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Who a child is to spend time with ("contact" or "access")

What is a contact order?

Strictly speaking, from April 2014, the court can no longer make contact orders. Instead, they can make arrangements about who a child is to spend time with ("contact") as part of a child arrangements order. So as part of a child arrangements order, the court can require the parent (or guardian) living with the child to allow the child to stay with or visit a named individual. This will usually be the child's other parent.

If a child lives with his or her mother, for example, the child’s father could make a request that the court order for the child to stay with him on certain days or at certain times. Child arrangements orders dealing with contact can also instruct that contact is made indirectly, such as by telephone, webcam or email.

If needed, the court may issue in-depth instructions for the contact arrangements which cover pick up places or times, or any other issue which requires the court’s attention.

You will hear people talking about contact or access orders. From April 2014, the court can no longer make contact orders although they can make contact arrangements within a child arrangements order. Access orders have not existed for a number of years.

MaximizeHow often will I see my children?

MaximizeWhat should I do first?

MaximizeWill the fact I have a new partner affect the contact arrangements?

MaximizeWhat do I do if access to my child is blocked?

MaximizeAre alternate weekends the usual arrangements for contact?

MaximizeIs there a bias towards contact orders for fathers and children living with mothers?

MaximizeWhat happens if there are allegations made by a parent?

MaximizeWhat is interim contact?

MaximizeWhat is a parental responsibility order?