A Child Is For Life Not Just For Christmas

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Christmas for many people is a time for reconciliation, getting back in touch with family members so they can spend the holidays together.

A child is not just for Christmas
This may also be the time that absent parents want to get back into contact with their children. Dealing with this in the correct way should be your only priority in this situation, working within the best interests of your child.

Absent Parents Trying To Make Amends

Emma Pearmaine, Partner and Head of Family Law agrees that this happens regularly.

It can be hard to let the other parent into your child's life, especially if they've been absent for a considerable amount of time. Feelings of resentment, worried about how the children will take it and worrying if you can trust them to take care of them while you're not there will all be running across your mind.

Contrary to what you may think, it would have taken the other parent a lot of courage to request to see their child after so long. You may think it is your right to deny them access to your child but it's not. Despite the situation, they still have the right to take you to court for access to your child. They have always been and are able to make an application to the court for a child arrangement.

Going to court should always be a final option and if necessary should be avoided.

Sitting down and finding out the intentions of the other parent and if you can come to an arrangement between the two of you should be the beginning of any negotiations for child contact. Try to keep the children at the centre of the discussion and, like a court would, keep your child's best interests in focus.

Court May Be The Better Option

Unfortunately, for some parents, there has simply been too much water under the bridge. Being able to sit down and discuss the issue between the 2 of you can be hard and in some cases impossible.

In situations like this, it's best to take the issue to a solicitor who can take the issue to court. Emma continues, "The court will always make any decision based on what is in the child's best interests. Often, where contact has broken down for some time, if it is decided that contact is in the child's best interests, then a gradual re-establishment of relationship between absent parent and child is recommended."

Re-establishing a connection between a parent and a child can take some time. The other parent may feel frustrated at the pace of proceedings in the beginning but it's important to remember that this process is for the benefit of the child, not them. Protecting the interests of your child is the role of the courts and they'll do so every step of the way.

If at any point the court deem that it is not within your child's rights to have contact with the other parent, then they'll make that decision.

Every parent has the right to see their child but at the end of the day contact is not about the parent, it's about the child.


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