Family & Divorce

Child Arrangement Order

We all know of people that “stay together for the children”, but it doesn’t make for a healthy or happy home for the children or the parents involved. However, the decision to divorce, particularly when children are involved, is never an easy one.

During separation or divorce lots of important decisions are made about your relationship and your children. It is possible to settle arrangements between yourself or with the aid of mediation, however in situations where there is tension or conflict or the situation is not amicable; a Child Arrangement Order may be the next step.

A Child Arrangement Order determines several aspects of a child’s life concerning contact with both parents and their living situations. This order must be adhered to by both parties as serious consequences can arise if the order is breached.

The Child Arrangement Order can go into detail about the type of contact allowed, the duration and when it occurs, including indirect contact such as telephone or direct in person contact. Special occasions such as Christmas and Birthdays can also be noted in the order as these are particularly tension inducing situations.

In certain circumstances, A Specific Issue Order can be applied for to specify religion, school issues, surnames and so much more. These are helpful if each party has conflicting beliefs or decisions to ease any distress on both parts.

It is encouraged by the courts for the parents to reach their own solutions and agreements, and often cases won’t be dealt with if the proper channels haven’t been tried first. Special circumstances such as domestic violence will be addressed without prior contact with the other party if needed.

It is important no matter what route you go down to consider the wishes of the child to a certain extent, ensure that any negotiations and mediation does not impact them and ensure they know they are not the source of conflict.
Ensure that any communication is recorded in an email or other written documentation as a referral point for all involved.

Your solicitor will be able to advise on the specifics of applying for a Child Arrangement Order and how to take the next steps.

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