Contact with children

Deciding on the arrangements for the care of your children following your separation or divorce can be extremely hard. Agreeing on where the children should live and how much time they should spend with each parent can sometimes cause conflict between both parents. Issues like these sometimes can not be resolved between the parents and it becomes necessary to apply to a court.

At DS Legal we are able to offer sensitive and appropriate advice and shall discuss with you at the outset the various options available, such as collaborative law, mediation or a more traditional approach based on your needs. In the unfortunate circumstances that matters can not be agreed, the court have a variety of orders available to deal with issues which simply can not be resolved by alternative ways of dispute resolution.

Contact orders

A contact order formulates arrangements in respect of contact between children and the absent parent. It requires the person with whom a child lives, or is to live, to allow the child to visit or stay with a person named in the order

, or for that person and the child otherwise to have contact with each other.  There may be more than one contact order made in respect of a child.

A court will only make a contact order if it believes that to do so would be better for the child than making no order at all.

Contact is the right of the child and not the right of the parent.  The child has a right, where the parents are separated, to know the non-custodial parent and his / her brothers or sisters.  There is a normal assumption that a child will benefit from continued contact with his parent; that assumption can always be displaced if the child’s interests indicate otherwise.

Essentially, any person can apply for a contact order. It could be a parent, sibling, grandparent or carer. Some persons can automatically apply for an order and others, such as a siblings or other relative, would need to ask the permission of the court.

A contact order may last for such time as the court may direct but not after the child has reached the age of 16, unless the court is satisfied that the circumstances of the case are exceptional.

Costs

As with all matters we will firstly assess your eligibility for legal aid. In the event that you are not eligible we will look to see if we can provide you with a fixed fee package depending upon your circumstances and if all else fails we will provide you with a competitive hourly rate which we will seek to reduce from our standard rate (please see our terms and conditions)

Can we help you?

If you would like to discuss any issues relating to contact with children, then please do not hesitate to call Lauren or Mark on 01242 517949, 01792 892692 or 01993 220651. Alternatively, please email us at enquiries@ds-legal.co.uk. We’re here to help.

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