Formerly recognised as 'contact orders' and 'residency orders,' Child Arrangements Orders play a pivotal role in determining children's living arrangements and contact schedules in cases of separation or divorce.

Our dedicated team, comprising members of Resolution, understands the nuances of family law and is here to provide expert guidance tailored to your unique situation.

As seasoned solicitors specialising in child arrangements, we prioritise the paramount importance of your child's welfare while leveraging our experience to address the intricacies of contact and residency issues with care and proficiency.

Contact our team today to see how we can help.

What Is A Child Arrangements (Contact/Residency) Order?

A Child Arrangements Order is a legal directive issued by the court that outlines the specific arrangements for the care, living situation, and contact between a child and their parents or other significant individuals.

It is a crucial component in family law, establishing the terms under which a child will live, spend time with each parent, and address other important aspects of their upbringing.

The order provides a structured framework to manage the relationships between separated or divorced parents and is designed to prioritise the paramount importance of the child's welfare throughout the decision-making process.

Who Can Apply For A Child Arrangements (Contact/Residency) Order?

Anyone with parental responsibility for a child can apply for a Child Arrangements Order.

This includes parents, guardians, and individuals who hold a residence order or have obtained the consent of those with such an order.

In addition to parents, grandparents and other relatives also have the right to apply for a Child Arrangements Order. However, they may require the court's permission to do so.

The legal process recognises and accommodates the diverse relationships and responsibilities that individuals may have in the child's life, ensuring that those with a legitimate interest in the child's welfare can seek court intervention to establish clear and appropriate arrangements.

What Factors Are Considered By The Court For Arrangements Orders?

When deciding on Child Arrangements Orders (CAOs), the court considers a comprehensive set of factors to ensure the child's welfare remains paramount.

These factors include:

  • The child's wishes and feelings: Considered in light of their age and understanding.
  • The child's physical, emotional, and educational needs: Ensuring that the arrangements cater to the well-being and development of the child.
  • The likely effect on the child of any change in circumstances: Assessing how alterations to living arrangements may impact the child.
  • The child's age, sex, background, and any other relevant characteristics: Recognising the individuality and unique needs of each child.
  • Any harm the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering: Prioritising the child's safety and protection.
  • How capable each of the child’s parents (or relevant individuals) is of meeting the child’s needs: Evaluating the ability of each party to fulfil the child's requirements.
  • The range of powers available to the court under the Children Act: Considering the available legal options and selecting the most appropriate course of action.

These considerations collectively contribute to the court's decision-making process, ensuring that the resulting arrangements are in the child's best interests.

How Can Monan Gozzett Help?

At Monan Gozzett LLP, our team, comprised of members of Resolution, is experienced in representing parents, grandparents, children, and relatives in CAO applications.

We understand the importance of your child's welfare and aim to resolve disputes quickly and amicably, recognising the need for ongoing relationships between parents.

Our Approach

We work collaboratively with leading professionals, including family therapists, counsellors, mediators, and child psychologists, to provide comprehensive support tailored to your situation. We aim to guide you through the legal process with sensitivity and expertise.

Initial Consultation

Are you considering an application to the court regarding your child(ren)?

Schedule an initial call with one of our representatives to assess how we can assist you. During this consultation, we'll discuss your case and provide information on anticipated fees for our services.

Contact us by calling 0207 936 6329 or email

Child Arrangements Orders FAQs

What is the process for applying for a child arrangement order?

Obtaining a Child Arrangements Order (CAO) with Monan Gozzett LLP involves an initial consultation where we assess your case and discuss anticipated fees.
Our team will then assist you in preparing the necessary documents outlining the desired arrangements for your child.
After the completed application is submitted to the court, court hearings will be held where both parties present their cases, and the court makes decisions based on the child's best interests.
We may explore negotiation or mediation options for a mutually acceptable agreement outside of court if applicable.
Ultimately, the court will decide, and a comprehensive Child Arrangements Order will be issued, specifying living arrangements, contact details, and other relevant factors.

Throughout this process, our dedicated team provides unwavering support and legal expertise to ensure your case is effectively presented and your child's best interests remain the top priority.

How long does a child arrangements order last?

Child Arrangements (or residency) Orders are typically in force until the child turns 16 but can be extended in certain circumstances. We will provide guidance on the duration based on your specific situation.

What happens when a child arrangements order is breached?

In the event of a CAO breach, Monan Gozzett LLP advises addressing the issue through communication or mediation. If informal resolution attempts fail, legal enforcement measures can be pursued, including a return to court for enforcement or variation of the existing order. Serious breaches may lead to contempt of court proceedings, with potential penalties such as fines or imprisonment. Our team is adept at navigating these situations, ensuring your child's best interests remain protected.

If you would like to speak to our expert legal team about this, or any related subject then please contact our team by phone on 0207 936 6329, Email or by completing our Quick Contact Form below.