Breach of Child Arrangement Order
A Child Arrangement Order is legally binding in England and Wales and if your child’s other parent has breached the Order you can take this issue to Court, but this may be time consuming and can get expensive.
So speaking to your former partner and then getting help from a mediator or legal advice from a Family Law Solicitor should always be your first steps.
Your Family Solicitor might suggest making an application to Court, but this will depend on your situation. This might include:
- Varying your Child Arrangement Order
- Applying for an Enforcement Order
Let’s look at what each of these means for you.
Varying a Child Arrangement Order
The arrangements put in place in the Child Arrangement Order might need updating as your child gets older and their needs change. A change in your child’s circumstances might be the reason your former partner has broken your agreement.
If this is the case, you can either:
- Try mediation to update the arrangements to reflect the child’s current needs
- Try to agree the arrangements directly with your other parent or with the help of a Solicitor
- Make an application to vary the terms of the Order
It’s important to know that if you apply to vary the Order that is already in place, you must be able to show the Court that the changes you want to make are in your child’s the best interests as this is always the Court’s top priority.
Enforcing a Child Arrangement Order
In order to have the terms of your Child Arrangement Order enforced, the Court must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that:
- Your child’s other parent has failed to comply with the Child Arrangement Order
- These breaches are consistent and significant – if the Order is only breached occasionally the Court might not enforce it
- There is no reasonable excuse for the other parent to consistently breach the Child Arrangement Order
If you’re applying for an Enforcement Order, getting advice from a Family Law Solicitor could be crucial in proving to the Court why the Order should not have been breached.
This is a very serious issue and the Court won’t put an Enforcement Order in place if there is any reason why they think it isn’t needed. So presenting strong evidence and having legal support could really help your case.