Child arrangements orders that provide for a child to live with two or more persons who do not live together
Child arrangements orders that provide for a child to live with two or more persons who do not live together

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

  • Child arrangements orders that provide for a child to live with two or more persons who do not live together
  • Child arrangements orders providing for a child to live with two or more persons
  • Shared residence orders
  • Cases in which a shared residence order was made
  • Use of a CAO regulating with whom the child is to live to confer parental responsibility
  • Child arrangements orders regulating with whom a child is to live and same-sex partners

Child arrangements orders providing for a child to live with two or more persons

Since 22 April 2014 residence and contact orders have been replaced by child arrangement orders (CAOs). A CAO  means an order regulating arrangements relating to any of the following:

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

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

In so far as a CAO regulates a child's living arrangements it covers those matters that were formerly dealt with by a residence order.

The transitional provisions that apply to the introduction of CAOs provide that a pre-existing residence order shall be deemed to be a CAO that regulates the living arrangements for the child.

As, after 22 April 2014, a residence order shall be deemed to be a CAO that regulates living arrangements, the previous authorities in relation to residence orders may be regarded as applying to the circumstances in which the court will make provision within a CAO relating to the person(s) with whom a child is to live.

Before 22 April 2014 section 11(4) of the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989) provided that a residence order could be made in favour of more than one person. That section has now been revoked. However, the definition of a CAO