Helping you resolve custody and child arrangements issues
If you and your ex-partner cannot agree on the time your children will spend with each parent, the Court has the power to make decisions for you, known as Child Arrangements Orders.
A Child Arrangements Order can specify who and where the child lives, the arrangements of when and where the child will see their other parent who they do not live with, and other specific matters relating to the child’s welfare and well-being.
What are the different types of Child Arrangements Orders?
- Live with – the Court can decide which parent the child will live with, or if they will live equally with both parents.
- Spend time with – when parents cannot agree the arrangements for the child to spend time with the parent they do not live with, the Court can decide the exact timings.
Most people will be more familiar with the terms residence/custody and contact/access. These terms have been replaced with ‘live with’ and ‘spend time with’.
The Court can also make orders to resolve issues, including:
- Prohibited Steps Order – to prevent a parent from acting in a particular manner or to stop them doing something, such as taking the child to live in another country
- Specific Issue Order – when parents cannot resolve an issue about the child’s upbringing, such as religion, education or holidays
- International child maintenance – if your ex-partner lives abroad and has stopped paying child maintenance, you can apply to the Court to get help in enforcing payments.
Who can apply for a Child Arrangements Order?
Mothers and fathers (with or without parental responsibility) can apply for any of the above orders. Parents who have adopted a child can also apply.
Generally, all other people must apply to the Court for permission to make the application. Exceptions are grandparents, or if the child has lived with a person for more than three of the last five years.
Parents are encouraged to make decisions themselves, if possible, but if they cannot agree the Court will make a final decision. The welfare of the child will be the most important factor and any order will only be made if it is in the child’s best interest.
How Nelsons can help
At Nelsons, our highly experienced team of childcare specialists in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham can offer you advice and assistance in any dispute relating to your child, including:
- Representing and advising a person with parental responsibility for a child to reach a custody agreement with other persons who have parental responsibility.
- Supporting any close family member in their application to the Court seeking permission to apply for a Child Arrangements Order.
- Liaising with the Courts regarding any child arrangement proceedings.
Our specialist team includes:
- Resolution Accredited Specialists
- Law Society Family Panel & Advanced Family Panel members
- Law Society Children Panel Members
To discuss how our solicitors can help you with Child Arrangements Orders, please contact us via our online form or call 0800 024 1976 for a guaranteed response.
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