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What is a Child Arrangements Order?

Posted on Thursday, 23rd July 2015 by
mother and daughter

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Applications for Child Arrangement Orders are usually between private individuals under Section 8 of The Children Act 1989.

These Orders decide who the child is to live with and/or who the child will spend time with, and can be granted to more than one person whether they live together or not. If there is a Child Arrangement Order in place that states a child will live with one particular person, that particular person will have Parental Responsibility for that child until the Order ceases. Contact with the child can either be direct, for example, face to face meetings or indirect, for example, by letter or exchange of cards.

Orders can vary. Some of them are very specific with regards to arrangements for the child and other orders will be more open with detailed arrangements to be made between the parties by agreement. Sometimes an Order will give directions that contact is to be supervised by a third person or that contact is to take place in a specific location.

Failure to comply with an order may result in the Court making further Orders.

The following people can make an application for a Child Arrangements Order without having to seek permission from the Court first:-


  • The parent, guardian or special guardian of the child
  • Any person who has parental responsibility
  • Anyone who holds a Residence Order in respect of the child
  • Any party to a Marriage or Civil Partnership where the child is a child of the family
  • Anyone with whom the child has lived for at least three years
  • Anyone who has obtained the consent of a. a Residence Order; b. the Local Authority if the child is in their care; or c. everyone who has parental responsibility for the child.

The Court takes into account the Welfare Checklist when considering any questions relating to the upbringing of a child. The Court must consider the following:-


  • Ascertaining the wishes and feelings of the child concerned
  • His physical, emotional and/or educational needs
  • The likely effect on him of any change in his circumstances
  • His age, sex, background and any characteristics of his, which the Court considers relevant
  • Any harm which he has suffered or is at risk of suffering
  • How capable each of his parents are in meeting his needs
  • The range of powers available to the Court including the Children Act 1989 in the proceedings in question

Please contact the Family Law team at Edward Hands and Lewis for further information.

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The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

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Lisa Dave - Family Law, Wills, LPA and Probate
Lisa Dave - Family Law, Wills, LPA and Probate
Lisa.Dave@ehlsolicitors.co.uk 01332 862 113
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