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Father spending time with his daughter in Portsmouth family court

Contact orders

Children need to have a good relationship with both of their parents.


If the other parent is making it difficult for you to have contact with your children, you may need to apply for a Child Arrangements Order.

Subject to any safeguarding issues, the Court will want to ensure you have proper access..

However, if one parent alleges domestic abuse, he or she will often be granted legal aid. This can lead to one parent having a lawyer in court and the other parent being unrepresented.

In this case, you'll probably be told you can't ask the other parent any questions yourself. If so, the Court will try to find you a "Qualified Legal Representative" or "QLR".


However, QLRs aren't there to represent you. Instead, they ask the alleged victim questions on the court's behalf. They can also be hard to find, which may mean the judge has to ask the questions for you (which isn't ideal).

You may also use a "McKenzie Friend". However, Mckenzie Friends can't speak for you in court and may cost a similar amount to one of our direct-access Barristers.

Put simply, going straight to a Barrister could help even things out for you and cost less than you might expect.

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