Our articles are written by experts in their field and include barristers, solicitors, judges, mediators, academics and professionals from a range of related disciplines. Family Law provides a platform for debate for all the important topics, from divorce and care proceedings to transparency and access to justice. If you would like to contribute please email editor@familylaw.co.uk.
A day in the life Of...
Read on

Contact Disputes: Towards meeting the needs of children

Date:2 MAY 2006
Anthony W Baker Consultant in Child and Family Psychiatry Ashwood Medico-Legal Consultancy Woking Surrey

In some well-publicised cases the question of contact working well for children is problematical. When parents cannot reconcile their differences in the context of their separation there is a risk that the child's relationship with the non-resident parent will suffer. There is a presumption in law (see Waite J in Re B (Minors: Access) [1992] 1 FLR 140) that a child should have contact with both birth parents for the purposes of: identity with roots; making and sustaining a beneficent relationship; and allowing the child to draw upon their experience of each parent to establish their own self-identity and self-esteem. The caveat to this presumption is that only in the context of compelling reasons for instance proven child protection concerns or domestic violence should direct contact between a child and parent be denied.

In relation to the question of maintaining contact with birth parents the author has identified five criteria that would need to be fulfilled in the context of child who is no longer living with his...

Read the full article here.