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Strictly speaking, from April 2014, the court can no longer make contact orders. Instead, they can make arrangements about who a child is to spend time with ("contact") as part of a child arrangements order. So as part of a child arrangements order, the court can require the parent (or guardian) living with the child to allow the child to stay with or visit a named individual. This will usually be the child's other parent.
If a child lives with his or her mother, for example, the child’s father could make a request that the court order for the child to stay with him on certain days or at certain times. Child arrangements orders dealing with contact can also instruct that contact is made indirectly, such as by telephone, webcam or email.
If needed, the court may issue in-depth instructions for the contact arrangements which cover pick up places or times, or any other issue which requires the court’s attention.
You will hear people talking about contact or access orders. From April 2014, the court can no longer make contact orders although they can make contact arrangements within a child arrangements order. Access orders have not existed for a number of years.
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