Court orders

The type of court order you need depends on what you’ve been unable to agree on. You can apply for more than one court order.

child arrangements order decides:

  • where a child lives
  • when a child spends time with each parent
  • when and what other types of contact take place (phone calls, for example)

Child arrangements orders replaced residence orders and contact orders and, way before that, custody and access. Parents with these orders do not need to re-apply.

specific issue order is used to look at a specific question about how the child is being brought up, for example:

  • what school they go to
  • if they should have a religious education

prohibited steps order is used to stop one parent from making a decision about the child’s upbringing. A common example is  stopping a parent from taking the child overseas.  

special guardianship order gives parental responsibility to an adult who is not the child's parent.  These enable a long term arrangement to be set up where a child can no longer live with their parents but can only be made with the involvement of the local authority. 

grant of parental responsibility gives parental responsibility to an adult and enables that person to be involved in the decision-making  relating to a child. 

A declaration of parentage resolves any uncertainty about whether someone is a legal parent of a child.  

Further reading

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