Child Law Solicitors

Child Arrangements Orders

Child arrangements following separation, previously referred to as child custody, can be a lengthy, complex and often contentious process between divorcing spouses. Our family law solicitors can provide expert legal advice to ensure you get the right arrangements for your children while keeping conflict to a minimum.

At Laker Legal Solicitors, our team always aim to guide clients towards informal out-of-court approaches, such as mediation and arbitration. Child arrangements orders are often the last resort, but are sometimes the most appropriate route. Whichever path is required, our solicitors have the expertise, skill and knowledge to secure the outcome you need.

Our solicitors for child living agreements after divorce can provide a wealth of expertise in matters including:

  • Voluntary child arrangement agreement
  • Applying to court for a child arrangements order
  • Prohibited steps orders
  • Specific issue orders

In addition to assisting with child arrangements orders, we also have vast experience in enforcing child arrangements orders that have been breached. Our solicitors can also help you apply to the court to vary a child arrangements order should it be outdated to your current circumstances.

At Laker Legal Solicitors, our team of specialists have dealt with a wide range of child arrangement cases from the County Court through to the High Court. Our expert solicitors can guide you in whatever situation you are facing.

Our family team includes members of the Family Accreditation scheme and Resolution. All team members undertake robust professional development on a continuing basis.

Contact our Specialist Child Arrangements Order Solicitors

If you require child arrangements order legal advice, please get in touch with our team. Our head office is located in Lancaster, but we also have offices in Bath, Kings Hill, Maidstone Preston and York for your convenience.

Simply complete our online contact form to request a call back. Our child arrangements order solicitors can offer advice online via video conferencing, by phone or at one of our offices.

Our Child Arrangements Order Expertise

Voluntary Child Arrangement Agreement

It is possible to find an amicable agreement without the assistance of the court through methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation and arbitration.

Our team are acknowledged experts and will provide clear, realistic advice about what can be achieved. With our assistance, we will navigate you through the process of negotiation with your ex-partner.

Applying to Court for a Child Arrangements Order

Should you be unable to make an amicable arrangement with your ex-partner, it may be necessary to apply to the court for a legally binding child arrangements order. You might be familiar with this under the name ‘child custody arrangements’, although this term is not used officially.

Our specialist solicitors for child arrangements orders have handled a wide range of matters for clients from all circumstances. We can provide tailored legal advice, no matter whether you have a complicated case or whether you just want to spend more time with your child or children.

Prohibited Steps Orders

A prohibited steps order (PSO) is an order made by the court to restrict or limit the scope of the parental responsibility a parent has over their child.

A PSO can prevent actions including:

  • Taking a child abroad
  • Relocating a child
  • Moving the child from their school or nursery
  • Changing a child’s name
  • Having contact with specific individuals

Specific Issue Orders

There may be some instances where parents are unable to agree on certain issues. To overcome such problems, a specific issue order application can be made to the Family Court for a solution to be determined.

A specific issue order can be used to resolve matters including but not limited to:

  • Where a child will go to nursery or school
  • Whether a child’s name can be changed
  • Whether a child can relocate abroad
  • Whether a child can receive specific medical treatment

Frequently Asked Questions About Child Arrangements Orders

A child arrangements order is a legally binding order set by the court that dictates where a child will primarily reside, who they will spend time with and the type of contact they will have. The order itself is governed by section 8 of the Children Act 1989.

There may also be other issues, such as indirect contact, supervised or non-supervised contact, holiday time and contact on special occasions, which should also be considered upon making an application for a child arrangements order. These issues were sometimes previously referred to as ‘custody arrangements for children’.

In most instances, the court will require the involved parties to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before applying to the court.

If you have attempted to acquire a voluntary child arrangement agreement through methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) but have been unsuccessful in reaching mutual grounds with your child’s other parent, it may be necessary to seek the guidance of the court.

Once a child arrangements order application has been submitted to the court, a ‘directions hearing’ will be arranged. During the hearing, the judge will listen to the facts of the case and encourage the parties to find an amicable solution. Should one be found, the judge will issue a consent order, which makes the arrangements legally binding.

Should no outcome be found, the court will again encourage mediation. If a voluntary arrangement still cannot be found, the court will determine the final outcome, and the decision is then out of the hands of the parties. In some cases, they may request a report from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass).

How long it will take to file a child arrangements order completely depends on the circumstances of your particular case. However, a typical child arrangements order can take between six to 12 months to finalise.

A child arrangement court order will be legally binding until the child reaches 16 years of age. However, the court order may specify a different end date.

Contact our Specialist Child Arrangements Order Solicitors

If you require a child arrangements order or specialist child arrangements legal advise, please get in touch with our team. Our head office is located in Lancaster, but we also have offices in Bath, Kings Hill, Maidstone, Preston and York for your convenience.

Simply complete our online contact form to request a call back. Our child arrangements order solicitors can offer advice online via video conferencing, by phone or face to face at one of our offices.


What our clients say...

I can highly recommend John Hirst at Laker Legal solicitors in Lancaster. He was superb from start to finish dealing with a very complex child arrangements case for me. A really decent guy and an excellent family law solicitor who genuinely cares about his clients. John was fully up to speed with my case at all times and we got the outcome we wanted.

Mr B, Kendal

Best conveyancing experience ever. After two supposedly good law firms failed to even do the basics post instruction, for nearly 8 weeks, Jess at Laker Legal took on the difficult challenge of overseeing my purchase and completion in record time. Always proactive, very knowledgeable of her subject and extremely good communicator. I never had to chase the firm for anything. They always answered my calls efficiently. I can't praise them enough. What a wonderful experience.

I recommend Jess and would be very happy to use her again in the future.

Mrs A, Lancaster.

I am very pleased with Laker Legal firm, my Solicitor John Hirst, was extremely helpful throughout the drawing of my prenuptial agreement. A very professional and knowledgeable approach yet warm,and friendly enough to feel comfortable with in a situation that can be quite uncanny to discuss or uneasy as per say. Thankyou again!

Mrs V – London

Thank you so much Richard, you have been so kind and patient with me when I have been at about the lowest point of my life after losing my wife, I can never thank you enough. I will also let my family know my wishes that Laker Legal Solicitors deal with my estate when that time comes.

Mr Y, Addington, Kent.

A big ‘thank you’ Richard from Steve and myself. Your time and attention you gave to both of us was remarkable. I’ve had dealings with many solicitors over the years, but have never received this level of service as you gave.

Mrs R – West Malling, Kent

Jessica Blacow from Laker Legal Solicitors Lancaster pulled out every stop truly amazing lady / firm nothing was to much trouble I honestly felt like they was my friends not just a firm that wanted your money but a solicitor firm that cared with compassion I will use Laker Legal Solicitors Lancaster for all my needs in the future.

Mr T, Lancaster

Thank you for all your help and support over the last 12 months. You and the team at Laker Legal have been fantastic.
Sarah was lovely and really supportive yesterday.

Ms. W of Leyland

A devastating event brought us to call on Laker Legal. We were put in touch with Mr John Hirst, and from the first moment we spoke to him we knew everything was going to be ok. Mr John Hirst, was always on the end of the Phone or Email, Kept in touch with us 100% of the time, and the support we received took so much pain off our family. All i can say is Thank you so much for everything you did for us.

Ms P - Maidstone

I used the services of Jess and the team at Laker Legal as a first time buyer looking for properties to buy, near and around Bath.

Jess was fantastic, in her communication during the process as well as her knowledge and ability during the conveyancing process. She helped me make informed decisions and ultimately find and purchase a wonderful home near Bath. Jess is adept at spotting potential issues during a purchase that I believe others may not.

She clearly excels at her craft and you will be in safe hands should you use her services too.


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