Tuesday, December 02, 2014
Family Lore Clinic: Can I disagree with an overnight contact order in court?
I suppose I should begin by explaining that, technically, there is no longer any such thing a 'contact order'. Contact orders (and residence orders) have been replaced by 'child arrangements orders' which deal with arrangements over 'with whom a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact, and when a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact with any person'.
OK, having said that the answer to the question is quite simple: if someone (presumably the other parent) is seeking to have overnight contact with your child (often referred to as 'staying contact') then, if you believe that such contact is contrary to the welfare of your child, you can object to it in court. Having said that, overnight contact is very common and is usually considered to be a good thing, provided that the other parent has suitable accommodation where the child can sleep. Accordingly, you really do have to have a good reason or reasons why overnight contact should not take place.
As usual, if you require further information or advice regarding this issue, you should consult a specialist family lawyer.