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Aaron D
Aaron D, Barrister
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 502
Experience:  LLB, BPTC
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Me ex she’s not letting me see my child even tho I’m paying

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Hi there! Me ex she’s not letting me see my child even tho I’m paying the child maintenance since I’ve moved out. It’s been a year now and I dunno what to do anymore I really wants to see my child if you could help me

Hello, thank you for your question. My name is***** am a barrister and will assist you with this issue today.

Please be aware that this is an e-mail service rather than a live chat. Sometimes there will be some delay between responses but I will try to reply as soon as possible.

First things first, child maintenance and seeing your child are completely separate things - in law anyway.

Whilst coming to an informal agreement is always best for the children, I understand that is not always possible.

A mediator can sometimes help and they can help you draw up agreements between you. These wouldn't normally be legally binding however. You can explore this here: https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator.

If you feel that you've reached the stage where court is necessary then you could consider applying to the court for an order called a Child Arrangements Order (CAO).

Specifically within a CAO it often dictates who the child is to live with. You can apply for the child to live with you or for a joint live with order which is what people sometimes refer to as "joint custody".

You don’t have to apply for a live with order, you can just apply to spend time with the child which is what people sometimes refer to as “contact”.

You can instruct a solicitor to apply for this for you or you can apply yourself.

You can find a solicitor who specialises in family law here: https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk

If you wanted to apply yourself then you can find the form here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-c100-application-under-the-children-act-1989-for-a-child-arrangements-prohibited-steps-specific-issue-section-8-order-or-to-vary-or-discharge

You will have to pay an issue fee (£215) to the court but if you are on a limited income then sometimes you can apply for a remission: https://www.gov.uk/get-help-with-court-fees.

Before you issue an application, you are expected to try to negotiate and attend a mediation assessment session (MIAM). You can find information about this here: https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/family-mediation/assessment-meeting-miam/. There are exceptions in certain circumstances e.g. urgency.

If you do issue an application usually what happens is when the case is first listed, Cafcass inform the court about any safeguarding issues. Often the court needs more information and order a s.7 report. If appropriate this includes finding out the “wishes and feelings” of the child. You can find out more about s.7 reports here: https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/grown-ups/parents-and-carers/divorce-and-separation/section-7-report/

The case only progresses to a contested hearing with a judicial decision if an agreement cannot be reached between yourselves.

In general the court will always look to encourage a relationship between the child and both parents if it is safe. The overriding factor in any decision is always the welfare of the child.

I hope this helps, if you can please accept my answer and rate me 5 stars (in the top right of your screen) then Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

I will remain available for any follow-up questions.

Aaron D and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you