When does a Child Arrangements Order (section 8 Order) supersede a Care Order?

In family proceedings Section 9(1) of the Children Act 1989, as amended by the Children and Families Act 2014, provides that “no court shall make any section 8 order, other than a child arrangements order to which subsection (6B) applies, with respect to a child who is in the care of a local authority.”

However, from section 9 (6B) it appears possible for the court to grant a child arrangements order specifying that a child lives with a particular person (referred to as a ‘live with order’) while that child is in the care of a local authority. Section 105(1) of the Children Act 1989 makes clear that any reference to a child in the care of the local authority is a reference to a child who is in their care by virtue of a care order.

There appears to be three main situations where section 9 (6B) was intended to be relied on:
1. To allow parents or other relevant persons to apply for a live with order in a situation where the child is already subject to a care order or an interim care order.
2. To allow a care order and live with order to be granted at the same time.
3. To allow a conditional live with order to be granted while a care order is in force.

There are often situations in family court proceedings where child arrangement cases run alongside or prelude the initiation of care proceedings concerning the same children or separate siblings. It is therefore important to consider the practicalities of such situations as to whether cases should be amalgamated and/or what priority should be given to any orders made.

We have a family law legal aid contract to help clients navigate the difficulties of family law proceedings and offer a free 20 minute appointment to anyone who needs help. If you are a parent involved in case proceedings, the general rule is that you will automatically qualify for legal aid.

Resources -full article – https://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed201958

By Suezanne King

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.