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Child Arrangements

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When a family breakdown happens and children are involved there are many options available to you…

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What are Child Arrangements?

Figures show that up to 48% of family breakdowns involve children. There are many options available to ensure suitable arrangements are agreed for the benefit of all parties, especially the child. Under the latest legislation S8 Children Act 1989 orders relating to children are broken down into:

Child Arrangement Order (CAO) (formerly known as Residence and Contact Orders) – these govern where a child lives and who they spend time with etc.

Prohibited Steps Order – these deal with specific problems for example preventing the change of the child’s surname or prohibiting the removal of a child from someone’s care (including from school etc.) or even the removal of the child from England and Wales.

Specific Issue Order – these are for the purpose of determining a specific question which may arise with any aspect of parental responsibility, for example change of a child’s name, school to be attended or the return of child to a parent’s care.

If you're not sure if we can cover your case, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us and we can discuss your specific needs.

How Can We Help?

We know separating from your spouse/partner can be distressing and where children are involved emotions will be high. We are here to advise you about your options and the various processes available to you.

In the majority of cases a referral to mediation will be required before any application may be made to court and we would always advise attendance at mediation initially to attempt to resolve issues without involving the court.

If an application is necessary we are here to help guide and support you through the process.

What Can I Expect to Happen?

If it is decided court is necessary we will make an application on your behalf. Before filing an application you will be required to attend mediation except in specific exemption cases. The mediator will then sign part of the application. The court will set a time and a place for you and the other person/people involved to have a first court appointment (called a first hearing dispute resolution appointment (FHDRA)). A CAFCASS officer will also arrange a telephone appointment with you before this hearing. The court will investigate the issues and look for the possibility of a settlement.

If an agreement cannot be reached the court will identify the outstanding issues and will direct how the case should proceed. At this point the court may order that a Cafcass (Children and Families Court Advisory and Support Service) officer prepares a report to help the judge come to a decision.

How much will it cost me?

It is not possible for us to offer a fixed fee for this service as each case is different however, you will be advised of a no-commitment cost at your free consultation.

Child Arrangement Order Client Guide

Specific Issues & Prohibited Steps Client Guide

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  • Collaborative Family Lawyer
  • Resolution Specialist
  • Family Law
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