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Varying a Child Arrangements Order

It is common to find separated parents in dispute over the terms of contact with the children following the end of half-term or other school holiday. Naturally, following informal discussions between the parents, it frequently leads to one parent to feel there is no alternative but to apply to court to vary the terms of an existing child arrangements order.

Section 8 of the Children Act 1989 provides a definition of a child arrangements order, together with associated orders.

The procedure for varying a section 8 order is the same as the procedure for an application an original order. The application should be made using Form C100. The procedure governing applications to vary section 8 orders is detailed in Part 12 of the Family Procedure Rules.

Unless an exemption applies, an applicant intent on varying a child arrangements order should undertake the standard mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM) before an application to vary can be issued by the court.

In considering any requested variation, the court will place the well being of the child as paramount and apply the “welfare checklist” to the individual facts of a case, in order to then determine what variation (if any) should be made to the existing order terms.  

If you would like to discuss varying contact arrangements for your child, or other issues relating to children following the breakdown of a relationship, contact one of our expert family solicitors today on 01234 88977  or 0207 177 9777 for a free consultation. Serving rural and central Bedford, together with the City of London, our lawyers can help you with all your family law matters.

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