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Orders relating to children

Orders relating to children


Specialist Areas

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Swain & Co Solicitors' family lawyers can provide expert advice in relation to Residence Orders, Contact Orders, Prohibited steps orders and Specific issue orders.

Courts do not automatically get involved when parents divorce or separate, it is felt that the parents are best left to try reaching agreements on their own. But, sometimes there is no other option but to go to court

Separated and divorced parents sometimes find it difficult to agree on issues involving their child or children, such as:

  • Who the child(ren) will live with
  • The level of contact and access the child(ren) will have with the parent they do not live with
  • On going medical treatment
  • Other aspects related to the upbringing of the child such as religion etc.

What is a child arrangements order?

A child arrangements order sets out the arrangements of where the child will live and who they should spend time with.

It can be made for one or more than one person for both parents and non-parents.

Previously these were called Residence and Contact orders (prior to that Custody and Access).

What is a residence order?

A residence order sets out the arrangements of where the child will live.

It can be made for one or more than one person for both parents and non-parents.

What is a contact order?

A contact order sets out the arrangements for a child to visit or stay with a person that they do not live with.

This is often the ‘non-resident’ parent.

In dealing with a contact application, the court will take the perspective that is best that a child has a relationship with both parents, unless there is a very good reason why they should not be.

What is a specific issue order?

A specific issue order can be applied for to ask the court to resolve a disagreement on any matter that is related to parental responsibility.

This can include, for example:

  • Which school a child is to attend
  • Whether a child should receive medical treatment
  • How religion should be included in the child’s upbringing
  • Whether a parent with care can take the child to live abroad

NOTE: it is a criminal offence to take a child out of the country without the right consent/court order.

If you wish to take your child out of the country, come to Swain & Co Solicitors for legal advice in this complex matter.

What is a prohibited steps order?

A prohibited steps order can ask the Court to prevent one parent from taking a particular action related to parental responsibility.

This can include:

  • Preventing a child from associating with a person who has an adverse influence
  • Preventing medical treatment
  • Preventing a child being permanently removed from the country

Do not hesitate to contact us, whether you need advice or simply want to understand your options. We offer free initial advice.

We can advise you about court applications, orders and parental responsibility, whether you have it, what this means and how you can obtain it. 

Call our family law experts for free on 023 92 483322

Specialist Staff

Family Law