Family separations are one of the toughest things to go through for children and parents alike. You, as a parent with legal rights and parental responsibility need to know when you should contact a solicitor for help. If the separation is amicable and both partners can agree on child arrangements, such as:

• Where the child/children will live

• How much time they will spend with each parent

• How you will financially support your children

Then there is no need to involve a solicitor. However, if these things cannot be agreed upon, you can use a mediator to help you make a parenting plan. If after this, things can still not be agreed upon, you can take the issue to court and have a judge decide what is best for the child/children. You cannot apply for a court hearing unless you have first tried mediation, except in certain circumstances such as domestic abuse or the involvement of social services.