Parents who cannot decide between themselves where their children should live or how much time the children should spend with the non-resident parent can apply to the court for a Child Arrangements order.
There are two types of Child Arrangements Order, a ‘live with’ order and a’spend time with’ order. These used to be called ‘residence’ and ‘contact’.
There is no explicit ‘shared care’ order, but the courts have become more willing to make live with orders between two parents who do not live in the same place and simply specify the time the children live with each parent. Otherwise the court can decide that the child will live with one parent and spend time with the other. These decisions are made by the court whilst keeping the child’s best interests as the paramount consideration.
Child Arrangements Orders are made under the Children Act 1989, and anyone applying for one must undertake a MIAM (mediation information assessment meeting) prior to making their application. Parents with PR do not require permission to make an application for a CAO, but those without PR and anyone else seeking to spend time with a child must also seek the permission of the court when making an application for a CAO.
We can also assist with enforcing existing orders.
If you require further advice or assistance, please contact us.