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Gorvins Family Law solicitors are specialists in children matters and will guide you through the process from application through to the court decision. It is important to obtain legal advice as the order will ultimately determine who the child will live with following divorce and how much contact the other parent can have.

Call us on 0343 507 5151, e-mail familyteam@gorvins.com, or fill in our contact form opposite and a member of the team will call you back at a time to suit you.

What is a Child Arrangement Order?

A Child Arrangement Order (CAO) is an order that regulates arrangements for a child or children that relate to any of the following; who the child will live with, spend time or otherwise have contact with; when the child is to spend time and have contact with any person(s) named in the order including overnight staying contact, supervised contact or indirect contact through letters or cards etc.

A CAO may provide for the child to live with parent only or it may provide for the child to share their time equally between both parents.

Who can apply for a Child Arrangement Order?

A child’s parents (mother or father) can always apply for a CAO, as can a child’s step-parent, guardian, or anyone with whom the child has been living for at least three of the last five years. Other people may apply for a CAO as long as they have the consent of those with parental responsibility or permission from the court.

How long does a Child Arrangement Order last?

A CAO that regulates who the child should live with will last until the child has reached the age of 18 (unless the court orders an earlier date).

A CAO that regulates when the child is to have contact with a person will usually end when the child is 16 but in limited circumstances can last until the child is 18.

How does the court decide the outcome of the Child Arrangement Order?

The first concern of the court is the child’s welfare. The Children Act 1989 provides a list of considerations for the court to help make a decision including:

  • the wishes and feelings of the child concerned;
  • the child’s physical, emotional and educational needs;
  • the likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the court decision;
  • the child’s age, sex, background and any other characteristics that will be relevant to the court’s decision;
  • any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering;
  • the capability of the child’s parents (or other relevant people) in meeting the child’s needs;
  • the powers available to the court.

Finally the court must also be satisfied that making an order is better for the child than not making an order at all.

How can Gorvins help?

If you are having difficulty reaching an agreement concerning children or would like more information about applying for a Child Arrangement Order please contact one of our family law solicitors on 0345 507 5151, e-mail familyteam@gorvins.com or fill in our online form at the top of this page.

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  • I really appreciated the professional, sensitive and polite manner... ...Sofia Zafar from London

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  • Linzi has been an outstanding practitioner throughout my case. Her... ...David Gibson

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