You can choose how to make arrangements for looking after your children if you separate from your partner.
You and your ex-partner can usually avoid going to court hearings if you agree on:
- where the children will live
- when they’ll spend time with each parent
You can use a solicitor if you want to make your agreement legally binding.
You can agree on child maintenance at the same time or separately.
Get help agreeing
You could also:
If you can’t agree on everything
You must show you’ve attended a meeting to see if mediation is right for you before applying to a court. You won’t have to in certain cases, for example if there’s been domestic abuse or social services are involved.
You won’t usually get legal aid to help with court costs unless you’re separating from an abusive partner.