What Happens if my Child Refuses to go to Contact?

What Happens if my Child Refuses to go to Contact?

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As a parent, if your child is refusing to spend time with the other parent, many would empathise with you for not wanting to ‘force’ them. Unfortunately, the Court does not always share this empathy. So, what should you do if your child refuses to go to contact?

It would be easy to assume that the law focusses on the ‘rights’ of parents to see their children. However, that is not the case. The law instead focuses on ‘parental responsibility’, with the paramount consideration being the ‘best interests’ of the child. There is a presumption, in law, that contact and spending time with both parents will be of benefit to a child. Whilst the Court will take into account the child’s wishes and feelings (depending on their age and understanding), in applying the welfare checklist, it is reluctant to allow their preference to be decisive. The long-term benefit of having a relationship with both parents, in most cases, will outweigh any short-term distress caused by seeing that parent.

Parents often must encourage children to do things they don’t want to do. If one day your child decided they didn’t want to brush their teeth, you might ask why, try a new toothpaste, or entice them with a toothbrush featuring their favourite cartoon character. You wouldn’t simply say ‘ok, you don’t need to brush your teeth anymore’. Contact with the non-resident parent is no different. Of course, nobody is suggesting that a child should be dragged, kicking and screaming and so it will be vital to try to get to the bottom of why they don’t want to go or potentially try a different time or venue. What is not acceptable, in the Court’s view, is to simply say ‘ok, you don’t need to go anymore’.

Consequences of Not Taking your Child to Contact

If contact is refused and the non-resident parent makes an application to the Court, the resident parent will have to explain why contact was restricted or refused. If there is already a Court Order in place for contact, refusal to allow the contact to take place may amount to contempt of court and may lead to a ‘wasted costs’ order being made against you. If the Court is not satisfied that you as the resident parent, will do your best to facilitate contact, it may, in extreme circumstances, order that the child lives with the other parent or even committal to prison.

What if I Have Valid Reasons for Concern?

Where you have valid reasons for concern, for example, you have evidence that the non-resident parent is intoxicated whilst your child is in their care, you should seek immediate legal advice. It may be that the circumstances warrant making an application to vary any existing Court Order, and it may put you in a more favourable position to make this application before an application for enforcement is made against you.

Alternatives to Court Proceedings

Mediation

There is an expectation to attempt to mediate with the other parent before making an application to the Court. A mediator is an independent neutral third party who will facilitate communication between both parties working together to try to resolve disputes amicably.

Arrangements regarding contact may need to change over time. For example, as children get older, they may begin to want to spend more time with their friends. Parents will be able to utilise the tools learnt during mediation to adapt arrangements accordingly without the need to return to Court. Mediators can also assist in agreeing a ‘Parenting Agreement’ between the parties which will set out all the things that go into the parenting of children.

Child-Inclusive Mediation

As explained in our previous blog (https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/child-inclusive-mediation/), specially trained mediators are able to meet with children to involve them in this dialogue. It should be made clear to the child that it is not for them to decide the outcome of the mediation but that this is an opportunity for them to express their views regarding how things could be made easier for them.

Child Contact Interventions

Arguably, child contact interventions are a hugely undervalued resource. They are bespoke programmes which usually last between 8 and 10 weeks, working with parents and children alike to meet the individual needs of each case. They are commonly used to facilitate interim contact during Court proceedings to reduce the number of Court hearings necessary to deal with such matters. Cafcass can refer parents to these programmes where available in the local area, or parents can access them independently using a NACCC accredited provider.

Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP)

Parents may be directed by the Court to attend a SPIP or may access such programmes independently. The aim of a SPIP is to assist parents in identifying how their separation may be impacting their child and how to manage their changing parenting dynamic. Children often pick up on the tension between parents. Learning to manage this may be the change which is needed for contact to run more smoothly.

Family Consultants

Family consultants are trained relationship therapists/coaches. They can provide both practical advice and emotional support. Meeting with a family consultant may be able to help parents in navigating their new family dynamic, improving communication and assisting them in compiling a parenting plan.

Top Tips

If your child is refusing to go to contact then your starting point should be to:

  1. Speak with the other parent and explain the difficulties.
  2. Engage a family expert if you consider this would be beneficial.
  3. Identify support you could draw on to assist you both in managing your new parenting dynamic.
  4. Explore alternative options to Court proceedings.
  5. Continue to encourage your child with positive reinforcement and do your best to promote the other parent in a positive light despite your feelings towards him or her.

Remember, there is an expectation on you, as a parent, to do your best to facilitate contact and making a court application isn’t necessarily going to help the situation. You should work with the other parent to identify what is going wrong and how things can be made easier for your child. From this article, you will see there are a variety of options available to assist you in doing so, without the stress, expense and heightened animosity of Court proceedings.

Family Law Partners has experienced mediators and collaborative lawyers who can assist you in putting in place the right arrangements that are in your child’s best interest, please get in touch.

34 responses on “What Happens if my Child Refuses to go to Contact?

  1. I have a contact order for my two daughters to be with me every other weekend.
    They are 4 and 6. I see them every other Sunday on mums doorstep, in a stairwell in a block of flats. The girls are fine with me but as soon as I mention leaving with me even going to the park they refuse. They tell me mum says they are not allowed. Yet if I ask them I?m told I?m harassing them. I?m lost as to what to do. I?ve been going through the courts since 2016. The mother says she makes them available for contact every other weekend and has done her part but will not make them do anything they do not want to do.
    We sit on cold concrete floors in a stairwell. We do birthdays Christmas all on the same stairwell. Please tell me what?s best I do or what action I should take as I can?t take much more. I?ve tried positive emails to work with mum but I always get negative replies about how I?m no hood and says I never ask them.

    1. Danny, thank you for your comment. I am unable to offer specific advice on this platform however, if you would like to discuss your situation further, with a view to booking an appointment, please contact our offices for a confidential discussion.

  2. My 11 year daughter refuses to see her dad because when we were together he used to go into her room at night when I was at work and used to put things in her head. Now she is having nightmares and cannot sleep and is scared of him, can he force her to see him.

    1. Thank you for your comment. If there is an existing Court Order in place regarding the time your daughter spends with your father, you would be in breach of that Order if you failed to make her available on the relevant dates and times. If you believe the current Court ordered arrangements are not in your daughter?s best interests, you should seek legal advice. It may be that the circumstances warrant an application to vary any existing Court Order.

      If there is not an existing Court Order in place you should be aware that your daughter?s father may make an application to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order to regulate the time he spends with her. Here at Family Law Partners we try to avoid Court proceedings where ever possible, exploring a range of other options which may assist you in reaching an agreement. We would therefore suggest speaking with your daughter?s father and explaining your concerns with him, engaging a Family Consultant if you feel this may be beneficial, and exploring other options such as mediation.

      If you would like to discuss how we may be able to assist you, please contact us on 01273 646919.

  3. Hi, I have 2 daughters with my ex husband. They are 7 and 3. After lengthy court proceedings we agreed for the girls to spend every other weekend with their dad plus additional time during the holidays and every other Monday evening untill 6pm. My eldest daughter has been very reluctant to go for over a year now and I have been making her go despite her protests. During lock down my ex husband thought it best that they didn?t move between homes so we agreed that they would stay with me. They didn?t see him between March and May. He hasn?t resumed Monday evenings at all. My eldest daughter started refusing to go and he eventually said that if she didn?t want to she didn?t have to. She has been much less anxious and happier since this happened. She has on occasion been physically sick before going to see her dad. He?s now saying he will be enforcing it again. My daughter is very vocal that she definitely does not want to go when I ask her if she would like to. Can she refuse?

    1. Thank you for your comment. The Court?s paramount consideration is the child?s best interests. In considering what is in a child?s best interests the Court would look at a range of factors, including but not limited to a child?s wishes and feelings. The child?s wishes and feelings are not determinative and are dependent on their age and level of understanding.

      In most cases there is a presumption that it is in a child?s best interests to spend time with both parents. We would suggest working with your child?s father through mediation with a child inclusive mediator and/or by engaging a family consultant to establish the root of your daughter?s anxiety and how things can be made easier for her.

      If you would like to obtain specialist legal advice in relation to your situation, please contact us on 01273 646900

  4. I am writing on behalf of my daughter and my granddaughter. My granddaughter is 2 and half and has never seen her father since she was 4 months old. My daughter agreed to a family friendly contact centre back in March through the family courts. But now we have been told that due to Covid she will not be allowed to enter building which will freak my granddaughter out. The room my granddaughter will have no toys to play with and her father who is to all intents will be a stranger to her. We have been told if my granddaughter refuses to go in they will physically lift her. Please can you offer any advice.

    1. Thank you for your comment.

      These are unprecedented times and different contact centres have different policies in place regarding covid-19.

      We would suggest your daughter shares her concerns with the contact centre and works with them to agree a way forward that she feels is right for your granddaughter. She could suggest that your granddaughter brings her own toys to the contact centre.

      If your daughter would like to seek specialist legal advice in relation to the Court proceedings, please ask her to contact us on 01273 646919 and we will happily arrange an initial consultation with one of our specialists.

  5. Afternoon, My Husband has an arrangement order in place to see his 2 children now 10 & 13 years the last weekend of every month. Due to Covid 19 their mother has prevented them from having in person contact due to a sibling of theirs who has a immune disorder. As a parent myself i can understand this reason and so does my husband.

    However, in the last few months his Son 13 years refuses to take any phone calls from my husband and ignores all our messages. We have both asked his sister 10 years if he is ok, but we are brushed off and the subject is changed. After a few months of this reoccurring issue, my husband contacted his ex wife to ask if there was a problem with his son 13 years and was told ‘No there is nothing wrong’ by his ex wife. My husband continued to notice this ongoing problem and then decided to call his ex wife to ask her again. It was then she just blurted out in the air like nothing – that his son 13 years no longer wanted to speak to him and he wanted his step dad to adopt him. Not at any point has his ex wife mention this to my husband and has left him very battered and confused as to why. Still to this day she has not gave my husband a reason. She will not allow my husband to speak with his son as she is suggesting his son does not want to speak with him. His ex wife now is filing for mediation i believe but due to the covid 19 pandemic i cannot see this happening anytime soon. Which only allows this situation to escalate even further.
    Does my husband have the right to demand to speak with his son? or does he have to respect his son’s wishes and leave him be? as this situation is now affecting his relationship with his daughter too. As his ex wife is now suggesting that he is harassing her with questions about his son. To which he only asked one question – which was – ‘How is your brother’? His ex wife is now refusing to give his daughters mobile number to him as she is suggesting that his daughter is now scared to speak with him in case he questions her any further about her brother.

    I can confirm that right from the beginning when they first went to court – his ex wife applied for residency of both the children (which she already had, as they live with her) When standing in front of the judge, the judge was annoyed with her for wasting his time as he advised her that she already had this as the children both reside with her at her home address. The judge went on to confirm that my husband had shared parental responsibility as he is on the birth certificates and he would have every last weekend during each month for them to stay at our home. This was quickly stopped by his ex wife as she was telling them that London was a dangerous place to be and people are at more risk of being killed as apposed to where they live in Cambridgeshire.

    Now we found ourselves here where is son is refusing to speak with my husband and his ex wife isn’t doing much to help, as she says she will not force him.

    Please can i seek some advice as we are at a lose of what we need to do next? Do we wait to see what his ex wife does? or does my husband continue to request to speak with his son?

    1. Dear Annemarie, thank you for your comment.

      Your husband would need to consent to his son being adopted by his step father in order for this to happen.

      You mention the mother of your husband?s children is making enquiries regarding mediation. We would suggest your husband works with her through mediation, possibly with a child inclusive mediation and/ or by engaging a family consultant to identify why his son doesn?t wish to speak with him and to establish how things can be made easier for him. Mediation can take place online by video call.

      If it is not possible for them to reach an agreement through mediation, your husband may be able to apply to the Court to enforce the existing order (if there is one) or to regulate arrangements for the time he spends with his children.

      It is important your husband obtains specialist legal advice in relation to the same. This is certainly something we can assist him with.

      If your husband would like to discuss his situation further, with a view to booking in for an initial consultation, please ask him to contact us on 01273 646900.

  6. I am currently going through the court procedure with my ex partner who is fighting for contact with our daughter who he has not seen for 2 years due to serious allegations made by her at 3 years old

    We are scheduled for a finding of fact hearing in jan 2021 What I am guessing will be NFA due to lack of evidence like the social workers and police did in 2019.

    I am preparing myself for a contact center to be set up but I am almost certain she will refuse to enter the room regardless of what me or anyone else says to her, what happens then? If I am attending and encouraging her as the court order will ask for this will cause her a lot of stress

    1. Thank you for your comment. It is important you receive specialist legal advice in the lead up to the Fact Finding Hearing. This is certainly something we can assist with.

      With respect to what will happen if your daughter refuses to enter the room at the contact centre, we would suggest sharing your concerns with them, and asking what their procedure would be in such circumstances. A level of distress is normal, and is to be expected, however if the centre staff believe that your daughter is suffering significant emotional harm, they are likely to stop the session. If you believe that your presence at the centre will make matters worse, you ought to consider a third party – someone who your daughter is comfortable and familiar, accompanying her in your place.

      If you would like to discuss your matter further, with a view to booking in for an initial consultation, please contact us on 01273 646900 and we will happily assist.

  7. My 10 year old daughter does not want to visit her father and has not done so for a few years now he has me in contempt of court as he has rights to see them on tue 5.30 till 9 and everyother sat 2 till 10 ….my 13 year old son wants no contact either ..my 9 year old daughter has came round to visits and my two older children 16 and 15 attend sometimes is there anything I can do to protect my daughters wish as she finds this situation very upsetting to the point were she hids when he arrives ….sleepless night s even wetting g the bed bite biting her nails till they bleed….her father never spent time with her or my son when they were small and she dosnt trust him as he never keeps his promises punished her by giving her no presents at Christmas as she wont go to him on boxing day ….she dos t feel safe in his care as she had accident in a buggy and she was hurt along with her sister and brother….please advice what I’m to say to the master to help amy be listened too so she has a voice …

    1. Thank you for your comment.

      The Court?s paramount consideration is the child?s best interests. In considering what is in a child?s best interests the Court would look at a range of factors, including but not limited to a child?s wishes and feelings. The child?s wishes and feelings are not determinative and are dependent on their age and level of understanding.

      In most cases there is a presumption that it is in a child?s best interests to spend time with both parents. We would suggest working with your daughter?s father through mediation with a child inclusive mediator and/or by engaging a family consultant to see how things can be made easier for her. More information about child-inclusive mediation can be found here: https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/child-inclusive-mediation/. Mediation can take place online by video call.

      If you are interested in child inclusive mediation, or would like to discuss your enquiry further, with a view to booking in for an initial consultation, please contact us on 01273 646900, and we will happily assist.

  8. I have recently taken my child?s father to court asking him to see our child more often as my child has real anxiety because of the long gag between contact and has now said to a teacher that they are scared to go and feels unsafe. father has told the court he is not willing to see my child more even after I have said I will do anything to make this happen so my child feels more comfortable with their father. The court have sided with father and said they won?t make him but my child must attend contact where they feels unsafe. I feel so let down by this and I want to know who I can contact because I feel this is a mockery or the whole system this has not been at my child?s best interest but at fathers I seems that fathers rights out weight those of my child

    1. Thank you for your enquiry.

      The Court?s paramount consideration is the child?s best interests. There is a presumption that it is in a child?s best interests to spend time with both parents however, a Court cannot compel a parent to spend more time with their child.

      We would suggest working with your child?s father through mediation with a child inclusive mediator and/or by engaging a family consultant to establish how things can be made easier for them. Mediation can take place online by video call.

      More information about child-inclusive mediation and family consultants can be found here:
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/child-inclusive-mediation/.
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/family-consultants-and-mediation/

      If you are interested in child inclusive mediation or would like to discuss your enquiry further, with a view to booking in for an initial consultation, please contact us on 01273 646900, and we will happily assist.

  9. I was in a very abusive marriage and a non molestation order was granted and expired. The courts never considered about his violence past. They made a decision during the pandemic contact with the dad. My 12 years old son don’t want to go. Moreover he stop me to contact and the social worker to contact the kids while the kids are at his house. When I called my boy while they are at their dad’s house he put our son mobile off. While called at all time: my mobile, my son mobile, the house WhatsApp,zoom and email. But I can’t talk to my kids. I am very concerned as my experience of abuse from
    him was very cruel. I don’t know what to do?

    1. Thank you for your comment.

      As there is an existing Court Order in place regarding the time your children spend with their father, you would be in breach of that Order if you failed to make them available on the relevant dates and times. At 12 years old, your son is of an age where his wishes and feelings should have been taken into consideration by the court before a Contact Order was made. If you are concerned about your children’s wellbeing when they are with their father, it may be appropriate to consider making your own application to court to vary the Contact Order. I recommend that you obtain legal advice from a specialist family solicitor.

      We would suggest in the first instance working with your children’s? father through mediation with a child inclusive mediator and/or by engaging a family consultant to establish how things can be made easier for your son and set appropriate boundaries for the time the children spend with each parent. Mediation can take place online by video call.
      More information about child-inclusive mediation and family consultants can be found here:
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/child-inclusive-mediation/.
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/family-consultants-and-mediation/

      If you are interested in child inclusive mediation, or would like to discuss your enquiry further, with a view to booking in for an initial consultation, please contact us on 01273 646900, and we will happily assist.

  10. My son’s dad lost unsupervised contact for hitting our son. He has been reluctantly seeing dad at a contact center and the court has now said he can have him for four hours unsupervised, but our son has refused to go with him every time (3). He’s only 7 and terrified of his dad, now the court has said he must be left at the center even if he is crying and clinging to me. I’m scared of the emotional damage this will do. Any ideas how I can get the court to listen to our sons wishes?

    1. Thank you for your comment. We are unable to offer specific advice in relation to your proceedings on this platform however, if you would like to discuss your situation further, with a view to booking an appointment, please contact our offices for a confidential discussion. If the court proceedings are continuing, we would suggest discussing your concerns with the designated Cafcass Officer.

  11. My ex is refusing to return my daughter to me as he is saying she doesn’t want to live with me anymore. We have a court order where he has her for 3 days and 1 night each week. I have tried to speak to her but he has charged the sim card in her phone, when i speak to him he says i have to give her time and i have to rebuild bridges with her. I have no idea what i have done and i am not allowed to speak personally with her. Please help

    1. Thank you for your enquiry.

      If there is an existing Court Order in place providing that your daughter lives with you and spends time with her father, he would be in breach of that Order for failing to return your daughter to your care. It may be that the circumstances warrant making an application to enforce the existing Court Order. This is certainly something we would be able to assist with.

      It is concerning that your daughter’s father is preventing you from speaking with her. It is important that you obtain specialist legal advice as soon as possible. If you would like to discuss your situation further, with a view to booking an initial consultation with one of our specialists, please contact us on 01273 646900.

  12. Good morning. I’m currently following a child arrangements order and taking the children to a supervised contact centre every other week. However, despite my and the staff at contact centre best efforts encouraging them to go and promoting contact, they are refusing to go in, they spent a total of 10 minutes in there arguing on one occasion. Two of the Children are on the autistic spectrum and struggling to the extreme with contact arrangements. My main concern is wil’ my ex partner take this back to court and try to say its contempt or breach of the order? I do spend 50 pounds every week we go on taxi fayre, because the two children on the spectrum find it difficult on public transport. I am doing everything I can but I am worried that I will somehow be in trouble because they are refusing. Many thanks for any advice

    1. From the information you have provided, you appear to be adhering to the Order and making the children available at the relevant times. If the present arrangement is not working, your children’s father may apply to the Court to vary the existing Order to one which works better.

      We would suggest sharing your concerns with the contact centre and working with them to agree a way forward which you feels is right for your children.

      We would also suggest working with your children’s father through mediation and/ or by engaging a family consultant to identify why your children are refusing to go into the contact centre and to establish how things can be made easier for them. Mediation can take place online by video call.

      If you would like to discuss your situation further, with a view to booking in for an initial consultation with one of our specialists or meeting with one of our mediators, please contact us on 01273 646900.

  13. Good evening
    I have a court order in place for little one to see her dad, he sees 2 nights a week due to his shifts the days change each week, however for the last few weeks she has refused to go with him, I offer her encouragement an explain its time to spend with dad, she’ll av fun,, etc, an she’ll see me at the end of the visit, this has worked with her previously, however recently she’s not wanted to go, I take her un the car to drop of point, I encourage her she gets really upset an refuses to get out car, dad doesn’t encourage her an states its my responsibility, I believe I’m doing all I can but is there anything else I can try

    1. Thank you for your comment, Rebecca. As there is an existing Court Order in place regarding the time your daughter spends with her father, you would be in breach of that Order if you failed to make her available on the relevant dates and times. If you believe the current Court ordered arrangements are not in your daughter’s best interests, you should seek legal advice. It may be that the circumstances warrant an application to vary the existing Court Order.

      We suggest that you speak with your daughter’s father and invite him to work with you to establish why your daughter is getting upset and how things can be made easier for her. You may find it beneficial to engage a Family Consultant or to explore other options such as mediation. Depending on the age of your daughter, child-inclusive mediation may be an option.

      If you would like to discuss how we may be able to assist you, please contact us on 01273 646919.

  14. My 11 year old daughter is refusing to go on holiday with her father. We separated last year due to a toxic relationship and him having an affair. We have 3 children and as yet have not gone to the courts to settle custody. The children live with me and see their father every 2nd weekend. My 11 year old daughter hates going and sometimes refuses. Do we have to force her to go away with him, I have tried talking to her, telling her what a good time she would have, etc. I am getting nowhere. Please give me some advice.

    1. In most cases there is a presumption that it is in a child’s best interests to spend time with both parents. You should be aware that your daughter’s father may make an application to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order to regulate the time he spends with her and a Specific Issue Order permitting him to take her on holiday. In the event he were to do so, we would suggest that you seek specialist legal advice. Although your daughter is of an age where her wishes and feelings will be considered as part of any Court application, they will not be determinative.

      Here at Family Law Partners, we try to avoid Court proceedings where ever possible, exploring a range of other options which may assist you in reaching an agreement. We would therefore suggest working with your daughter’s father through mediation with a child inclusive mediator and/or by engaging a family consultant to see how things can be made easier for her. Mediation can take place online by video call.

      More information about child-inclusive mediation and family consultants can be found here:
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/child-inclusive-mediation/
      https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/family-consultants-and-mediation/

      If you are interested in child inclusive mediation, or would like to discuss your enquiry further, with a view to booking in for an initial consultation, please contact us on 01273 646900, and we will happily assist.

  15. Surely some of these cases need to go to a social worker as it sounds like in a lot of these cases there is emotional abuse going on from father.?

    1. Thank you for your comment.

      Whilst there is a presumption it is in a child’s best interests to spend time with both parents, this is a rebuttable presumption.

      Both the Applicant and Respondent in Children cases will have opportunity to raise allegations of harm.

      Where there are welfare concerns, Cafcass (Family Court Advisers) may recommend that there is a fact-finding hearing so the Judge can determine whether, in their view, the incidents did in fact happen. The Judge can then take these findings into account in making a Final Order. It may be that as a result of their findings for example, contact should be limited to indirect or supervised contact or should be gradually increased over a period of time.

  16. Hiya I need advice for my older children,
    My ex wife filed for a court order in which was granted to her wishes, unfortunately none off my 3 children are happy about this order at all as nothing they wanted was taken inconsideration. My children where Granted into my full care 3 years ago due to serious issues. My 15, 14 and 12 year old keep refusing to go and getting really stressed and annoyed with the fact they don’t get the choice at all. They message me when there at there mum’s saying they don’t want to be there, they fell unsafe and want to come home. I fell helpless and hate seeing them so upset. I don’t no where I stand with this court order with them as they are so reluctant in spending more the 2 days with there mum, all 3 off them say more then 2 days in to much, they fell unsafe, unhappy my 14yr has told me she keeps getting panic attacks and it’s effecting her mental health.

    1. Thank you for your comment. If there is an existing Court Order in place regarding the time your children spend with their mother, you would be in breach of that Order if you failed to make them available on the relevant dates and times. If you believe the current Court ordered arrangements are not in your children’s best interests, you should seek legal advice. It may be that the circumstances warrant an application to vary any existing Court Order. You should also be aware that your children’s mother may make an application to enforce the current Order. The children’s wishes and feelings, among other factors, will be considered as part of any variation or enforcement application.

      Here at Family Law Partners, we try to avoid Court proceedings wherever possible, exploring a range of other options which may assist you in reaching an agreement. We would therefore suggest speaking with your children’s mother and explaining your concerns with her, engaging a Family Consultant if you feel this may be beneficial, and exploring other options such as child-inclusive mediation. More information about child-inclusive mediation can be found here: https://www.familylawpartners.co.uk/blog/child-inclusive-mediation/. Mediation can take place online by video call.

      If you would like to discuss how we may be able to assist you, please contact us on 01273 646919.

  17. Hi my son aged 9 won’t stay overnight at my place it seems he told the social worker this . I think.my ex had told him what to say what can I do . We had a bad separation as she was seeing other men and is afraid my son will find this out later in his life

    1. It is unclear from your comment whether you are currently in proceedings. In considering private children matters, the Court’s paramount consideration is the ‘best interests’ of the child. In determining what is in your son’s best interests, the Court will apply a ‘welfare checklist’. In accordance with this checklist, your son’s wishes and feelings are one of many factors which are taken into account.

      It is important that you obtain specialist legal advice in relation to your matter. If you would like to discuss your situation further, with a view to booking an initial consultation with one of our specialists, please contact us on 01273 646900

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