A child arrangements order is a formal order from the Court which sets out where a child will live, with whom or how often and when they will see a parent and can also include other specific issues. Commonly referred to as custody or access these types of order are no longer enforced anymore and it is a child arrangements order that is granted.
Applying for a child arrangements order should really be the last resort and so assuming that you have tried to discuss and compromise with each other, and even tried mediation, then it would be a formal application to the Court that is needed to get the order.
This requires an application form to be completed, a brief summary of the situation and the problems and these papers will need to be filed with the Court and then a Court date will be listed.
The important thing to note though is it won’t necessarily and in fact more often than not, it is not resolved at the first court hearing. There may well be further investigations to be made, statements may well have to be filed, and quite often then there will be a second or even third Court hearing before the matter is concluded. So, as you can imagine all of this can prove to be quite costly. Of course, if you can reach an agreement without going to court it can cost nothing at all but if it does progress all the way to a final contested hearing then you need to realistically expect it to be anything from £5,000 and upwards.