Introduction to variation of child contact arrangements
Almost without exception separated parents need to adapt the care arrangements for their children as their children’s needs change over time. It is common for the care arrangements for babies and toddlers to be reviewed regularly as their needs change relatively frequently over the first few years of their lives. Arrangements often need to be reviewed when young children start school and as they get older when they begin to become more independent. No arrangement, from an informal verbal agreement to an arrangement set out in a court order, is set in stone. If you believe that the existing care arrangements are no longer suitable for your children the first thing you should do is raise this with your former partner. It may be that they agree that the current arrangement is not working and you are able to agree a new arrangement between yourselves. One parent should not change the arrangements without the other parent’s agreement or a court order. If they are not prepared to discuss matters, or you are unable to come to an agreement, we suggest you seek legal advice. For more details please see our guide to the variation of child contact arrangements.
How Vardags can help with variation of arrangements for children
If you or your former partner are unhappy with the current arrangements and you have been unable to come to an agreement we strongly recommend that you seek legal advice. Our solicitors will talk you through your options and advise you on the best way to proceed. Common issues include the amount of nights the children stay with each respective parent, whether one parent should be the primary carer or there should be a shared care arrangement or whether one parent is allowed to move away with the children where the other does not consent. Often the arrangement will not have been working for one or both parties for a period of time and the issue will come to a head after a particular incident such as an argument at a handover or one of the parents refusing to return the child.
Referring the matter to court for court determination should be a last resort. However, often situations arise which mean that court applications are unavoidable.
The first step is to arrange a meeting with one of our solicitors. Therefore, please call us on 020 7404 9390 or email us to make an appointment to come and see us.