Child Arrangements

We understand that your children are your primary concern. Making arrangements for your children if you separate is often the hardest part of any separation. Our family team have years of experience helping parents spend time with their children. 

Over the years the courts have called applications involving children a number of different names, child custody, child access, residence, contact, shared residence, shared custody, and more recently child arrangement orders. The Child Arrangement order 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.

If you are unable to agree on the arrangements about the amount of time your children spend with each parent, then we are here to help. We can help you consider what routine fits with your individual family needs. We know working shifts, long working hours and child care, can all cause problems when you are trying to work out arrangements. We also know that when you and your partner are separating, sometimes it can be too painful and upsetting to start the conversation or communicate with one another, especially if you are the one not living with your child. There is no magic formula which the court uses to decide what arrangement are best for you and your family. We have decades of experience working with families to achieve the best outcome, helping you make those arrangements so both parents enjoy good quality time with their children, at weekend, holidays, special occasions, we know all of these things are important not only to you, but also to your child.

Unfortunately, sometimes parents are unable to negotiate through their and as a last resort we may need to ask the court to consider your case. The court would expect all parents who find it hard to communicate to attend mediation, to see whether a mediator would be able to help. If Mediation does not work, the court can intervene and make a decision. The courts primary concern is the welfare of the children, the court will ask a CAFCASS Officer, to discuss the problems with each parent and will then report back to the court with their findings. If the Cafcass officer considers there are welfare issues because of one or both parents involvement, then the court could order a more in depth report, where the children are involved in the process. If after the involvement of Cafcass an agreement cannot be reached between you as parents, then the court would arrange for a hearing, where the court would here both arguments put by the parents and make a decision based on the findings of that hearing and make an order setting out the child arrangements it considers is in the best interests of the children.

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