Child arrangements orders
Child arrangements orders

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Child arrangements orders
  • Child arrangements orders
  • Transitional provisions—impact of child arrangements orders on existing orders
  • Mediation information and assessment meetings
  • Child Arrangements Programme

Child arrangements orders

Since 22 April 2014, when section 12 of the Children and Families Act 2014 (CFA 2014) came into effect, the terms 'residence' and 'contact' have no longer been used in private law children proceedings.

CFA 2014, s 12 amended section 8(1) of the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989) by removing the definitions of 'contact order' and 'residence order' and inserted instead a new single order called a child arrangements order (CAO).

A CAO means an order relating to:

  1. whom a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact with, and

  2. when a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact with any person

A CAO that regulates the child's living arrangements, ie with whom they will live and when, covers those matters that were formerly contained in a residence order. See Practice Note: Child arrangements orders—residence.

A CAO that regulates with whom a child is to spend time or otherwise have contact and when, covers those matters that were formerly contained in a contact order. See Practice Note: Child arrangements orders—contact.

Specific matters that arise in connection with the exercise of parental responsibility for a child and that do not concern with whom the child should live or spend time will continue to be dealt with by means of specific issue orders or prohibited