How do I get to see my children?January 9th 2021
Most parents don’t need a court order setting out the arrangements for them to see their children. We would recommend that any separating parents try to agree the arrangements before the separation and tell the children together what is going to happen. It is useful to have a year planner and plan several months in advance. Try to include special days like birthdays, mother’s day, father’s day and Christmas within your plans.
You can access a parenting plan online at https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/grown-ups/parents-and-carers/divorce-and-separation/parenting-plan/
You can use a paper planner or an online calendar. Try to help your child understand the pattern and rhythm of the arrangement so that they can settle quickly into the new routine. Regular days and times tend to work better as they require less communication and there are less opportunities for mishaps. However every couple’s circumstances are difficult and many couples operate complicated arrangements around shift patterns. Good communication and flexibility are key to successful arrangements.
Family mediation is an opportunity to discuss the arrangements with the assistance of an independent, experienced family mediator who can help you draw up a parenting plan. Contact National Family Mediation for details of a local family mediator or we can recommend one. There may be some funding available to you for initial meetings- for further information please see here
A family mediator will assist parents to approach any issues constructively and offer ideas as to how other couples have overcome similar issues. If you would like us to refer you to a local mediator please get in touch.
Application for a Child Arrangements Order
If you haven’t been able to agree arrangements and mediation hasn’t worked, you are left with the option of applying for a Child Arrangements Order. An application is made on a C100 form and the Court then arrange for safeguarding information to be obtained from the police and Children’s Services. A decision is made based on what is in the best interests of the child, using a welfare checklist of considerations.
We like to provide advice at an early stage in child arrangements. Practical suggestions can often unlock a route to an agreement. If you are seeking to spend time with your child and are struggling, please contact our family team…
For more FAQs see here