What is a Child Arrangement Order?
A child arrangement order determines where your children will live and how much time they should spend with the non-resident parent until they are 18 years old. Generally, child arrangement orders are made when an agreement is unable to be made through mediation.
What is the Difference Between a Residence Order and a Contact Order?
Residence orders and contact orders have been combined to create the child arrangements order, which means that whoever the child lives with and who they spend time with is detailed in one order, rather than two.
Most cases result in the child living primarily with one parent and the other will spend time with the child at regular, pre-planned intervals and this will be negotiated with the help of your solicitor. In some instances, it is possible for the child to spend equal time with both parents, which is known as joint custody. However, there are factors that the court will have to take into consideration for this to work, for example, would it be practical for the child to move regularly between homes.
The court’s primary concern is the welfare of the child and our expert children solicitors are here to help you achieve the best outcome.
All parents have a responsibility to provide financial support for their children – this doesn’t matter whether they have contact with them. Child maintenance consists of regular payments provided to support the child’s living costs and is payable by the parent who the child is not resident with. However, if you have joint custody, this arrangement will differ.
Child Arrangement Orders FAQs
How long does a Child Arrangement Order take?
The length of a child’s arrangement order depends on a number of factors. There are no standard timeframes, but we usually advise it could take between 6 and 12 months to achieve a final order.
Can my ex stop me from seeing my child?
The court encourages a parent to spend time with a child as long as it’s in the child’s best interest. If the other parent has stopped you from seeing your child, then you should seek advice from a solicitor as they will be able to negotiate arrangements between you and the other parent.
What happens if I break a Child Arrangement Order?
If you break a child arrangement order you may be made to do unpaid work or pay compensation. In extreme cases, you may also be held be in Contempt of Court, imprisoned or fined.