Example case study: Child Arrangements Order for ex-partner seeking child contact after five-year absence

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This case study is based on a matter our child law solicitors typically take on.

Our child law solicitors helped issue a Child Arrangements Order after our client’s ex-partner sought regular contact with their child after a five-year absence.

Mutual agreement on childcare arrangements

Our client, David, had a 14-year-old child with his ex-partner, Penny. Following their separation, Penny’s mental health declined, and they came to an agreement that their son would be best living with David full-time whilst Penny sought mental health support.

Following this agreement, Penny’s contact with her son became increasingly irregular, and she moved out of their hometown without telling anyone and changed her mobile phone number. Nobody was able to contact her.

Dispute over child contact

Penny had no contact with her son or ex-partner for over five years. Her mental health had improved, and she decided to reach out to her son in a bid to start seeing him on a regular basis.

As the son had had no contact with his mother in five years and had been struggling emotionally since she had left, he was insistent that he did not want to see or have any involvement with her.

Penny made an application for a Child Arrangements Order to see her son regularly and David therefore asked our specialist lawyers to represent him in those proceedings to ensure their son’s interests were protected.

Applying to the court for a Child Arrangements Order

The court ordered David and Penny to prepare statements detailing the history and why they were seeking a Child Arrangements Order. Penny was also ordered to obtain a report from her GP regarding her mental health.

As the son was willing to explain to his mother the reasons for not wishing to see her, he agreed to attend Child Inclusive Mediation, whilst all the other information was obtained. Their son explained to his mother that he felt abandoned by her and that he no longer knew who she was. He explained that he was happy to receive cards from her on special occasions and for his father to send updates about him to her but did not want any direct contact.

Having heard her son’s views and considering his age, Penny decided not to proceed with her court application for a Child Arrangements Order and the court gave her permission to withdraw this without any final orders being made.

Contact our child contact solicitors

If an ex-partner is seeking involvement with your children after a long time and you need advice on issuing a Child Arrangements Order, our child law solicitors might be able to help. Call us on 0117 325 2929 or fill in our online enquiry form.


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