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Child Arrangement Orders – Family Court

Child Arrangement Orders

Child Arrangement Orders – Family Court

CAFCASS involvement on the increase in family cases.

What is a Non-Court Dispute Resolution?

Separating is difficult, even more so if there are children in the family. As a separated parent, not only are you trying to navigate a new norm for both yourself and the children, you are doing so against a back drop of anxiety about the future whilst also finding it difficult to communicate effectively with your ex-partner.

If separated parents are unable to agree on the day-to-day contact arrangements for their children, many may turn to the family court and make an application for a Child Arrangements Order. Such cases are generally heard by magistrates, who look to rely on the recommendations of CAFCASS.  CAFCASS are independent of the court and represent the voice of the child in family cases. CAFCASS focus on the needs, wishes and feelings of children and provide the court with advice on what is in the best interests of the child.

It is no secret that the family court is overloaded with cases and the timeframe for resolution is dire, with some cases taking more than 12 to 18 months to resolve. CAFCASS have published new data suggesting that the situation is no better. In February 2024, Cafcass received 4,987 new children’s cases, involving 7,332 children. The average daily demand level in February 2024 was 237 children’s cases per working day compared to 229 children’s cases received per working day during February 2023. There were 30,197 open children’s cases at the end of February 2024, involving a total of 48,838 children.

Wherever possible, separated parents should only be using the court process as a last resort. It is far more beneficial for parents and children if a separated parenting plan can be negotiated and agreed between the parties without the need for family court involvement and child arrangement orders. Parties should also be encouraged to explore alternative dispute resolution such as mediation referral, round table or collaborative as ways to reach a compromised solution to child arrangements.

At Kerseys our experienced family law solicitors are on hand to help explore all possible Non-Court Dispute Resolution avenues in an effort to resolve matters and allow family life to carry on, albeit in a new dynamic.

Contact our Family law team at Kerseys Solicitors in Ipswich at [email protected] or telephone 01473 213311Kerseys Solicitors in Felixstowe at [email protected] on 01394 834557 or Kerseys Solicitors in Colchester at [email protected] on 01206 584584 today to find out more and book an initial consultation.

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