Child Arrangement Orders
Parents do not have rights over children, it is children who have rights to see their parents. Parents have responsibilities.
The legislation relevant to matters concerning children is the Children & Families Act 2014.
If it is not possible to agree matters in mediation or via negotiations then it is necessary to make an application to the court using form C100.
CAFCASS are the advisory body to the court in all children proceedings. They work with children and their families and then advise the court on what they consider to be in the best interest of each individual child, this will include checks being carried out with the police and children’s services and anyone who is a party to court proceedings.
Children proceedings can be expensive and more often than not, cause undue stress to the child or children concerned and destroy any relationship between the parents that is required for future co-parenting. Regardless of any order from the court, what is required is for the parents to co-operate and communicate as any order of the court is only as good as the people implementing it. Children’s needs grow and change as they do and you do not want to go back to court every time there is a problem.
The primary interest for the court is the best interests of the children. The court will listen to the advice of CAFCASS and, if possible, the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child depending on age and understanding. For example, a child of 12 is likely to meet with CAFCASS and be asked their feelings about residence or contact proposals, but a child of 5 is too young to be involved in any such proceedings.