Is YOUR family life like ‘Marcella’?

3 ways we can help your family through troubled times.

Do you or your partner want to relocate with the children? Are you suffering from parental alienation? Are you making sure the children always come first? Call Burt Brill & Cardens today to book your initial consultation with a family solicitor.

ITV’s recent television drama Marcella is known for its theatrical story lines, but some of the backstory can provide good lessons for what can go wrong if you don’t seek professional legal advice. We break down the top lessons you can take away from Marcella, including what to do if you want to relocate with your children, dealing with parental alienation, and always ensuring your children are put first, should you and your partner separate.

1. You may need legal intervention if you or your partner want to relocate with the children. We can help you with this.

As series two began, we saw Marcella embroiled in a conflict with Jason regarding where the children should live and how they should spend time with the non-resident parent. To add to this, Jason wanted to relocate with the children to Singapore and was trying to coerce Marcella into agreeing.

If Marcella agreed to the children a) living with Jason and b) relocating to Singapore, she would only need to provide her written consent. However, if Marcella did not agree with the living with Jason or the proposed move, Jason would need to file a Child Arrangements Application to seek the Court’s approval for his proposed move and the children being based with him. Click here to find out more about Child Arrangement Applications.

If both parents aren’t able to agree on where children should live between themselves, a good option is mediation. Contact us today to find out more about this.

If you are thinking about relocating, contact us so that we can discuss your position further.

2. Seek legal help from us if you are suffering from parental alienation.

The toxic conflict between Jason and Marcella involves Jason speaking negatively about Marcella to the children. Alienating behaviours can include:

• A parent constantly badmouthing or belittling the other
• Limiting contact
• Forbidding discussions about the other parent
• Creating the impression that the other parent dislikes or does not love the child

At the extreme end, it can become irrational contact denial- trying to force the child to reject the parent. If this sounds familiar, you may be experiencing parental alienation. If using therapeutic work is not an option that both parents will agree to, then the alienated parent should seek our legal help to gain contact with children via the court. To read more about parental alienation and how we can help, click here.

3. Always make sure the children are put first.

Involving children in adult conflict is very harmful for children and their well-being, and should be avoided at all costs. Whilst it can be tempting to send that text message/email or turn up unannounced at your ex-partner’s house (Marcella-style), it does not improve your case. All text messages and emails can be exhibited to applications and statements and may be used against you. If your behaviour is not child focused or appropriate, then do not do it.

A child should not be used to send messages from one parent to another nor used against a parent. This type of behaviour may not only damage your children’s relationship with you, but may be used against you if this matter ever went to Court.

If you are unsure about what to do next or you are not happy with a current or proposed contact arrangement, contact us. Do not act rashly and be cautious about signing any contact agreement without taking legal advice.

Remember, it is wrong to assume that all Children Act Matters involve expensive Court proceedings. There are a number of options available to you to assist with resolving matters regarding your children. Collaborative law, mediation, and working with family consultants are all valid options that we can advise you on – and may have assisted Marcella, if she knew about them!

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To arrange your consultation, call us on 01273 604123 and ask for Maureen Edwards or email Maureen on medwards@bbc-law.co.uk or fill out our Online Enquiry Form.

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