How to enforce a child arrangements order

If you have a Child Arrangement Order (CAO) made by the Court which governs the contact that each parent has with any child(ren) and this is not being complied with, at what point should you consider taking legal action and what are the benefits. options and risks?

If you have a Child Arrangement Order in place and the other parent is not complying, we can help. Our family lawyers are experienced in advising you what to do and taking legal action where necessary. Please do contact us to discuss.

Advice issued by the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary states that if parents do not jointly agree to vary arrangements a breach of a CAO gives the parent not in breach options. This applies whether you are a parent being refused access to your child or whether the parent who should be spending time with teh child at set times is not turning up or generally messing around the other parent and more importantly, letting down the child.

The starting point is to record the breach of the Child Arrangement Order and to formally request a change in behaviour by the parent breaching the Child Arrangements Order. If a solution cannot be achieved amicably, then court action can be taken. Types of remedies available include:

  • Referring the parties to mediation to resolve the dispute
  • Variation of the Child Arrangement Order or reconsideration of the child’s living or contact arrangements
  • An enforcement order or suspended enforcement order
  • An order for compensation for financial loss
  • Committal to prison or
  • A fine

Finally, it should be noted that at present, the Family Courts are prioritising urgent cases and hearings during these unprecedented times.

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