Child Arrangement Order UK
Many parents in UK were fond of making applications for residence and contact orders to the courts with the primary goal of just having the order regardless of potential dispute on the matter. The government noticed a huge influx of people making unnecessary applications for such orders. As a result, the government came up with a new strategy to help control this situation which was getting out of hand. On 22nd April 2014, the UK government scrapped off “residence” and “contact” orders and replaced them with “Child Arrangement Order”.
What Is Child Arrangement Order?
Child Arrangement Order is a court order that stipulates the individual with whom the child will spend time with, contact and live with. The order also covers on the timeframe in which the child is to live, spend time with or contact any individual.
Basically, child arrangement is divided into two categories; that indicate with whom the child is to live with and that which indicates when and how the child is to spend time or have contact with anyone.
What is Special about Child Arrangement Order?
According to experts, child arrangement order is not too different from residence and contact orders. However, this order legislatively replaces “residence order” with a particular order stipulating with whom the child is to live with. It also replaces “contact order” by adding a clause indicating with whom the child can spend time with or contact.
Contact can either be direct such as face to face meetings or indirect such as phone calls, texts, emails and letters.
Since commencing of the new order in April 2014, several lawyers and judges still find it hard to vividly comprehend the order. Many of them still talk about “primary carers”. It is quite obvious that the new legislative adjustment has just made the Children Act 1989 quite difficult to understand especially for ordinary residents who are not lawyers.
Many courts have different approaches and considerations for making orders on where the child can live and stipulations of the ideal time the child should spend with the parents. However, there are a lot of articles and web pages with comprehensive guidance regarding the residence (where the child lives) and contact.
Making an application for Child Arrangement Order
Under normal circumstances, one needs to seek permission from the court to make a request for Child Arrangement Order. However, under the checklist set out in section 8 of the act, it allows some special groups of people who can make an application without seeking permission. They include parents and guardians or anyone who has lived with the child for three years and above.
Mediation is quite a cheap way of solving problems and getting the best approach to a problem outside court. It is highly effective when it comes to problems related to children. Anyone who wants to apply for a child arrangement order should consider going for training regarding mediation to help him or her know the best ways to approach child disputes before embarking on the journey of relating with a child.
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