What is a contact order?
If there is a disagreement between the parents over who their children should have contact with, it may be necessary for a child contact order to be granted by the courts.
The contact order will remain in place until a full court hearing sees the matter resolved.
Who can apply for a contact order?
A contact order can be applied for by a variety of people who are involved in the child’s life. These include, but are not limited to:
The child themselves can make an application for a contact order to see his or her other parent. However, to do this, they will need permission from the courts.
- A parent, step-parent or guardian, who has parental responsibility in the eyes of the law.
- A person with a residence order in force in respect to the child.
- A person who has the consent of each person with parental responsibility.
- A person who has lived under the same roof as the child for three years or more.
What is likely to affect a contact order application?
When it comes to child contact orders, the most important issue to take into consideration is the welfare and wellbeing of the child or children in question. This is why there a variety of factors that are likely to affect a contact order application. These include:
- The wishes of the child, i.e who they do and do not want contact with.
- How a change of circumstances is likely to affect the child.
- Any harm, be it physical or emotional, that the child has suffered in the past.
- The child’s age and gender.
- The capability of the child’s parents, or the person wanting contact, of meeting the child’s needs.
How to apply for a contact order
To apply for a contact order, you may apply directly to the court. However, we strongly advise that you consult an experienced solicitor, like the members of our dedicated team, to give you the benefit of their expertise.