Family and Divorce Law

Helping a separated father with Child Arrangements following a parenting plan

Preparing a parenting plan is a great idea and shows you have your children’s best intentions at heart.

16 Feb 2022

Team name
Sally Ward

Preparing a parenting plan is a great idea and shows you have your children’s best intentions at heart.

A young father who had recently separated from the mother of their three-year-old child, felt that he had come off badly in the financial settlement, not having had the benefit of legal advice, and wanted to avoid the same happening with child arrangements.

By the time he instructed us, he and his former partner had managed to prepare a parenting plan.  It was evident that they had worked very hard to get this far and that both genuinely had their child’s best intentions at heart.  However, there were one or two details that they found impossible to agree between themselves.  This required a tactful and long contentious approach in order to ensure that the good intentions behind the agreement were not undermined, and at the same time a firm but fair approach in agreeing the terms through the solicitor representing the mother.  The mother came from a wealthy family whereas the father’s finances were far more limited.  Mother’s family wanted to offer the child a private education which the father did not want to deny her.  However, he needed to ensure that he was not put at a financial disadvantage by having to contribute to fees and extras for her education that he could ill afford.  His priority was to improve his accommodation from the bedsit he was currently in, into a suitably sized property for the child to stay with him overnight as she grew older.  As the child was still very young, we needed to stress the importance of keeping the agreement under review and revising it to meet her best interests at an age-appropriate level as it is impossible to foresee exactly what arrangements would be appropriate between now and the child’s 16th or 18th birthday.  That being the case the agreement would always be open to amendment once a decision had actually been made about the child’s education.

Both parents eventually appeared to understand the need for that flexibility and were able to progress matters working together without the involvement of solicitors.

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