Achieving a Father’s shared care arrangements application

Kevin represented the Father of a young child. The parents were separated, and when the Father began a new relationship, the Mother cut down the amount of time that he was allowed to see his child, sometimes cancelling arrangements at the last minute. Kevin’s client therefore made an application to the court for a shared care arrangement, arguing that the child should spend alternate weeks with each parent. The Mother argued for significantly less contact.

Kevin represented the Father at the final hearing, presenting evidence as to the strength of the Father’s relationship with his child and what he felt he could offer. His client demonstrated that he had thought about the practical side of having the child live with him, as well as the emotional.

Kevin’s cross examination of the Mother brought out the extent to which she was resentful of his client’s new partner, and how she then undermined the child’s relationship with the Father. The Mother put forward reasons as to why she did not think it would be in her child’s best interests to spend more time with the Father, but through thorough questioning Kevin established that her reasons were not consistent with the level of contact that she had allowed in the past.

The court made a shared care order whereby the child would live with each parent on an alternating weekly basis, accepting Kevin’s argument that the child would be well looked after in his client’s care and that his proposals would provide more stability. The court further agreed that handovers should be managed so as to reduce the risk of confrontation between the parents.