When a couple’s romantic relationship comes to an end, one of the most difficult decisions they will have to make is how their children will spend their time after the divorce. Where will they live and with whom do they plan to dwell? How will there be enough touch and presence from both of their parents in their lives? When one parent moves out of the family home, the other parent typically has concerns about whether or not they will be involved sufficiently in decisions that affect their children. The question now is, how can you come to an arrangement that is suitable for both of you? In addition, how much time will it take, and how much will it cost?
Should I go to court and ask for a Child Arrangements Order if I have a child?
No. If there is parental disagreement, or if one parent is not cooperating in discussions, or if one parent strongly disagrees with the proposed arrangements, and a solution cannot be established, then a Child Arrangements Order may be necessary.
When one parent feels that they do not see their children as frequently as they would like, or if there are concerns about the care that their children receive from one parent, or when the children themselves have concerns about their time spent with one of their parents, this can cause disagreements between the parents.
How do we decide on kid arrangements?
It is in everyone’s best interest if you and your ex-partner can come to an agreement regarding child care arrangements outside of the court system. This will save time, money, and stress for everyone involved. Nevertheless, this is something that is much simpler to say than it is to do when a relationship fails because its members are no longer able to communicate effectively with one another.
It’s possible that one of you will have uneasy feelings regarding your child’s well-being or safety. It’s possible that the two parents live in completely different parts of the country, making it challenging to coordinate get-togethers. Or perhaps one or both of you have found someone new to share your life with, which can be challenging for the other parent to accept. It’s also possible that the children are anxious about the way things will be carried out in the future.
What if we are unable to decide or reach a consensus amongst ourselves?
Family mediation is the best way to find a solution that can work for everyone involved if you are unable to come to an agreement by discussing it directly between you and is the best way to find a solution that can work for everyone involved without having to go through the stress, conflict, cost, and time that is involved in taking legal action. The process of mediation can assist you in discussing your disagreements in a manner that is less heated and more objective, allowing you to maintain the focus on the issues that need to be resolved rather than getting into disputes.
To begin, your ex-partner and you will each have your own separate Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM) with your mediator to review the procedure and explain what their issues are. This will take place at the beginning of the mediation. If you and the mediator come to the conclusion that mediation is a viable option for resolving your disagreements, the next step will be for the three of you to participate in one or more sessions of joint mediation in order to find a solution that will allow you to go ahead.
But what would happen if we still are unable to reach a consensus after the mediation?
Even if we put in our best effort, there is a possibility that the mediation process will not end in an agreement between you and the other party. It’s possible that one of the parents is just not prepared to give mediation a shot for whatever reason. Or, the various perspectives held by the parents may be so far away from one another that it will be impossible for you to reach a settlement even with the assistance of a family mediator in the negotiation process.
We will be able to issue a mediation certificate confirming that mediation is not an appropriate method to resolve your differences if the mediation does not result in an agreement. This certificate is required in order for you to begin legal action. If the mediation does not result in an agreement, we will be able to issue this certificate. The next step is for you to submit an application to the court for a child arrangements order so that the judge can decide what is in your children’s best interest.
It is highly recommended that you get the assistance of an attorney when formulating and delivering your request to the court. Even while this is not absolutely required, it is strongly recommended because the family courts are a new place for many people, and the entire procedure can make them feel intimidated. It is absolutely necessary to present your case in a competent manner in order to adequately put up your arguments regarding the reasons why what you want is acceptable and in your children’s best interests.
Child Arrangement Orders do not happen swiftly. Before a final order can be made, it may take several months, or even years, of talks between solicitors, court hearings, interviews, and reports from other organisations (typically CAFCASS).
What aspects of parenting will be addressed by a Child Arrangements Order?
In the event that you and your spouse decide to separate or divorce, a Child Arrangements Order will simply cover all of the specifics of how you plan to care for your child after the event, including how much time they spend with each parent and when – exactly the same as you and your spouse would agree upon through mediation. The decision, which will be legally binding on both of you regardless of who makes it (the parents or the judge), will be made by the judge. Therefore, you are required to comply with the order in its entirety, even if there is a portion of it that you find objectionable; otherwise, you risk facing harsh consequences for violating the court’s ruling.
A Child Arrangement Order is formulated on the basis of the court’s determination of what is in the child’s best interest, not necessarily on the basis of the desires of either parent. They will take into account the preferences of the parents, but their first concern will be with doing what they believe to be in the child’s best interest.
When making their judgement, the court will place a significant amount of weight on reports generated by other bodies, most frequently CAFCASS. Because of this, it is strongly recommended that you have your case prepared and presented by a family law specialist attorney. This is because the reasons behind your suggestion can be explained to the judge in a way that will convince them that it is best for your child to follow the recommendation you have provided.
Can a Child Arrangements Order be changed?
A Child Arrangements Order is meant to be a long-term, permanent agreement to work in your child’s interest until they reach the age of 18. This agreement can endure until the child reaches the age of 18. However, if there are changes in the child’s or parents’ circumstances – for example, if one of the parents starts a new relationship – and these changes might affect what is in the best interests of the child, then an application can be made to amend the Child Arrangements Order, or even make a new one.
Alternatively, a new application can be made if there are no changes in the child’s or parents’ circumstances. However, the court will take into consideration the age of the kid at the time of the application in order to determine whether or not any modifications are necessary. The further away your child is from reaching the age of 18, the less probable it is that the court will feel the need to modify the order or establish a new one. It is possible that the procedure may be drawn out, as was the case with the initial Child Arrangements Order, and that it will be expensive.
What are the fees associated with obtaining a Child Arrangements Order?
It is strongly recommended that you seek the assistance of a solicitor when making a Child Arrangements Order, despite the fact that doing so is not strictly required. This is because the attorney will be able to present your case in a manner that is most likely to convince the judge that the arrangement you are proposing is in your child’s best interests. If you choose to represent yourself in court, the filing fee is £232. (2022).
Because of the extensive amount of effort that goes into preparing and presenting your case, you can anticipate that the costs charged by solicitors will be in the hundreds of pounds if you decide to engage their services. In the meantime, your child will be growing up without any concrete plans in place, along with all of the uncertainty and instability that this entails, as was already indicated, and the procedure will take several months, maybe even more than a year due to waiting lists in the courts.