What Is A Child Arrangements Order?

A Child Arrangements Order specifies a child’s place of main residence, the amount of time they spend with each parent or carer, and the terms of their contact arrangements. Child Arrangements Orders superseded residency and contact orders, having been implemented in England and Wales via the Children and Families Act 2014.

Eligibility to apply:

  • Biological parents: Regardless of their marital status—married, single, or involved in same-sex relationships—both parents are entitled to petition for a Child Arrangements Order.
  • Grandparents and other family members or caregivers: People other than a child’s biological parents must first apply for the court’s permission to apply for a Child Arrangements Order.

Components of a child arrangements order:

The key parts of a child arrangements order are:

  • Residence: who a child will live with.
  • Contact arrangements: the frequency, duration, and nature of contact between the child and each parent.
  • Education and Healthcare: the decisions regarding the child’s education, including school selection and involvement in extracurricular activities.
  • Travel: whether a child is permitted to travel overseas and if so for how long and subject to what notification requirements and safeguards to ensure return.

Child Arrangements Order Procedure In Court:

After an application has been made, there is a two or three stage process in court. The exact length of the process depends on a variety of factors, including whether domestic abuse is alleged, whether disclosure is required from third-parties such as the police or social services, and, above all, whether the parties are able to cooperate with each other. For further details on the procedure involved, see our article at:

How can Demstone Chambers Help?

Demstone Chambers is a direct access barristers chambers based in Milton Keynes. We specialise in family law. We offer professional advice and representation throughout the whole process of Child Arrangements Order proceedings. Contact us now to learn more about how we can support your case.


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