FAQs on child access


What is child access?

Child access is a term used to refer to the right of parents to have contact with their children following the breakdown of the relationship with the other parent of the child. Child access is usually used in conjunction with the term ‘child custody’.

How is child access different to child custody?

Child custody refers to the primary right of one parent (the resident parent) to have the child live with them on a day-to-day basis. Child access refers to the right of the other parent (the non-resident parent) to have contact with the child.

What are a parent’s rights to child access?

The UK family law is concerned with the welfare of the child as the primary consideration in all family law proceedings. The parents of a child have a right to apply to a court for an order for child custody or child access. It is then up to the court to decide whether custody or access will be granted, depending on their determination of the best interests of the child.

How do you apply for child access?

Most parents are able to work out an informal agreement about with whom the child will live and at what times each of the parents will have contact with the child. However, if the parents are unable to reach agreement, they can apply to a court to have the court make orders. The court will need to hear both parties on the issue, which can be a lengthy and costly process.

What if a parent disobeys court orders for child access?

If the court has granted one parent orders for child access at certain times, the other parent must comply with those orders. The non-compliant parent can be punished by the court for any non-compliance. The non-resident parent can apply to the court for enforcement of the orders.

If you would like to obtain expert legal advice, we can help to put you in touch with a local specialist family law solicitor free of charge. Call our experienced case handlers on 08001 221 2299.

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