When parents separate or were never in a relationship to begin with, it can be difficult to decide where the children should live and how much time they should spend with each parent. Further, it is often at these times when differences in parenting styles become more relevant.
At Ingram Advocates, we focus on providing realistic and bespoke advice to our clients from the outset. This advice begins with the well-established presumption in favour of children having contact with both parents, save for in exceptional circumstances. We also recognise the recent trend of the Courts in making ‘shared care’ orders which state that a child will live with each parent. We therefore consider the practical reality of what ‘shared care’ can look like for each family, accepting that it can be extremely difficult to achieve an exact 50/50 split of time that a child spends with each parent.
As the Courts are alert to the avoidance of making orders for parents which produce a ‘winner’ and a ‘loser’, it is important to bear in mind that children should feel as though they have a home with each
parent, spending as much time in each home as is right for that particular child and that the focus should be on the child’s well-being and not the wishes and feelings of the parents.
Sight must not be lost as to the potential real ‘loser’ in these situations, being the children. So, in order to focus upon and look after the best interests of the children, there should be an aim towards equality between the parents, enabling the children to see that each parent’s role in their lives is as important as the other.
At Ingram Advocates, we aim to achieve a plan which is right for now and for the future, allowing parents and children to move on from litigation and move forward with their lives.
Advocate Allana Binnie, Associate at Ingram Advocates