Contact and residence orders were introduced with the Children Act 1989 in place of “access” and “custody”.
The approach taken by the Court is that the welfare of the children is of paramount importance in making any decisions regarding them, including whether or not any orders need to be made at all.
In deciding how much contact the absent parent (usually the father) should have, the need for children to maintain and develop their relationship with that parent and the need for children to have a stable, secure home life with their primary carer (usually the mother) has to be balanced within the framework of the “welfare principle” as set out in Section 1 of the Act.
In recent years, the concept of “shared residence” has begun to feature more regularly and such an order may be appropriate to reflect the equal importance of both parents and their commitment to their children.
We are members of Resolution (formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association) and adhere to its code of practice which encourages mediation and conciliation between all parties. It promotes an approach to family law that is sensitive, constructive, cost-effective and most likely to result in an agreement.
After a consultation, we will be able to advise you on the merits of your case and to discuss what options best fit your circumstances. We will then be able to give you an estimate of the costs based on our experience of similar cases and thereafter keep you informed regularly if there are any changes to that estimate.