If you are a parent, guardian or carer of a child – often the most important thing in your life – dealing with complicated legal matters such as arranging children arrangements can be difficult. A child arrangement order (CAO) is an official document that sets out who a child will live with, when they should spend time with each parent and other rights concerning their upbringing. Whether you need to apply for a new CAO or modify an existing one, it’s essential to understand how long this process may take so that you can plan effectively for your family’s future. In this blog post, we’ll look at what information is required in the application process, the key timescales involved and some tips on getting started.
What is a child arrangement order?
A child arrangement order in the UK is a legal document that lays out the custody and visitation arrangements for minor children. It is usually issued by a family court following a custody dispute between the parents. The order will typically specify which parent is responsible for the day-to-day care of the child, as well as the schedule for visitation. It can also include other provisions, such as specifying how decisions about the child’s welfare will be made.
The application process
When applying for a child arrangement order in the UK, there are a few things that you will need to provide. These include your contact information, the child’s contact information, your reason for wanting the order, the other parent’s contact information, and any other relevant information. You may also need to provide evidence to support your case.
The application process can be complicated and frustrating, but it is important to make sure that all of the necessary information is included in your application. If you are missing any information or if your application is not complete, the court may not process your application and there could be further delays to your case. We are here to help you along the way to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. A lot of people make an application to court without realising the need to attend a MIAM (Mediation Information Assessment Meeting) before making an application to court. We can conduct a MIAM for you.
It is also important to remember that matters concerning your child do not have to be done by way of an application to a court. You can attend a mediation which is a less stressful and easier option for you and your family. You can have a joint mediation meeting or you can have a shuttle meeting. In a joint mediation meeting, you will both be in the same room however, with a shuttle meeting you will be in separate rooms and the mediator will shuttle between you both. Depending on your circumstances you can decide which method will be better for you.
The length of time it takes for a child arrangement mediation can vary depending on the situation. In general, the process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. If you compare this to making an application to court, on average it is taking the court 42 weeks to resolve matters concerning child arrangements.
If both parents are able to come to an agreement about custody and visitation without needing a lot of assistance, then the process will likely go much more quickly. However, if there is significant disagreement or contention between the parents, then it can take considerably longer for a resolution to be reached.
Ultimately, if you are struggling with any part of the process, we recommend you contact us here at Family Law Mediation, we can help determine which order may be best suited to your family’s needs. We will work with you all the way to make this as easy as possible.