Child Arrangement Orders

A Child Arrangement Order is a Court Order that sets out who is responsible for the care of a child. The Order contains details as to who the child shall live with, in addition, when and how the child will see both parents. The paramount consideration for the court when making this type of Order is the child’s welfare.

This type of Order is customary in cases where parents are unable to decide where the child will live, following separation. The Order can also regulate the contact between a child and their parent, such as contact by telephone/video or possibly contact through email.

Who can apply for a Child Arrangement Order?

The following people can apply for an Order without prior permission from the court:

  • A parent, guardian or special guardian of the child.
  • A spouse or civil partner if the child is part of that family.
  • Someone with Parental Responsibility.
  • Someone who the child has lived with for more than three years.
  • Someone who already has a residence order for that child.

How to apply for a Child Arrangement Order?

Prior to making an application using the C100 form, a MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting) form must be signed. This is a mandatory step for any dispute concerning a child unless an exemption applies such as domestic abuse. Upon receiving the application, a date for the First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointment will be set.

What does the court consider when making this Order?

The court will consider what is known as the welfare checklist (s 1(3) Children Act 1989):

  • The wishes and feelings of the child concerned dependent on their age and level of understanding.
  • The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs.
  • The likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the court’s decision.
  • The child’s age, sex, background and any other characteristics which 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 any other person the courts find relevant) at meeting the child’s needs.
  • The powers available to the court in the given proceedings.


At Audley Chaucer, we are experienced at resolving family law disputes. Please contact John Szepietowski or Kay Stewart at Audley Chaucer for an initial discussion on 01372 303444 or email us at or visit our Linkedin Page.


Joseph Beams

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