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What is a child arrangement order?

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A Child Arrangement Order (CAO) is an order which confirms the arrangements for how children will spend time with a non-resident parent.

A CAO can also confirm where such contact will take place, the duration and have details relating to any agreements for contact.

In situations where parties find that they are unable to agree to arrangements for children and have tried Mediation, then they may need to consider making an application to court for a CAO.

A CAO can also be applied for issues relating to where a child should live or if certain decisions relating to the welfare of the child cannot be agreed, this could be arrangements for a child’s school or if a parent is considering relocating.

When an application is made for a CAO, hearing will be listed by the Courts and a copy of the application will be provided to Cafcass. Cafcass stands for Children and family court advisory and support service.

Cafcass’ role is to support the court by adhering to the welfare checklist to ensure that any decision or recommendation is in the best interests of the child/children.

They will then speak to the parents separately before the hearing date and to enable them to confirm this information to the court in a safeguarding letter.

The report will be sent to both parties and court before the first hearing so that this can be considered by the court.

A CAO can therefore help parties who have concerns with regards to a child’s welfare as well as ensuring that the arrangements for contact are confirmed and followed by both parties.

If you would like further information with regards to the above, contact me on 0115 923 2193.

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