Child Arrangements Following Divorce

Seeing your child after divorce

Divorce undoubtedly changes your family dynamic. However, with planning and consideration on how best to move forward with your family this can help to minimise any disturbance and focus on enjoying your life in the future.  

There is inevitably going to be be some disruption to usual family routine before things settle into their new rhythm. That is why it is a good idea to plan so that you know everything will go as smoothly as possible.  

Spending time with your child

It is important that the children have as full and meaningful relationship with both parents during and after the divorce save in circumstances where to do so would expose a child or children to a risk of harm. It is beneficial for the children to be able  to spend quality time with each parent separately whilst maintaining strong relationships with other members of the family for example their grandparents, step parents and wider family including cousins, aunts and uncles and so on. Routine is important for children so if both parents can work together to come up with at least a few days each week where you both know that your children will get to  spend time with both parents then this will help them to settle into their new routine quicker.

Child Arrangements Orders

A Child Arrangements Order (formerly known as contact and or residence orders) can be sought where you may unfortunately  be unable to agree on when the children spend time with you each. The Court will then determine in the absence of agreement the arrangements for the care of the children.

A child arrangement order can also regularise when the children may see one parent and can also structure the finer detail to include arrangements during school holidays etc.

Child custody

Child maintenance

If you and your ex partner are separating, you’ll want to ensure that there is little to no disruption in your child’s life. This includes having the financial agreements in place in order to support your child.

Child maintenance is paid to the parent who has day to day care of the children and where the children live for most of the time.

There are three ways that child maintenance can be agreed and set up:


  • Agreeing maintenance directly enabling payment to be made by one parent to the other often straight away.
  • The Child Maintenance Service

This is a government system which calculates how much maintenance you will be required to pay depending on your individual circumstances. However, if the Child Maintenance Service is forced to become involved, then you may be liable to pay a fee.


  • A Court Order

A court order is normally sought if the parent who does not live with the child most of the time, lives abroad or has a high income.

Child maintenance is normally paid until your child reaches 16 years old – or 20 years old if they remain in full time education.. However, if you or your former partner’s circumstances change, then you are eligible to apply to change the terms of your agreement.

For further information on child arrangement orders please click here

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