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Child Arrangement Order

Child Arrangement Order

SKU: 3.26
  • Advice

    A child arrangement order (CAO), (otherwise known as child arrangements) determines whom the child will live with on a full-time basis. Where the child's parents have chosen to part ways and end their partnership or marriage, the child bears the consequences of these decisions. Typically, when parents have a hard time agreeing on the matter, courts are used as a mediator to help decide on their behalf. However, a child arrangement order can be requested by anyone with parental responsibility. 


    Before an application is made to the court, some form of negotiation is advised with the intention that an agreement can be made before taking the matter to court, indeed the court would usually insist on ADR (Advanced Dispute Resolution) before it was put to them.


    The order also specifies the frequency that the other parent contacts the child. The court in such situations may also determine the mode of the communication, e.g., phone call, face-to-face contact. A court may also grant a Shared Child Arrangement Order wherein the child may reside with multiple people depending on the welfare and the wellbeing of the child.


    What factors do courts consider when deciding who gets custody of the child? 

    The decision of who retains the custodial rights of the child in question is decided by determining what is within the child's best interest. Courts tend to use the 'best interest' criteria as a starting point for their decision. However, other factors are also considered: 

    • Where the child currently attends a school;
    • Any special needs (physical, emotional and educational);
    • If old enough to understand the situation, the child's wishes are taken into account; and
    • Each parent's capability of retaining such a responsibility.


    How we can help

    The process of obtaining a CAO can be difficult for all involved, the governance of the children can be a serious sticking point as it is not uncommon not just for each parent to want full custody, but also guardians, grandparents and so on. We would ask both sides to meet with a third-party independent family advisor to fulfil the courts requirement for Advanced Dispute Resolution. The advisor will work with all parties and decide what is best for the children, including the type of “Order” required and complete all the court forms. Please note the driver in this will be the children themselves, they will be asked privately what solution they would like. It is then hoped that each adult will agree to their wishes. As in every negotiation there needs to be some give and take. Ultimately if there is an impasse then the court will decide.


    In regard to the third-party independent family advisor please note we make no commission from these referrals. To gain our assistance you need to open a case, this is done by taking advantage of our free consultation service, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link.Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our appointed solicitor and to act as your point of contact, they will also issue you with your Password and PIN, these will be needed to log onto your client dashboard. From your dashboard you will be able to manage and view every aspect of your case, upload documents, images, files etc.

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