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Child Arrangements Orders (CAO)

Child Arrangement Orders is the name of the order under the Children Act 1989, which regulates with whom a child is to live, spend time with or otherwise have contact with. It replaced what was previously known as ‘Custody and Access Orders’ and more recently ‘Residence and Contact Orders’.

The order can be worded such that the child will live with just one person for example Parent A. However, it can also be worded that the child will live with two people in different households, at different times for example “The child shall live with Parent A on alternate weekends from Friday after school until Monday morning to school, each Wednesday from after school to Thursday morning to school and for 50% of school holidays. The child shall live with Parent B at all other times.”

If the order is worded as the child is to ‘live with’ a person, it means that person can take the child out of the jurisdiction of England and Wales for up to one month without the consent of the other parent.

If the order is worded as the child shall ‘spend time with’ a person, they do not have the right to take the child out of England and Wales without the other parent’s consent or further court orders.

The CAO can also regulate the contact arrangements by deciding if there should be:

  1. Direct contact being face-to-face contact and if so whether that should include overnight and holiday contact.
  2. Indirect contact being telephone or video calls, letters and cards.

If there are concerns about a child’s safety or a person’s ability to care for a child adequately, the court could make an order for any contact to be supervised.

A CAO will continue until a child is 16 years of age or in exceptional circumstances, 18 years of age. The CAO will automatically end if the child’s parents live together for more than 6 months after the order has been made.

Talk to Tollers

If you would like further information about Child Arrangement Orders contact Tollers Family Law team today.

https://www.tollers.co.uk/family-law/

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Our Child Arrangements Orders (CAO) Experts

Deborah Atkins
Director
Deborah joined Tollers as a Director in August 2019. She qualified as a Solicitor in 1995 and has specialised in Family matters ever since...
Katie Herrod
Partner
Katie qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and has been a part of Tollers family department for over 20 years. Katie is a specialist family lawyer with extensive knowledge...
Natalie La Forte-Brown
Solicitor
Natalie qualified in to the Family Department in 2018 having commenced her Training Contract at the firm in 2016...
Sally Smith
Equity Partner/Family Mediator
Since qualifying Sally has specialised exclusively in the field of family law...
Sarah-Jane Webbe
Senior Associate
Family Law Solicitor Stevenage - Sarah-Jane qualified as a solicitor in 1999 at a high street practice in London. She specialised in family law from the outset...
Sheena Patel
Solicitor
Sheena joined the Family Department of Tollers as a solicitor in December 2019. Prior to joining the firm, she worked at a local family law firm...
Deborah Atkins
Director
Katie Herrod
Partner
Natalie La Forte-Brown
Solicitor
Sally Smith
Equity Partner/Family Mediator
Sarah-Jane Webbe
Senior Associate
Sheena Patel
Solicitor
Meet the Full Child Law and Child Dispute Matters Team

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