Child Arrangements Orders

Richard Nelson LLP’s family team can provide legal advice on Child Arrangements orders. When a relationship breaks down between two parents it is hoped that arrangements for the child to see both parents can be finalised amicably. However, in some circumstances, this does not happen. Our Solicitors will help you to reach the best solution for your child.


Making arrangements for your child amicably

The starting position is that it is in the child’s best interest to have both parents involved in their life unless of course the child is in danger of any type of harm then this notion is impacted.

If you and your partner have separated/divorced and you are now being stopped or limited on the level of time that you are spending with your child then it is vital that you do not do nothing. Any delay on addressing the level of time that you spend can have an adverse impact.

In the first instance it is always good to message your partner (unless there are restrictions upon you due to allegations of domestic abuse/harassment) to amicably vary the arrangements.

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Child arrangements via a mediator

If communication of this type is unsuccessful or has broken down then it is important to find a Mediator who may be able to open the channels of communication. It is helpful if this mediator was a professional trained mediator but often individuals will try with mutual friends or mutually trusted family members. Sometimes mediation can help parties to identify and work through issues. If Mediation is refused or unsuccessful then it is vital to obtain legal advice.

Obtaining legal advice does not immediately mean going to court. It may be that your partner will be more open to communication via solicitors than directly with you. Going to solicitors can sometimes been seen as a more formal step and can help the uncooperating partner to review the position that he/she has been taking.

If you delay on resolving any issues then ultimately it is your child who misses out. Delay is very harmful in children’s cases as a new norm in the child’s routine gets quickly established and the position is often difficult to change. This is especially the case if the child is very young because the child will lose familiarity with the absent parent and this can then create anxiety when re-establishing a relationship.

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What type of order should I be asking for?

There is a lot of confusion about what each party should be seeking or giving.

In the past, the courts used terms such as Child Custody, however it was felt that such a term was used incorrectly whereby it provided an imbalance between both parents. The parent with the order felt that they were in control over the child. The terminology was then changed to provide for Contact and Residence orders. However, over time, it was again felt that these terms were being used to dictate terms and to assert control over the child.

Therefore, the position was finally changed to Child Arrangements orders. Under the umbrella of this term the court will determine where the child should live, when your child spends time with each parent and what other types of contact take place. There is no controlling term as both parents would have a Child Arrangement order as opposed to one having a Residence/Custody order which could be viewed as superior.

In addition to a Child Arrangements order the court can also make the following orders:
– Specific Issue – If the parties are unable to settle a dispute about a specific issue such as school.
– Prohibited Steps order – This is an application to stop a parent from making a particular decision or taing a certain action i.e. going abroad.

Speak to one of our local solicitors about family arrangement orders
There are various steps that can be taken to progress your relationship with your child and we would be happy to assist. Our solicitors can also advise on financial arrangements if needed. Get in touch via our contact form to arrange your initial discussion.

What we do

Our child arrangement solicitors can provide advice where needed on matters relating to arrangements for your children’s residence and contact following a divorce. We can speak with your partner on your behalf, or advise on other legal proceedings should an amicable agreement prove impossible.

Specialist solicitors

Our multidisciplinary team is made up of specialists in a wide range of services, which means you'll always be represented by an expert in your area.

No-strings initial call

Get in touch to arrange a no-obligation, fully confidential call to discuss your case and work out if you want to continue.

Nationwide support

Speak to solicitors in one of our offices throughout England and Wales, or arrange calls and remote meetings.


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