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Residence and Contact

We can advise you on issues in relation to residence and contact issues on separation from your partner.

Residence is where your child will live and contact allows visiting rights to the other parent.

These issues need to be discussed between you and your former partner to try and agree the arrangements for the children. We will consider these issues with you and negotiate with your former partner or their Solicitors. We will also advise you whether mediation may be suitable to try and resolve the outstanding issues between you and your former partner. If negotiation or mediation does not resolve the issues then a Court application can be made.

When deciding issues of residence and contact the Court’s paramount concern is that of the children’s welfare. The Court will follow a welfare checklist which looks at the following issues:-

  • the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of his or her age and understanding)
  • the child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
  • the likely affect on the child of any change in circumstances
  • the child’s age, sex, background and any characteristic of the child that the Court considers relevant
  • any harm which the child is, has or is at risk of suffering and how capable each parent is of meeting the child’s needs.

When a child is aged 9 or over the Court will also take into account their wishes and feelings, and greater weight will be given to these wishes and feelings the older the child is.

The child’s wishes and feelings are represented at Court by the CAFCASS Officer (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) who are often ordered to prepare written reports for the Court and to make a recommendation on the issues when a dispute arises between the parents. Nicola Bennetts is a Law Society Accredited Specialist in Children Law.

If you require any further information please telephone to arrange either a free half hour initial interview, or for a fixed fee interview, details of which can be provided on request. We can also ascertain if you are likely to be eligible for public funding.

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Contact Details

Bournemouth Office
Kingsway House
13 Christchurch Road
DX 7641 Bournemouth
Phone:01202 294411
Fax:01202 295944

Our friendly team are here to help

Andy Pitt

Partner & Head of Childcare Department

Nicola Bennetts


Vanessa Cowlard


Jane Pilcher

Legal Assistant

Registered Office: 13 Christchurch Road Bournemouth BH1 3JY. Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
Aldridge Brownlee Solicitors LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England number OC334502