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An independent children’s lawyer may: An independent children’s lawyer does not have to act on the children’s views, but must make sure that these views are put to the court.Anyone taking part in the proceedings can ask the court to appoint an independent children’s lawyer.

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Equal shared parental responsibility means both parents sharing major long-term decision making about the children.The court only considers making orders that the children do not see one parent in special circumstances, such as where the court considers the child to be at serious risk of harm. If the court considers that children may be at risk in the care of one parent, it can order that they spend time or communicate with that parent under certain conditions or under supervision by another person who has been agreed to by the court.This can be another relative or someone at a contact service.The law takes into account the emotional and intellectual maturity of children as well as their age when considering their wishes.

When making parenting orders, the court does not usually hear directly from children, although it can. Children’s attitudes and views may be made known to the court in a family report or through an independent children’s lawyer.

A contact service is a place where children can be dropped off and picked up or spend supervised time with a parent.