Child arrangements orders outline the child’s living arrangements, who a child should have contact with or spend time with, and when a child should have contact with each parent.
As the circumstances for every family are different, child arrangements orders are unique to the family.
A child arrangements order is usually made when the child’s contact and residency cannot be agreed upon through mediation or negotiation between two parents.
child arrangements orders can be changed as parents’ circumstances change with time, and a child’s needs change as they get older.
There are various reasons why you might need to change the child arrangements order, for example:
If you wish to change a child arrangements order, you need to see if the other party agrees. If you cannot decide between yourselves, consider whether mediation is appropriate. If you still cannot agree, seek legal advice and consider making an application to the court.
If the court has made an order, you must do what the order says, even if you disagree.
If you wish to change the order, you should consider applying to vary or discharge the existing court order.
The court asked to review or change a child arrangements order must pay heed to the statutory welfare checklist contained in section 1(3) Children Act 1989.
Above all, the children’s welfare is the court’s main consideration.
When the court considers whether or not to make one or more orders under the Children Act, they must consider that such action is better for the child than making no order.
Under the Children Act, any delay in determining the issue is deemed detrimental to the child’s welfare.
Nonetheless, the court will dedicate the appropriate time and resources to the case to guarantee it is managed appropriately.
In some circumstances, the other parent may decide not to abide by the arrangements set out in the order, and they may continue to do so until you take action.
In this case, it’s important to quickly seek expert legal advice from a solicitor before you apply to the court to enforce the order.
During the first hearing, the court will look at the reasons for non-compliance and see whether CAFCASS needs to take action.
Due to child arrangements orders being orders of the court, you must abide by them, failure to do so could mean serious consequences.
Parents often underestimate the emotional trauma and legal complexities of entering a family court process, so specialist solicitors with experience, understanding and empathy are a vital asset.
Also, specialist solicitors will be able to view your case objectively and highlight flaws at an early stage to help achieve the best outcome for your children.
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