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Children Matters

Separating parents

A divorce or separation can be very distressing when children are involved but separation or divorce does not have to be confrontational. Maria Goodyear is a member of Resolution and is committed to reaching an amicable solution.

You and your partner will be encouraged to put the best interests of your children first. We often help couples to come to an agreement without having to go through the courts. We have experience in all aspects concerning children representing parents and grandparents.

We frequently use the services of a mediator, they can also help you avoid going through the courts. A mediator will work with both parties to understand their finances and how they hope to resolve the dispute.

Parental Responsibility for Step parents

It’s common these days for parents to marry or to enter into a long-term relationship with someone who is not their child’s biological parent.

The step-parent often develops a bond with the child and plays a significant role in their upbringing, but legally the step-parent has no standing when it comes to decisions about the child and its upbringing, even signing consent forms for school.

Whether the other (non-resident) biological parent plays an ongoing active role in the child’s life or not, step-parents can feel side-lined, compromised or that their relationship with the child is unacknowledged. It can also be an issue for the child if the step-parent is viewed as a significant figure in their life.

Step-parents cannot acquire Parental Responsibility for a child simply by marrying the child’s biological parent. Previously, step-parents could only acquire Parental Responsibility for a step-child by legally adopting the child, or by obtaining a Residence Order from the Court.

Currently a step-parent can acquire Parental Responsibility for a child in very specific circumstances, namely by agreement, a child arrangements order and adoption allowing your family peace of mind and security for the future.


Being a grandparent is a precious role, with all the joys of spending time with and caring for a child, and less of the stress. Most grandparents idolise their grandchildren, and grandchildren can thrive on that special relationship.

After a parental divorce or separation, the grandparents’ role can shift dramatically and what was once taken for granted becomes fraught with complications. As members of Resolution our aim is to ensure that matters between separating parents and grandparents are resolved as amicably as possible making sure that grandparents are fully advised thoroughly of all options available to them.

Same Sex partners

Same sex partners in a registered civil partnership or marriage can also acquire Parental Responsibility by agreement or a Court Order. It is essential to put this in place to ensure that any child receives continuity of care and avoid acrimonious court proceedings should the relationship break down.


We do our best to ensure that you are fully aware of the cost of your case.

On matters that are agreed it is usual for us to agree a fixed amount so you are certain of the costs at the beginning of the case.

On matters that are not agreed we provide a cost based on the information we have at the beginning of the case this is then reviewed periodically. You may also agree to set a limit to the costs should you wish to do so. Work will stop as soon as the limit has been reached and you may set a new limit based on how your case is progressing.