Relationship breakdown – what is best for the children?

13th October 2020

Following the breakdown of a relationship, difficult decisions may need to be made about where the children will live, when they should have contact with the other parent, what arrangements are to be made about school, medical care and so on.

Usually, the parents will be able to agree these arrangements and avoid the intervention of the Family Court. Where they can’t, an application for a Child Arrangement Order (CAO) can be made by either parent, bringing in a judge to decide what arrangements should be made.

In considering whether to make a CAO, the child’s welfare must be the court’s paramount consideration.

The court must presume, unless the contrary is shown, that involvement of each parent in the life of the child concerned will further the child’s welfare. I

If a parent can be involved in a child’s life in a way that does not put that child at risk of suffering harm, and that presumption is not rebutted by any evidence to the contrary, the court will consider making an order for contact which may be:

  • direct contact (where the child may visit or stay with the parent named in the order)
  • indirect contact (such as by letter, telephone or email)
  • supervised/supported where safeguards are required for the child.

We are happy to advise you on all areas of law concerning relationship breakdown, children and financial issues.

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