Sunday, 25 February 2018
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Halloween 2017

Child Custody, separation & Will Aid

Child Custody

Being a parent is one of the most challenging things that you will have to do in your life. This is particularly so if parents are separating or divorcing. Disagreements often arise as to what is best for the children. Sometimes we feel that the children are being forgotten. Bernard Campbell & Co. Solicitors have many years of experience in helping parents to resolve these disputes in the best interests of their children.
Often these disagreements centre on who the children should live with or how much time they should spend with the absent parent. Parents may have parental responsibility and they may not be able to agree how best to exercise this. An issue may arise as to which school the child should attend or what medical treatment he or she should have. Sometimes these cannot be resolved and parents may need help from the Courts or mediation services to assist them.
There may also be financial disagreements about the children. You may need advice on what your financial obligations are. All these issues can be a worry at the time of separation. We can help you and advise you through this difficult time.
Sometimes Social Services may intervene in relation to the care of your children and we can provide experienced advice and representation to parents in these cases. If you are planning to adopt a child or wish to object to the adoption of a child we can help you.
Bernard Campbell & Co Solicitors have a wealth of experience in relation to all areas of the law and our family team are always on hand to provide expert legal and practical advice at all times. Contact us at Tel: 028 9023 2008 or email:

Early intervention is the key to preventing further problems arising after separation

Family Mediation NI (FMNI), assists separated couples negotiate a way forward, co-parenting as separated parents. An early intervention approach may prevent or at the very least reduce time spent in the court system. FMNI is the lead provider of impartial, confidential family mediation across NI.

Joan Davis, Director of FMNI states: ‘A poorly managed separation can have a detrimental effect on some children and can act as a trigger of other problems such as, emotional difficulties, poor academic achievement and troubled behaviour. Empowering parents to reach their own agreements focussing on their children, leads to better outcomes for all’.
Mediation provides a unique family focused co-operative process which helps both separating and divorcing couples agree on arrangements that work for their family. The voice of the child is encouraged to be heard as all research to date indicates that children wish to be kept informed and wish to be listened too.

One of the most important issues for children is maintaining their contact and relationships with non-resident parents. Children who do not see one of their parents as much as they would like, or who have no contact with one parent are more likely to be distressed about the separation.

FMNI can help with building up mutual understanding and help separated couples begin a new phase of communication based on the needs of their children. It has proven to be especially cost effective when compared with the adversarial approach, with over 70 per cent of those using mediation reaching an agreement.

More than half of parents have no will

More than half of parents in the UK with children under 18 have made no will, a new survey has revealed. The study, carried out by Will Aid, found that 54 per cent of mums and dads have not prepared this vital piece of paperwork. There is a big variation in areas across the UK, with 67.7 per cent of Northern Irish parents and 65 per cent of Scottish parents without wills, yet, in Central London, only 29 per cent of parents are without a will. 
Peter de Vena Franks, campaign director for Will Aid, said: “Writing a will is an opportunity for a parent or parents to leave instructions about who they would like their child to be cared for by in the event of their death. If you die without appointing a guardian, and there is no other parent with parental responsibility, an application would need to be made to the court to decide with whom your child will live, in the event of a dispute about this. Preparing a correctly worded will with a solicitor is the best way to ensure your wishes are carried out.”
During Will Aid Month in November solicitors across the country waive their fees for will writing services so their clients can donate to the charity partnership and support nine worthy causes. Last year Will Aid raised more than £1.2 million for its charity partners – ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (Northern Ireland). The suggested voluntary donation for a basic Will Aid will is £95 for a single will and £150 for a pair of mirror wills. Will Aid patron Dame Judi Dench added: “A will is a gift you can leave for those you love. If you choose to make your will with a Will Aid solicitor you could also be giving a loving gift to the thousands of children, families and communities helped by the Will Aid charities. When it comes to making a Will, my advice is simple: Carpe Diem.”
You can book an appointment via or by calling Tel: 0300 0309 558. 

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