Child Arrangement Orders

What is a Child Arrangement Order?

If your relationship has ended and you have children, you will need to make some important decisions about where the children will live and the time that will be spent with each parent. This can then be encompassed in the form of a Child Arrangements Order. How long it takes to obtain a child arrangement order will depend on several factors.

If you and the other parent can agree on arrangements, the court will not usually make an order. This is known as the no order principle. If you are unable to agree then you can apply to court for assistance in making those decisions. This will be based on your family's circumstances and what is in the best interests of the children. Every family is different and so it is important to consider all aspects of the family situation in deciding what is best for the children involved. This is known as the welfare check.

In any proceedings concerning children the child’s best interests are paramount and the court must consider the following, known as the welfare checklist:

  1. the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of his/her age and understanding);
  2. his/her physical, emotional and educational needs;
  3. the likely effect on him/her of any change in his circumstances;
  4. his/her age, sex, background and any characteristics of his/hers which the court considers relevant;
  5. any harm which he/she has suffered or is at risk of suffering;
  6. how capable each of his/her parents, and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting his/her needs;
  7. the range of powers available to the court under this Act in the proceedings in question.

Services also offered in

Family and Divorce Law Enquiry

Fill out the form and a member of our team will get in touch to discuss how we can help.

Mullis & Peake will use the information you provide in this form in accordance with our privacy policy. With your consent, we may from time to time send you general updates by email or post that we think you will find of interest.This includes notification of upcoming event and updates or alerts containing relevant legal news. You can update your preferences at any time and will be able to easily unsubscribe from anything that you do not wish to receive.

Frequently asked questions

If your ex-partner is being difficult about you seeing your child, there are a couple of options available. We do recommend things like mediation, going through a non-contentious way, but ultimately you could apply for a child arrangements order, or a contact order whichever you would prefer to call it, and the court will get involved to try and agree a timetable of who will spend time with the child, when and who the child live with.

There are a few types of orders in which the court can make in relation to children. The first is a child arrangements order, where the court will make a decision on who the children live with and how much contact they spend with a parent. The second is a prohibited steps order. The court will prohibit a parent or stop them from doing a certain thing or action. The third is a specifics issue order and the court will make a determination on a specific issue that has been brought to their attention by either parent.

We would always recommend that you and your partner try and come to an agreement outside of court. However, if you cannot agree on who the child should live with, an application can be made to the court for a child arrangements order, in which the court will make a decision on where the child lives and who he has contact with.

Our latest insights

Contested Wills and Financial Provision, Legal, Contested wills and financial provision
Who is able to bring a contested probate claim?
Dec 4, 2023
Contested Wills and Financial Provision, Legal
Organise your affairs to avoid disappointed beneficiaries as life expectancy increases
Dec 1, 2023
Movers & Shakers, Mullis & Peake, Business
Congratulations and Promotions – November 23
Dec 1, 2023
Legal, Residential Property, Residential Property
Four things to be aware of before buying a property at auction
Nov 27, 2023
Legal, Residential Property, Lease Extensions
A Comprehensive Guide to Statutory Lease Extensions
Nov 24, 2023
Legal, Residential Property, Lease Extensions
What is Collective Enfranchisement?
Nov 24, 2023
Court of Protection, Legal, Court of Protection
Autumn Statement 2023
Nov 22, 2023
Movers & Shakers, Mullis & Peake
Upminster BrewDog Event 2023
Nov 22, 2023
Charity & Fundraising, Mullis & Peake
Give a Child a Christmas Campaign 2023
Nov 22, 2023
Legal, Personal Injury, Personal Injury
How are general damages calculated?
Nov 20, 2023
Meet OUR people

Family Team

Associate Solicitor

Jessica Thrower

Jessica is an Associate Solicitor and has specialised in family law throughout her career

Contact Jessica

Jaspreet Pannu

Jaspreet is a Solicitor in our Family team
Contact Jaspreet

Yvonne Taiwo

Yvonne is a Solicitor in our Family team
Contact Yvonne