Practice Areas

Child Arrangements

Four Brick Court provides advice and representation in cases concerning the arrangements for children (formerly contact and residence) of all levels of complexity. We have an experienced team who frequently deal with disputes between parents or other family members involving allegations and counter-allegations and high levels of hostility.

Members are also experienced in representing Rule 16.4 Guardians including in cases where the parents are both self-represented.

In particular the Child Arrangements team have experience in dealing with parental disputes where there are allegations of drug and alcohol misuse and domestic abuse between parents including controlling behaviour and emotional abuse.

Members also have extensive experience in dealing with cases concerning the emotional abuse of children or allegations of physical and/or sexual abuse of children. These cases require careful forensic consideration of detailed evidence from police (including interviews of children) or medical evidence.

Members are experienced in dealing with cases of intractable hostility where access is being obstructed risking the alienation of one parent by another damaging the parent–child relationship.

These cases frequently often overlap with applications for non-molestation orders and other protective orders including prohibited steps orders. Members are often instructed in cases concerning orders to prevent a child being removed from the jurisdiction or a parent from seeking a passport for the child.

Permission to Remove from the Jurisdiction: Relocation Cases
Four Brick Court is often instructed in cases which involve an international dimension either where one parent is looking to go abroad for a holiday but this is being refused by the other or where a primary carer is looking to relocate abroad with the child. In both cases members of our Child Arrangements Team are experienced and equipped to pursue or resist these applications.

“Quasi-Public” Cases
The Child Arrangements team is also experienced in cases where the local authority have become involved and put arrangements in place (such as a written agreement that there be no contact with one parent) but not brought proceedings. Often by imposing these boundaries the risk identified by the local authority has been addressed and may close its case with no flexibility or mechanism for review.

As our team is experienced in care proceedings as well as Child Arrangements proceedings we bring experience and a breadth of knowledge about local authority procedures and regulations helping clients navigate this difficult and often precarious position particularly where a parent or family member has been informed that child protection procedures will be initiated in the event that those boundaries are not adhered to by them.

We are able to advise clients as to the best course of action and also represent them in any application so as to avoid the child’s placement being put in jeopardy.

Specific Issue Orders
The team are experienced in cases where parents are unable to reach agreement on particular issues such as which school a child should attend or which religion the child should be taught.

These cases have also included disputes between parents where one is opposed to medical procedures or blood transfusions on medical grounds or where there are medical or religious reasons concerning a particular food or diet.