Child Arrangement Orders

If contact with a child is disputed, the Court can make an Order which requires the residence parent to allow contact between the child and the Applicant. The Applicant can be a non-resident parent, another relative or anyone with whom the child has lived with for over three years. There is a presumption that a child has a right to have contact with both parents, but this contact may need to be arranged in a way to suit you and your child. Contact with both parents is generally considered to be for the benefit of the child.

A Child Arrangements Order can specify when contact should take place, how long for and where, but can also allow for the parties to work contact out between them. There are various forms of contact that are detailed below to suit all circumstances. If you are worried about something happening during contact, for example, the child spending time with a specific person or doing a certain activity, the Child Arrangements Order can address those specific issues.

It is important that the type of contact is tailored to ensure that the child is comfortable at all times, and that their relationship with their parents is maintained and moved forward. When making Child Arrangements Orders the court will consider the preferences and needs of the child as well as the circumstances of the parents.

If you have an Order in place to see a child and that order is being breached or frustrated, we can help you to resolve this and resume proper contact between you and your child by negotiation or, if necessary, applying to the Court for enforcement of the Order.

A Residence Order determines or confirms where a child lives full time. They are used when there is a dispute between parents or other parties regarding who the child should live with. When the Court makes a Residence Order, it remains in force until the child is 16 or until the Court makes another Order regarding the child’s residence.

A Residence Order is usually made in the favour of the mother or father of the child. In some circumstances, a Residence Order can be applied for by anyone the child has lived with for more than three years or relatives such as grandparents. When granting a Residence Order, the Court will consider where the child wants to live, who is most capable of meeting the child’s needs and the child’s physical, emotional and educational needs.

The Courts will only make a Residence Order if they feel that the residence of a child is in dispute. If all parties agree on the residence of a child then an order is not necessary.

If you feel that you need the security that a Residence Order brings, we will help you make an application to the Court. A Residence Order does not affect your parental rights or responsibilities.