Background to Child Arrangement Orders

Child Arrangement Orders are commonly known as contact or residence orders. They are orders which regulate:

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

(b) when a child will live, spend time or otherwise have contact with any person.

When considering Child Arrangement Orders, the welfare of the child is the Court’s priority. The Court will consider what is in the best interests of the child only and not the interests of the parents.

There is a presumption that both mother and father should be involved in the child’s life unless there is a substantial reason as to why they shouldn’t be.

The Court will only make an order if it is in the child’s interests. If both mother and father can agree to the arrangements of the children then there will be no need to go to court. The Court will seek to avoid delays in making an order.

Court’s consideration

When the Courts are deciding on a Child Arrangement Order, they will consider under s1(3) of the Children Act 1989:-

(a) The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of his age and understanding);

(b) Their physical, emotional and educational needs;

(c) The likely effect on the child of any change in his circumstances;

(d) The child’s age, sex, background and any characteristics of theirs which the court considers relevant;

(e) Any harm which the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering;

(f) How capable each of their parents, and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting their needs;

(g) The range of powers available to the court

These are important considerations to a child’s life. The court will have regard to all these factors and take these into account when considering a Child Arrangement Order.

If you require any advice regarding Child Arrangement Orders, or any other advice, please contact our expert family lawyers on 033 0300 1103 or request a callback.


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