When parents have separated it can often prove difficult to decide how much contact the child is to have with each parent, in particular the parent who they are no longer residing with. Legal advice may therefore be sought in order to secure future contact arrangements, which may include holiday contact and contact on special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas.
There are a number of ways in which contact can be arranged including negotiations between solicitors and through mediation. If matters cannot be agreed then as a last resort, an application can be made to the Court for a Contact Order. A Contact Order will regulate all contact and specify the times and days where a parent is to have contact with their child. This will include both direct and indirect contact. Direct contact will allow for a parent to see their child face to face and spend quality time with them. Indirect contact can consist of telephone calls, letters and emails. Where direct contact is not permitted contact can often take place at a Contact Centre often on a supervised basis. We can provide detailed information with regards to Contact Centres and the basis upon which they operate.
In any contact matter the Court will look to make decisions based upon what is in the best interests of the child and the welfare of the child will be the paramount consideration. The Court will also take into account the welfare checklist factors used in making any other orders relating to the child.