Enforcing child arrangements orders

Unfortunately it sometimes becomes necessary to ask the court to enforce a child arrangements order which it has made. Some parents will notwithstanding the making of a child arrangements order continue to obstruct the arrangements and refuse to comply with the order of the court. Enforcement measures will be needed.

The Children and Adoption Act 2006 sets out the procedure for enforcing Orders. Before an Order can be enforced it must have a warning notice attached. All Orders made after December 2008 will automatically contain a warning notice but if you have an old Order you must first apply to the court for a warning notice to be attached to the Order. This will warn of the potential penalties and enforcement measures that are available to the Court if the contact order is broken.
If a child arrangement order containing a warning notice has been made and is not being complied with an application to the court which made the order can be made.

Apply by downloading and completing Form C79. The Court will list a hearing and may then order that;

  • the person in breach carry out community service work for a period of between 40 and 200 hours;
  • the other person pay you compensation for any financial loss;
  • CAFCASS monitor contact;
  • Mediation is attempted to resolve the difficulties;
  • The party undertake counselling;

The Court may also vary the contact arrangements or in cases of entrenched opposition to contact transfer the residence of the child and make a residence order in favour of the parent being prevented from having contact. In exceptional circumstances the person in breach could be sent to prison.

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