What can I do to resolve the arrangements for my children without going to court?

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At AFG LAW our family law team are members of resolution, child concern and include children law accredited specialists. This means we have the specialist knowledge to help resolve the arrangements for your children whilst understanding the importance of putting children first and dealing with matters in an amicable, constructive way. Our children solicitors will always discuss the potential for disagreements to be resolved outside of court, by either negotiation or mediation, but are also able to assist in making applications to court when needed.


Solicitor led negotiation

As part of negotiating your child arrangement issues our solicitors will discuss your concerns and aims, provide you with advice to ensure you understand the law in this area and then enter into negotiation with the other parent or their solicitor with your agreed, informed instructions. Our solicitors are always mindful of not only the immediate arrangements but the impact on future arrangements. We always approach negotiations in a constructive way whilst applying the relevant law and guidance.

Legal aid may be available in certain situations, contact our solicitors to find out more.


If you attend mediation you will initially attend an appointment on your own called a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM); at this meeting the mediator will provide you with advice about the mediation process and discuss your situation. The other parent will then be invited to attend a MIAM and if the mediator is satisfied mediation is appropriate then a joint meeting will be scheduled. Our solicitors have good working relationships with several local mediators and can also support you during the mediation process. You should be aware that agreements reached in mediation are not legally binding.

It is important to note that the Family Court system is set up to encourage people to try mediation before they make an application for a court order. The application forms specifically ask whether the parties have attended mediation and the court can request the parties attempt to mediate if they have not done so. This is not appropriate in every case and our solicitors can give you advice about when you may be exempt from attending mediation.

Legal aid is available for mediation


What if negotiation and mediation haven’t worked?

If negotiation and mediation have not proven effective, our solicitors can advise you on making an application to the Family Court for a court order about your children. Our children solicitors at AFG Law can help you every step of the way

Get in touch with one of our specialist Family Law Solicitors Request a call back

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Guides & Resources

Family Law Guide

Court Fees Increase March 2024

Family Law Guide

What does the Court look at when making a Children Order?

Family Law Guide

Parental Responsibility

Social Services Involvement

What does the Court look at when making an Order in Care Proceedings?

Not sure what you need?

Picking up the phone to one of our team will not commit you to taking things forward. We are happy to have an initial, totally confidential conversation with you and go from there.

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  • Bolton 01204 377600
  • Bury 0161 359 3880

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Award-winning legal services

We offer a full range of legal services for individuals and businesses alike.

Many of our services are provided UK-wide, with our physical offices located in Bolton and Bury.

AFG were recommended to me by the agents selling my property, in the main I dealt with Elizabeth who was ever the professional, dealt with all matters quickly and answered any questions I had promptly. Elizabeth also kept me updated throughout the process for which I was extremely grateful. Thanks also to Dominique for dealing with the conveyancing so quickly , much appreciated. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend AFG.

Janet Silvester

Dominique Oliviero, Elizabeth McWhinnie

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