Arrangements for children
Separating is an emotionally difficult time for adults and sometimes even more difficult for the children involved. It is in everyone’s interest to avoid conflict but we are human after all and disputes do happen.
There is an expectation that parents will make their own decisions about the arrangements for the children on separation but where this is not possible (through direct discussions, solicitors’ correspondence or mediation) the Court can make a range of orders, as follows:
Parental Responsibility Order
- Giving an unmarried parent or step-parent shared legal rights (shared with the mother) in respect of a child.
Child Arrangements Order
- An order which sets out how a child will spend time with each parent. The order can specify that the child lives with one parent (formerly known as a residence order) or it might specify the arrangements for the child to spend time with each parent (formerly known as a contact order).
Special Guardianship Order
- An order which appoints someone other than a parent, (often, this will be a relative, for example and an aunt/uncle or grandparent) to be the child’s special guardian. This order is intended for children who cannot live with their birth parents.
Prohibited Steps Order
- Preventing a parent from doing something in relation to a child. For example, removing the child from the country or from the parent’s care and control.
Specific Issue Order
- Directions to resolve a particular issue of dispute about the child. For example, permission to relocate with the children outside of England & Wales, choice of school, medical treatment or religious upbringing.
We understand how difficult it can be to sort out and manage the arrangements for the children. We can offer clear and constructive advice with a view to trying to reach an amicable outcome between you and your ex-partner.