I have split up from my partner. I want to see more of my children.
I have split up from my partner. I want to see more of my children. My former partner will not agree. I think she is being very unreasonable as the children want to spend more time with me. If I go to court and get an access order, will the court order her to pay all my legal costs?
Thank you for your enquiry. We are sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing in seeing your children as much as you would like after your separation from your former partner.
If you cannot reach an agreement with your former partner over the amount of time the children should spend with you then you could apply to the court for a child arrangements order. This order is the new name for an access order or contact order. A child arrangements order will set out how much time the children should spend with you each week and can cover holiday contact as well.
When the court is deciding on an appropriate child arrangements order and contact the court will take into account the children’s wishes.
In relation to costs, the general rule is that a mother and father will pay their own legal costs of applying for a child arrangements order or responding to an application for a child arrangements order. It is very rare for in a children court case for a judge to order that one parent pays all or a share of the other parent’s legal fees. The conduct of one parent would need to be quite extreme for the court to consider making a costs order.
If you take legal advice, you may be able to agree an increase in contact with your children with your former partner through solicitor negotiations. That would avoid the need for a court application.
To discuss your situation and your children law options we would need to see you. We can give you expert children law advice and advise you on the best way forward and the cost of applying for a child arrangements order. Please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to discuss how we can help you.
Please note the answer provided above is for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. In order for OTS Solicitors to provide legal advice you would need to instruct OTS Solicitors family law team. If you would like to proceed with legal advice and consult with our family law solicitors please call us on 0203 959 9123.
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