Contact arrangements for children
A difficult issue
Divorce is never an easy decision to make. It means that there is no possibility of the marriage being able to continue and t can be a very upsetting and emotional time for all involved. The situation can be made much more emotionally charged when there are children involved. The current law states that each child has a right to a relationship with each parent provided it is safe and positive. It is both parent’s duty to encourage and promote a relationship with the other despite any hard feelings they may harbour.
However, this is not always an easy process. Child contact arrangements can be a difficult point to agree on for many parents who are separated. It is important to bear in mind that any animosity between parents can have a detrimental impact upon a child and that the needs of the children should always come first.
Every situation is unique
There is no set amount of days or hours that a parent should be spending with their child; this will be unique to your situation. When devising a plan for contact you should bear in mind things like work commitments, other children, nursey and school hours, pre-booked holidays and special occasions.
If you find you and your ex-partner are unable to agree upon contact arrangements then the next step would be to enlist the help of a mediator. A mediator is a neutral, legally trained body who will help you both create a plan that is suitable for your child. You will be expected to keep to the arrangement however the agreement would not be legally binding. In some cases, contact arrangements will falter shortly after mediation ends.
Application to the Court
If your contact arrangement breaks down then you may wish to consider making an application to the Court for further assistance. This is where legal advice becomes essential; this process will involve application forms and attendance at Court and usually some evidence giving. The Court will then have the final say upon the contact arrangements for your child, it could be that the result is not as you had hoped and so it is strongly recommended that you try and make arrangements between yourselves before things reach this stage.
If you are going through similar issues at the moment or would like more advice regarding your rights as a parent to see your child, we would be happy to assist. Contact us on 0151 480 5777.
Or fill out the contact form on our Family page and we will be in touch.