Contact one of our advisors now Call 0800 088 6004

Child Residence (“Custody”) and Children Law Solicitors In Leicester

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

There are many different terms applied to this area of law and your search may have brought you to this page as you are looking for a Child Custody Solicitor, Child Residence Solicitor, Children Law Solicitor, or “child law advice” in Leicestershire.

At Wilson Browne Solicitors, we have a team of experienced family lawyers who specialise in a wide range of private family law matters, including child arrangements. We now have an additional, highly experienced team offering these services throughout Leicester and the surrounding areas.

As a result of our extensive experience in dealing with these matters, we understand how difficult a breakdown in relationships and subsequent child arrangements can be – especially for the children.

There may be disagreements over taking children on holiday, who they stay with (where and when), perhaps a change of family name, schooling, relocating or moving home, or even concerns over safeguarding issues – perhaps when a new partner comes on the scene.

What is a child residence order?

While coming to an agreement over finances and property can be difficult enough during divorce or separation, deciding the arrangement for the residency of children on top of this can be particularly challenging.

A residence order or contact order (now referred to as child arrangement orders in Court) will help to decide who the children live with and/or where the children will spend their time. This can often be quite challenging for parents.

Do you need a solicitor to assist with child arrangements?

To effectively resolve disputes regarding children matters including residence/custody issues or other important decisions for your children, and obtain the best outcome and arrangement for you and your child, or children, seeking support and advice from an experienced child residence (residency) or “child custody” solicitor is essential. We will help you explore all of your available options including creating an agreement or, if you are unable to reach an agreement through means of negotiation, advising and representing you through the process of going through the Court.


In the event that a child arrangement cannot be agreed upon by both parties, there are a variety of Court Orders that you could apply for in order to come to some kind of arrangement. This includes a Child Arrangements Order (which states where a child should live and when they should see the other parent or extended family member) and a Prohibited Steps Order (prevents certain actions such as travelling with the child to another country).

You could also apply for a Specific Issues Order that deals with particular child upbringing issues. This might include a change of surname or schooling. Additionally, we can also provide you with expert legal advice when it comes to finance and property issues that you require assistance with for both yourself and your children.

If an agreement cannot be reached, you can apply for various court orders. Before you do that, you will usually be required to attend mediation in the form of a MIAM –  a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting.

Do I have to attend mediation/MIAM before family Court?

Before any application is made to the Family Court in respect of children, the Applicant (person making the application) is required to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

So what is a MIAM?

During a MIAM appointment the mediator will provide some information about the mediation process and start to look at the areas of dispute. They will discuss concerns, immediate priorities and assess parties’ ability to mediate. If all parties agree that mediation is appropriate, then the process can continue. If for any reason it is not agreed, a mediator can sign the MIAM form which will allow either party to make an application to the Court.

It is important to note that the Respondent (the person you are making the application against) does not have to attend a MIAM session if invited. In these circumstances, the mediator will still sign the MIAM form, allowing you to make an application to the Court.

There are some circumstances where a MIAM is not required. These are called exemptions and are listed below:

– If there has been domestic violence between the parties (this can include a police caution or conviction for a domestic abuse offence, previous non-molestation order or protective injunction)
– If there are child protection concerns (including the local authority completing a S47 investigation or the children being subject to a child protection plan)
– Urgency (can only be used if there is a risk to ‘life, liberty or physical safety’ of the applicant)
– Previous attendance at a MIAM (if you have attended a previous MIAM 4 months prior to making the application in relation to the same dispute).

At Wilson Browne we can advise as to whether an exemption applies.

Child Arrangements Order: Specifies where a child should live and when they should see the other parent or extended family members.

People would often refer to these as residence (residency) orders, or custody disputes.

Child arrangements orders come into play when families or separated parents have disputes over childcare arrangements. These orders facilitate a child-focused agreement when previous mediation efforts have not resolved the issue.

A child arrangements order specifies:

• Who a child should live with
• The schedule and nature of contact with each parent
• The types and timing of other forms of contact, typically until the child reaches 16 years old, or in special cases, 18 years old.

Prohibited Steps Order: Prevents specific actions, such as taking the child abroad without permission.

What is a Prohibited Steps Order?

A Prohibited Steps Order (PSO) is a legal injunction used in UK family courts to prevent a specific action regarding a child without the court’s permission. In simple terms it is an order which stops a parent from exercising an aspect of their parental responsibility in relation to their child. In normal circumstances parents have complete control over decision making for their children. This becomes tricky when the parents don’t agree about what is best for their children after separation.

This order is commonly applied in situations where there is a concern that one parent might make decisions that could negatively impact the child’s welfare or remove the child from the other parent’s care or the country without consent.

The scope of a PSO is extensive, covering a wide range of actions and scenarios. It can restrict a parent from making significant decisions about a child’s upbringing, such as changing their school or relocating to a different area. Additionally, it can prevent a parent from taking the child abroad, which is particularly relevant in cases involving international custody disputes.

Specific Issues Order: Addresses particular upbringing issues like changing the child's surname or school.

A Specific Issue Order is a legal order granted by the family court to resolve disagreements or questions related to child arrangements. These orders are typically used by separated parents who cannot agree on decisions regarding their children’s upbringing and well-being. Specific Issue Orders address particular concerns such as education, medical treatment, or contact.

If you need to apply for a Specific Issue Order, you may be required to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) or obtain permission from the court.

Common Issues Addressed by Specific Issue Orders

  • Education: Decisions about which school the child will attend.
  • Medical Treatment: Consent for specific medical procedures or treatments.
  • Contact Arrangements: Details about when and how the child will have contact with each parent or other family members.
  • Relocation: Permission to move the child to a different area or country.

How Long Does It Take to Obtain a Specific Issue Order?

The time it takes to obtain a Specific Issue Order can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the court’s schedule. Generally, it can take several weeks to a few months from the time of application to the court’s final decision.

Why choose Wilson Browne Solicitors to assist with your arrangements for child custody or residence (residency) issues?

Our award-winning law firm has supported our clients for decades through some of the toughest phases of their lives with our unmatched customer service and outstanding legal advice.

Highly qualified and experienced in their respective fields of law, our team of family lawyers are on hand to reach the best legal solution for you and your family. To give you peace of mind that you’ve chosen the right firm, why not find out more about the wide range of awards that our professional team has won over the years.

Disputes regarding child arrangements can arise both during divorce proceedings and outside of marriage and we know how stressful these situations can be, especially for the children involved: that’s why our award-winning law firm has been providing unparalleled support and expert legal advice to clients for decades, helping them navigate some of life’s toughest challenges.

Cost of a Child Arrangements / Custody Solicitor

The cost of resolving child custody matters varies. At Wilson Browne Solicitors, we ensure transparency with our fees, providing estimates in advance, and only begin work once you’ve agreed to the costs, which include any additional charges and applicable third-party costs. If extra work is required, we provide an additional estimate before proceeding.

Convenient Location

Our Leicester office is situated opposite the beautiful Leicester cathedral and is a short walk from the Highcross shopping centre car park. In the freshly rejuvenated heart of the city, it is a stone’s throw from the Richard III visitor centre and the heart of the city.

Our team are also able to arrange remote appointments, if this is more convenient for you.

Whilst not strictly relevant to every situation (as not every dispute involving children would involve Social Services), a common question we get asked is : “Do social workers or social services get paid a bonus or fee for taking your baby or children?”

The Wilson Browne care team are often asked if a social worker or social services are paid a bonus or extra money if they remove a baby or children from a parents or carers care. The answer is no. They do not. There is no financial benefit to having a child removed from a parent or carer. Foster care actually costs the local authority thousands of pounds each month per child. But, as a team we fully understand why parents can feel like this might happen. For a start, it is written all over internet forums and, parents may have been told this by friends or family. That is why it is so important for anyone who faces having their child taken into care needs to contact us immediately. We can offer solid, non-judgemental, and correct advice and information to help navigate through this traumatic time in a parent’s life.

Call us today on 0800 088 6004 to find out more

Alternatively use the online for to…


Please include your basic contact details so one of our family lawyers can follow up with you soon.