Q&A Can I get a variation to a Child Arrangements Order?

Q:      My ex and I have a Child Arrangements Order regarding our two children, but due to my job situation I need to change the terms of it. One of the things I need to change is where the children live. The Order states they should live with me for half the time, but as I am going to be working away for the foreseeable future, this will no longer be feasible. I did speak to my ex about it but she wasn’t happy. Is it possible to apply to the court to change the Order?

A:       If all parties were in agreement with any changes that may be required to a Child Arrangements Order, it would not be a breach of the Order to change the terms without going to Court. However, making changes without going to Court means the changes would not be legally binding and could therefore leave you open to a breach if the other party decides now or in the future that the new arrangements do not suit them.

The Court understands that circumstances can change, for example one parent may change jobs, as in your case, or they may move home, or a child’s needs may change as they grow older. Therefore, variations to Child Arrangements Orders are not unusual. When deciding whether to allow changes to the original Order, the Court must however satisfy all the points in the statutory welfare checklist contained in s1 (3) Children Act 1989, which first and foremost puts the children’s welfare at the heart of their decision.

Getting prior agreement to any changes from your ex before applying for a Variation would be preferable, otherwise you could try mediation before going to Court. Given the serious emotional nature and legal complexities of the family court process, it would be advisable to seek help from a specialist solicitor who can help you achieve the best outcome.

This question has been answered by Leah Mountford, a Solicitor with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194 

Leah Mountford, Solicitor at GHP Legal

Leah Mountford

Senior Solicitor

Part of the Family and Matrimonial team in Wrexham