If your relationship ends and you have children, you’ll need to agree where your children live. You’ll also need to decide how much time they spend with each of you. This is called making ‘child arrangements’. 

Child arrangements are usually an informal agreement – but it can help to write them down. It will be useful to refer back to this in the future, if you can’t remember what you agreed or something isn’t working.  

You can make your own or print one and fill it in. Make sure both you and your ex-partner have a copy. You can change your plan together at any time. 

You’ll only need to go to court if there’s been violence or abuse in your relationship, or you really can’t agree. 

You should always get help making child arrangements if your partner makes you feel anxious or threatened. Refuge and Women’s Aid can give you advice, emotional and practical support and information about where else to get help. They run a 24-hour helpline: 0808 2000 247 

If you’re a man affected by domestic abuse you can call Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. 

Making child arrangements (EW) 


The Child Law Advice Service provides legal advice and information on family, child and education law affecting children and families in England. This service is provided via a website packed with how to guides and information pages. Should you require further assistance after reading through the website, there is an email advice service and a dedicated intensive support telephone lines for complex matters and clarifying questions. 

Child Law Advice covers legal issues that may arise following relationship breakdown as well as Local Authority intervention and child protection issues.