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How courts approach contact with adult children with health issues

How courts approach contact with adult children with health issues has been looked at by the High Court in te recent decision Re K [2016] EWHC 2607 (Fam) where the child was 32 and family sought orders of the court to see him. Cheshire family law specialist solicitors Stonehewer Moss emphasise that such a court application should be viewed as a last resort, having negotiated with carers and social services and is technically difficult as the Court makes the order under what is called the inherent jurisdiction. Michael Brennan, a solicitor at the Northwich solicitors, comments, “The Court did not order contact except consideration of a sensible card and took careful steps to ensure the application was handled appropriately with sensitivity to the mental capacity of the subject person. He had clear views and the court did not accept they should be disregarded as being incapable of credence due to family pressure. The judgment heavily hints that a civil restraint order might be issued to prevent further applications without the permission of the court. The Mental Capacity Act make fundamental assertions of the right of all persons to decide for themselves until competently assessed and proven to lack mental capacity. Anyone assuming they know best for an adult and seeking approval of that assumption from the Court should be careful of their case beforehand.”

How courts approach contact with adult children with health issues might be summarised in a single word; respectfully.

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