When parents separate, there can be difficulties arranging contact / visits with the parent who no longer lives at the home address.
The easiest way is for both parents to come to an amicable arrangement between themselves.
The following “Survival Guide for Sorting Out Arrangements for your Children” is a useful guide for parents at all stages of managing contact and includes a section on Managing Common Problems.
This may help you to review the current arrangements for contact to find ways of resolving the dilemma without incurring legal costs.
If this is not possible or you cannot agree you should contact a solicitor who may be able to negotiate an arrangement on your behalf. If this does not work, your solicitor may advise that you apply for a formal Contact order through the Courts.
Alternatively you can apply directly to the Courts without using a solicitor.
Further information can be found on www.gov.uk.
What if I have concerns regarding my child’s contact visit?
Your child’s safety is paramount so if you have concerns about your child’s protection or welfare during a contact visit then you must use your own judgement as to whether you send them on the visit or not.
If there is a formal court order in place you will need to seek legal advice which may include asking for the court order to be reviewed.
What if there is a court order and my child refuses to go on the visit?
Research indicates that around ten percent of contact breakdowns are due to a child refusing further contact. (Trinder et al Exeter University / Nuffield Foundation July 2013).
In this instance it may be useful for parents to consider why your child does not want to go and perhaps explore your relationship with them including seeking advice and support in regard to parenting.
Social Services can only assist with contact visits if your child is currently in Local Authority Care. If so, you will need to arrange your visits through your child’s social worker.
In all other cases, if you have serious concerns regarding your child’s safety, please see our section on Child Safeguarding.