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Making arrangements for children after your relationship breaks down can be challenging, especially when emotions run high. However, if you have children, you will need to make arrangements for where your children live and how often and when they will see the other parent. This is formally known as child arrangement orders.

Child arrangements can be made informally, but it is advisable to write these down to avoid disagreements later down the line.

Top things to consider when agreeing child arrangement orders:

Make sure you properly discuss all the arrangements

It is essential to talk about all available options to ensure that they have all been fairly considered and that you can come to a reasonable solution that benefits the children and both parents. Co-parenting can be difficult for everyone to get used to, especially the children who usually will have two homes. Therefore, being considerate of the child’s feelings should always be your focus.

Consider all factors

It can be easy to overlook certain factors that might play a big part later down the line when agreeing arrangements. Things like where the children go to school and how easy it would be to ensure they get there on time incorporating travel, how close the children live to their friends or where their extracurricular clubs may be and where there is the most space. Try to consider these practical things when agreeing on who the children will see when.

Ensure there is time set aside for both parents

Children need stability and even more so when their parents are breaking up. It is suggested that children who do not consistently have both parents in their lives are more likely to have adverse outcomes. A court would always suggest arrangements that include both parents and that a relationship is equally maintained.

Think about childcare

Always discuss what will feasibly work, for example, who will have the most time for parenting and when. This will ensure that the child/children will have quality time with both parents and could help reduce childcare costs whilst working out a sensible agreement that works for both parents.

If you cannot agree on arrangements with a co-parent, it is important to enlist a qualified solicitor’s help before applying to the court. It is now a prerequisite that parents see a mediator before making an application, as it is always advisable that an agreement is made rather than enforced by a judge. As with any family law case, the children will always be the priority.

Information is available on the government and cafcass websites, and if you think you would benefit from a chat with a solicitor, our team would be happy to help you.