Child Solicitors – Child Arrangement Orders
At NJP Solicitors we have a team of family solicitors who can assist in resolving disputes over children and help you apply for a child arrangements order. We can help wherever you are based and can meet via video conference if required.
Are you involved in a dispute over arrangements for your children? If so, you should know how the law resolves such disputes, and how to go about getting a court order if the dispute cannot be agreed.
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How the law resolves children disputes
When considering how to resolve a dispute over arrangements for a child a court will look at all of the circumstances of the case, with its paramount consideration being what is best for the child’s welfare.
The court should also presume, unless the contrary is shown, that the involvement of both parents in the life of the child concerned will further the child’s welfare.
In deciding how the child’s welfare is best served the court will have regard in particular to the following factors, known as the ‘Welfare Checklist’:
- The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned, considered in the light of the child’s age and understanding. So the older the child is, the more weight the court is likely to give to their wishes.
- The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs. For example special health needs, or special educational needs.
- The likely effect on the child of any change in his or her circumstances, for example, when the court is considering the possibility of the child moving to live with the other parent.
- The child’s age, sex, background and any characteristics of his or hers which the court considers relevant.
- Any harm which the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering. This could, for example, mean that a child should only have limited contact with a parent who has caused them harm, or might cause them harm.
- How capable each of the parents, and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting the child’s needs.
Child arrangements orders, and how to get them
If you cannot agree arrangements for your children with the other parent then you will need to apply to the court for a child arrangements order.
A child arrangements order is an order “regulating arrangements relating to with whom a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact, and when a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact with any person.” It is therefore used both by a parent wanting their child to live with them (or to share living arrangements) and by a parent seeking contact with the child.
The exact procedure on applying for a child arrangements order will vary from case to case.
If you wish to apply for a child arrangements order then it is strongly recommended that you take advice from an expert family solicitor.