What court do I go to?

You will usually make an application to your local Family Proceedings Court, which will deal with your case, but if it is complex it might go to the more specialist Family Care Centre or even the High Court.

How much contact can I expect to have with a parent or my brother(s) and sister(s)?

There are no specific rules on this and each family has its own particular circumstances but it should allow you to have a meaningful relationship with all your family. It is usually a matter for you and your parents to decide.

If you do not feel you are seeing enough of one of your parents or your brothers and sisters, or you don’t feel that people are listening to what you want, then you could go to court for a Contact Order which will set out the amount of contact you should have.

I don’t have contact with my parent/family members. How do I get to see them?

When parents and children live apart, family contact is usually arranged by parents but you are entitled to have regular contact with all your family. 

Your wishes and feelings are very important and you have a right to have a say about contact. If you and the adults involved in decisions cannot agree on contact arrangements then you could go to mediation to help resolve any disagreement, or you could go to court for a Contact Order in order to see your parent/brothers and sisters.

If my parents separate, can I choose who I live with?

When parents separate it can be a very difficult time for everyone in the family. Parents should always do what is best for their children and this includes deciding which parent the children should live with and maintaining good relations between children and the parent they don’t live with.

Your wishes and feelings should be considered when these decisions are being made. As a teenager your wishes and feelings should carry a lot of weight and if parents can’t agree on things and a court is asked to decide, the court will always have your wishes and feelings as the first thing they consider.

Older teenagers should be able to decide for themselves which parent they live with and how much they see of the other parent. It’s important that children maintain a meaningful relationship with both their parents.