What is a Child Arrangements Order?

A Child Arrangements Order is a court order, which sets out:

“(a) with whom a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact, and

(b) when a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact with any person;”            

Section 8 of the Children and Families Act 2014 amended section 8 of the Children Act 1989, thus doing away with the previous Residence and Contact Orders and replacing them with a single order that covers all the arrangements for a child or children.

Child Arrangement Orders are an important part of family and marital law as it relates to divorce and separation and, because of the gravity of the issues involved and the fact that they concern children, it may be essential for the parties involved to be represented by specialist solicitors for contact and residence orders.

The family law solicitors featured here include many who specialise in this area of the law, and given that our reach extends right across the United Kingdom, you can be assured of finding a specialist who is local to you.

The Children Act 1989 gives courts the right to make decisions in the best interests of children when related to their residence and upbringing.

Child Arrangement Orders

Parents may make an application to the Family Court if there is  a dispute regarding which parent a child might live with.  The court will make a Child Arrangement Order which may specify, for example, that a child must live with one parent and spend time with the other parent at certain times of the week. In some instances courts might decide that that the child divides its time equally between the two parents concerned, a decision which used to be referred to as a Shared Residence Order.

Prohibited Steps Orders

This type of court order does exactly what it says on the tin; it may prohibit a parent from performing a particular behaviour or action; for example, from removing a child from its place of education or taking it to another country.

Specific Issue Orders

Specific Issue Orders are used to address particular points of contention for parents regarding their children. They may refer to things as various as a child's education, religious practice, leisure activities and holiday arrangements.

Residence and custody, contact and access

Although many people still talk of "residence" or "custody" orders and "contact" and "access" orders, this vocabulary is no longer applicable to family law in the United Kingdom. Instead, policymakers have decided that the phrases "live with" and "spend time with" are more informal and less charged.

Residence and contact orders made before the change remain in force.

Solicitors for child arrangement orders

Finding a solicitor for residence and contact orders to match your needs is now a simple process as Oratto can put you in touch with a member lawyer who is local to you and experienced in all the areas of the law relevant to your case.

Search through our member profiles today to begin the process of ensuring child arrangements after divorce are in the best interests of your child or children.