When problems arise with child contact and access arrangements, it is important to seek expert legal advice from a specialist child care lawyer before matters escalate with your partner and possibly their legal adviser.
Courts always prefer a child to have contact with both parents – and in most cases, a formal child contact and access arrangement will already be in place.
However, sometimes there are disputes between parents over when access visits can take place or when children can go and stay with the non-resident parent.
These cases can quickly become volatile and it is important not to enter into any verbal confrontation with a partner or start posting angry responses online – but take legal advice as soon as possible and allow a child care lawyer to deal with the situation.
Child access arrangements are covered by two pieces of legislation – The Children Act 1989 and The Protection of Children Act 1999.
Section 1(5) of the Children Act 1989 states, however, that a court order should not be made involving child contact and access arrangements unless it would be in the interests of the child – this is called the No Order principle.
The courts hope that couple will be able to settle any differences over child contact and access between themselves amicably – but if this is not possible, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Services (CAFCASS) may become involved and the matter may have to go to court.
This can be extremely stressful and costly and the impact of having two parents in dispute over child contact may impact negatively on your children.
Duncan Lewis has acknowledged expertise in advising parents on how to resolve child contact and access disputes – and can negotiate between the parties to bring about agreement or an acceptable compromise.
In cases where agreement cannot be reached between a couple, Duncan Lewis can also arrange Family Mediation to help both parties work through the issues and reach a solution, without recourse to the courts.
The courts will always take into account the welfare of the child so working through any differences within lawyer supported Family Mediation can help avoid traumatic court action.
Both parents can appoint their own Duncan Lewis child care lawyer to give independent legal advice at every stage of the mediation process – Duncan Lewis’ own Mediators include Resolution qualified Professional Practice Consultants.
Duncan Lewis is ranked by the Legal 500 2014 for its Family & Matrimonial work – and the Duncan Lewis team includes Advanced Members of the Law Society’s Family Panel and members of the Law Society Children Panel – so our team is well placed to help you with any child contact or access issues.
Duncan Lewis children lawyers offer a fixed fee for an initial client interview and assessment of a private child contact and access matter.
After a case has been assessed, it is usually possible for a fixed fee arrangement to be put in place – and Duncan Lewis will always advise clients of the costs in advance.
Duncan Lewis is also one of the UK’s largest providers of Legal Aid family law services – including child care law – and in some cases may be able to offer Legal Aid funding for child care cases, including help with the costs of applying for court orders if a client is on benefits or has a low income.
Duncan Lewis children lawyers always advise clients who are seeking help with child care matters – or who are in dispute over child contact and access arrangements – to get in touch as soon as possible before the situation escalates.
Once you have contacted Duncan Lewis, we can act swiftly in any child care matter and put in place measures to help resolve the issues and prevent further dispute and/or legal costs mounting up.
For expert legal advice on all child care matters – including child contact access arrangements – contact Duncan Lewis Children Lawyers on 020 7923 4020.