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Children are our future. Nurturing and supporting them is the job of every adult with a responsibility to them, but occasionally particularly sensitive issues arise involving young people.

Whether the issue stems from a dispute within the family over how a child will be raised, their living and financial arrangements or from an external intervention such as from a local authority, our specialist team has significant expertise in dealing with complex, issues involving children. Our focus is always on the child’s welfare, and we place this at the centre of our work.

We act for parents, foster carers and special guardians but also for young people through their Cafcass guardians and directly for children who are old enough. We act in a range of situations, including care proceedings, adoption proceedings, access arrangements, child support and maintenance, family disputes and domestic and international relocation issues.

Wherever possible, our experienced team champions new approaches to resolving issues without the need for litigation. Occasionally, in disputes where parties have been unable to reach an out-of-court resolution, we provide support throughout the process, with a close eye on our number one priority; ensuring the wellbeing and welfare of the young people involved.

So if you’re seeking an experienced team, adept at handling the most sensitive of situations with care and understanding, we’re here for you.

We act for parents, foster carers and special guardians but also for young people through their Cafcass guardians and directly for children who are old enough.

Our services

Living arrangements for children
  • Determining who the child lives with and who they spend time with (formerly known as custody)
  • Disputes over specific issues of a child’s upbringing such as choice of school and consent to medical treatment
  • Relocating domestically or internationally with a child
Maintenance and finance for children
  • Child maintenance
  • Other financial provision for children such as provision of accommodation and to meet other one-off costs
International children matters
  • International child relocation
  • Child abduction
  • Preventative measures to stop a child from being taken abroad
Adoption proceedings
  • Adoption
  • International adoption
  • Step parent adoption
Care and local authority proceedings
  • Care Proceedings and the involvement of Local Authorities
  • Fostering
  • [other services offered by the safeguarding team]

Contact a specialist

Jonathan Flower

Partner | Children & Safeguarding, Newcastle

+44 (0) 330 137 3206

Email Jonathan Flower

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Andrea Dyer

Partner | Family & Matrimonial, Leeds

+44 (0) 330 137 3216

+44 (0)793 919 1880

Email Andrea Dyer

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Christine Barker

Partner | Family & Matrimonial, Manchester

+44 (0) 330 137 3226

0783 143 0922

Email Christine Barker

Read bio

View all contacts

What people say

  • I just want to say a very big thank you to you, your professionalism and hard work throughout has got a result that I never dreamed of. You have filled me with confidence throughout the whole process and that to me was a huge help and of great comfort when dealing with something so horrific as these last few months. I am sat at home with the four children watching a film and feeling more content than I have done in the last 18months! So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Client Quote
  • Excellent full-service family group which continues to expand across the North of England. Recognised for its collaborative approach to financial remedy matters and for its work on public law cases involving guardians.

    Chambers & Partners
  • Ward Hadaway ‘is making big strides in the Manchester matrimonial scene’, with a ‘first-rate’ department.

    Legal 500
  • Offers noteworthy experience in matrimonial disputes in the farming sector and child cases with a cross-border aspect.

    Chambers & Partners
  • Highly regarded in matrimonial finance, with a particular niche in representing owner-managed businesses and other professionals. Extensive Children Act experience, including in handling cases with international elements.

    Chambers & Partners
  • It is considered a ‘go-to firm’ for matrimonial work, including high-net-worth divorces and childcare cases.

    Chambers & Partners
  • This well-established team maintains a strong reputation, and…is able to provide clients with specialist advice on high-value financial provision matters, public children law and cross-border children disputes.

    Chambers & Partners
  • Jonathan Flower's team at Ward Hadaway provides 'good' advice.

    Legal 500
  • My visits to Ward Hadaway helped make me feel confident of a fair outcome to my case, and at no point did I feel that false promises were being made.

    Client quote, Chambers & Partners