It was reported that just two weeks into her pregnancy Uma Thurman attempted to get her ex fiancé, Arpad Busson, to sign a contract saying he would get to see their unborn child as little as possible.
If Uma succeeded in making her ex agree to not seeing their child, would that contract have been legal?
Parents can enter into their own child arrangements without the court’s invention and if both were to abide by this then, in theory, the agreement would be kept.
However, in this case, if Arpad decided he was no longer willing to abide by this agreement it is likely that Uma would struggle to keep it depending on the age of the child when Arpad decides he no longer wishes to follow the agreement.
What would happen if Uma Thurman and Arpad Busson could not reach a child arrangements agreement?
If they were unable to reach an agreement Arpad would have to wait until the child was born before an application to the court could be made. Before applying to the court for a Child Arrangements Order couples must have attempted mediation.
Once a child is born, if parents enter into a Child Arrangement Order it can be sealed by the court to make it legally binding. Before making such an order the court would first consider if the agreement is in the child’s best interests. The child’s welfare is the first priority of the court and to help decide this they would take into account what is known as the Welfare Checklist.
Once a Child Arrangement Order is made parents can at any stage make an application to the court to change it – you are not eternally bound by Child Arrangement Orders.
For more information read: Can I See my Children Again? Child Arrangements Law.
The court would only make an order for one parent not to have a relationship with their child in extreme circumstances. For example, if there is a risk of harm to the child which cannot be safeguarded by any other measure.
Sarah Jane Lenihan is a family lawyer based in the Slater and Gordon London office.
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