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Child Law and Custody

Variation of Child Contact Arrangements

As children grow up from babies to toddlers to young adults, what they need changes. This is why every child contact agreement, whether it is decided on an informal basis between the parents or in the form of a court order, can be changed.

As children and grow up and start school the particulars of a contact order will need to reviewed on a regular basis. The contact order which states the terms of the agreement between parents of a six month old baby should probably not remain the same as that baby grows into a toddler and then into a young adult. Teenagers often become more independent and maybe the same level of contact is not wanted or needed. Or maybe even more contact is desired.

Whatever the case, your first port of call would be to discuss the contact arrangements with the other party with a view to coming to an agreement between yourselves. However, this is not always possible.

Guidance on variation of child contact arrangements

Austin Kemp’s experienced team of solicitors can advise you on what to do if you find yourself in a position where you no longer agree with the contact order terms or the informal agreement you came to between yourselves is no longer working. Our specialist solicitors can give you advice even if you are at the initial stages of discussion with the other party and want to know where you stand legally. We particularly specialise in high net worth individuals who may have investments and assets internationally. Our team have an in-depth knowledge of court systems worldwide and are able to advise you even if you or the other party lives abroad.

Often, both parties cannot agree whether a parent should move away or how many nights a child should stay over at their house. In these situations we would recommend you go to mediation and discuss your issues with an independent third party with a view to coming to an agreement. If this doesn’t work, we can negotiate with the other party’s solicitors on your behalf in order to avoid ending up in court. If you do need to go to court, we are here to represent you.

The court will look after the best interests of the children and will instruct a government body, CAFCASS, to carry out checks on both parents. They may also carry out further reports which make recommendations to the court.

It is worth noting that the older the children are, the more the court will listen to their thoughts about what should happen to them.

Courts can make various different orders with regards to the care of children including shared residence orders, residence orders, contact orders, specific issue orders and prohibited steps orders.

Austin Kemp’s skilled and experienced solicitors will guide you through the process from start to finish and will make sure you receive expert independent legal advice for your specific case. Our starting point is always what’s best for you and your children.

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