Attending family courts
You may have to go to a Family Court to settle matters such as adopting a child, Residence or Contact with children after a divorce, dissolution of a civil partnership or separation. Below are some of the things that these Courts deal with.
Adoption is a legal act that vests the parental rights and duties relating to a child in the adopters.
Residence and Contact
When parents are separating, divorcing or applying for civil partnership dissolution and can't agree on arrangements for their children, the Family Courts may on application issue a Residence or Contact Order that will determine visiting rights and where the child will live.
If, however, the parents are willing to communicate and negotiate such arrangements among themselves, then family mediation could deal with the matter and prove less costly and easier to bear.
For more information on mediation you can contact the Family Mediation NI on 028 9024 3265 or visit the Family Support NI website.
There are also other mediation services available, these can be found on the web, or in the local telephone directory.
Children in care
If they feel it would be in the child’s best interest or is for the child’s safety, social services can ask the courts to issue:
- Emergency Protection Orders
- Care Orders
- Supervision Orders
- Secure Accommodation Orders
The Children Order Advisory Committee (COAC) has issued guidelines on the case management of public law cases and this can be found under publications on the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service website