Residence / Contact

Questions about with whom a child lives and when and where a child sees other family members are usually decided within the family. Sometimes there are disagreements which can’t be resolved between the parents. Sometimes other family members, carers for a child or people connected to the child need advice and representation about these questions.

“Residence” and “contact” are now the terms used. Previously “custody” and “access” were used to describe these issues.

Courts can make residence orders and contact orders where necessary. However courts will generally only want to deal with these cases if all other reasonable ways to resolve problems have been attempted.

If individuals concerned with a child are unable to resolve these questions between themselves then common ways to attempt to resolve such problems would be through negotiation with the assistance of solicitors or attending mediation.

We can help you try to reach a resolution. We can give you advice, send letters on your behalf if necessary or refer you to mediation. We have the benefit of over twenty-five years of extensive experience dealing with these types of cases. We can guide you on the principles which should be borne in mind when you are trying to resolve things.

The first principle is that when making decisions about the arrangements for a child, the child’s own interests are more important than anyone else’s. In addition, where the child is able and wishes to express a view, they should be given the opportunity to do so and the child’s views should be taken into account. That does not mean that the child’s view is the only determining factor however. Finally, a court will make an order only if it is necessary.

If it is not possible to resolve issues of residence, contact or other arrangements for a child in any other way, we can act for you in taking a case to court or defending a court action raised against you.