Parents do not always agree on childcare matters following a separation or divorce. When this happens both parents can apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order. The order will specify where the children live, who they live with, who they will have contact with and other matters relating to the children’s welfare.
A Child Arrangement Order will always consider what is in the children’s best interests. When making a decision the court will consider a number of factors:
- The wishes and feelings of the children
- The children’s emotional, physical and educational needs
- Whether the children have suffered, or are in danger of suffering from, any kind of abuse or neglect
- The ability of the parents or guardians to meet the children’s needs
- The effects of any changes in circumstances on the children as a result of the order
Other relatives or guardians can apply for a Child Arrangement Order, such as non-biological parents and grandparents. However, not everyone can apply. Those who can include:
- A parent or guardian
- Anyone who currently has Parental Responsibility
- A person in a marriage or civil partnership where the children are a child of the family, even if they are not a biological parent
- Anyone who had a Residence Order, or has lived with the children for three or more years
Our family law solicitors help parents, guardians or other relatives understand their rights with regards to Child Arrangement Orders. We can advise you during the mediation process, prepare the legal documents needed when applying for a Child Arrangement Order and prepare evidence for the court to consider when making its decision.
We can also help you when contact issues arise, such as: an ex-partner making it difficult for you to have contact, a parent wishing to move children to another part of the country or abroad or stopping an abusive ex-partner see your children.