Disputes over Children: Contact, Access, Visitation

I want to see my Kids - How do I get Access?

What are my rights?

Did you know that when parents separate, less than one in ten go to the family courts to help make decisions about contact arrangements for their children.

And yet contact with children after a split can be one of the most bitterly argued over issues – they are, after all, our most treasured possessions with both parents wanting their ‘share’.

Family Law Solicitors - Disputes over children and fee solutions

The Children Act 1989 is there to give paramount consideration to the welfare of the child/ren. So if you can’t agree on contact arrangements amicably as parents, there are steps you can take – but beware, the legal process can be lengthy and distressing for all involved.

The first step is to try mediation to see if a neutral third party can help you to agree the 'terms and conditions' of contact with your children after a split.

Child Contact – Common Access Issues

Issues that often crop up are:

  • How often you can have contact with your children – or are willing to allow – and
  • Whether unsupervised visits and/or overnight stays can be agreed upon.

But remember, under the Children Act it is not your contact with your children that is most important – it is what’s best for your kids.

That’s why going to court should always be a last resort, but for many is still the only way to gain contact with their children, or prevent a violent or abusive ex-partner from having contact with the children.

Help with access to my Child(ren)

If you are seeking contact with your child after a separation you can gain a contact order from the courts setting out your ‘rights’ to see your children and under what circumstances.

Removing access rights to a Child

If you are trying to prevent an ex-partner having contact with your children, perhaps because of welfare concerns, you can mount a legal opposition to the granting of any contact order.

Still having Child Contact Problems?

If you already have a contact order yet your ex-partner is still making it very difficult for you to have contact with your children, you can ask a solicitor or mediator to help you enforce the contact order.


Emma Pearmaine is head of family law at Simpson Millar LLP and she handles a mixture of financial proceedings, private children and domestic violence matters. She is described as "approachable, experienced and conscientious" and she impresses clients by "taking the initiative to explore aspects of a seemingly impossible situation." Chambers & Partners UK 2014

Our Family Law Team are here for you

Whichever side of the situation you’re on – trying to gain or trying to prevent/restrict contact – it’s best to stay calm, don’t do, say or write things you’ll regret later – nothing on social networking sites, no late night phone calls, no arguments at handovers – just speak to a family law specialist solicitor as soon as possible to find the best solution.

Remember, our Family Law Team are on your side and we’ll do what’s best for you and your kids as quickly, cost-effectively and efficiently as possible.

Fixed fee options available for family law cases involving children Family Law Solicitors

Why not check out our fixed fees and other funding services

Get in touch for open, honest legal advice on contact with your children.

Want to see a Family Lawyer out of Working Hours

Make an out of office hours appointment - Family Law Solicitors - Leeds

We have family ourselves and know just how hectic family lives can get and taking time out during the working day can be hard so we offer face-to-face or telephone appointments on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings:

By Appointment Only

  • Thursday Evenings from 5pm - 7pm
  • Saturday Mornings from 9am - 12 noon
  • Please make sure you book your appointment in advance regardless of whether it is by telephone or face to face

Booking appointments

To book either:

  • Call us on 0345 357 9000
  • Use the enquiry form on this page

Child Access and Regular Contact - Need Legal Advice?

Contact our Child Contact Solicitors now to discuss how we can help you by completing our, no obligation, online enquiry form and we will call you back or you can call us directly on freephone: 0808 129 3320.

Frequently Asked Questions - Child Arrangement Orders

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Emma Pearmaine - Director of Family Services - Leeds

Emma Pearmaine
Director of Family Services

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