Ask the Experts – Family Law & Relationships

Q: I have recently married and have a four year old son from a previous relationship.  My son is estranged from his father and considers my husband as his father.  Can my husband acquire the same legal rights I have for my son?

A: If the child’s biological father’s consent was forthcoming then you could enter into an agreement for your husband to acquire step-parent parental responsibility which is sent to the Principle Registry of the Family Division for registering and sealing. If the child’s father does not consent, your husband would be entitled to apply to the family courts for a parental responsibility as a step-parent under S4A of the Children Act 1989.

Q: My husband and I are divorcing, we’ve agreed everything so why do I need a Solicitor?

A: Even if you have reached agreement about the division of your property and finances, it is important that your agreement is recorded in an order approved by the divorce courts – this is known as a ‘Consent Order’.  This has two advantages: it makes the agreement legally binding and enforceable and it also dismisses future claims between the parties and ensures a clean break with a full and final settlement.

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