Contact and Residence Disputes

Who we are

Parental separation and divorce are stressful experiences for the whole family. Often children are unintentionally caught up in acrimonious disputes between their parents, especially when these extend over a long period of time or result in contact with a parent being stopped.

The Contact and Residence Disputes Team is a multidisciplinary team with professional expertise including family therapy, social work, child and adult psychiatry and clinical psychology. The team has developed a therapeutic assessment model that aims to support families where one or more of the below issues are relevant:

  • there are disagreements or concerns about contact;
  • contact with one parent has not taken place for a long time;
  • disagreements about where a child should live;
  • there are significant concerns about the impact of ongoing parental acrimony and/ or legal proceedings on children.

Who we help

The team is usually instructed by the court, parent or children's services to make recommendations about contact and residence and to help families for whom other interventions have failed, move forward, reducing the negative impact of separation and ongoing parental disputes on their children. 

How we help

We provide therapeutic assessment work with individual families and groups of families together which aims to:

  • help parents find effective and non-conflictual ways of communicating with each other and understanding their children's needs;
  • help families understand the changes they have undergone and move to a position where they can focus on the future;
  • help children communicate their wishes and feelings to their parents without worries about the impact this will have on relationships.

How to find out more

In the first instance, we ask for an enquiry form to be completed by both parties and/or legal representation. From the information provided, the team will be able to determine the most suitable package of work and will be able to provide you with information relevant to the family, including a cost estimate for the work.

Subject to agreeing to our fees and timescales, we will then require a jointly agreed Letter of Instruction (LOI). Please do not send through any Instructions or documents pertaining to the family prior to our acceptance of the referral.

For all inquiries and referrals to Contact and Residence Disputes team please contact Heather Mayall, Clinical Support Officer

Email: heather.mayall@annafreud.org

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7794 2313

Download an enquiry form here