Child Arrangement Orders



When parents separate, disputes may arise regarding where and with whom a child will live and how much time they will spend with each parent or other person with whom they do not live. If this cannot be agreed between the parties then it may be necessary to issue court proceedings for a child arrangement order.


A child arrangement order states where a child will reside, who the child will spend time with and who else will have contact with the child. The court may regulate the child’s living arrangements by making any of the following child arrangement orders:


1. Naming who the child will live

2. Naming two people who live in the same household as persons with whom the child will live with.

3. Naming two people who live in different households as persons with whom the child will live with.


Advantages of child arrangement orders

If you are named as the person with whom a child will live with within a child arrangement order, you have the right to take the child abroad for up to a month without the consent of the other parent without court permission. The person with whom the child does not live with does not have that right but can apply to the court for a specific issue order.

A child arrangement order can consider direct and indirect contact with the children, overnight and visiting contact arrangements and supervised or unsupervised arrangements.

A child arrangement order will end when the child reaches the age of 16 years old or 18 years old in exceptional circumstances.


Who can apply for a child arrangement order?

Those who can apply are listed as follows:

- A child’s parent, guardian or special guardian

- A step-parent or person who has parental responsibility for the child under a parental responsibility agreement

- A person named in the child arrangement order who the child is to live with

- Any person in a marriage or civil partnership in relation to whom the child has been treated as a child of the family.

- A person who the child has lived with for 3 years

- A person who has the consent of each person named in the child arrangement order that is in force as the person with whom the child is to live.

- Any person who has consent of the local authority where the child is in local authority care

- A person who has the consent of each person who has parental responsibility for the child.


Next steps

Please contact our office to arrange a telephone conference with our Family Team.

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