Child Contact – Self Help

If you are having trouble getting to see your children, or arranging when the other parent should see them? Then you can get help in the following ways:

1. Consult an experienced Family Mediator. They are experts at helping separated parents agree on important things like who has the children when.  Agreements you reach together are more likely to last, and mean less conflict, which is good news for the children.  If you are on a low income, you don’t have to pay for mediation.  For a list of Family Mediation providers near you click here.

Click here for our advice guide on Family Mediation.

2. Get legal advice. A Family Solicitor can suggest the best way to sort things out and might be able to help you agree with the other party.  If you need to go to court, they can do all the paperwork and argue your case for you.  If you can’t afford a lot, you can do some of the work yourself and just pay the solicitor to do certain things (eg speak at court hearings).  In a few cases (eg where there has been domestic abuse), you might be able to get Legal Aid to pay for a solicitor – click here to check.  To find family solicitors near you, click here.

Click here for our advice on Family Solicitors.

3. Ask the court to decide. As a last resort, you can apply to the court for a Child Arrangements Order.  It’s not a quick fix and there are no guarantees that things will go your way.  If you do decide to go to court, Norfolk Community Law Service may be able to help.  You can get 15 minutes’ free advice from a family solicitor at our Free Legal Advice sessions – click here for details.  After that, one of our Family Court Support Service volunteers may be able to help you fill in your forms and support you when you appear in court, subject to availability.  This help is quite limited – click here for more details of this service.

Click here for our series of Family Court Advice Guides

Remember – focus on what’s best for the children.

Other places to look for advice:

Helping your children cope with separation: Supporting your child through divorce and separation | Cafcass

Going to court without a lawyer: ,

Domestic abuse: or telephone the National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247

Coping with separation:

Parenting through separation:  Parenting through separation | Resolution

The Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline: Support and advice on anything from dealing with a break-up to going back to work or sorting out child maintenance, benefit or tax credit issues.  Tel 0808 802 0925 or visit