Contact / Residence
It can be difficult for parties to agree on child arrangements, following the breakdown of a marriage or relationship.
There may be concerns over the safety and wellbeing of the children during contact or a parent may be refusing to allow contact to take place.
Obtaining legal advice at the outset is therefore important to ensure that any concerns can be addressed.
Proposals for the arrangements for contact can then be discussed to enable a non-resident parent to resume contact with their child/children maintain their relationship with them.
It is important to consider that any decision made concerning a child must be in their best interests and for this reason it is important to consider the following:
a) The child/children’s welfare
b) The importance for the child/children to maintain a relationship with the non-resident parent
c) Exercising Parental Responsibility for the benefit of the child/children
The starting point in considering arrangements for children is to negotiate with the other party, if there are no Court proceedings or safeguarding concerns.
If this is ineffective, then an application must be made for parties to attend Mediation (explained further under financial settlements). There are however exceptions to attending Mediation, as this may not be suitable for you. I am happy to discuss with you, should you wish to arrange a consultation.
If no agreement can be reached, then an application for a Child Arrangement Order should be considered. It is however best to seek legal advice if you are experiencing difficulties agreeing issues concerning children.
In certain situations, it may become necessary to make an urgent or emergency court application.
This can be if serious threats are made to harm a child/children or if you believe that a child/children are at risk of harm.
If you believe that there is a risk of child abduction, you must call the Police and then seek urgent legal advice.