How is a Child Arrangement Order Different from a Residence or Contact Order?
Previously, people would apply for a Residence Order for the child to live with them, and a Contact Order if they sought to have contact with the child. However, they’re now both referred to as Child Arrangement Orders, which cover who the child should live with and what contact should they have.
The same application will be made for the child to live with you and for contact, i.e. a Child Arrangement Order for the child to live with you, or a Child Arrangement Order to have contact with the child. However, what will differ is the information inputted into the application regarding what you seek from the Court. When the Child Arrangement Order states the child lives with both parents (although this will be in different places at different times), it's comparable to the old Shared Residence Order (as before, the times spent at each parent's homes can be different).
The same features of the resident parent and non-resident parent exist - i.e. a parent the child lives with (the resident parent) can take children abroad for up to a month without the non-resident parent's or Court's consent, while the non-resident parent (parent who the child spends time with or otherwise has contact with) cannot.
Existing Residence and Contact Orders will be treated as Child Arrangement Orders. Bear in mind that if you were a resident parent (including a parent with shared residence), you'll be considered a person with whom the child lives (with the same status/rights that you had as a resident parent).
However, if you had a Contact Order, you'll be considered a person with whom the child spends time or otherwise has contact with (again, with the same status/rights as existed before the new Order was introduced).
At Simpson Millar, our Family and Child Law Solicitors are members of the Law Society Family Law Panel and are accredited for Family Law and Children Law.