With Father's Day approaching, you might be worried about sorting out the arrangements for your child to spend time with you if you are separated or divorced.
It is important that children can have a meaningful relationship with both parents, provided that it is safe to do so. It will likely be best for your child if you can agree about special occasions together.
As with all special occasions, separated parents should try to be flexible with arrangements. You may want to think about the time your child will spend with the other parent and wider family, such as grandparents and stepparents.
If you cannot agree about the time your child spends with you for Father's Day, Mother's Day, or other special occasions, then you could consider attending mediation. Mediation is a process whereby an independent, professionally trained mediator helps you and the other parent to explore ways of reaching an agreement.
Discuss arrangements for special occasions as early as possible so you can make plans.
• Be flexible - consider if any of the usual arrangements will need to be varied
• Give each other reasonable notice of any plans or issues
• Try to listen to each other's opinions/ideas
• Think about your plans from the perspective of the child
• Try not to have arguments or heated discussions in front of the child
If you are unable to reach an agreement between yourselves or via solicitors or at mediation, you may consider issuing court proceedings to ask the court to consider the arrangements for future years.
A Child Arrangement Order is an order that regulates the arrangements for a child and can set out with whom the child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact.
Contact means the time that a child spends with an adult, and there are several ways that contact may take place:
• Direct contact between the child and the person named in the order
• Overnight staying contact
• Supervised contact
• Indirect contact through letters or cards
The court will consider a list of factors called the welfare checklist when deciding whether to make an order, and the child's welfare is the court's paramount consideration.
The Family Team at Myerson are members of Resolution and are committed to promoting a constructive approach to family issues that consider the needs of the whole family.
If you have any more question or would like more information on contact arrangements, you can contact one of our Family Law Solicitors below.