30th April 2014

Residence and Contact Orders Abolished, Child Arrangement Orders Introduced

Article by admin | Legal Updates

From 22 April 2014, residence and contact orders are being abolished and instead a single order is being introduced: a Child Arrangement Order. Child Arrangement Orders will regulate when and who a child is to spend time with.

The government’s aim behind the changes is to focus parent’s minds on resolving the arrangements for the children and being less confrontational in the process. All parents will have the same type of order which will hopefully mean one person does not feel aggrieved as, although they have no need to; previously the parent without residence could somehow feel less important. This is the ‘mischief’ the government is hoping to erase which will hopefully be successful.

“I already have a residence/contact order in place. How does this affect me?”

Residence and Contact Orders already in place will stay exactly the same except from 22 April 2014 they will be deemed to be called a Child Arrangement Order. The residence/contact order that is in place will not have changed and you should continue following the terms of it.


“I may need to apply to Court to regulate where my child lives or contact arrangements. How do these changes affect me?”

On the face of it, these changes do not appear to have a great practical effect; you will merely need to apply for an Order with a different name. However, this is a very recent change and we will need to wait until the Court is actually making these Orders to see what the full effects will be.

If you have any family law queries then do contact one of the family team in Petersfield (01730 268 211) or Midhurst (01730 816 711) who will be able to assist you.