southgate solicitors logo

Family Law Experts

Family issues, Legal solutions.

We're here to help you

Send your details to us and we will call you back to take further information about your matter.

Family issues, Legal solutions.

We're here to help you

Send your details to us and we will call you back to take further information about your matter.

If you are looking for help with child arrangements our specialist solicitors can help you. In addition to office meetings, we offer remote meetings by telephone or video if preferred. To discuss your options call us 24/7 on 0208 004 0065 or email us at [email protected] 

Child Arrangements

A Child Arrangements Order (CAO) is a court order issued by the family court that determines the arrangements for a child’s upbringing when their parents or guardians are separated, divorced, or unmarried. It outlines with whom the child will live (residence) and when they will spend time with each parent or guardian (contact or visitation). 

Key points about Child Arrangements Orders include: 

  • Residence and Contact: A CAO specifies where the child will live (residence) and how they will spend time with each parent or guardian (contact). This may include details about overnight stays, holidays, weekends, and special occasions. 
  • Parental Responsibility: A CAO does not alter or remove the parental responsibility of either parent unless specifically stated. Both parents continue to have legal responsibilities for their child’s upbringing, regardless of the arrangements set out in the order. 
  • Involvement of Other Parties: In addition to parents, other parties with a significant interest in the child’s welfare, such as grandparents or other relatives, may also apply for a CAO to seek contact or residence arrangements. 
  • Child’s Best Interests: The court’s paramount consideration when making a CAO is the welfare and best interests of the child. The court considers various factors, including the child’s wishes and feelings (depending on their age and understanding), their physical, emotional, and educational needs, and any risk of harm. 
  • Types of Orders: CAOs can be made by consent (agreed between the parties) or following a contested court hearing. They can cover specific issues related to residence and contact or be comprehensive, addressing multiple aspects of the child’s upbringing. 
  • Enforcement and Breach: Breaching the terms of a CAO is a serious matter and can result in legal consequences. The court has powers to enforce compliance with the order and may impose penalties or sanctions for non-compliance. 
  • Modification or Variation: CAOs can be modified or varied if circumstances change significantly, such as a parent’s relocation, changes in the child’s needs, or improvements in parental relationships. Applications to vary CAOs require approval from the court. 

Overall, Child Arrangements Orders play a crucial role in determining the living arrangements and contact arrangements for children in situations where their parents or guardians are separated or divorced. They aim to promote stability, continuity, and the child’s welfare while facilitating ongoing relationships with both parents. 

What can we do

At southgate solicitors, we offer comprehensive assistance tailored to your needs throughout your child agreement order. Our team of experienced professionals understand the intricacies of family law and are dedicated to providing you with the expertise and support you need during what can be a daunting and highly emotional time.  We have Resolution members and also hold Law Society Family Law Advanced Panel Accreditation which demonstrates our knowledge, skill and expertise in this area of law. 

If you wish to read more about this area of law we have some frequently asked questions at the end of this page – feel free to scroll down to read more.

Why us?

Award-Winning Firm

Personalised Services

Clear Costings

Proven Results

Specialist Solicitors

Meet our team

How we work with you

Step 1 how it works southgate solicitors

Contact Us

You can either call us 24/7 on 0208 004 0065, email us at [email protected] or fill out our contact form below.

Step 2 how it works southgate solicitors

Initial Call

Our client services team will discuss details of your case during a no-obligation call to ensure that it is something we can help you with.

Step 3 how it works southgate solicitors

Strategy Meeting

A specialist solicitor will meet with you to go through your matter in detail and advise on a strategy and options.

Ready to discuss your case?

What our clients say

FAQs

A Child Arrangements Order (CAO) is a legal order issued by the family court in England and Wales that determines the arrangements for a child’s upbringing when their parents or guardians are separated, divorced, or unmarried. 

A CAO specifies where the child will live (residence) and how they will spend time with each parent or guardian (contact or visitation). It outlines the arrangements for overnight stays, holidays, weekends, and special occasions. 

Parents, guardians, and other parties with a significant interest in the child’s welfare, such as grandparents or other relatives, can apply for a CAO to seek contact or residence arrangements. 

The court’s paramount consideration when making a CAO is the welfare and best interests of the child. Factors considered include the child’s wishes and feelings (depending on their age and understanding), their physical, emotional, and educational needs, and any risk of harm. 

Yes, parents can agree on arrangements for their child without going to court. In such cases, they may submit a consent order to the court for approval, formalising the agreed-upon arrangements. 

Breaching the terms of a CAO is a serious matter and can result in legal consequences. The court has powers to enforce compliance with the order and may impose penalties or sanctions for non-compliance. 

Yes, CAOs can be modified or varied if circumstances change significantly, such as a parent’s relocation, changes in the child’s needs, or improvements in parental relationships. Applications to vary CAOs require approval from the court. 

Depending on their age and understanding, children’s wishes and feelings may be taken into account by the court when making decisions about CAOs. However, the court ultimately prioritizes the child’s welfare and best interests above their preferences. 

The time it takes to obtain a CAO varies depending on factors such as the complexity of the case, whether the parties can reach agreement, and the court’s schedule. In some cases, CAOs can be obtained relatively quickly, while in others, the process may take several months. 

While legal representation is not mandatory, it’s advisable to seek advice from a qualified family law solicitor when applying for a CAO. A solicitor can provide guidance on the legal process, help negotiate arrangements, and represent your interests in court if necessary. 

We're here to help you

Send your details to us and we will call you back to take further information about your matter, or you can click the number below.

southgate solicitors is a trading name of southgate solicitors Limited Company No: 10575376 –  We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority No: 636415
Tel: 0208 004 0065, Email: [email protected]

We're here to help you

Send your details to us and we will call you back to take further information about your matter, or you can click the number below.

Hasan Hadi

Meet Hasan, a seasoned family law expert specializing in divorce for medium to high net worth individuals. With over a decade of experience and founding Southgate Solicitors in 2017, Hasan offers modern, streamlined legal services at competitive prices. As a Resolution member and Accredited Member of the Law Society’s Family Law Advanced Panel, his expertise ensures efficient and successful outcomes for clients. Beyond his legal prowess, Hasan prioritizes personalized attention and understands the complexities of family matters, providing empathetic support every step of the way.

Chloë Rodway

Meet Chloë, a diligent solicitor specializing in private family law matters such as divorce, financial disputes, and children matters. With meticulous attention to detail, Chloë provides tailored advice to each client, fostering strong relationships and offering reassurance throughout their journey. Clients appreciate her sensible guidance and commitment to achieving their goals efficiently. Outside of work, Chloë enjoys staying active at the gym and spending quality time with her beloved sausage dog. She also delights in exploring vegetarian cuisine and socializing with friends, embracing a balanced lifestyle.

Rajan Thandi

Meet Rajan, your trusted ally in navigating family legal matters involving children. With a track record of successful outcomes and a passion for literature, gaming, and family time, Rajan brings dedication and empathy to every case. He understands the importance of clear communication and is committed to keeping you informed and empowered throughout the process. Rest assured, Rajan is here to guide you with integrity and expertise, making your journey through the legal system as smooth as possible.

Ceylan Kahya

Meet Ceylan, an accomplished solicitor specializing in all facets of family law, particularly public and private children matters. With a law degree from the University of Kent and a distinction on the LPC from BPP Law School, Ceylan brings a wealth of expertise and dedication to her practice. Ceylan builds strong relationships with clients, offering sensitive and tailored advice to meet their needs. She is actively involved in supporting victims of domestic violence and is a member of the Young Legal Aid Lawyers’ Association and YRes. Outside of work, Ceylan enjoys indulging in crime documentaries on Netflix & socializing with loved ones.

Lucy Cornish

Meet Lucy, a dedicated solicitor specializing in private law matters such as divorce, financial disputes, and children cases. With a Class I Honours degree in History and recent qualification as a solicitor, Lucy offers professional guidance and support during difficult times. Known for her commitment and professionalism, she makes a real difference in clients’ lives. Outside of work, she enjoys staying active at the gym, traveling, and trying new cuisines with friends, embodying a balanced lifestyle.

Rosie Sparkes

Star is a dapple dachshund who loves causing mischief. She goes by the name Star and Sausage. Star is just under a meter long and loves to show off all her different outfits. When Star isn’t chasing squirrels up trees, she is usually in a quiet place taking a nap or in the office finding ways to annoy our managing director Hasan. Her favourite foods include chicken, raw carrots and bananas.

Anjali Shah

Meet Anjali, a dedicated legal professional committed to exceptional client service. With a law degree in Human Rights and experience in various legal roles, she ensures every client receives personalized care and support. Anjali’s multitasking skills and attention to detail shine through her work, whether assisting solicitors or clerking at court. Outside of work, she enjoys quality time with loved ones, indulging in true crime videos, and staying active with her favorite sport, badminton.

Antony Wilkinson

Meet Antony, a dedicated family law specialist focusing on public law matters. With extensive experience in care proceedings, child protection, and more, Antony is highly skilled and recommended in the Legal 500. His passion for justice and accountability drives him to tackle challenging cases involving mental health, domestic abuse, and parental alienation. Recognized for his commitment to protecting women from “honour” based violence, Antony ensures his clients receive the support they need during emotionally difficult times. Beyond his legal work, Antony enjoys music, traveling, and spending time with friends, embodying a well-rounded approach to life.

Andriana Evagora

Meet Andriana, a diligent solicitor specializing in private family law matters such as divorce, financial disputes, and children matters. With a background in history and recent qualification as a solicitor, Andriana brings dedication and professionalism to her practice at Southgate Solicitors. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling and spending quality time with loved ones.

Anjeli Myandee

Meet Anjeli, our compassionate legal professional, dedicated to providing exceptional service to clients and their families. With a degree in Law from the University of Derby, Anjeli’s passion for family law shines through her delicate and sensitive approach to each query. Drawing from retail experience, she ensures efficient, friendly, and empathetic service. In her spare time, Anjeli enjoys quality moments with her Cavapoo puppy and indulging in binge-watching sessions of TV favorites like Friends and Charmed with loved ones.

Anelia Gospodinova

Meet Anelia, a dedicated legal professional with a first-class degree in Law from the University of Westminster. Prior to joining our firm, she volunteered at her university’s Legal Advice Clinic, specializing in employment law matters. With extensive customer service experience, Anelia is committed to providing exceptional support to our clients with a warm smile, empathy, and professionalism. Beyond her legal work, she shares her passion for music and dance by teaching Zumba classes at local fitness centers.

Rosie Sparkes

Meet Rosie, our dedicated intern midway through her Law and Criminology degree at the University of Buckingham. With a background in volunteering with children and adults in care, Rosie brings empathy and attention to detail to her role in family law. Passionate about making a positive impact, she aims to transfer her skills into helping clients during her internship. Outside of work, Rosie enjoys delving into classic literature and tackling adventurous challenges, such as completing 3 half marathons and the 3 Peaks Challenge, all for charity.

Leaving already?

Send your details to us and we will call you back to take further information about your matter, or you can click the number below.