WHAT IS A CHILD ARRANGEMENTS ORDER?
When two parents divorce or end their relationship, they should always have discussions to ensure their children’s needs and living circumstances are met. A parenting plan can be used to document these arrangements. However, because these are not legally enforceable, some parents prefer to include the arrangements into a child arrangements order.
The child arrangements order could be obtained by agreement if both partners consent on the arrangements for their children as well as the court agrees that making such an order is in the best interests of the children. When parents are unable to reach an agreement and the court believes that the children would benefit from such an order, an order might be made by the court.
In this post, we’ll go through child custody orders in further detail, as well as the role of a Family Mediator in this process.
The child arrangements order is typically sought & approved if parents were divorcing, relationships end, or cannot agree on parenting arrangements. In other circumstances, however, one of the parents may not be a biological parent and may be a guardian or other related caretaker (such as grandparents).
Child arrangements orders are not available to everyone. Those deemed suitable include: • A parent or guardian
• Anyone who is currently responsible for the children’s upbringing.
• A person in a marriage or civil partnership with children who are family members (this does not have to be a biological parent).
• Anyone with a residency order who lives or has lived with the child for three years or more.
Anyone else who intends to seek a child arrangements order must first obtain authorization from the court. To submit the order, you must fill out Form C100, which you can get from our website.
WHAT IS THE COURT LOOKING FOR IN A CHILD ARRANGEMENTS ORDER?
When imposing any order, the courts are constitutionally required to prioritise the children’s best interests above everything else. They may confer with other professionals and request reports to assist them in making their decision. The entire procedure ensures that the welfare of any children involved is prioritised above all else. Courts consider a variety of factors when making a decision, including:
• The children’s wishes and opinions.
• The children’s emotional and physical needs, as well as their educational requirements.
• If the child has been abused or neglected, or if he or she is at risk of being abused or neglected.
• The ability of the parents or guardians to meet the needs of the children; and • The impact of the enforcement of a child arrangements order on their lives.
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN BE INCLUDED IN A CHILD ARRANGEMENTS ORDER?
A child arrangements order typically outlines a number of criteria on where children will live and with whom they will have contact. • Where the youngster will sleep on which evenings of the week are possible limitations.
• The children’s other modes of communication with their parents, such as phone calls, text messages, emails, and social media.
• What plans may be made for holidays, Christmas, and other important occasions on the family calendar?
• Where the children will see their parents, as well as how pick-ups and drop-offs will be handled.
WHAT IS A MEDIATOR’S ROLE?
Most applicants will need to attend a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting before submitting an application for a Child Arrangements Order (a MIAM). This can then lead to the implementation of the mediation process. At MIAMS, we provide a professional and effective service that arranges mediation and allows you to either proceed directly to the court or use our experienced assistance to arbitrate an agreement between you both. Any agreement struck can be turned into a legally binding judgment by a court of law. We can accomplish this to one of our fixed-fee legal plans. If one of you does not want to mediate, or if mediation fails, you can request that the mediator sign form C100.
If you both agree that it would be beneficial to the process, we can invite your children to a meeting with the mediator to express their opinions and feelings, similar to the court-appointed CAFCASS service.
Finally, if you feel you need further support as a parent, we have partnered with Kids Come First, who can assist with you on how you will parent your children while living apart.
Do you want to apply for a child custody order or learn more about how mediation might help you with your situation? Get in contact with us right away to discuss your needs. Alternatively, you can arrange for a free consultation. Alternatively, you can read our Ultimate Guide to Child Arrangements Orders.