Child Arrangements

Our children law solicitors in Sheffield understand that your children are your primary concern. Making arrangements for your children if you separate is often the hardest part of any separation and we have years of experience helping parents.

Over the years the courts have called applications involving children a number of different names including:

Applications are now for what is called a child arrangements order which can encompass all arrangement for how children spend time with their parents. Child arrangements orders set out the arrangement for when each parent spends time with their child.

The court still has the power to make orders about specific issues which arise, such as which school a child should attend or decisions about medical treatment. The court can also decide on if a parent is allowed to remove a child from the jurisdiction to live abroad or go on holiday.

The court also has powers to stop a parent from doing something, such as removing a child from school, child minder or stopping a parent from taking a child out of the jurisdiction, these types of orders are known as prohibited steps orders.

The courts primary concern is the welfare of the child or children involved. We are here to help you achieve the best outcome, helping you make those arrangements so both parents enjoy good quality time with their children. 

Contact us to book your free initial appointment (30 minutes) via email by clicking here or call us on 0114 266 6660. 


The Court will always encourage a parent to spend time with a child as long as the time is 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 soon as possible. Usually, unless there is good reason for the other parent’s refusal, a solicitor should be able to negotiate arrangements between you and the other parent. However, if an application to the court does become necessary then leaving it too long before making an application to the court can cause added issues and so it is always better to seek assistance from a solicitor or the court sooner rather than later.

The payment of child maintenance is a statuary obligation. If you are the parent of a child, who does not live with you, child maintenance payments continue usually until a child reaches 16 (or 20 if they're in full-time education up to A-level or equivalent), even if you do not spend time with the child.

If you are a parent who is paying child maintenance for a child who does not live with you, then you should continue to pay child maintenance for that child until they reach the age of 16 or 20 if they are in full time education up to A-level or equivalent. Child maintenance can also cease if for instance the child stops being eligible for child benefits, the parent being paid stops being the child’s main carer, the parent being paid doesn’t want it any more, either parent dies or the paying parent is eligible for the NIL Rate because they’re a student or a prisoner.

If you are a parent of a child and the other parent has parental responsibility then the other parent can prohibit you from taking your child abroad without their consent. If you have a residence order or a live with order then you can take your child abroad for a period of 28 days without the other parent’s consent. If the other parent is refusing to allow you to take your child on holiday abroad then you will need to make an application to the court for a specific issue order allowing you to remove your child from the jurisdiction for a holiday, otherwise this could be viewed as a criminal offence of child abduction.

It is presumed that the welfare of a child(ren) which is the court’s paramount concern will be furthered if both parents are involved subject to this not causing harm to a child(ren). This does not necessarily mean however that a child(ren) must spend equal amounts of time with each parent and, if agreement cannot be reached the court will look at the individual circumstances of the child(ren) and decide what is in their particular best interests.

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