House of Commons publishes guide to contact orders

family law

The House of Commons Library has published a guide to residence and contact for parents and grandparents.

The Library conducts research and publishes information on a variety of legal topics for MPs to use when adivising their constituents.

Children: residence and contact court orders and related matters for parents, grandparents and others explains these legal concepts and how they are expressed in child arrangements orders, noting that they are open to any applicant although grandparents require the permisson of the court to apply.

It outlines the issues take into consideration when assessing applications, as well as the potential of mediation and the starting point assumption that both parents should be involved in a child’s life whenever possible.

You can read the guide here.

Photo by Aaron Bradley via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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12 comments

Devil's Advocate - May 2, 2017 at 8:44am

“Starting point of assumption…that both parents….and grandparents have to apply to the Courts” …..oh the Italans and other responsible Latin nations are having LOL at this..Good old Harmon and her cohorts …”Families don’t need Fathers”
Only Germanic cultures would assign a child as a material possession in the same light as chattel slaves were!
Oh bring back William and Barbra Wilberforce they would be turning in their graves!
Amazing Grace….

Brian - May 2, 2017 at 11:13am

I thought the law had changed! I thought there were no such things as residence orders and contact orders for some time now? I thought they were orders that “regulates with whom the child (ren) live” and “with whom the children spend time with”?
Written by the institution which made such amendments…clearly a subject they could not be bothered to spend sufficient time over to even get the terminology correct! Just adds to the perception it is a completely lost cause.

Brian - May 2, 2017 at 11:18am

Poorly titled…may as well title it access and custody!

Andrew - May 2, 2017 at 5:57pm

The advice to Members should be to stay out of private law questions which belong in the courts.

Brian - May 3, 2017 at 4:57pm

They pass the laws for which the courts “interpret” and adhere to.

Andrew - May 3, 2017 at 7:15pm

Indeed, Brian, but the application of the law to a case between real people (and often about other real people) is a matter for the courts and not for the litigants’ Members of Parliament. Imagine if they both lived in the same constituency and both asked the same Member to intervene!
_
Rule 1: There is no room for intervention by Members of either House in the judicial process.
Rule 2. If Rule 1 does not apply, Rule 1 nevertheless applies.
_
It’s not rocket science but some Members miss is. Ah well: five weeks without MP’s now that parliament is dissolved!

A - May 3, 2017 at 8:02pm

This article is bizarre, because we’ve be documenting the torture a father has experienced in Guildford family court.
– 2009 He submitted his application for contact because the mother of his child had to return to her parents due to her ability to secure a credit card transfer with an interest free period. (The father was immediately restricted to supervised contact)
– 2010 Contact was stopped because Cafcass suggested the father was anger. (The father’s MP wrote to the head of Cafcass to remind the agency that anger is a natural emotion)
– 2010 Cafcass again stopped contact because they said the father was shouting. (Mr. Michael Gove again wrote to Cafcass asking for evidence of said shouting)
– 2010 Cafcass again stopped contact because of alleged inappropriate comments from the father during contact. (The father presented a recording of the contact session which irrefutable proved his words).
– 2010 Cafcass again stopped contact because the father was recording session. (Contacted was restarted when he argued he was never advised the recording audio was not allowed)
– 2011 Cafcass stopped contact because the father allegedly sent threatening email. (The judge in charge of the case stepped down when he failed to provide evidence of threatening emails)
– 2011 Contact was again stopped because the father complained about the necessity for a male contact facilitator gleefully watching his daughter using the toilet. (Contact was back in place when the court accepted that a 3 year old child does not need to be supervised while peeing)
– 2012 Contact was again stopped because the father asked for a printed copy of promised policies pertaining to recording of audio. (The father was labelled narcissistic and ordered to not have any contact)
– 2013 Contact was hurriedly put back in place after he was allowed airtime on the BBC. (Narcissisms not a justified cause to stop contact between a child and parent)
– 2015 After making at least 12 attempts to stop contact, the mother breached the court order in place preventing the both parents from meeting. She then immediately reported to Surrey Police that the father threatened her.
– 2016 STILL NO CONTACT IN PLACE the court ruled that the police disclosure proved the mother’s allegation was fabricated and done deliberately to obstruct contact. (New court order in place to restart contact)
– 2016 The mother makes another false allegation, this time to the Met Police. (This was viewed justified reasons to stop contact)
– 2017 Still with no contact in place, the father has been ordered to complete a 24 week course in building better relationships. (Almost 8 years after he ended the relationship with the child’s mother)

In almost 8 years this father has had less than 1 month of contact with his child. None of the 13 reasons stated above are justified reasons to prevent contact between a child and a father.

SO PARLIAMENT CAN SAY WHATEVER THEY WANT. IT’LL MAKES NO DIFFERENCE!

Caroline - May 4, 2017 at 1:01pm

OMG!

The poor man and I feel so sorry for the child. Clearly the intentions here right from the beginning was to find any or every excuse to keep him from his child. Until the child is old enough to say I don’t need contact with him because they don’t know who the father.

I’ve read soooooo many horror stories about what’s going on in Guildford family courts.

Did he have the judge that has an “actress” daughter or the one that had the unplanned pregnancy aged 46?

A - May 5, 2017 at 2:38pm

Hi Caroline,

Yes it was the circuit judge that had the unplanned pregnancy at age 46. I don’t know about the other. It’s also the same female circuit judge that adopted off a couple’s child 6 months before they were cleared of criminal charges.
(*Comment edited – see our moderation policy here).

Geoff - May 4, 2017 at 6:40pm

What’s wrong with this country!!!?

In the last 7-8 years how many children have died due to child protection failings? Meanwhile they screw up this poor child’s life.

I’d like to see a list of all the professionals involved in this case along with how much they’ve all earned.

A - May 5, 2017 at 3:06pm

Geoff,

You might not have noticed but there’s a news blackout on major children services failings.
What we do know is during the same time, the mother of baby P has had:
– contact with her other children that she didn’t brutally murder, while she was in prison.
– new identity, released from prison early on license.
– her surviving children returned to her.
– re-arrested and sent back to prison and still has contact with her surviving children.

In relation to how much the professionals have been paid, NYAS has received over £100k in legal aid. Interestingly the same child’s case is spread across multiple court case references. Therefore the legal aid board may never even get a sniff of what’s gone on.

Vic - May 4, 2017 at 11:32pm

Hang on!

Contact was stopped during 2015, because the mother made a false allegation to Surrey Police. Then stopped from starting in 2016 because the mother made a new new allegation to the Met Police.

I’ve got bad news for you, there will be no contact during 2017! That evil woman will be contacting either Kent or city of London Constabulary.

Have you got a judge or a moron in charge of your case?

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