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Child Arrangement Orders

 

At Lanyon Bowdler, we understand just how important your children are and how upsetting it can be when legal matters relating to them cannot be resolved by amicable agreement.

The uncertainty that this creates is deeply upsetting for everyone involved and needs to be settled as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Our team provides leading specialist advice across all areas of child law and if you find that you are in a situation where living and access arrangements for your children cannot be agreed upon then we can help. We are able to advise on and manage your application for a Child Arrangement Order to help bring the matter to a swift close to minimise the distress caused to you and your children.  

For supportive and professional legal help, contact our friendly team by phone or by completing the online enquiry form.

What is a Child Arrangement Order?

When a couple decides to separate it can often be difficult for them to agree on what should happen to their children and where they should live. If the parents are unable to reach a decision together then the court can be asked to make a Child Arrangement Order making the final decision on the living and access arrangements for the children. This will include details such as who will be the resident parent, how much contact the other parent should have and any other matters relating to the children’s welfare.

A Child Arrangement Order is a legally binding document between the court and the parents or legal guardians involved, and will be in place until the child is 16 (unless exceptional circumstances arise in which case it will be in place until the age of 18).

Specific issue orders

These are orders from the court to deal with specific issues including:

  • Educational matters, such as where a child should go to school.
  • Relocation, including whether the child can be relocated within England and Wales or removed from the English and Welsh jurisdiction.
  • Routine and nonlife threating medical treatment for the child.
  • Securing the return of a child.

How to apply for a Child Arrangement Order?

Before you are able to apply for a Child Arrangement Order you must first make an effort to resolve the situation through a formal mediation process, where both of the parents or legal guardians will be required to discuss the matter with a trained mediator. Please note that this requirement does not apply to emergency applications.

If formal mediation does not bring about a solution to satisfy both parents or it is not deemed appropriate, we will then help you to apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order.

The court process

Initial hearing

Once the application has been made an initial hearing will be held by the court, where the child’s parents or legal guardians must be in attendance. The court will consider the information presented and will try to come to a decision at this point.

Further hearings

If it is again not possible to reach an agreement at this stage then further hearings will be scheduled and we will help you with the following to be considered by the court:

  • Preparing evidence
  • Calling witnesses
  • Gathering witness statements

The court may also involve an independent advisor from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) to consider the best interests of your child and make recommendations to the court, to aid their decision.

Final hearing

In the final hearing, the court will examine all of the evidence presented to them and will come to a final decision, which will then be clearly stated in the legally binding Child Arrangement Order.

Factors that they will consider include:

  • The child’s wishes and feelings.
  • The emotional, educational and physical wellbeing of the child.
  • The child’s safety and welfare.
  • How able each parent or guardian is to meet the child’s needs.
  • The impact of the Child Arrangement Order on the child, particularly if it will bring around a significant change from their current arrangements.

Why we care

As a parent you naturally want what’s best for your children and at Lanyon Bowdler we understand just how emotive significant decisions relating to them can be. Many of us are parents or grandparents ourselves and fully understand the feelings involved, which is why we are here to utilise our skills and help you navigate the difficulties you are currently facing. We are dedicated to getting the best results for you and your children and to conclude the matter as swiftly as we can.

What Our Child Arrangement Order Solicitors Do

Our family law specialists help families resolve questions surrounding their children’s contact and living arrangements. We are experts in collaborative law and frequently help parents come to amicable agreements without the need for court action.

Where court proceedings prove to be the best way of reaching a resolution, we will advise you on the court procedure, will prepare all the necessary paperwork, arrange witness statements and represent you effectively at all hearings, supporting you throughout the process from start to finish.

We will ensure you are fully informed on how the court will make their decision, will advise on how any safeguarding issues can be investigated or evidenced, and will be clear about their likely impact on the final order.

The family law specialists at Lanyon Bowdler are recognised as industry experts and our team includes accredited specialists of Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers, as well as members of the Law Society Family Panel.

How much do child arrangement orders cost?

We believe that everyone should have access to top-class legal advice which is why we offer a number of different pricing options, including fixed-fee and  staged payment arrangements so that cost is no barrier to the help you need.

We will always be transparent and upfront about our pricing structure, so contact us today for more detailed information.

Contact us

By choosing Lanyon Bowdler, you can rest assured that you have the best legal expertise no matter what the situation. Our family law solicitors have vast experience in all areas of family law and we are committed to providing exceptional levels of client care. We always act with the utmost discretion and you will be treated with sensitivity and understanding, as we work closely with you to find the best outcome for everyone involved.

We have offices in Shrewsbury, Bromyard, Conwy, Hereford, Ludlow, Oswestry, and Telford, regularly acting on behalf of clients across Shropshire, Herefordshire, Mid and North Wales and throughout the Midlands, including Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

As a leading full-service law firm however, we can represent you wherever you live in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, so don’t hesitate to take advice from the family law experts.

 

Testimonials

Everything was first class

- Miss Evans, Oswestry

Excellent staff in all respects. The process was clear, well managed and avoided unnecessary stresses or delays. The meetings were as focused and efficient as possible and costs were kept to a minimum throughout.

- Ms D Greaves, Hereford

He was great, he listened and suggested the best course of action - thank you.

- Mr T Graves, Shrewsbury

I always felt you were working in my best interests, but you didn't sugar coat or patronise me. My case was complex and I appreciated the professionalism shown and how the legal system "worked"

- Mrs J Bradford, Stafford

Everything from start to finish made me feel they always had my best interests.

- Mrs D Manser

The professionalism of the service received and the expert knowledge of the solicitor who handled my case.

- Mr K Whitelaw, Wolverhampton

Quotes

Everything was first class

- Miss Evans, Oswestry

Excellent staff in all respects. The process was clear, well managed and avoided unnecessary stresses or delays. The meetings were as focused and efficient as possible and costs were kept to a minimum throughout.

- Ms D Greaves, Hereford

He was great, he listened and suggested the best course of action - thank you.

- Mr T Graves, Shrewsbury

Everything from start to finish made me feel they always had my best interests.

- Mrs D Manser

I always felt you were working in my best interests, but you didn't sugar coat or patronise me. My case was complex and I appreciated the professionalism shown and how the legal system "worked"

- Mrs J Bradford, Stafford

The professionalism of the service received and the expert knowledge of the solicitor who handled my case.

- Mr K Whitelaw, Wolverhampton