Hi, thank you for your question. The children have a right to a relationship with both parents and any arrangements must be in their interest and a court will consider staying contact and a shared arrangement to be in their interests unless you are able to demonstrate there are welfare or parenting concerns regarding the father.
For your information the Court will take into consideration the following when making a decision regarding the application:1.The wishes and feelings of the child concerned2. The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs3. The likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the courts decision4. The child’s age, sex, backgrounds and any other characteristics which will be relevant to the court’s decision5. Any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering6. Capability of the child’s parents (or any other person the courts find relevant) at meeting the child’s needs7. The powers available to the court in the given proceedingsIf you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
My name is ***** ***** I have been a solicitor for more than 30 years.
Please do not worry - the priority for the court is the needs of the children and since you have been the main carer until now that is what will continue for the foreseeable future.
The starting point will indeed be shorter stays - starting at a couple of hours and building up from there at a reasonable pace.
The aim should be for them to spend alternate weekends with their father plus one night a week and up to half of the school holidays (eventually)
Stay calm in the negotiations and remember that the priority is the needs of the children
Please ask if you need further details
In fact there is no longer and concept of Custody and Access - it disappeared in 1989.
It was replaced by Residence and Contact - which was in turn replaced two years ago with the concept of Child Arrangements and sharing the care
Shared Care does not mean 50/50 shared care - it simply acknowledges that when the children are with the other parent he (or she) has their care for that time and a reminder that BOTH parents have Parental Responsibility for the child
The priority for the ocurt is the needs of the child - so they will expect the relationship to be built up before alternate weekends are reached