Child Arrangements Orders Solicitors
Child Arrangements Orders are a type of court order that can be used to specify where your child will live, when they will spend time with each parent and what other contact the non-resident parent will have with their child or children.
A Child Arrangements Order can provide certainty for both you and your children but will usually be a last resort, where attempts to reach a voluntary agreement with your ex-partner have not been successful. They can also be used where there are issues such as domestic abuse that mean court action is the only appropriate option.
Tayntons child law solicitors, based in Gloucester, have years of experience helping parents to make sure the right arrangements are in place for their children following divorce and separation. We can help you apply for a such an order and represent you in court to ensure the best possible outcome for your children.
We also have strong expertise in non-confrontational dispute resolution, so can help to explore the possibility of a voluntary agreement where this is preferable to court action.
For initial advice and to discuss your legal options, we offer an initial consultation of up to 45 minutes for a fixed fee of £75 + VAT.
How we can help you with child arrangements
As well as helping with Child Arrangements Orders, our child law solicitors can also help you make the right arrangements for your children following divorce and family separation in other ways.
Making child arrangements voluntarily
These days, it is more common for arrangements for children to be agreed voluntarily between separating parents. We can support you in this process with guidance about options, including mediation and other non-confrontational approaches such as round table meetings.
We can advise you on the creation of a written Parenting Plan, setting out the details of your children’s care, and help you to apply for a Consent Order to make any voluntary agreements you reach legally binding.
Specific Issue Orders
Specific Issues Orders can be used to deal with specific matters related to a child’s upbringing, such as where they will go to school, if they should have a religious education, etc. They can be used where parents cannot agree on such issues and need a court to decide the matter.
Prohibited Steps Orders
Where there are concerns about a parent’s fitness to be involved in decisions about a child’s upbringing, we can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent your ex-partner from having a say in key decisions about your child’s life.
Why choose Tayntons Solicitors for Child Arrangement Orders?
Tayntons’ child law team regularly works with parents in relation to Child Arrangements Orders and connected issues in Gloucester and throughout Gloucestershire, including Cheltenham and the Forest of Dean.
We offer an empathetic, highly practical approach with a strong focus on good communication, aiming to make the process of resolving these often contentious issues as easy as possible.
Tayntons child solicitors are accredited by the Law Society for Children Law, recognising our particular expertise in this area. Several of our team are members of Resolution – an organisation committed to taking a non-confrontational approach to family law.
As a firm, we have been awarded the Law Society’s Lexcel accreditation reflecting the excellence of our practice management and client care.
Commonly asked questions about Child Arrangement Orders
What is Parental Responsibility?
In simple terms, parental responsibility refers to the legal rights, duties and powers and authority a parent has while they are raising their child. This includes:
- Providing a home for the child
- Protecting and maintaining the child
- Disciplining the child
- Choosing and providing for the child’s education
- Naming the child and agreeing to changes of name
- Agreeing to the child’s medical treatment
If you share parental responsibility, you are obliged to agree on the various important issues about your child’s upbringing and lives wherever possible.
Where those with parental responsibility cannot agree on certain matters, this is where the Family Court may be invited to assist in making certain decisions on both parents’ behalf.
Can the courts make a decision about where my child will live?
If parents are unable to make a decision about where their children will live, the Family Court may be called in to make the final decision. The Family Court will only do so after they have carefully reviewed all of the issues and evidence related to the case.
Whatever the court decides, they will always prioritise the welfare of the children in question and will only make certain decisions if they are deemed to be in their best interests. To achieve this, the Family Court will use a ‘welfare checklist’.
It may also be the case that the Family Court will refuse to make an order if it is not in the child’s best interests. This is known as a No Order principle, as the Courts make it clear that they would prefer for the parents to reach their own decision regarding their children.
What are my options if my ex-partner will not adhere to the order granted?
If the Family Court grants a Child Arrangement Order or Contact Order and your former partner is not adhering to the order (for example, they are refusing you contact), this can, understandably, be very difficult to manage.
In the first instance, it may be possible to reinstate the terms of the Order through informal negotiation. However, if this proves to be unsuccessful, the breach may require the intervention of the Family Court.
You can apply to the Family Court to enforce the terms of your Order and, if you are successful, your former partner could face a fine or another penalty.
If you are concerned that an order is not being followed, we would strongly advise that you speak to one of our expert Child Arrangement solicitors in Gloucester. We can carefully review the terms of the Order in question and provide accurate advice on what your next steps should be.
Can the courts enforce child maintenance agreements?
Child maintenance is not something the Family Court will decide upon, save for very limited circumstances. This means that if you and your former partner are unable to come to an agreement over child maintenance, or your former partner is refusing to pay, you will need to make an application to the Child Maintenance Service.
They will assess the situation and your former partner’s liability to pay, deducting an amount from their earnings following an assessment, where necessary.
Get in touch with our child law solicitors in Gloucester
Looking for legal advice and support with Child Arrangement Orders in Gloucester, Cheltenham, the Forest of Dean or anywhere in Gloucestershire?