Our opening hours are 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday
Out of hours emergency number 01642 954444


We advise on all aspects of children matters, including contact (child arrangements), who the children live with, taking the children on holiday, spending time with relatives, and giving advice on Parental Responsibility. If you have a social worker involved with your family, we can give advice at every stage. Any Court proceedings commenced by the Local Authority (social workers), you will be represented by one of our family team members, who each have been attending Court in these matters for over 15 years. 
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At AHM Solicitors, we understand the challenge and distress that comes with social services involvement. We understand it can be hard to navigate the intricacies of children’s law, and you do not have to face it alone. We can arrange for a member of our experienced family team to accompany you to child protection meetings, conferences, and PLO meetings. Should the case proceed to court, our childcare team will provide expert legal representation to achieve the best outcome for you and your family. Our childcare representatives have a proven track record of achieving favourable outcomes for our clients. We handle all of our cases with sensitivity and care, while making sure we put your side across clearly from the outset. 

Some of our childcare team are members of the Law Society Children Accreditation Panel, meaning we recognise the most important person in any family breakdown is the child. Not only do we represent parents, relatives, grandparents, and family members, but our panel members represent children in their own right, having been approved by The Law Society to hold a specialism in proceedings involving children. 

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If you have received this letter, then social services (the Local Authoirty) are concerned about your child's welfare and have reason to believe your child is not being looked after properly. It is important that you contact someone who understands the legal process if you have received one of these letters. 

You will not have to pay for legal advice in these circumstances.

At the beginning of care proceedings, the Local Authority can ask the Court to determine your child’s living arrangements on an interim basis or ask the Court for interim Orders to ensure that the welfare needs of your child are being met. You will get free legal aid for your representation during this process. 

It is important that you tell us as soon as possible about any court proceedings so we can give you free, immediate advice.

The Local Authority may ask the Court to separate you from your child during the court proceedings, and one of our experienced family team can give you advice on that process, what the options are for the Court and how long the process will take.

It is important to recognise that the Local Authority (social workers) cannot remove your children from your care without your consent and must apply to the Court to determine the living and contact arrangements. If a social worker asks you to consent to a child being removed, contact us for immediate, free advice.

Yes. Appleby, Hope and Matthews can provide expert legal advice when it comes to applying for a Non-Molestation Order. Getting a Non-Molestation Order can prevent someone from "molesting" you and can often give you peace of mind. These orders are intended to protect victims from violence, harassment, or threats. Depending on your situation, there may be charges for this, but generally, there are no costs for applying. 

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The breakdown of a relationship or separation can have a significant impact on a child, both emotionally and practically. There will be all kinds of decisions to make involving your children, for example, where they will live following the breakdown of the relationship or what school they will go to.  Almost all of these choices will require some level of communication and agreement with the other parent, which we understand can be tough and emotional in any event, but, for your child's sake, compromise is key.

If, for some reason, you cannot come to an agreement, the family court can assist in this decision-making and will do what they deem is in the best interest of the child.

The Court can make an Order that decides the name of a child.

The Court can decide on the children's living arrangements and the time they spend with each of their parents; this is called a Child Arrangements Order. 


More often than not, we get queries from people who are in quite horrible situations where a partner, ex-partner, or family member's behaviour towards them is a cause for concern for that person's safety. By obtaining a Non-Molestation Order, you are protecting yourself from any potential harm. By harm, we mean actual or the threat of physical violence, any form of harassment or intimidation, as well as psychological abuse.  

Any violence or domestic abuse should always be reported to the police. The police will commonly advise you to apply for a Non-Molestation Order, especially if there is a pattern of incidents. Please note that the police should be the first person you call if you are subject to any of the above acts. 

A Judge will decide if your circumstances require such an order, and we will be able to advise you of the strength of your case if you give us a call on 01642 440 444. A Judge will decide for how long the order should be in place and what the restrictions will be on the person subject to it. 

Legal aid is available, although it is dependent on the applicant's financial circumstances.

We also assist in defending Non-Molestation Orders.