What we Recommend for Child Arrangements

Whether you are going through a divorce or separation, deciding on the arrangements for the children can be complicated. As parents, you have a responsibility for your children’s well-being. It should reassure you that there is clear guidance set out within the law to protect the rights of your children. 

You may be thinking where do I even start? What do I need to do? How can I resolve it quickly? It can feel overwhelming, especially if you are struggling to communicate with your ex-partner or they are refusing contact altogether.

Making a parenting plan –

If both of you have the same interests in mind and want to agree on arrangements for your children, you may want to write a parenting plan to have a written document of the responsibilities and break down of the childcare. In doing so, you should consider including the following:

  • A parenting schedule that will set out the new routine and will be a guide on how time will be spent co-parenting.
  • How you will establish a healthy form of communication, as this will be vital in every aspect from the small affairs to the big decisions.
  • How the finances concerned with supporting your children will be provided.
  • How to maintain your goals.

A parenting plan is not a legally binding document. If you feel that this would be beneficial in your circumstances, please speak to us so we can advise on the next steps.

The Mediation process –

In the unfortunate circumstances where you cannot come to an agreement, you must attempt mediation. This can be very useful way to resolve any child arrangement disputes in a cost effective way and you must have demonstrated you have attempted mediation before you can apply for a child arrangement order.

To define it simply, a mediator is an independent third party that will form a bridge of communication between both parents to help reach an amicable agreement. However, both parents will need to attend a MIAM (Mediation information and assessment meeting) to assess whether the case is appropriate for mediation.

Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors can help you through this process too and advise you along the way. We can provide legal advice and elaborate on any terms of the agreement where necessary.

Child Arrangements Order –

You can apply for a child arrangements order through the court if an agreement cannot be reached through solicitor’s negotiation or mediation. An application to the Court under the Children Act 1989 is seen as the final resort to resolve all matters that remain in dispute.

We are aware that Court proceedings can feel overwhelming and daunting and should only be issued if there is an unavoidable necessity to do so. We fully appreciate that this can be an emotional and stressful time, but our specialists are fully able to assist you through this, whether it’s guiding you through the process, preparing any required documentation or representing you at Court.


No matter the difficulties you are undergoing, our Nicholson Jones Sutton Family Specialists are here to provide guidance and support. Please call or email Nicholson Jones Sutton Solicitors today with any concern or queries you may have about child arrangements.


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