Child Arrangements

Child Arrangement & Private Law Orders

child arrangement order

Child Arrangement Orders and Private Law Orders

At Walker Family Law, our team recognises the importance of fostering a healthy and nurturing environment for children, where both parents can actively participate in their upbringing, in circumstances where they are no longer together. We are committed to guiding and advising you on the most suitable strategies to achieve a fair and workable child arrangements order without the need for Court proceedings, if possible. 

Our experienced Child Law team will ensure that your voice, opinions, and the perspectives of your children are not only heard but also valued throughout the process. Your interests and the best interests of your children are important to us, and we will work alongside you to try and achieve a resolution that promotes their welfare and happiness. The Children Act 1989 puts the welfare of the children at the heart of what it does and makes it a ‘paramount’ consideration in any decision that the Court makes.  

While our primary aim is to help parents reach amicable solutions, we understand that in some cases, certain disputes may require legal resolution through the court system. In such instances, our skilled team will provide you with expert representation and guidance. We are committed to supporting and advising you every step of the way, whether through alternative dispute resolution methods or through the court. 

The Child Law Team endeavour to deal with all matters in a conciliatory and non-confrontational way. Contact our team today to schedule a consultation and discuss your options.

What private law orders can be made in respect of children?

There are several types of orders that the court can make including:

  • Child Arrangement Order: This order defines where a child will live (residence) and who they will have contact with. It sets out the specifics of the child’s living arrangements and can include a visitation schedule, ensuring the children have an ongoing relationship with both parents or other significant individuals. A Child Arrangements Order can be very detailed and bespoke to each family. It can also be agreed by consent if both parents reach an agreement either before or during proceedings. It is worth noting that if a Child Arrangements Order sets out the child or children live with you, that does confer parental responsibility on you (if you do not already have it). 
  • Specific Issue Order: Along with the Child Arrangements Order, this order deals with a specific aspect of a child’s upbringing, such as determining which school they should attend, which religion they should follow, or medical treatment decisions. It addresses specific disputes where the parents or guardians cannot reach an agreement and an application to the Court is necessary to determine whatever dispute has arisen. This Order can be made as a standalone order, and you do not have to have a Child Arrangements Order in place to make an application for a Specific Issue Order if a discrete issue has arisen between the parties. 
  • Prohibited Steps Order: This order restricts or prohibits a specific action being taken by one or both parents without the Court’s consent. This may include preventing a parent from taking the child out of the country or making important decisions without consultation. This order can be made without notice to the other party on an interim basis if required and necessary in the circumstances. Like, a Specific Issue Order, a Prohibited Steps Order can be made as a standalone order, and you do not have to have a Child Arrangements Order in place to make a Prohibited Steps Order if a certain issue has arisen between the parties that requires action to be taken.  
  • Parental Responsibility Order: Parental Responsibility is the legal right and responsibility to make important decisions about a child’s upbringing. Parental Responsibility is defined under Section 3(1) of the Children Act 1989 as: “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property”. A Parental Responsibility Order grants this right to an individual who does not have automatic parental responsibility, such as an unmarried father (who is not registered on the child’s birth certificate) or a stepparent. This can also be a standalone Court order. A Parental Responsibility Agreement can also be entered into in certain circumstances, which would negate the need to issue an application with the Court.

Child Arrangements services

Child arrangements can be one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce or a separation, our expert team of lawyers will help you navigate the process with clarity and confidence.

Start a conversation today