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Child
Arrangements Order

We understand that leaving a relationship can be very difficult to come to terms with, especially when children are involved. Establishing clear arrangements for your children is key to ensuring a smooth transition. Our experienced child arrangements solicitors are here to guide you through this crucial process.

Dealing with Child Arrangements Order

Child arrangements orders are vital for parents navigating the complexities of family life post-separation. These orders specify where a child should live and, in certain situations, detail the contact arrangements with the non-resident parent or other significant family members. Understanding the intricacies of child arrangements orders is crucial for ensuring the welfare and happiness of your child during what can be a distressing period.

When adjudicating a child arrangements order, the court considers the following factors to ensure the child’s best interests are served:

  • The Child’s wishes and Feelings: Consideration is given to the child’s desires, taking into account their age and level of understanding.
  • Physical, emotional and educational needs: The essential requirements for the child’s development and welfare.
  • Effects of changes: The potential impact of any alterations in the child’s circumstances.
  • Background characteristics: Importance is placed on the child’s age, sex, and any other relevant characteristics.
  • Risk of harm: Examination of any harm the child has experienced or might be exposed to.
  • Parental capability: Assessment of each parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs.
  • Court powers: Evaluation of the legal powers and measures available.

Some additional points that the court will take into consideration are:

  • Contact with the non-residential parent: It is typically in the child’s best interests to maintain a relationship with the parent they do not live with.
  • Future over past: The child’s future welfare is more critical than parental past conduct.

Child arrangements orders can award parental responsibility to individuals other than the legal parents, including:

  • The unmarried partner of a parent
  • A parent’s former partner who plays a significant role in the child’s life
  • The biological father in unique co-parenting arrangements, such as with a lesbian couple, where he is not legally considered the father

Under a child arrangements order, the resident parent or guardian can take the child abroad for up to a month without requiring permission from others with parental responsibility or the court. This facilitates family holidays and trips without legal complexities.

Traditionally, in cases of separation, the presumption has been that the mother is the main carer of the child. However, this is not always the case, and if a father seeks to challenge this presumption, he must be prepared to provide evidence to support his position.

While legal aid for representation in children act proceedings is limited, there may be options for public funding. Our trained staff can offer advice and support in determining your eligibility for such financial assistance.

Our experienced solicitors are here to guide you through the complexities of a Child Arrangements Order, offering support and expert advice every step of the way. We’re committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for you and your family.

For assistance with contact issues or any other family law matter, please reach out to us directly. We understand the sensitivity of these situations and are dedicated to providing compassionate and effective legal support.

Contact Williamsons Solicitors on 01482 323 697.

HELPING YOU GET THE BEST SOLUTION

Our aim is to assist you during this challenging time.

Family & Childcare Team

Sarah
Clubley

DIRECTOR, SENIOR SOLICITOR
HEAD OF FAMILY & CHILDCARE

Paul
Kirby

SOLICITOR

Rebecca
Lovel

SOLICITOR

Judith
Knight

SOLICITOR

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