Access is the word used to describe the right of a child to have access with the parent/guardian that they do not live with, in order to spend time together. If one parent works full-time it can often be the case that the childs access to that parent would take place in the evenings or at weekends. It is essential at the outset of a relationship breakdown that a solid plan is put in place to ensure that there is stability and certainty for the child/children around access to the other parent.
It should be possible to agree an access plan however if no agreement can be reached an application can be made to the District Court to have a Judge rule on the issue of access. As these types of cases involve children, any decision made by the Court will be made in the child’s best interests. Depending on the age of the child, the Court can take into account their views.
Once a formal Court Order is made in relation to access, it must be adhered to my both parties and cannot be altered unless one party make an application for a Variation of Access.
If one of the parties deliberately breaches the Court Order setting out the access consistently, the other party can bring an application to the District Court for a Breach of the Order.