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Child arrangement disputes concern where a child lives and how often he or she should see someone with whom he or she doesn’t live.
Below you will find some further information on this area of the law, however to help you get a full understanding of your options please contact a member of our expert Family law team for a fixed fee initial appointment, which is provided at £250.00 including VAT to ensure you get the outcome that’s best for you and your child, at the cost that’s right for you. Full details are on our Powells Pay As You Go – Help with Family Matters page.
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The law in this area is governed by the Children Act 1989. A parent of a child can apply to the court at any time for an order regarding where a child should live or should spend time seeing his or her other parent. Other people connected to the child, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles or older brothers or sisters of the child need to apply to the court for the court’s permission to issue an application.
The court has to give ‘paramount consideration’ to the welfare of the child when deciding on issues of arrangements for children. The court also has to pay specific attention to the following matters:
- the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of his age and understanding)
- his physical, emotional and educational needs
- the likely effect on him of any change in his circumstances
- his age, sex, background and any characteristics of his which the court considers relevant
- any harm which he has suffered or is at risk of suffering
- how capable each of his parents, and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting his needs
- the range of powers available to the court. Please also note that the court is prohibited from making an order unless it is better for the child than making no order at all