Contact with your child

After your relationship ends, you may disagree with the parent of your child about:

  • where the child lives
  • how and when each of you spends time with the child

These matters are sometimes called child arrangements.

Child arrangements

If you and your child are safe, and you're happy with your current arrangements, you don't have to do anything. It'll be up to the other parent to try to change the situation.

Where parents can’t agree or there’s no communication between them – for example, because of domestic abuse – a parent may ask the family courts to decide what the child arrangements should be.

The court's decisions are set out in a child arrangements order.

This order is legally binding on both parents. If a parent breaks the order, the court can fine them or give other penalties.

More information

Citizens Advice offers help and information on many subjects including family law and children.

Child Law Advice has plenty of useful information on common issues facing parents, families and children.

Rights of Women has detailed information on children and the law for women, as well as legal advice phone lines.

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