A child arrangements order is a court order than specifies the living arrangements for children after their parents have separated. This may be needed if the parents cannot agree where the children will live and other key issues amicably.
The purpose of a child arrangements order is to make sure that the child has living arrangements that reflect their best interests. The order should include details of the child’s daily life, including who they are in regular contact with.
A child arrangements order can be used to determine:
- Where your child will live
- When each parent will spend time with them
- The other contact types that may occur (for example, telephone calls)
At Huggins Lewis Foskett in South Woodford, our family law experts can provide specialist advice, helping you to obtain a child arrangements order for the benefit of your child.
Why choose Huggins Lewis Foskett for child arrangements order legal advice?
Our family law team, Marcin Typiak and Mariam Cassamoali, are approachable and professional, with extensive experience in the industry. When you choose Huggins Lewis Foskett for your family law support, rest assured you will have highly-trained and passionate solicitors on your side.
You will benefit from exceptional legal expertise and an outstanding service. Where possible, our solicitors will offer fixed fees providing you a transparent breakdown of the costs from the very start.
Our child arrangements order service
If you and your ex-partner cannot agree on child living arrangements, you’ll need to apply for a child arrangements order. Our solicitors can provide top-quality legal guidance from the beginning.
We’ll take the time to understand your needs and the complications that may arise as part of your case. With full knowledge of your circumstances, we’ll guide the situation toward the best outcome for you and your child.
Support with meditation
As part of the process, you and your ex-partner will need to go to a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM). The goal of the meeting is to find out whether mediation might be an appropriate way for you to agree on child arrangements.
If you decide to try mediation, our family lawyers will help you to prepare by assessing your legal position and your personal situation. We can advise you what to expect, what to say and review any agreement you reach through mediation.
Preparing for court
If we cannot use mediation to agree on child arrangements, we will prepare your case for court. Our preparations are likely to focus on a combination of the following activities:
- Drafting the application – including a statement that explains the issues under dispute
- Preparing a supplementary application – if your child’s current living situation allegedly puts them at risk
- Lodging the application with the appropriate court (on completion of paperwork)
- Service of the documents (for all involved parties)
- Filing the service certificate at the appropriate court
Everything you need to know about child arrangements orders
Who can apply for a child arrangements order?
Any person who has parental responsibility can apply to obtain a child arrangements order. To make an application you do not need permission from the court beforehand.
The following individuals may apply:
- The child’s guardian or parent.
- A civil partner or spouse who has responsibility for the child.
- A person who holds a residence order for the child.
What does a child arrangements order hearing involve?
During the first hearing, the court will attempt to understand which issues are in dispute. The court will guide parties toward an agreement, attempting to secure an amicable resolution.
Much of the time, child arrangements cases involve conflict and complications. Due to this, it can be difficult to reach an agreement right away. At a second hearing, the court may focus on evidence provided by CAFCASS. Further stages may include a dispute resolution, a review, or fact-finding hearing.
Our experts at Huggins Lewis Foskett will get to know the finer details of your case, providing you with an honest assessment of your standpoint. We’ll ensure that you are fully prepared for the issues that may arise and advise on any evidence that you may need to provide.
How are child arrangements orders enforced?
Once an order has been granted, both parties are legally obligated to follow the terms set out in the order. If one party does not comply with the order regulations, the other party may contact the court.
The court can impose sanctions on those who do not follow the rules given in the child arrangements order. If you do not agree with the terms, it’s important to seek legal advice rather than taking matters into your own hands.
Do I have the right to take my child abroad?
If your child does not live with you and you have a child arrangements order, you may need the permission of the person they live with before taking them abroad. For example, if you’d like to take your child on holiday and they are living with their other parent, you’ll need to discuss the matter with your ex-partner.
If you are named as the main adult who your child lives with, you have legal permission to take them abroad for one month without your ex-partner's consent. To take your child on holiday for a longer time-frame, you’ll need the consent of your ex-partner or a court order.
How long does a child arrangements order stay in place?
A child arrangements order lasts until the child in question is 16 years old. Under certain circumstances, the court may decide to end an order before this date.
Once an order is in place, either party can apply to change the order. It’s important to follow legal guidance and avoid breaching the order terms. If you disagree with the terms of your child arrangements order, and you’d like to adjust the terms, our family law solicitors can support you.
Our child arrangements order agreement fees
Fixed fee legal guidance
For some child arrangements order cases, we may be able to offer legal advice on a fixed fee basis. Fixed fee legal guidance means you’ll know beforehand exactly how much you can expect to pay.
Hourly rates for child arrangements orders legal advice
For more complex cases, we will charge according to our set hourly rates. These will depend on the details of your case and the level of legal specialism required
For a breakdown of our costs, please contact us and we can book you in for a free initial consultation.
Speak to our child arrangements order solicitors in South Woodford, London
Need clear, sensible guidance on making child arrangements or any related issues?