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The Final Order
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The Final Order and Recitals

This guide shows you what a final order may look like. It is based on our mock case with respect to the characters John WALTERS and Samantha WALTERS, and child arrangements of their two children.

Child Arrangements Orders were introduced in April 2014 by the Children and Families Act 2014 (which amended section 8 Children Act 1989). They replaced Contact  and Residence Orders

A Child Arrangements Order means a court order regulating arrangements relating to any of the following:

With whom a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact; and

When a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact with any person.

The 'residence' aspects of a Child Arrangements Order (i.e. with whom a child is to live/when a child is to live with any person) can last until the child reaches 18 years unless discharged earlier by the Court or by the making of a care order.

The ‘contact’ aspects of a Child Arrangements Order (with whom and when a child is to spend time with or otherwise have contact with) cease to have effect when the child reaches 16 years, unless the court is satisfied that the circumstances of the case are exceptional.

Please note that 'Recitals' are agreements recorded between the parents. They do not form part of the order and are not enforceable.



Mock Order Example - All Characters and Events are Fictitious



                                                            Case No ST123456


Children Act 1989

This Order was made on xx/xx/xx by District Judge XXXXX sitting at Standford Family Court.

It relates to:

Child 1: Janet WALTERS Dob 13/01/2009

Child 2: David WALTERS Dob 25/03/2014

The parties are:

(1) Jonathan WALTERS, Applicant Father, who was assisted by his McKenzie Friend Julia Summerfield,

(2) Samantha WALTERS, Respondent Mother, with her Counsel Mr Kevin Uxbridge


The names of the parties and the children involved in these proceedings must be kept confidential and must not be made known to anybody else without the Court’s permission.


The Applicant Father applied for a Child Arrangements Order (Time Spent).


Today’s hearing was listed for a Final Hearing.

Today’s hearing has been effective as a Final Hearing.


‘Where a Child Arrangements Order is in force and the arrangements regulated by,

consist of, or include, arrangements which relate to either or both (a) with whom the

children concerned shall live; and (b) when the children shall live with any person, no

person may cause the children to be known by a new surname or remove the children from the United Kingdom without the written consent of every person with parental responsibility for the children, or the leave of the Court.

However, this does not prevent the removal of the children, for a period of less than one month, by a person named in the Child Arrangements Order as a person with whom the children shall live (Sections 13 (1), (2) and (4) Children Act 1989).

It may be a criminal offence under the Child Abduction Act 1984 to remove the child from the United Kingdom with the leave of the Court.

Where a Child Arrangements Order is in force, if you do not comply with a provision of this Child Arrangements Order: (a) you may be held in contempt of Court and be committed to prison or fined; and/or (b) the Court may make an Order requiring you to undertake unpaid work (‘an Enforcement Order’) and/or an Order that you pay financial compensation.’


UPON the Court urging both parents to think about the impact of their behaviour on the children

AND UPON both parents agreeing to behave civilly towards the other and not to insult, denigrate the other, particularly in the presence of the children.

AND UPON both parties willing to use a contact book to facilitate communication.

AND UPON both parties agreeing to contact each other at the earliest practical opportunity in the event of an emergency involving the children.


1. That both children will live with the mother, Samantha WALTERS.

2. Samantha WALTERS will make sure that the children will spend time with Jonathan WALTERS as follows:

3. School Term Time

Alternate weekend overnight contact from Friday after school until Sunday at 5pm.

Alternate Wednesday evenings, on the week when there is no weekend contact, from after school and return to school on Thursday morning.

4. Half Terms (1 week in Feb, May and October).

For each party to have an entire week each for the February and October half terms and alternated each year. If the week is with the Father, the Father picks up from school on the Friday and returns to the mother at 5pm on the Sunday at the end of the week. For avoidance of doubt, for 2019, the February half term this year is with the Mother.

For the October half term to be split equally with a handover at 12.00 midday on the Wednesday. If Father has the second half of the week then he will return to Mother’s at 5pm Sunday. For avoidance of doubt, for 2019, the first half is with the Father who will pick the children up from school. This alternates each year.

5. Christmas (2 weeks)

For the Christmas period to be split equally. For 2019, the father will collect the children from school on the Friday when they break up and to have the children until midday Boxing Day when they go to the Mother. The mother to have the children for 7 consecutive days when they will then be returned to the Father until return to school.

This pattern to alternate each year.

6. Easter (2 Weeks)

For the Easter period to be split equally. For 2019, the mother to collect the children from school on the Friday when they break up and to have the children for 7 days when they go to the father's until return to school.

This pattern to alternate each year.

7. Summer Holiday (6 weeks)

For Summer of 2019, the Father will collect the children from school at the end of term and have the children for weeks 1, 2 and 5.

The mother to have the children for weeks 3,4 and 6 and to return them to school.

This pattern will alternate every subsequent year.

8.Special Occasions / Other

Birthdays (Children): For both children to be together on their birthdays and for the parent not having resident on those days to see the children for 2 hours on a school day or 4 hours on a non-school day.

Father’s Day/Mother’s Day: for the children to spend a minimum 4 hours with that parent.

For indirect contact, Telephone / Email / Skype: That the children be allowed to contact the father at any time they wish and for me to be able to contact them by telephone and/or Skype at least once a week.

Handovers to be shared and to take place at each other’s respective residence. The party who has the children will always drop them off to the other with the exception of natural handovers after school.

9. There be no order as to costs.

Ordered by District Judge XXXXX


Philip Kedge is a retired police Chief Inspector and the founder and director of the McKenzie Friend UK Network. His aim is to take family law out of the hands of solicitors with an ethical business to reduce conflict and acrimony, to provide a cost effective McKenzie Friend national service and to reduce the emotional harm to children.
Contact Phil today: 01420 370770