Thank you for your response.
Please do accept my sincere apologies for not being able to respond to you sooner. I am normally available within a few hours.
I understand why the order was agreed now on the basis of the previous report. Its not possible to challenge that report now but that doesnt make a difference as the report was still a positive one so far as mum being able to care without concern.
It sounds to me like the father wants to 'have his cake and eat it' in relation to on paper caring for the children and receving the benefits for this but in reality keeping the money and not caring for the children or meeting their school expenses.
I am glad to hear that social care are still aware of the case and the current position but they cannot change the court order to reflect what is actually happening and this something that the mother is going to have to do.
Before the mother can apply to court shes going to have to attempt mediation with the father. This is a prerequisite before she can apply to court or the court will reject her application. I appreciate that for the benefits they are going to want an order and I doubt that the father will agree at mediation the change to the children on paper living with the mother so in reality thi case is going to have to go to court. I suggest a chat with the mediator as they may be willing to sign the for so that mother can apply to court given the history.
I also have to warn you that given the fathers behaviour that mediation / court papers and the threat of losing benefits might make him have a sudden interest in the children and going back to rule in respect of the court order. This is a risk and theres nothing to stop him doing this in the interim but the timing can be well explained at court.
You need to seek to Vary the Child Arrangements Order.
You do this on Form C100.
There is a court fee payable of £215 when the application is issued but the mother may be eligible for a reduction / waiver depending on her means.
It needs to be detailed in the application:
- the previous order made
- the reality of who is caring
- the father is claiming all the benefits
- the father wont support the childrens needs financially
Please do let me know if I can help you further