COVID-19 is having far reaching effects on families throughout Sussex.

Arrangements for children are being disrupted and families are not able to access the Family Court in a timely manner. 1COR is able to offer children arbitrations at very short notice, with decisions in writing within 48 hours. Arbitrations can be carried out on paper or by telephone in compliance with the current government advice on social distancing.

Issues regarding the time children spend with their parents require immediate resolution to ensure that they don’t suffer uncertainty about their home life. THis is particularly true at a time when your children may already be dealing with disruption to their school routine and loss of contact with friends and wider family. The court service is currently under extreme pressure and is unlikely to be able to deal with contact applications for many months.

Children arbitration is available if you have not yet made an application to the court for a child arrangements order, or if you are already in court proceedings but wish to minimise delay.

Arbitrations can  be dealt with on paper or by telephone hearing by an Arbitrator who is a barrister specialising in children law. Arbitration is a valuable tool in the family lawyer’s kit for resolving issues between separated parents. A decision is made by the Arbitrator and it does not therefore rely on the parents agreeing to a resolution (as for mediation). The process is far quicker than an application to the family court, especially at the current time, and the fee is fixed. The Arbitrator’s decision is binding on the parents and the scheme is totally flexible. The parents need to agree to file statements which can be supplemented by written submissions (for a paper arbitration) or oral submissions (in a telephone hearing) from themselves or their legal representatives if desired.

Arbitrations can take place at a time to suit the parents (and their representatives if applicable) including outside of office hours. Best of all an Arbitration decision (known as a ‘Determination’) will be sent within just 2 days of the written evidence and submissions being received by the Arbitrator or the telephone hearing taking place.

Further details of arbitration are available here. If you have questions about moving children between households, see our guide here

Please contact the clerks (clerks@1cor.com or 01273 625625) to discuss whether your case is suitable and to discuss availability.