Enforcement of a Child Arrangement Order

A child arrangement order is a legal agreement approved by the court. The agreement is made between both parents confirming the child’s living arrangements and is based on the best interests of the child.

A child arrangement order is often made when parents following a divorce are not amicable and are unable to reach an agreement between themselves in relation to the child. The child arrangement order covers issues such as which parent the child with reside with and the contact arrangements with the non-resident parent.

At Kabir family law our child law experts can assist you in trying to reach an agreement with your former partner in issues concerning your child, failing which we can assist you in making an application for a child arrangement order.

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How to apply for a child arrangement order

Before applying for a child arrangement order you must show the court that you have attempted to resolve any differences and issues with the other parent. This process is known as mediation. The purpose of mediation is to explore whether both parents can attempt to find a solution without the need to go to court.

If you are unable to reach an agreement through mediation or mediation is unavailable a form would need to be obtained from the Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) confirming this. Once you are in receipt of this you can then apply for a child arrangement order to the court. Our child experts at Kabir family law can look to arrange mediation for you to try and resolve the issues surrounding the child arrangement or alternatively to kickstart the court proceedings.

What decision can the court make?

Once you have attempted mediation or mediation is not suitable between the parties, the application for a child arrangement order is made to the family court.  The courts will then assess the matter and with the help of a CAFCASS officer will decide which parent the child will live with and how child contact will be split between parties.

The court will promote contact between both parents unless there is an element of risk or harm to the child. When making a child arrangement order the court will consider:

  • The feelings and wishes of the child
  • The effect of any changes to the child arrangement on the child, and
  • The educational and any special needs of the child.

Who can apply for a child arrangement order?

If you have parental responsibility of a child then you can make an application to the family court for a child arrangement order. A stepparent with parental responsibility may also be able to apply for a child arrangement order and not necessarily just a biological parent. A guardian or a grandparent can also apply for a child arrangement order if a parent has dies or a parent is unfit to take care of a child.

Breach of court order and enforcement of child arrangements order?

A child arrangement order is an order made by the court and is legally binding. Failing to adhere to the terms of the child arrangement order can result in a breach of court order. A breach of court order has severe implications and can be classed as a contempt of court.

In cases involving a child arrangement order breach you as a parent can revert back to the court for enforcement of child arrangements order.

Before the enforcement of a child arrangement order the court will consider factors of the child arrangement order breach and must be satisfied that making an order is necessary and proportionate. The family law court orders enforcement and will consider the following:

  • The reasons for non-compliance and breach of court order
  • The effect of the breach of court order on the child
  • The welfare checklist to consider the impact on the child
  • Whether CAFCASS needs to be consulted to move forward and
  • Whether the parents need to attend dispute resolution programmes to resolve the issues involving breach of court order.

What is an enforcement order in a family court?

An enforcement order is an order made by the court. The family law court orders enforcement to ensure the parent in breach of court order complies with an order. An enforcement order can be obtained if one of the parents is failing committed a child arrangement order breach. If the court is of the view that there is no good reason for a breach of court order, then an enforcement order can be made.

You may be considering what options the courts have during an enforcement of child arrangements order. The court has a range of options when they enforce a child arrangement order which are:

  • An enforcement order or a suspended enforcement order
  • Variation of the child arrangement order
  • Referring parents to a separated parents information programme (SPIP)
  • Order for compensation or financial loss
  • Committal to prison, or
  • A fine.

Our family law specialists are at hand should you wish to discuss the enforcement of child arrangement order and discuss how you can proceed.

You may want to consider using a C79 form before seeking legal advice. Our child custody specialists are happy to offer an initial consultation if you wish to arrange an appointment or you can simply call us today on 0330 094 5880.

— Q&A SECTION — 

Child maintenance after a divorce

Our team of child law specialists can assist you with the enforcement of child arrangements order following a breach. We can advise and assist you in making an application to the court. The family law court orders enforcement have many powers when considering breach of court order child contact.

What options does a court have if you are breaching a court order in the UK? 

The family law court orders enforcement can take place in a range of options against the person breaching a court order. This may include imprisonment and a fine amongst many other powers. If you feel you may be breaching a court order uk then we welcome you to contact our child law specialists who can advise on how to avoid a breach of court order child contact.

Am I in breach of court order child contact if I am late for contact? 

You may not necessarily be in breach of court order child contact if you have delayed in establishing contact with your child due to no fault of your own. If you have a Court Order in place and would like advice on stopping child contact then you may want to secure early legal advice from child custody specialists who regularly advice and assist parents on breaking court orders.

This may include delays caused due to public transport or work commitments. Should you feel there needs to be a change in the contact arrangement then you can contact one of our family law specialists who can look to assist you in ensuring you are not breaching a court order and try and vary the child arrangement order.

Speak to our Child Law Specialists today

If you wish to arrange a consultation with one of our child law specialists call us on 0330 094 5880 or arrange a visit to our York Family Law Office. Our family law team have helped hundreds of families in and out of Court win an outcome that is suited to them. We are sure that we can also help you too with regards to your child arrangement order.