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Arrangements for your children upon separation

The welfare of your child

Separation can be a challenging and emotionally charged process for all parties involved, if there are children involved, the child’s wellbeing is paramount. At QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright we make sure that everyone involved understands their legal rights and responsibilities whilst ensuring that your child’s physical and emotional welfare comes first. 

Child Arrangement Orders 

Child Arrangement Orders define where a child lives and the time they spend with a non-resident parent. Courts generally favour the involvement of both parents in the child's life, and these orders aim to establish clear arrangements. 

Factors to Consider  

The process of making child arrangements involves deciding where the children will live and determining the time they spend with each parent. Child arrangements are usually an informal agreement but documenting them can provide clarity and help when disputes arise. 

If disputes escalate or if there is a history of violence or abuse, court intervention may become necessary. However, seeking alternatives before resorting to court, such as mediation, is encouraged. Mediation usually offers a more accessible and cost-effective way to reach agreements and is generally less stressful than court proceedings. 

Child Custody Court Orders 

The factors considered by the court when determining child arrangements are set out in the welfare checklist 

(Childrens Act 1989 Section 1 Subsection 3) 

  • The wishes of the child (considered in the light of age and understanding) 
  • Physical, emotional and educational needs 
  • Likely effect of changes in the child’s circumstances 
  • Age, sex, background and any characteristics of the child which the court considers relevant. 
  • Any harm which the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering. 
  • How capable each of the child’s parents and any other person in relation to whom the court considers to be relevant in meeting the child’s need. 

In addition to child arrangement orders, the court, the court has powers to make other types of orders where disputes arise.  

Specific Issue Orders 

A Specific Issue Order is sought when there is a disagreement related to parental responsibility, such as the choice of school, medical treatment, or religious upbringing. It allows the court to resolve specific issues that parents cannot agree upon. 

Prohibited Steps Orders 

Prohibited Steps Orders are used to prevent one parent from taking certain actions related to parental responsibility, such as preventing the child from associating with specific individuals or being permanently removed from the country. 

International Considerations 

Child custody matters can become more complex when one parent or the child resides in another country. The jurisdiction of the court overseeing the case needs to be established, and decisions must be made based on the best interests of the child. It's crucial to seek legal advice in such cases to navigate the intricacies of international child custody arrangements. 


Ultimately, the goal should always be to make child-focused arrangements that provide stability and a supportive environment for the child, even during a challenging divorce. 

If you are facing child custody challenges during a divorce, it's crucial to seek professional legal advice.  Contact us on 01905 721600 to speak to one of our family law experts. 


Posted in: Family Law

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