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A Child Arrangements Order (CAO) is a legal document issued by a Court in the United Kingdom which outlines the arrangements for a child(ren).

A Child Arrangements Order can cover various aspects, including:

  1. Residence: Specifying with whom the child will live.
  2. Contact: Outlining the details of the non-resident contact arrangements with the child.
  3. Specific Issues Orders: Dealing with a specific aspect of parenting, such as schooling, medical treatment or religious upbringing.
  4. Prohibited Steps Orders: Preventing a parent from taking certain actions without the Court’s permission.

This legal order is usually sought when parents cannot agree on the arrangements for their child following separation or divorce. It is meant to provide a clear and legally binding framework for the child’s upbringing, ensuring that their welfare and best interests are prioritised.

A Child Arrangements Order can be useful in various situations, such as:

  1. Dispute resolution: When parents cannot agree on custody, residence, or contact arrangements.
  2. Protecting the child’s welfare: When there are concerns about the child’s well-being in the care of one or both parents.
  3. Enforcing agreements: When informal arrangements are not being followed, and a legal framework is needed to enforce the agreed-upon arrangements.
  4. Dealing with specific issues: When there are disagreements about specific aspects of the child’s life, such as education, medical treatment or religious upbringing.

For further information about Child Arrangements Orders and whether they may be advisable for your family, please contact our Family Law Department to arrange a consultation.


Written by Marie-Cecilia Ferreira


This blog post is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our team of solicitors.

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Portrait image of Marie Cecilia Ferreira, Solicitor at Rose & Rose

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