Family Law Solicitors

Child Law Solicitors

We specialise in all private children law matters and our children and family Solicitors can assist you and provide expert children law in the following key areas:

  • Child arrangements
  • Parental Responsibility
  • Specific Issues
  • Prohibited Steps Orders
  • Relocation, either within the country or overseas

We act for Mothers, Fathers and even Grandparents.

Our expert children Solicitors understand that these matters are emotionally difficult for Parents and the child or children`s wider family and so our child law Solicitors approach these matters in a sensitive and conciliatory manner. This is incredibly important when dealing with these situations to try to ensure that the dispute or differences (often between co-parents) are resolved in an efficient, quick and inexpensive way.

Unfortunately, sometimes this cannot be achieved and you must embark upon an application through the Courts. If this should happen, all of our children law Solicitors are very experienced in all family and private children law matters.

Our family and child law Solicitors have acted in many cases including Child Arrangements Orders, Declarations of Parentage, Parental Responsibility Applications, Prohibited Steps Orders (often urgent), Specific Issue applications (moving School or relocating), Fact Finding Hearings and many other scenarios.

Contact our child law solicitors today

We shall have an initial discussion with you free of charge and briefly discuss your situation with you over the telephone to see how we can assist you. Thereafter we provide clear and transparent costings information to all of our clients from the very outset.

We are a Lexcel firm of Solicitors meaning that all our children law Solicitors provide the highest standard of client of care.

Please do get in touch with one of our expert child law solicitors near you, whether you are in Preston, Lancaster, Maidstone or our other locations across the UK today by filling our contact form, emailing us at, or calling us directly.

Our child law services

Child arrangements

If you cannot agree arrangements for your child or children informally then there are a number of options available such as mediation, arbitration or the court route for a legally binding Child Arrangements Order

It may be you just can`t reach an agreement with the Co-Parent, or another family member, and if that is the case then you may need a formal court order for the arrangements for your children under the Children Act 1989 called a Child Arrangements Order.

A legally binding Child Arrangement Order will set out who the child is to live with and what specific direct contact time there should be with both Parents.

There may also be other issues such as indirect contact, supervised or non-supervised contact, holiday time and contact on special occasions which should also be considered upon making an application for a child arrangements order

Parental responsibility

Parental Responsibility (“PR”) means the rights, responsibilities, duties and authority that a person has relating to a child, whilst they are under the age of 18.

A birth Mother automatically acquires Parental Responsibility, in addition to a Parent who is married or part of a Civil Partnership with the birth Mother at the time the child is born.

Unmarried father`s do not automatically acquire Parental Responsibility for their child and they can generally acquire it in one of the following ways :

  • Being listed as Father on the child`s birth certificate
  • Obtaining a Court Order conferring Parental Responsibility
  • Agreeing and entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement with the birth Mother
  • Marrying the birth Mother

Parental Responsibility enables a Parent to be able to make a number of decisions about your child, on their behalf, such as :

  • The child`s name
  • The child`s accommodation and where they should live
  • What education, nursery or school they should attend
  • What medical treatment they should or should not receive
  • Their religious upbringing
  • Whether the child should be relocated to another part if England or Wales (internal relocation) or abroad (external relocation).

If you have a dispute with the other Parent who has Parental Responsibility for your child, and you need child law advice, please contact us to discuss your situation.

Specific issues

A Specific Issue Order is an order that a Court can make regarding a specific issue that cannot be agreed between Co-Parents. This could be any of the above examples relating to Parental Responsibility.

Prohibited steps orders

A Prohibited Steps Order (PSO) is an order made by the Court to restrict or limit the scope of a Parents Parental Responsibility over their child / children.

Obtaining a Prohibited Steps Order is not a step to be taken lightly, but sometimes it is necessary to safeguard a child / children in certain circumstances whereby they are at some level of risk or their welfare is in question.

A Parent can apply for a prohibited steps order which could prevent a child from seeing certain persons or staying in a certain location. Such an order could also prevent the abduction or relocation of a child and often this situation may require an ex parte application to be made on an urgent basis, that means without notice to the other Parent. You should be aware that a return hearing will be necessary once an order is made.

Sometimes a prohibited steps order may relate to one of the Parents moving the child`s School or relocating them to another part of the Country. Such an application can often be referred to as internal relocation. Our Children Law Solicitors are experienced in dealing with internal and external (overseas) relocation cases.

These sorts of cases can be very difficult and highly fact specific. Whilst the Court always views the case with a child focused lens, sometimes cases (particularly relocation cases) can be highly sensitive and very difficult to Judge either way.

We would always recommend seeking expert guidance from a specialist Child Law Solicitor in this field of the law and our expert Solicitors have vast experience throughout the County Court and even the High Court when dealing with prohibited steps orders and specific issue orders.

Child law FAQs

What is a child law solicitor?

A Child Law Solicitor, or Children Law Solicitor, is a Solicitor who specialises in Family Law and deals with Public or Private (or both) Children proceedings. Here at Laker Legal Solicitors we only take on private instructions and do not offer legal aid funding for matters.

What is a child arrangements order?

A Child Arrangements Order is an order setting out who the child or children live with and who they spend time with, how often and what the specific arrangements are. The order will often deal with non term time, term time arrangements, holidays, special occasions and other key dates. Much depends upon what the key issues are between the Parents of the child.

It is important to note that a Child Arrangements Order can also be made if you are not the Parent of a child, for example if you are  Grandparent, but only with permission of the court based upon a Grandparents connection and closeness to the child.

What do you do if you can’t reach an agreement?

In the unfortunate event that you cannot reach an agreement then you can attempt to mediate or alternatively issue an application through the Courts. There are other alternative dispute resolutions you could consider and our expert family and child law Solicitors would advise you on your options.

Can you avoid going to court?

Absolutely, and you should try. If there is a chance that you can resolve matters amicably between you without the need of court intervention, then this should be explored.

Court is expensive, stressful, time consuming and can often be a blunt instrument. It may be that both parties walk away from the final proceedings not satisfied as the decision of arrangements for your child is then in the hands of Magistrates or a Judge from the Family Court. This is never ideal.

Not all cases are suitable for mediation or arbitration. Sometimes court is necessary but our expert children Solicitors will provide the child law advice that you need bespoke to your situation.

Contact our friendly, professional child law solicitors

If you would like an appointment with one of our child law solicitors in Preston, Lancaster, Maidstone, York and other locations across the UK today, get in touch by filling in our contact form, emailing us at, or by calling us directly.


What our clients say...

I am very pleased with Laker Legal firm, my Solicitor John Hirst, was extremely helpful throughout the drawing of my prenuptial agreement. A very professional and knowledgeable approach yet warm,and friendly enough to feel comfortable with in a situation that can be quite uncanny to discuss or uneasy as per say. Thankyou again!

Mrs V – London

I can highly recommend John Hirst at Laker Legal solicitors in Lancaster. He was superb from start to finish dealing with a very complex child arrangements case for me. A really decent guy and an excellent family law solicitor who genuinely cares about his clients. John was fully up to speed with my case at all times and we got the outcome we wanted.

Mr B, Kendal

Best conveyancing experience ever. After two supposedly good law firms failed to even do the basics post instruction, for nearly 8 weeks, Jess at Laker Legal took on the difficult challenge of overseeing my purchase and completion in record time. Always proactive, very knowledgeable of her subject and extremely good communicator. I never had to chase the firm for anything. They always answered my calls efficiently. I can't praise them enough. What a wonderful experience.

I recommend Jess and would be very happy to use her again in the future.

Mrs A, Lancaster.

I used the services of Jess and the team at Laker Legal as a first time buyer looking for properties to buy, near and around Bath.

Jess was fantastic, in her communication during the process as well as her knowledge and ability during the conveyancing process. She helped me make informed decisions and ultimately find and purchase a wonderful home near Bath. Jess is adept at spotting potential issues during a purchase that I believe others may not.

She clearly excels at her craft and you will be in safe hands should you use her services too.


Jessica Blacow from Laker Legal Solicitors Lancaster pulled out every stop truly amazing lady / firm nothing was to much trouble I honestly felt like they was my friends not just a firm that wanted your money but a solicitor firm that cared with compassion I will use Laker Legal Solicitors Lancaster for all my needs in the future.

Mr T, Lancaster

Thank you so much Richard, you have been so kind and patient with me when I have been at about the lowest point of my life after losing my wife, I can never thank you enough. I will also let my family know my wishes that Laker Legal Solicitors deal with my estate when that time comes.

Mr Y, Addington, Kent.

A big ‘thank you’ Richard from Steve and myself. Your time and attention you gave to both of us was remarkable. I’ve had dealings with many solicitors over the years, but have never received this level of service as you gave.

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A devastating event brought us to call on Laker Legal. We were put in touch with Mr John Hirst, and from the first moment we spoke to him we knew everything was going to be ok. Mr John Hirst, was always on the end of the Phone or Email, Kept in touch with us 100% of the time, and the support we received took so much pain off our family. All i can say is Thank you so much for everything you did for us.

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Thank you for all your help and support over the last 12 months. You and the team at Laker Legal have been fantastic.
Sarah was lovely and really supportive yesterday.

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