Child Arrangement Order- What is it and everything you need to know about it
Divorce is sometimes only part of the struggle when separating from your spouse. When you and your ex-partner have separated and are unable to agree on who your child should primarily live with or what time they should spend with their other parent, you will need to make arrangements to resolve these issues. In these cases, parents can apply for a child arrangement order, here at Breakthrough Family Law Solicitors we have put together this guide to help you understand what these orders are.
What does a child arrangement order mean?
A child arrangement order is a court order that sets out arrangements about who a child should live with, spend time with and have other types of contact with and when these arrangements about who a child should live with, spend time with and have other types of contact with and when these arrangements should take place. Child arrangement orders replaced residence and contact orders. However, these are still legally binding and do not need to be re-done.
How do you get a child arrangement order?
The first step in applying for a child arrangement order is to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) alongside your ex-partner. At Breakthrough Family Law Solicitors, we have trained mediators who can assist you with this first step. Mediation requires participants to enter the process with the intention of reaching an agreement through discussion. Unfortunately, sometimes, this may not be possible and in these circumstances, parents may proceed to see an order in court.
If mediation is not suitable or is unsuccessful, the next step is to submit a C100 form to the court. Once the court has received the application, they will issue you with a hearing date. At this initial hearing, the court will attempt to understand the issues in dispute and the steps that need to be taken to resolve them. Most cases are resolved in this first hearing, but some may require subsequent hearings if an agreement cannot be reached.
How long does it take to get a child arrangement order?
The length of time required to finalise a child arrangement order depends on several factors, such as the amicability of the parties involved, whether or not there are safeguarding concerns relating to the child and the general complexity of the case. Roughly, you can expect the case to take anywhere from three months to a year to be fully resolved.
Can a child arrangement order be changed?
It is possible to change an existing court order. If the parties are in agreement to the changes then a consent order can be drafted and the court can approve this making it a legally binding agreement. If you cannot agree then you can ask the court to decide how to change the order.
You can also ask the court to enforce the order if your ex-partner is not following it.
Where can I get a C100 form from?
You are able to find the C100 form on the Gov.uk website, or following mediation, we will assist you in sourcing the form and help you with completing it.
How long does a child arrangement order last?
Once in place, the order is legally binding and usually lasts until the child is 18 years old. It is also possible to use the C100 to apply to end a court order that’s not working or is no longer relevant to your situation.
How much does a child arrangement order cost? And can I get legal aid?
To apply for a child arrangement order using a C100 form costs £232. There will also be solicitors fees in addition to this depending on the complexity of your case. You may be entitled to legal aid if you are on benefits or have a low income, this can help you meet the costs of legal advice, mediation and court fees.
Contact our family law solicitors about child arrangement orders
At Breakthrough Family Law Solicitors, we are specialist divorce lawyers with an extensive level of experience in child arrangement orders.
We inspire trust and confidence in our clients by offering high-quality advice in a clear, straightforward and compassionate manner and working tirelessly to achieve the right result.