What can I do if the other parent does not allow me to see my child even though there is a court order?

What can I do if the other parent does not allow me to see my child even though there is a court order?

4th February 2020

At times a parent with care of the child may stop the other parent from having contact with the child for no other reason than what he or she has already argued in the past and the other parent feels they now have to bring enforcement proceedings because of a breach of the order. In that situation the Court is not going to tolerate a parent withholding contact for the same reasons that have been argued before and which the Court have already adjudicated upon. Unless there are any safeguarding factors that would affect the child adversely either physically, emotionally or morally, the Court adopt the stance that each parent should have a meaningful relationship with their child.

When making any decisions about the children their needs are of paramount concern to the Court. The Court take into account when making any decisions what is known as the Welfare Checklist:

  • wishes and feelings of the child concerned in light of their age and understanding
  • the child’s physical and emotional and educational needs
  • the likely effect on them of any change in circumstances
  • the age, sex, background and characteristics of the child which the court considers relevant
  • any harm which he or she has suffered or is at risk of suffering
  • how capable each of the parents, or any other person relevant, is of meeting the child’s needs

The Court also needs to be satisfied that there is a need for an order rather than no order at all and in the best interest of the child.

Contact can be direct, indirect i.e. via cards, letters, texts, skyping, emails etc, can be supervised or unsupervised, dependant on the circumstances.

If despite there being a Contact Order in place there are difficulties in sustaining this due to the resident parent’s obstruction then the options are as follows:

  • Correspondence from ourselves to try and persuade a reinstatement of contact as per the Order
  • Referral to mediation for both parties to see if that will assist contact recommencing.
  • Application to the court for enforcement proceedings of the existing order which can result in the court making orders for community service, fines, requirement to do unpaid work and in serious cases transfer of residence or prison.

If you have any queries about this, then please come and see our family law solicitor, Samantha Chater. You can contact her on 024 7653 1532 or samantha.chater@bttj.com. Samantha has a wealth of family law experience and is an accredited member of  both Resolution and The Law Society Children Panel.