Child arrangement orders
Child arrangement orders are one of the foremost stressful and difficult applications to submit and the laws surrounding the arrangements of where a child/ren should live and how much time should be spent with each parent/guardian were rectified in April 2014. With this new order implemented, it has also brought forth new presumptions into the welfare tests and has allowed courts to order non-parents who spend time or has contact with the child/ren to have full parental responsibility by the way of a court order.
These changes were made because the government felt that parents who were making the applications for residence and contact orders felt as if the status of having such an order being made, was more important than the actual dispute of the matter at hand.
Henceforth the residence and contact orders are no more, and have been replaced by a more practical and formal “child arrangement order“.
There are now two types of child arrangement orders, and these are as follows:
- Who is the child to live, spend time and have contact with
- When is the child to live, spend time, and have contact with another person
The new changes do not look too dissimilar to the previous ‘residence and contact orders’. It has legally been adjusted from ‘residence order‘ to ‘an order providing with whom the child is to live with or when the child is to live with another person‘ and ‘contact order‘ to ‘an order providing with whom the child is to spend time/have contact with‘.
However, each type of arrangement is different from one another, they reflect upon where a child should live full-time, and where and when a child should have contact with someone else. These new arrangements are set in clear and more comprehensible guidelines and aid in helping parents/guardians with their decisions.
And although the child agreement legislation has been input since 2014, it is still known that lawyers and judges touch on the term ‘primary carers’, and it seems that this change has done very little but to make the Children Act 1989 unfathomable for all but lawyers.
At Solent Family Mediation there is always a helping hand to guide you through these types of situations.
For families/individuals currently going these this type of experience, it is compulsory for those who want to make an application to the court to attend a mediation information and assessments meeting (MIAM) first. However, there can be some exceptions to certain cases.