Arrangements for Children

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Child Arrangements Order

In circumstances where parents cannot agree on the arrangements for who a child lives with and arrangements for the other parent to see their child, an application can be made to the court for a child arrangements order.

A child arrangements order can be made to specify who a child lives with and the arrangements for them to spend time with the parent they do not live with.


Mediation involves meeting with a mediator who is an independent person to help you to try to discuss and resolve the issues in dispute and can be a useful way to avoid court proceedings.

To issue any court proceedings concerning children, you are required to try mediation unless an exemption applies.

Prohibited Steps Order

A prohibited steps order can be made by the court to prevent a parent with parental responsibility from exercising their parental responsibility in a specific way. For example, a prohibited steps order could prevent someone from removing the child from the country, prevent the child from being removed from the care and control of the parent they live, prevent a person from changing the child’s name, prevent the change of a child’s religion

Specific Issue Order

A specific issue order can be made by the court if there is one specific dispute between a child’s parents about a decision for their child. For example, a specific issue order could be made to specify which school a child attends, to determine issues of religious upbringing or medical treatment, To change a child’s surname if there is no child arrangements order specifying who the child lives with or to order that a child be returned to the country or to a parent’s care if they have been removed without the other parents’ consent.


Cafcass are an independent organisation of social workers who assist the court in making enquiries about a child and making recommendations to the court when the court needs additional information to enable them to make a decision about issues concerning a child.

More information about Cafcass can be provided here:

Funding for advice and legal representation

Legal aid may be available to assist you in these areas of the law.  Please contact one of our specialist team who will be able to assess your eligibility.

If you are not eligible for legal aid then please contact us to discuss your options and to obtain a quote.  We offer flexible and competitive prices for all our privately paying clients.