How will a court know what’s best for my child?


People who approach the court to gain access to their child often worry about the role in which a judge plays in the procedure. In truth there is nothing to worry about; being family people themselves many judges will understand you are nervous and ultimately you both want the best for your child.

Child Contact in the Court

What Will the Court Do?

The role of the court in this situation is to do what is best for the child. They are not on anybody’s side except that of the child. According to the law, any decisions they make in regards to your child have to be done with the child’s welfare at the forefront.

Amongst other things the court will consider:

  • If the parents can meet the needs of the child
  • What orders and measures they can take legally
  • How many types of changes could affect your child
  • If your child is old enough to express them, their feelings and wishes
  • Your child’s needs in general (emotional, educational, physical etc.)

No order will be made that the court does not believe is in the best interests of your child.

What Orders Can Be Made?

The court can make 3 types of order, as follows:

  • A residence order – this will decide where your child will live
  • A contact order – this will decide when your child can see the parent they no longer live with
  • A specific issue order – this will look at specific things relating to your child’s upbringing

There are then 2 specific types of contact order, these are:

  • Direct – face to face or telephone contact
  • Indirect – contact is made via letters, emails and cards etc.

Depending on what outcome you want, you can apply for any one of these orders. No matter what the order, the courts role is the same.

Contact orders in particular can be varied to suit your child’s needs in the future. Any order usually lasts until the child is 16 but can be changed if the situation calls for it. If this is the case, another hearing will be needed to reach an agreement.

Top Tips to Take Home

  • The court will only do what they think is best for your child
  • A solicitor will be able to advise you how best to present your case in court
  • If you think the order needs to be varied you can always go back to the court with evidence to support your case

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