Child Arrangement Orders formerly Contact Orders

One of the most common types of enquiry we receive relates to access to children. If you have divorced, ended your civil partnership or separated from your partner then you will need to make arrangements regarding the care of your child or children.

If you are unable to reach a decision regarding the access and care of your children then the next step is to seek help from a trained mediator.

We work with a panel of mediators across the UK and you are free to contact any of the mediators listed on this site or alternatively you can call us on 0333 2070 601.

Agreeing arrangements

If you still can’t reach an agreement during mediation your only option is to seek a court order through the family law courts. The court will then decide the arrangements which will include:
  • where the children will live
  • when they’ll spend time with each parent
  • who’ll pay child maintenance
Before the court will hear your case you must be able to prove that you have, at the very least considered mediation as an option to resolving your differences. This rule doesn’t apply in some cases, for example if there has been a history of domestic violence.

You can apply for a single court order, or a number of them, depending on what you’ve been unable to agree on.

Arrangements for your child

A child arrangements order decides:
  • where your child lives
  • when your child spends time with each parent
  • when and what other types of contact, like phone calls, take place
Child Arrangements Orders have replaced the old Residence and Contact Orders. If you already have one of these older orders already in place you do not need to re-apply.

Your child’s upbringing

In some cases you may need to apply for a Specific Issue Order. These orders deal with a specific issue relating to your child’s upbringing and can include what school your child will attend and if they should have a religious education.

The child’s mother, father or anyone with parental responsibility can apply for a court order.

You can applying to the family courts yourself for these types of orders or if you prefer then you can instruct a solicitors to do this on your behalf. Legal Aid or public funding is not available for these types of cases.

To apply for a Court Order costs £215.00.

If you would like a solicitor to represent you then please telephone us on 0333 2070 601 or contact one of our solicitors directly by using our ‘search for s solicitor’ facility.

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