Children’s Law Solicitors

All too often we see parents viewing the issues for their children through the wrong end of the telescope by focusing on fairness amongst the parents, or what the parents want to achieve.

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Guiding you through all aspects of children's law

As child law specialists, we understand that getting arrangements right for your children can be tough and extremely emotional, but it is also essential to their wellbeing. We apply our expertise in all areas of private children law from that position of strength and insight, guiding our clients with the understanding that the focus has to be on the welfare interests of the children at all times.

Our ability to look ahead and develop successful and proportionate strategies see children consistently achieving positive outcomes and relationships with their parents, siblings and wider families.

All too often we see parents viewing the issues for their children through the wrong end of the telescope by focusing on fairness amongst the parents, or what the parents want to achieve. We do not shy away from giving our clients the best, the most realistic, and sometimes the most difficult advice to steer parents onto the right path by looking at matters the way a court ultimately would, which is through the eyes of their children.

We have discovered that there is often a particular lack of understanding the rights of fathers when it comes to their children, and we often spend time with our client dispelling a number of myths and misunderstandings around what rights and responsibilities fathers have for their children.

Child custody arrangements

A child arrangements order – formerly known as child custody – is a complex, sensitive and emotive subject for everyone involved, but one thing should always remain paramount: the wellbeing of the child or children who are affected by a separation or divorce.

Our friendly, caring team will work closely with you to help conclude your case as quickly and efficiently as possible. We listen: we will gather all the information relating to your specific case and will use our in-depth knowledge to advise you on the most appropriate course of action.

We will also go through all your options, from the different types of custody to how you can make sure your child’s best interests remain front and centre, taking into account their needs.

Child maintenance

Child maintenance is calculated based upon your income, the number of nights per year your child stays with each parent, and any other children you are financially responsible for.

Maintenance can be a thorny issue, with some parents feeling very aggrieved that they are expected to pay for children that they are not able to see as much as they would like or, conversely, with parents feeling hurt and angry that the paying parent is failing to maintain their financial duty to their children.

Ultimately, children must have adequate financial support in order to meet their full potential and have their needs met and this should not be approached in a transactional way. Their needs must be met to the best of your financial abilities as parents regardless of any dispute between them which may be rumbling on behind the scenes.

We are able to assist parents to resolve their disputes around financial support for their children while also recognising the importance and relevance of the arrangements for them. We provide parents with realistic guidance and advice that while time with their children cannot be bought or sold, separating out the issue of maintenance from the issue of arrangements is an appropriate starting point to ensure that the children are not unnecessarily impacted by adult disputes.

Care proceedings

While we do not carry a legal aid franchise and therefore cannot offer our services on a legally aided basis, our experts still have significant public law experience and can assist individuals who are either choosing to pay privately in public law proceedings, or who are involved in public law proceedings but are not eligible for legal aid.

Our expertise in this area also means that we are able to recognise when the involvement of the Local Authority may become a reality in private law proceedings and advise our clients accordingly.

Our expertise across both disciplines assists our clients to understand the reasons why a Local Authority may become involved in their private law dispute, how this may impact upon them and their children, and the appropriate way to engage with the Local Authority and what to expect from them.

Special guardianship orders

Where children are not able to live with their biological parents, there are opportunities for other relatives or individuals associated with the child who fall within the qualifying criteria to apply for a Special Guardianship Order for the child in for them to become legally responsible for that child.

We have significant experience in assisting individuals in making such applications in order to secure children’s futures and we are able to guide our clients through this often confusing process.

Where you are approved as a Special Guardian for a child, this will mean that not only do you acquire parental responsibility for them but that parental responsibility is overriding. Practically speaking, this means that you are then able to make decisions for the child even where their parents do not necessarily agree with your decision, such as choice of school, medical treatment, or taking the child on holiday.

In considering whether to make this type of order, you will undergo a full and thorough assessment by the Local Authority as to your suitability to care for the child and meet their global needs. The Local Authority will then make a recommendation to the court as to whether or not a Special Guardianship Order should be made in your favour.

We have a wealth of experience in advising clients as to not only the practicalities of the process, but also in guiding clients through that process, how to address each step and what the implications are for our clients and the children they are seeking permanence for.

"Higgs LLP works to the highest standard, working collaboratively with its clients, ensuring that they understand every step of the process. Providing timely and measured advice. The team is very client focused. The team is tactically astute and gives great levels of service. The team will fight the difficult cases"

Legal 500

"Excellent empathy during my divorce. Phil Barnsley was very companionate, knowledgeable and provided the relevant information so that I could make an informed choice. I will never forget how they got me through the most difficult part of my life it was like a therapeutic process"

Legal 500

"Sioned Fitt has a uniquely insightful knowledge of her clients and the difficulties that they and their families / loved ones are facing. Sioned works tirelessly, with great care and patience to provide her clients with the support that they need"

Legal 500


Where legal aid is unavailable in potential adoption proceedings, we are able to assist individuals on a privately funded basis to secure adoption orders in respect of children.

An adoption order will bring the parental responsibility of any other individuals not named in the adoption order to an end, and it will give parental responsibility to only those named in the order who then become the child’s legal parents.

Whether you are a step-parent seeking to permanently adopt your step-child, or a parent or parents who have decided they would want to pursue adoption of a child to their family, or perhaps even an adult sibling of a child you wish to adopt, we can advise and guide you through the process involved in securing adoption orders for children.

This process is not for the faint of heart, and involves rigorous and thorough assessment by a Local Authority who will then make a recommendation to the court as to whether an adoption order should be made for the child. However, there are many cases in which adoption can be the appropriate outcome for children who require permanence for their futures.


Where children are born via surrogacy it is absolutely crucial that the parents know and understand what they need to do in order to legally become the parents to that child. That process begins even before your child is conceived and so it is vital that you arm yourself with all of the information you need to understand what is required of you to formalise the legal arrangements for your future child from the word ‘go’.

While this process may seem daunting, speaking to our team of specialists will give you a clear view on what needs to happen and when so that you will feel that you are navigating your pathway to parenthood with knowledge and confidence.

Why choose us as your children's law solicitors

We understand that any issue concerning your child comes with an enormous amount of stress and doubt. We recognise the value in a reassuring and knowledgeable voice in the room when those emotions threaten to overwhelm you.

Our children specialists treat every client as part of the team. We create a collaborative atmosphere where we are able to give you honest, straightforward, and occasionally unvarnished advice and guidance.

Our mantra is that we are here to tell you the truth, not what you want to hear. The value to our clients in staying true to that mantra is that we will guide you in the right direction rather than allowing you to get lost in the process, and the cost that comes with taking a disproportionate and misguided approach.

We are here to achieve your goals, but equally to help you choose the right goals to prevent you from going astray.

We will do all of this because we want you to succeed. Your successes are our successes too, and our team wants to share in those successes with you and your family. We regard our reputation very highly and we therefore strive for every client to become an ambassador for our family team.

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Meet the family law team