed before being carried out. This enables you to stay in control of the costs involved at all times.

Legal aid for children law

If you are eligible for legal aid to fund your cases, we can help you secure the relevant funding and represent you on this basis.

Our child law expertise

Our family law team have decades of experience helping families to navigate the complex and emotionally challenging area of children law. We have a firm focus on achieving the best outcomes from 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.

Partners Jim Gridley, Chris Miller and Tom Powles, and Associates Clare Cox, Kim Joseph and Charmaine Moger are members of the Law Society Children Panel, meaning they are authorised to represent children, parents and relatives in child care proceedings.

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

Jim Gridley and Tom Powles are both qualified family mediators, while Tom is a member of the Family Mediators Association.

Executive Partner Anna Wilson, Partners Chris Miller and Hanni Pennelegion, and Senior Associate Alison Whiles are all 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).

Book a consultation with our child law solicitors in Bristol

In some cases, we offer clients a complimentary 30-minute introductory meeting with a legal expert in child law, as well as fixed fees on our family law services so you’ll know exactly how much you’ll pay from the start.

To speak to a family 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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  • "I’ve really appreciated what you and your team have done for me. I didn’t always take your advice - but I wish I had!"
    AnonFamily Matters Client
  • "I really want to thank you for your advice when we met. I think you have given me the faith in myself that I needed. I am so grateful for your help, thank you!"
    AnonFamily Matters Client
  • "I just wanted to say a big thank you for all your help and support over the last nine months. I couldn't have done this without you. Thank you to your team also. I found everyone very efficient and highly professional."
    AnonFamily Matters Client
  • "The Family team combines expertise with a truly client-centred culture."
    Legal 500 UK
  • "Barcan+Kirby are one of the largest family law practices in Bristol and surrounding area. A very capable high street offering with a number of good quality and practical lawyers who are client focused and effective."
    Legal 500 UK

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