What is a Child Arrangement Order?

It defines where the child leaves and how much time they spend with the other parent. A party who wishes to apply for this Order must complete a C100 Application form and send it to Court with a Court fee of £215.00. If the Applicant (the party who commences the proceedings) alleges any domestic abuse within the relationship, child abuse, child abduction, drugs, alcohol or substance abuse or other safety and welfare concerns, they must complete another Application form known as C1A and attach it to the C100 form.

In determining any issues involving children, the child’s welfare will be the Court’s paramount concern. In particular, the Court will consider the provisions within section 1(3) of the Children Act 1989 and these are:

  1. The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in light of his/her age and understanding.
  2. The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs.
  3. The likely effect on the child of any change of circumstances.
  4. The child’s age, sex, background and any characteristics of the child which the Court considers relevant.
  5. Any harm that the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering.
  6. How capable each of the child’s parents and any other person in relation to whom the Court considers the question relevant is of meeting the child’s needs.
  7. The range of powers available to the Court under the Children Act 1989 in the proceedings in question.

Prohibited Steps Order

A Prohibited Steps Order is an Order which prevents one parent from carrying out certain activities relating to their child. This could include:

  • Removing a child from their school or nursery
  • Removing the child from the other parent’s care and control
  • Removing the child outside of the UK
  • Changing the child’s name
  • Preventing certain medical treatments being carried out

The Order can be applied for on an urgent basis or short notice. It an urgent application is made, a Prohibited Steps Order can be granted within a few hours. Short notice applications are usually considered within a few days.

Specific Issue Order

A Specific Issue Order is a Court Order that assists the parent in resolving a very a specific dispute about their child. This could include:

  • Where does the child go to school?
  • Whether the child should be vaccinated?
  • The child’s religion
  • What name the child should have?

Sometimes an urgent application for a Specific Issue Order should be made to for example ask the Court for the immediate return of the child to the parent’s care and control if that child was removed from their school or nursery without consent.

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