One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is often dealing with issues relating to children. Having a child arrangement order in place may help to clarify matters. Oratto member family lawyers can offer skilled and experienced advice on anything relating to child contact or residence queries.

On the breakdown of a relationship, arrangements will need to be agreed for any children of the family. Ideally, it is best to have amicable arrangements between parents that require no court intervention but sometimes parents find it difficult to make these arrangements on their own. The first step at this stage should be attending family mediation sessions.

In the past when parents were unable to agree between them, either one of them could have applied to the Court for either a contact order or a residence order, under s.8 of the Children Act 1989. 

The law around arrangements for children changed slightly with the introduction of the Child Arrangements Programme in 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014.

The contact and residence orders were replaced with Child Arrangements Orders which cover all the arrangements relating to children’s’ living arrangements and time with both parents.

 A Child Arrangements Order defines:

  • “with whom a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact, and
  • when a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact with any person;”

  As always, the law exists to help and protect you. A Child Arrangements Order removes any doubt or ambiguity relating to the child and ensures that appropriate arrangements are in place.



How do I know if a child arrangements order is appropriate in my case?

A parent usually applies for these orders where there is dispute or disagreement about contact or residence issues, and where other attempts to resolve the issues; for example mediation, have been unsuccessful.

The general aim of the law is to resolve any family disputes away from the court; and parents are first required by law to attend mediation sessions before being able to make an application to Court. However, where this is not possible (for example, where domestic violence has been present in the relationship; or where one parent refuses to attend mediation), the Child Arrangements Programme exists to try to ensure as swift and final a resolution as possible to the situation. A Child Arrangements Order is the end result of court hearings, safeguarding checks and both parents being able to present their case to the Family Court.


Oratto can connect you instantly with a highly experienced family law solicitor who will be able to answer any specific queries that you may have.


Arrangements for children after divorce can be a difficult topic, especially where there are disagreements over where the children will live or how often they will see both parents. Oratto member lawyers are trained in how to handle these issues in a sensitive and timely manner, always giving you a reliable sense of expertise.

Solicitors from Oratto will be able to guide you through:

  • What the first thing to happen will be
  • Where you stand legally
  • What your options are for reaching a fair agreement
  • What the legal process involves
  • Are your objectives fair and child-focused?

Contact Oratto today so that we can find you an expert member solicitor for fast, accurate advice on applying for a  Child Arrangements Order.

With Oratto member lawyers, you are never alone.