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Children arrangements - is it time for a change?

Added on: 3rd April, 2017 by Patricia_3139

Children arrangements - is it time for a change?

Nicola Cancellara, family law solicitor at Graysons Solicitors

Last Updated:
Mon, 3 April 2017

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Family law solicitor, Nicola Cancellara, discusses children arrangements and whether they need to change.

Following an acrimonious split, it's a sad fact that many parents become stuck in lengthy court proceedings arguing over arrangements for their children, costing thousands of pounds.  Even when a child arrangements order has been made, detailing what time a child is to spend with the non-resident parent, the parent with care can sometimes breach the order by unlawfully stopping the child from seeing the other parent.  

With the cuts to legal aid, many parents face going through the court process without representation, whilst others simply can’t face that process and so end up being denied contact for several years. As a result, children are left without having a relationship with both parents.  This can't be right.  

When I take on a case, providing there are no safeguarding concerns, it's always at the forefront of my mind to try and get parents to focus on the children and to put their differences to one side.  Yes, any separation is full of emotions, and things will be said and done in the heat of the moment causing upset and resentment, but at the centre of this are the children who love both their parents.  Just because a couple has decided that their relationship is no longer workable doesn't mean they want to stop being a parent. It's always best to try and agree arrangements with regard to the children, rather than have them forced upon you by a court order.

Data from the Ministry of Justice shows that in 2015, of the 4,654 enforcement applications made to court, only 1.2 per cent were successful.  Some people will feel justified in withholding contact, citing safeguarding concerns, and some will keep their children away from their ex as they are upset at finding out about a new relationship, for example, or for financial reasons. However, there are others who feel that persistent breaches of a child arrangement order needs the court to take a tougher approach – perhaps a change of residence or shared parenting. Perhaps the resident parent would be more likely to comply if these remedies were applied?

Whilst these arguments continue, we can help you if you are experiencing problems relating to contact with your children. Contact our family law experts now on 0114 272 9184 or email We can arrange a first free appointment in which we can discuss your issues and find a solution that works for you. You can find out more about making arrangements for your children and the order that might be necessary on our website at

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