The court can decide who your child should live with and how they spend time with the other parent, and other important matters. The court can make orders about these issues, which are legally binding on both parents.
Usually, you’d have to try working things out with your partner through mediation before going to court. But you don’t have to do this if you can show you’ve experienced domestic abuse, or you or your child are at risk of harm.
When it makes its decisions, the court will put your child’s best interests first and will consider a number of factors, including any risk of harm to the child. If you have concerns about your or your child’s safety, you can tell the court. There may be a fact-finding hearing to establish what has and hasn't happened.
The Child Maintenance Service can settle how much each parent should contribute to the child’s living costs. They can do this without you having to contact the other parent directly, and can collect payments for you too.