What are Child Arrangements Orders? How do they Amend the Section 8 Orders given in the Children Act 1989?

Part 2 of the Children and Families Act 2014 addresses Family Justice. Section 12 introduces Child Arrangements Orders.

Originally there were 4 different “Section 8 Orders” that covered the courts’ decisions over various aspects of child care: Contact Orders, Residence Orders, Prohibited Steps Orders and Specific Issues Orders. While the last 2 remain valid, the Children and Families Act 2014 has repealed the first two and replaced them with Child Arrangements Orders.

The purpose of Child Arrangements Orders, as laid down by the government, is to “regulate arrangements concerning with whom a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact and when a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact with any person.” They exist to establish arrangements for all issues relating to the upbringing of a child when it becomes necessary to engage the Courts to resolve parental dispute. Practically, Child Arrangements Orders have the same effect as Residence and Contact Orders did.

The problem with Contact Orders and Residence Orders was, to some degree, a matter of terminology. As Section 8 Orders are only resorted to when mediation has failed, the area is already a contentious one. The choice of the term Child Arrangements Orders was an attempt to do away with terminology making it a fight wherein one parent wins residence, leaving the other feeling that they have lost.

When the Children Act was introduced, the terms contact and residence replaced the terms access and custody; however the divisive nature of the terminology remained: one parent would be granted residence – the upper hand – while the other had to settle for contact. Child Arrangements Orders at least gives a semblance of parity in the resolution of post-separation care arrangements for children without seeming, through the terms assigned, to rate the care provided by one parent as being better than that provided by the other.

Regardless of the terminology used, where a separated couple is unable to effectively co-parent or to agree the care arrangements for their children, adjudication as to with which parent the child should live and how often they should see their other parent will still fall to the court.

The terminology may be changed but the basic issues remain unchanged.

Contact Us Now

Brendan Fleming Solicitors are nationally recognized as a leading choice in the area of care work. We are justifiably proud of our expertise and our success rate. We are contracted to the Legal Services Commission for this type of work and are considered to be one of the leading national firms for publicly funded services.

Our principal, Brendan Fleming, has won a reputation for his innovative approach, spearheading many new ways of securing justice for families caught in the care proceedings trap. He is a member of a select children’s panel and recognized and approved by the Law Society.

If you feel that a Child Arrangements Order is unjustly against your favour or if you need assistance in applying to the court for such an order, see how we can help you: contact Brendan Fleming Solicitors today.

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Brendan Fleming Solicitors
165 Newhall Street BirminghamWMB3 1SW UK 
 • 0121 683 5000
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