Children’s Law

Parental Responsibility Order

Parental responsibility means all of the rights, duties, powers, responsibility and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and property. If you are the father of a child but you are not married to the child’s mother and were not named on the birth certificate when the child’s birth was registered and you want to be recognised legally as the child’s father, you may apply for a Parental Responsibility Order.

Child Arrangements Order

A Child Arrangements Order decides the arrangements for whom a child is to live with, spend time with or otherwise have contact with and where a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact with any person.

For example, if you and your partner separate and you are not able to see your child you could make an application to the court for a Child Arrangements Order. These were previously known as Contact Orders stating when you would see your child and a Residence Order was an order determining with whom the child was to live.

Read more about Childrens Living Arrangements

Specific Issue Order

This order gives instructions about a specific issue that has arisen about an action normally done by a parent. An example of this is if you and your former partner cannot reach an agreement about which school to send your child to. It is possible to make an application to the court for the judge to make an order deciding this.

Prohibited Steps Order

A Prohibited Steps Order means that a person must have the court’s permission before doing something set out in that order. For example, if a parent needs a court order before they can take the child to a foreign country. A Prohibited Steps Order can apply to anywhere in the UK as well.

Financial Provision

Child maintenance is financial support that helps towards a child’s day to day living costs. Many parents choose to work together to reach an agreement regarding the amount of child maintenance that should be paid. There is a free service called Child Maintenance Options which can tell you more about child maintenance. The website is They can assist you regarding the various options that you have in relation to claims for your children.

Enforcement of a Child Arrangements Order

If you have a Child Arrangements Order and are still not seeing your child then you may be able to apply to the court to have that order enforced.

Orders that a court can make

A court will only make an order if the court thinks it’s in the best interests of the child. Sometimes a court may decide that it is better not to make any order.

Who can apply for an order?

Some people have the right to apply for an order, others must first get permission from the court. For example, grandparents do not have an automatic right to apply for a Child Arrangements Order, they first need to have permission from the parents.

Can children make applications?

A child can make an application but they first must get permission of the court. We can assist you regarding your children and advise you on the procedure and the type of order that the court can make.

We can assist you regarding your children and advise you on the procedure and the type of order that the court can make.

If you would like more information regarding any child law matters, please contact a member of our Family Law team.