Aston Brooke Solicitors remain open for business as usual and we are available to take new and existing enquiries over the telephone, post or via email.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES
CHILD ARRANGEMENTS ORDER (CAO)

28th February 2020

What is a Child Arrangements Order (CAO)

A Child Arrangements Order (CAO) is an order granted by the court following an application by one of the parents or guardians of a child. The order will set out who a child will live with and the arrangements for the child to spend time with another person (usually a parent). The child’s best interests are always at the forefront of the court’s decision making.

Do I really need one?

If you are struggling to agree on issues surrounding your child or the relationship between the parties is fraught, you can apply to the court for a CAO.  

Who can apply?

  • Parents
  • Anyone with Parental Responsibility of the child
  • Guardians/Special Guardians

If you are not sure if you can apply, please call us on 020 3475 4321

Court process

Mediation

Before applying for a CAO you will need to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM), unless an exemption applies. You will speak with a mediator, who is an independent person that is there to help you reach an agreement in order to resolve the dispute without going to court and will give you information about mediation. If the mediator does not think that mediation  will not help you to resolve the dispute or is not appropriate due to a history of domestic abuse, the next step will be to apply to court for a CAO. 

Applying to the Court

The court application fee is £215 (as at 5.2.2020); this does not include Solicitors fees. 

Once the court receives your application, the first hearing will be set; This is a directions hearing known as a FIRST HEARING DISPUTE RESOLUTION or FHDRA and both parties must attend. 

Before the FHDRA the parties will have a telephone conversation with CAFCASS before CAFCASS prepare a short welfare report that also includes details they receive from the Police and social services. A duty officer of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) Officer is also present at this hearing and you will have a chance to discuss any issues of your case.  The CAFCASS officer will also encourage you to reach an agreement and will tell the judge what has been agreed. 

If an agreement is reached at the FHDRA, it can be confirmed in a court order. If a long-term agreement has not been reached at the FHDRA, then a second hearing will be listed. The second hearing is known as the Dispute Resolution Appointment (DRA).

 Prior to the DRA hearing, CAFCASS will carry out further enquiries including meetings  with both parties, visits to the home and a meeting with the child (often at school). CAFCASS will then prepare a section 7 report and make recommendations in order to assist the court in making a decision in the best interests of the child.  If there has been recent social services involvement with the family, the court sometimes asks the social services to prepare the report instead of CAFCASS

The parties are also likely to be asked by the judge at the FHDRA to prepare and sign witness statements which would have to be sent to the court, CAFCASS and the other party before the next hearing. 

If a long-term agreement is not reached at the DRA, the matter will go to a Final Contested Hearing where a Judge will look at all evidence and make an order in the best interests of the child. The parties often have to give evidence in the witness box at a contested final hearing to answer questions about their witness statements.

Factors the court will consider

The court will consider a range of factors including:

  • The wishes and feelings of a child 
  • The child’s emotional, physical and educational needs
  • If the child has suffered any abuse or neglect or is in danger of doing so in the future
  • The ability of the parents to meet the child’s needs
  • The effect that an order may have on the child

Contact us today on 020 3475 4321

LATEST NEWS
Could your DIY Will end up in a wave of dispute? 

“Wills are important legal documents and therefore, small errors may cause disputes. DIY Wills are

read more >
Lasting Powers of Attorney 

“What is an LPA and why is it important to have one? A lasting power

read more >
Wills & Probate department 

“Welcome to our  Wills & Probate team . We are here to offer you a

read more >
What is Probate? 

“In accordance to the deceased’s Will, Executors named in the Will, then handle the estate,

read more >
5 reasons why you should choose Aston Brooke to be your corporate immigration lawyers 

We are highly regarded with the services we offer, and due to our relationships with

read more >
Covid-19 update about Immigration 

Visit Visas The Secretary of State for the Home Department announced on 24 March 2020,

read more >
RECENT NEWS
Could your DIY Will end up in a wave of dispute? 

“Wills are important legal documents and therefore, small errors may cause disputes. DIY Wills are becoming increasingly popular because they are a cheaper alternative to having a Will properly drafted by a  qualified Solicitor . However, a small mistake could mean paying a much higher price.  A solicitor has the knowledge and experience of drawing […]

Lasting Powers of Attorney 

“What is an LPA and why is it important to have one? A lasting power of attorney (known as a LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. This enables you to have […]

Wills & Probate department 

“Welcome to our  Wills & Probate team . We are here to offer you a professional and friendly service at what can be an emotional time for some. Writing a Will or leaving a legacy to your loved ones is one of the most important jobs we can do, however, a lot of us put […]

What is Probate? 

“In accordance to the deceased’s Will, Executors named in the Will, then handle the estate, including taxes, debts and distributions of inheritance. However, before the Executor named in the Will can claim, transfer, sell or distribute any of the deceased’s assets they may have to  apply for Probate . Probate is when a Will is […]

5 reasons why you should choose Aston Brooke to be your corporate immigration lawyers 

We are highly regarded with the services we offer, and due to our relationships with certain sectors in the economy, e.g. health care. As a result we are considered one of the best immigration law firms in London. Professional and skilled immigration lawyers in the Harrow area and renowned immigration lawyers in London, with specialised […]

TESTIMONIALS
Professional Experts…
I first used Aston Brooke Solicitors over 3 years ago. Ever since then I have given them all my legal work, I find their staff to be very helpful and easy to talk to. I have brought over 7 residential properties and 2 commercial properties - each transaction has been dealt with professionally and I have always been kept informed.

Mr A Bajwa

Great Knowledge and Efficient
I was put in touch with solicitors at Aston Brooke through a mutual friend to handle a personal Health Care case. I can not speak highly enough for the service I received. My family and I are forever grateful for the all the help on our case. Thank You.

Mr M Grice

Easy to talk to
Ray Purewal at Aston Brooke was my point of contact and I found him to be a great source of knowledge for my case. He handled everything swiftly and dealt with the opposition in the best way possible. Many Thanks Ray!

Miss L Walker

A note to our visitors This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with EU Cookie Legislation. Please read this document to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy. For more information please click here.