• 2 min read

Can I stop my ex-partner from having contact with our child?

10. Father and son on beach

The law provides a presumption that the involvement of both parents in the child’s life will future the child’s welfare, providing it is safe to do so.  Unless there are safeguarding concerns for the child, parents should attempt to agree arrangements for the child to spend time with each parent without involving the Court.

Sometimes it can be difficult to agree arrangements for your child, particularly at a time when you are both coming to terms with the end of a relationship and emotions are running high.  However, every attempt should be made to resolve the issues as swiftly as possible so that the child can maintain a relationship with both parents.

If there are no serious safeguarding concerns, discussions should take place to identify and where possible, resolve the issues between the parents with a view to the child spending time with each parent.  Consideration should be given to non-Court based resolution options including mediation, a collaborative approach or round-table meetings.  The involvement of other professionals such as family counsellors or therapists may be of assistance. 

If an agreement cannot be reached, consideration could be given to arbitration, another form of non-Court based resolution which is often swifter and less expensive than Court proceedings.

If, however, there are serious safeguarding concerns where it is alleged a child has experienced harm from a parent or is likely to experience significant harm if the child was to spend time with the other parent, the parent with whom the child is living will be expected to exercise their parental responsibility and put safeguarding measures in place.  This may mean therefore that a parent stops the other parent from seeing their child. 

The safeguarding concerns may be disputed or denied by the parent who is being prevented from seeing their child and legal advice should be sought at the earliest opportunity so that the issues can be identified and options considered with a view to resolving the dispute in a child-centred, sensitive and non-confrontational way.  However, it may be necessary to consider an application to Court for a child arrangements order and the concerns raised as to the child’s welfare carefully considered to ensure that any arrangements made are safe for the child and the parent with whom the child is living.

Our child law solicitors in Salisbury, Southampton, Winchester, Poole and Bournemouth are here to help.  Please contact our solicitors to arrange a free initial consultation using the quick contact form on this page or call 0800 2800 421

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