How to persuade the court that you should get the contact you want with your child
You may be worried that contact with your child is going to be limited. It’s a very common problem for fathers in particular, and it’s specially worrying if you already have limited contact after the breakup, as a result of leaving home, trying to find somewhere acceptable to live and having to make do with whatever awkward arrangement can be made. Many fathers understandably assume that the court will automatically side with the mother and not respect the needs of children to have good, strong and stable relationships with their fathers. The courts are getting better at allowing joint custody but a lot of fathers are still frustrated by the decisions handed down.
You have to hope that the court will make its decision based on what is best for the child but you might be able to improve your chances of success in relation to custody and contact by taking the following steps:
- Demonstrate that you have a good relationship with each child by keeping records of everything you do together and how it went, to prove your involvement with each child (sign up here to use our ONRECORD evidence gathering tools which are designed specifically for this purpose). Show that you are interested in their homework, schooling and extra curricular activities. In other words stay as involved as you can.
- Attend as many key events as you can including birthdays, parents evenings, school plays and sports days and any other activities each child enjoys. Keep records so you can prove it.
- Pay child maintenance regularly and on time to demonstrate long-term concern for each child. Be sure to obtain proof of the payments if you are handing over cash. Keep a record of all payments.
- The court will want to know what the living arrangements for each child will be when you have them with you. Prepare a nice area for your child where they can feel safe and comfortable in your home and can have some of their things if they want to.
- Respect the other parent so the child is not involved in your adult disputes. Not behaving well can damage the relationship with your child and your chances of gaining custody or the kind of contact you want.
If you suspect parental alienation
If you suspect that your ex is alienating your child so that your relationship with your child is being deliberately undermined, the following links will help you understand more about what’s happening in your case and what you can do about it. In essence you must keep records of all that’s happening, good and bad, to prove that parental alienation is happening and that your relationship with the child is being harmed. Sadly though some cases actually lead to the alienated parent having to back off as it’s decided to be in the best interests of the child. The system is clearly failing in some cases and needs review.
Read our useful blogs for further information about parental alienation:
- 5 Parental Alienation Warning Signs
- Parental Alienation – Is It Being Properly Assessed in Court Hearings?
- Parental Alienation & The Role of CAFCASS – Part 1