30 November 2015
Can I See my Children Again? Child Arrangements Law
What happens if following a separation you no longer see your children? This could be because the other parent has made it too difficult or the children have expressed a wish not to spend time with you.
Can you ever re-establish that relationship? Could the children ever come to live with you? We’ll answer these questions about residence and contact arrangements in this blog.
People often ask can you get child custody back if you have given it up? By this they usually mean “can I have a relationship with my child again if I have not seen them for some time?”
Child custody doesn’t in fact exist. No parent has ‘ownership’ of a child, even if the arrangement is that the child stays with one and the other parent does not see them.
If you have not seen your child for some time following a separation the first approach should be to the other parent to see if they would be prepared to agree to you being reintroduced.
If they won’t agree then you may have to make an application to the court for a child arrangements order. A court will then decide whether it is in the interests of the child for you to be introduced into their lives again.
It is well established that it will usually be in a child’s interests to have a relationship with both of their parents. If, however, there has been a significant period when one of those parents has not been in the child’s life careful consideration will need to be given as to how that parent is reintroduced. In particular the court will need to be satisfied that this parent is committed to remaining in the child’s life. The court will also look at their motivations for wanting to be part of the child’s life again.
If you have stopped seeing your child is it possible to become part of their life again?
Yes, arrangements for children are not set in stone. They can always be revisited and the court can be invited to review what is in place. This might be because of a change in the circumstances of the child or the parents.
If you are seeking to review arrangements you need to be aware that this will not necessarily happen straight away. Children need time to adjust to change and their welfare will be the main concern of the court.
If you need legal advice on child custody, known as children law, call the family lawyers at Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we’ll call you.