Solicitors in Milton Keynes - Family Law, Motoring Law, Domestic Violence

24/7 out of office hours domestic violence advice line: 0845 450 1281 (local rates apply)



How risky is it to breach a contact order? Very recently I dealt with my first case where there was a real prospect of change of residence as a mother would not comply with a contact order. I have to say that the case gave me no pleasure whatsoever. Parents in family cases regularly take the proverbial ‘Michael’ because the Family Court is often the very epitome of a toothless giant, despite the blusterings of many senior judges. Contact orders are breached, almost with impunity, or only partially complied with on mothers’ terms. Sending a mother to prison for breach, almost by definition, is likely to be contrary to a child’s welfare. It takes a lot (many would say rightly so) for a family judge to even get to the point of a suspended sentence. My recent experience was a fascinating one. The same mother who was prepared to risk jail was not prepared to risk change of residence. Supervised Contact had been going well and there was absolutely no reason why it should not proceed to being unsupervised. Mother had used every trick in the book to frustrate the judge’s order, until it was suggested that further failure to comply might lead to a change of residence. The problem is that it will take many months, if not years of litigation to get to this point. Fathers often consider it easier to – many actually do – simply give up rather than face the prospect of what might seem unending heartache and emotional turmoil. They can be forgiven for coming to the view that there is little or no risk to a mother who breaches a contact order.


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