Enforcing an order about your children

At AFG LAW, our family solicitors understand the frustration that parents can feel when they have been through the court process and then the order isn’t followed. If you need specialist legal advice and support to deal with a breach of the court order about your children feel free to contact our solicitors today. Our solicitors can provide individual legal advice, consider whether there are any issues that can be resolved outside of court and make sure any applications to court for enforcement are made quickly and strongly.

 

How will the court deal with an application to enforce a child arrangements order?

When an application is made to enforce a child arrangements order the judge will consider whether the breach of the order is accepted or whether there needs to be a hearing for the court to determine what happened.

The judge will consider any reasons for non-compliance with the court order, consider how the wishes and feelings of the child are obtained and whether CAFCASS (the Children and Family Courts Advisory and Support Service) should become involved to provide advice.

The judge also has to consider what might happen if they make a further child arrangements order, and whether there are further risks, and also whether the parents would benefit from attending a Separated Parents Information Programme or another type of out of court dispute resolution such as mediation. The judge has the power to make an enforcement order and, as with any children order, will consider the welfare checklist.

 

What can the court do if they find an order has been breached?

If a judge hearing an application to enforce a child arrangements order decides that the order was breached, without reasonable excuse, the judge can order a number of different outcomes including;

  • Varying the existing child arrangements order to tighten the arrangements for the children to spend time with the other parent or even reconsider the living arrangements for the children
  • Referring parents to a Separated Parenting Information Programme or mediation.
  • A contact enforcement order or suspended enforcement order for unpaid work
  • An order for compensation for financial loss
  • Committal to prison
  • A fine

The Court will not make an Enforcement Order if it is satisfied that the person had a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with the Order.

Some of the above options are only used as a last resort and when making a decision about what is appropriate the judge will consider the impact on the children. Our family solicitors can advise you about likely outcomes in your particular circumstances, especially if there have been repeated breaches.

Child arrangements orders that deal with the arrangements for children to spend time with the other parent are difficult to enforce and often lead to lengthy proceedings. This is especially the case if there is a lot of hostility between parents, our family law team is experienced in dealing with this type of case and can assist in finding the best experts and frequently work alongside leading barristers in this area.

Speak to one of our specialist Family Law Solicitors Get in touch

 

What if we agree to change the arrangements in the child arrangements order?

If both parents agree to change the order it would not be a breach but it also wouldn’t be legally binding and if one parent ends the agreement it would come to an end and the arrangements would go back to those contained within the order.

The only way to ensure that any varied arrangements become legally binding, and enforceable, is for one of the parties to take the order back to court to be varied.

 

What if I believe I have a reasonable excuse for breaching the child arrangements order?

If you are in breach of a child arrangements order, for example, by stopping the children seeing the other parent, then you should speak to our family law team as soon as possible. There are applications you can make, on an urgent basis, to bring the difficulty to the court’s attention before the other parent makes an application for enforcement because of the breach.

Our solicitors can advise you of the best steps for you to take and your chances of success. If the other parent has already made an application to enforce the child arrangements order our solicitors can advise you and present your case to achieve the best possible outcome.

 

What can I do if the other parent isn’t sticking to the order and is letting the children down?

Our family solicitors understand that sometimes parents don’t turn up when they are supposed to or cancel their contact with the children. This can be frustrating to the parent who is concerned about the emotional impact on the children and who regularly has their plans disrupted.

Our solicitors frequently assist people in this position and can provide advice and support about amending child arrangements orders.

 

What if we agree to change the arrangements in the child arrangements order?

If both parents agree to change the order it would not be a breach but it also wouldn’t be legally binding and if one parent ends the agreement it would come to an end and the arrangements would go back to those contained within the order.

The only way to ensure that any varied arrangements become legally binding, and enforceable, is for one of the parties to take the order back to court to be varied.

 

What if I believe I have a reasonable excuse for breaching the child arrangements order?

If you are in breach of a child arrangements order, for example, by stopping the children seeing the other parent, then you should speak to our family law team as soon as possible. There are applications you can make, on an urgent basis, to bring the difficulty to the court’s attention before the other parent makes an application for enforcement because of the breach.

Our solicitors can advise you of the best steps for you to take and your chances of success. If the other parent has already made an application to enforce the child arrangements order our solicitors can advise you and present your case to achieve the best possible outcome.

 

What can I do if the other parent isn’t sticking to the order and is letting the children down?

Our family solicitors understand that sometimes parents don’t turn up when they are supposed to or cancel their contact with the children. This can be frustrating to the parent who is concerned about the emotional impact on the children and who regularly has their plans disrupted.

Our solicitors frequently assist people in this position and can provide advice and support about amending child arrangements orders.

Speak to one of our specialist Family Law Solicitors Get in touch

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