Menu

Care and upbringing of a child

The care and upbringing of a child can raise complex legal and practical issues, particularly when relationships breakdown, families restructure (blended families), following assisted conception and when parents, children and families cross international borders. This can create legal difficulties for parents, children, donors, surrogates, carers and modern families under English fertility and family law, including issues and disputes about:

• Time spent with a child (e.g. with a known donor, co-parent, former  partner, step-parent).
• Living arrangements for a child (including sole and shared care).
• Acquisition and exercise of parental responsibility for a child.
• A specific issue concerning a child (e.g. choice of school, medical care, foreign travel, religious matters).
• Financial provision for a child.

We provide advice, assistance and legal representation to acquire, protect and defend legal status, rights and responsibilities in respect of the care and upbringing of a child under English law, including:

Our preeminent legal expertise resolves legal issues and disputes effectively and efficiently.  We provide innovative legal solutions to suit individual situations and needs to get the best outcome.

How we can help

Our legal services include:

• Legal packages
• Bespoke legal advice tailored to your situation, needs and wishes
• Preparation of legal documentation
• Legal support and representation in court proceedings

Package One

Dispute about time spent with a child – legal review

This provides initial expert legal advice on family and fertility law in the UK in the event of a dispute about time spent with a child (formerly known as a contact dispute) with a known donor, co-parent, surrogate, former partner or other adult). It:

Package Three

Parental responsibility dispute – legal review

This provides initial expert legal advice on family and fertility law in the UK in the event of a parental responsibility dispute with a known donor, co-parent, surrogate, former partner, current partner or other adult). It:

Package Five

Financial provision children dispute – legal review

This provides initial expert legal advice on family and fertility law in the UK in the event of a financial provision (income and capital) dispute with a co-parent, former partner, current partner or other adult) to include, maintenance and costs of upbringing, property, school fees. It:

Package Two

Dispute about a child’s living arrangements – legal review

This provides initial expert legal advice on family and fertility law in the UK in the event of a dispute about a child’s living arrangements (formerly known as a residence dispute) with a known donor, co-parent, surrogate, former partner or other adult). It:

Package Four

Dispute about a specific issue for a child – legal review

This provides initial expert legal advice on family and fertility law in the UK in the event of a dispute about a specific issue concerning a child with a known donor, co-parent, surrogate, former partner or other adult.

If you require legal assistance or wish to discuss arrangements contact us.

 +44 (0) 20 7965 8399

Leading cases

Louisa Ghevaert has dealt with numerous leading cases in the UK dealing with arrangements for the care and upbringing of a child,  including:

AB v CD, EF, GH & IL [2018] EWHC 1590 (Fam), representing an intended mother in international contested assisted reproduction and modern family law proceedings in the High Court concerning 2 surrogate born children. This case marks a legal first in the treatment of blended families in the UK following assisted reproduction, divorce, re-marriage, serious allegations of domestic violence and abuse as well as the legal status and identity of two surrogate born children, their biological, intended and social parents and arrangements for the children’s care and upbringing.

In the matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Case V) [2016] EWHC 2356 (Fam), obtaining a declaration of parentage in the High Court to secure the legal status and care and upbringing of a child in respect of a woman in a same-sex relationship following fertility treatment at a UK fertility clinic licensed by the HFEA.  The HFEA Consent Form WP was missing from the clinic file. The case for the first time gave guidance on the practice of making interim costs orders in favour of patients to fund litigation and access to justice following errors in the completion of consent forms at UK fertility clinics.

In JP v LP & Ors [2014] EWHC 595 (Fam), acting for the intended father in a high profile complex UK surrogacy dispute case following marriage breakdown and divorce. This case established for the first time a legal framework for the care and upbringing of a child in cases where the legal criteria for a parental order cannot be met, including wardship, and featured in The Telegraph, BBC News and Mail Online (6 March 2014).

In Re C [2013] EWHC 2408 (Fam),obtaining a parental order to secure the legal parental status and care and upbringing of a child conceived through a Californian (USA) commercial surrogacy arrangement. This case redefines the English Court’s approach to the authorisation of commercial payments in view of the UK public policy restriction against commercial surrogacy.

In Re IJ (a Child) [2011] EWHC 921, obtaining a parental order to secure the parental status and care and upbringing of a surrogate born child who was born stateless and parentless in Ukraine. The case highlights the legal difficulties associated with foreign surrogacy and the importance of expert legal advice.

In Re L (a minor) [2010] EWHC 3146 (Fam), obtaining a parental order for British parents who conceived a child with a US surrogate mother (in Illinois, USA). The case marks a legal watershed ruling that the welfare of the child is decisive over the public policy ban on commercial surrogacy in the UK except in the clearest cases of abuse of public policy and featured in The Telegraph (8 December 2010).

In Re X and Y (foreign surrogacy) [2008] EWHC 3030 (Fam), being the first case in UK legal history to test the law for British parents conceiving through an international commercial surrogacy arrangement and which involved complex and groundbreaking legal issues in successfully securing the parental status and care and upbringing of surrogate born children in the Ukraine, featured in BioNews (January 2009)

You can read more here.

News and commentary

Click here to read more about our media and commentary work in relation to family and fertility law, policy and practice.

In the News

Father and toddler

Twitter updates

Follow Louisa on Twitter for latest industry updates

Read More
Family playing football on beach

Our latest news

Read our news on fertility & modern family law

Read More
Woman playing with Baby

Our blog

Louisa discusses her opinion on different topics

Read More