Substantial research literature confirms that parental break-up may seriously affect the well-being of their children. Research is less clear on the benefit to children of contact with their non-resident parent. This uncertainty undermines decision-making in a child's 'best interests' and throws doubt on the possible value to children of legal processes. The article reports on a recent research study examining the childhood experiences of a group of young adults whose parents had sought court assistance over contact arrangements. The research findings are assessed in the context of recent procedural reforms underpinning parental contact disputes.