A child arrangement order, previously called a residence order, is issued by the family proceedings court, and says where the child or children in question should live. The person who is granted the child arrangement order will also receive parental responsibility for the child for as long as the order continues. The length of a child arrangement order depends on the specific circumstances of the case. However, it is unlikely that the order will continue once the child has turned 16, except for in exceptional circumstances.
Who can apply for a child arrangement order?
Unlike a child contact order, a child arrangement order can only be applied for by a person with parental responsibility for the child. However, it is possible for Grandparents to apply, but they will need to get permission from the courts first.
What is likely to affect a child arrangement order application?
The welfare and wellbeing of the child is the most important thing to the courts, so anything that could possibly affect the child in anyway will be considered when it comes to a child arrangement order application. Factors that are likely to affect your application include:
The child’s wishes, i.e. where they would prefer to live and why.
How a change in circumstances could affect the child.
Who else lives at the property in which you would like the child to live.
Any harm the child has endured in his or her past.
The child’s physical and emotional needs.
How to apply for a child arrangement order
To apply for a child arrangement order, you can apply directly to the court. However, we strongly advise that you contact a solicitor for legal advice. Our friendly and dedicated team are experts in these types of cases, and have years of experience in advising about child arrangement order applications.