25 September 2017, by Taylor King Family Law Solicitors
Many parents manage to make amicable arrangements for the children to have contact with the other parent, even when the breakdown of their relationship has been very acrimonious. However if parents cannot agree on suitable arrangements, then the courts will often be required to intervene and make a Contact Order.
Even when an order is in place situations arise where a parent refuses to comply with the Order. When this happens you have to consider what sanctions the court can impose and which would be appropriate.
There are a number of sanctions which are available to the Court including:-
- Imposing contact activity order such as such as parenting classes
- Requiring Cafcass to monitor compliance and report back to the Court
- Imposing curfews, electronic tagging and/or unpaid work
- Ordering financial compensation be paid for losses sustained by the failure to comply with an order
- Transferring residence of the child either immediately or on a suspended basis i.e. the Court suspend the change of residence unless or until the original resident parent breaches the Contact Order again
- Ultimately the Court could commit someone to prison for contempt of Court
Whether a sanction is appropriate, and if so, which sanction is applied will depend on the circumstances in each case.
In certain circumstances rather than enforce an order, the court will take a fresh look at the existing order and decide whether or not it would be appropriate to vary it. The main consideration of the court is the welfare of the child/children, not the rights of the parents.
If you have the benefit of a Contact Order, but are concerned that it is not being adhered to, you should take advice as early as possible.
If you are experiencing problems with the arrangements for your children, or would just like to find out more information about the issues raised above, please contact Nicola Dunkerley. Please call 0161 883 0460 or email Nicola.firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.