Children Contact Disputes

Child contact disputes (technically known as “Children Act proceedings”, commonly known by a variety of names such as “child custody cases”) can have life-changing consequences for children and parents. At the simplest end, these disputes involve disagreements about who a child should live with. At the more complex end, these disputes can involve allegations of domestic abuse, parental alienation, and serious welfare or safeguarding concerns about the child involved.

How we handle child contact disputes

Inevitably, Children Act proceedings are amongst the most stressful and emotionally draining types of dispute that a person could find themselves in. Despite the intensity of the emotions being felt, the key to success is clear, strategic thinking, a practical approach, and, above all, a deep understanding of the overarching principle that the welfare of the child is a paramount consideration in such proceedings. A barrister, who is a specialist family lawyer, can help to achieve a successful outcome.

What is involved in a child contact dispute?

Children Act proceedings usually involve dealing with statutory bodies such as the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (“CAFCASS”), and sometimes the local authority. As expert family lawyers, we understand how these bodies think and operate.

In such cases, the Family Court commonly makes one or more of the following kinds of orders: 

  • Child Arrangements Order: the Family Court has the power to make an order concerning who a child is to live with, and what level of contact they are to have.
  • Specific Issue Order: where a child’s parents or guardian disagree about a specific decision in relation to an important aspect of a child’s life (e.g., where they should go to school), the Family Court has the power to decide the issue.
  • Special Guardianship Order: where a parent is unable to care for a child, the Family Court may give parental responsibility to a different person, often a relative. Special Guardianship Orders allocate parental responsibility without having the permanent effect that Adoption Orders do.

How can Demstone Chambers custody lawyers help?

Demstone Chambers direct access barristers are specialist family lawyers in Milton Keynes, London, and Birmingham. We are able to help with any aspect of Children Act proceedings, including: advising on strategy, preparing applications and documents for submission to the court, preparing witness statements, and providing representation in the Family Court.

To find out how we can support you with your child contact dispute, please get in contact today.

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