Child Arrangements Orders

What happens if my ex doesn’t comply with the Child Arrangements Order?

It is sometimes necessary for the court to become involved when parents are unable to agree living and contact arrangements for a child. A child Arrangements Order will often set out who the child in question shall live with and when they should spend time with the other person named in in the order.

It can be very frustrating when having obtained a Child Arrangements Order, one of the parties does not abide by it.  Failure to obey a court order is contempt of court and contempt of court is punishable by fine, prison, unpaid work or the payment of compensation. Child Arrangements Orders now display a “warning notice” which advises parties of the consequences of non-compliance. Therefore, if you are in a position whereby you will be unable to comply with a court order whether that be for a short or indefinite period of time, it is important that you seek legal advice to avoid being on the receiving end of an enforcement application.

In circumstances where the other parent is not complying with the court order, a party can apply for enforcement of a provision within the order providing a warning notice is displayed on the original order.  When dealing with these types of application, the court will  consider the circumstances of the case such as why the party has failed to comply, whether there was a reasonable excuse for not complying,  the effect this had and is having on the child as well as the welfare of the child.  The court may direct that the parties attend some form of dispute resolution to assist in reaching an agreement or order a variation of the order in question. For serious breaches the court may order a sanction such as a fine, imprisonment, compensation or unpaid work. The approach the court takes is dependent on the circumstances of the case.  It is important to keep a log of any breaches and seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

If you would like to talk to somebody about Child Arrangements, please contact us and a family specialist from our team will be happy to assist.


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