Can I take my parents to court to settle a dispute?

If you and your parents cannot reach an agreement about an important matter you can ask the Court to allow you to take a case.

A Specific Issue Order is a court order that deals with any specific matter related to Parental Responsibility. If you disagree with how your parent is exercising Parental Responsibility and preventing you from doing something or making you do something you don’t want to do, then it is possible to ask a court to decide what is best for you.

In order to take such a case, the court must be satisfied that you have sufficient understanding to take the case.

What if I disagree with decisions my parents make that affect my life?

Parents should always make decisions based on what is in your best interests. Sometimes you may feel that decisions your parents make are not what you want and you feel it is not in your best interests. You should be able to discuss the decision with your parents and your parents should listen to what you want.

What other Court Orders are there?

Specific Issue Order: This is an order of the court which gives direction to parents about specific aspects of a child’s welfare, where parents cannot agree, such as which school a child will go to.

Residence Order: This is an order of the court which says where a child will live, usually one parent will seek such an order when parents separate.

Prohibited Steps Order: This is an order of the court which prevents a parent of a child from doing something for example taking the child to another country.

How do I get a Contact Order?

You would have to get a Solicitor and make an application to the court. You can instruct your own Solicitor if they feel that you are mature enough and have sufficient understanding about what you are seeking and the court process.

What is a Contact Order?

A Contact Order is a court order, which sets out the pattern of contact you should have with your parents, brothers or sisters that you do not live with, e.g. every weekend, two days per week etc.