When parents are no longer together issues and difficulties often arise which impact on arrangements for the children of the family. This can often result in the parent with primary care of the children stopping the other parent from seeing them. Alternatively, unreasonable restrictions can be placed on the other parent’s contact with the children. This can be a very distressing time for the non-resident parent. It can also be very upsetting and confusing for the children too.
Under the Children Act 1989, there is a presumption that a child should be able to see both parents, and share the child’s time between the parents. The only reason why contact with a parent should be stopped is when direct contact is harmful to the child.
It is always better for parents to try and agree arrangements between themselves. This can be supported by three main alternative processes:
- Through solicitors correspondence. We can write to your former partner putting forward proposals for contact and attempt to reach an agreement on these issues.
- Through discussions at Mediation. We can make a referral to Mediation so parents can try and reach an agreement with the help of a trained family mediator.
- Through the collaborative law process. This is similar to mediation but the process is supported by two lawyers, one for each of the parents who attend joint meetings with the aim of reaching agreements.
If an agreement cannot be reached between parents, it is possible to apply to the Court under the Children Act 1989 for a Child Arrangement Order. This type of Order can regulate where the child lives and allow a parent to spend time with the child. Such an Order can also specifically define that level of contact and deal with special occasions such as holidays and Christmas.
If you are having difficulties seeing your child or with arrangements, then book an appointment with one of our family team on 01924 332395.